Website designer or web developer – What is the difference?

Image of pencil sharpener, used by a designerWeb developers describe designers as people who like to play around with coloured pencils and web designers call developers ‘geeks’!

In short, a web designer makes a page look graphically pleasing to the eye and a web developer makes it work. Usually these are described as two seperate job titles however in reality they both need to work together.

Imagine you have a great new car.
The designer has made it look great, very stylish it has all kinds of gadgets image highlighting good designto make your life easier, but it has no engine under the bonnet so will go nowhere….

Imagine another great new car….
This time the engineer  has put a brilliant engine in it, it works like a dream, but it looks awful – no one buys it…..
image of old car highlighting, good web development but bad web design 

This is similar to the work of the website designer and developer, both roles need to work together. You need a great looking site – with a great engine.

Web Designers:
In some web design comapnies the web designer works in Adobe Photoshop and creates a mock up  of what the final design will look like and pass this to the client for approval. This is based on the print method when a print copy Is physically checked and signed off prior to going to the printers, however this does not work with web design.

Web page mock up
A web designer will take your brief and create a mock up of what your site will look like.A website designer may be working on a  custom ecommerce design They will take into account, colours, visual impact, corporate branding, typography and layout. Here at Microedge we produce a mock up that works on your internet browser, so you can really see what it looks like live on the web. This has the additional benefit that you can ask your colleagues and clients to look at the page and see what they think. It also has the advantage that changes can be made quickly and easily; if you want it in blue not red we can easily change the mock up and reload it for you.

Website creation
Once you have agreed a design, the web designer will make a working model of the site. At this point they usually then pass on the site to a developer to make the functionality and usability of the website.

Our website designers often do this process the other way around. Why? Well, sometimes, especially with a technically complicated site, it is better to make the website function first, then add the design. This can result in a robust, well built site that also looks good. Remember our analogy of the car, you need a good solid engine as well as a stylish body, otherwise it will fail. Web companies always need to work as a team.

Web Developers:

The web developer usually works on the functionality of the site.
They make the site function properly according to your requirements. They tend to work on the ‘back-end’ of the site. The area you can’t see – but makes everything work. This could be:

  • ecommerce section and ecommerce design
  • content management system (CMS)
  • user interaction (like a forum, blog or product reviews)
  • databases

In reality, most ideas are possible – talk to us and we will see if we can make your ideas a reality.

Please contact Microedge website design on 0151 324 1056 to see how we can help your business.

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