When you need web work, people talk about web designers and developers interchangeably. Same thing, right? Nope. Learn the important differences.
OK. Wait. Don’t freak out.
We’ll talk about the differences so you know what to look for.
What does a Web Designer do?
Web designers create the look and feel of a website. Think of a web designer as the person who handles everything you see (color schemes, buttons, pictures) and how users interact with the website (usability).
Web designers concern themselves with what happens when a customer arrives on your website. Is it difficult to make a purchase? Book an appointment? Can the customer easily contact you? Is the website performing quickly or slowly? Is branding clear and consistent?
What is website ownership?
Learn why it's critical and protect your business with this checklist. You'll also get access to our Free Business Growth Accelerator.
What does a Web Developer do?
Web developers (AKA programmers) use the web designer’s work (a static design) to build the website.
A web developer may also use a content management system (CMS) to make it easier for clients to edit the website after it goes live. Common CMSs include: WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. (A web designer is more likely to use a CMS that doesn’t require a lot of coding, like Squarespace, Weebly, or Wix.)
One of the most important questions you can ask a web developer is for work samples that use the features you’re looking for.
Unless you have a lot of web knowledge, it might not matter if the developer knows Bootstrap, Ruby or PHP. What does matter is that they can show you their work.
Web developers concern themselves with transforming a static design into a functioning website with buttons, sliders, blogs, ecommerce, etc.
Do you need a web designer or web developer?
Larger, more complex projects may need to go to firms using specialists working in web design and web development. In this case, the web designer hands off a static design to a web developer.
Smaller projects may be handled by someone able to do both web design and development.
Having a clear understanding of the roles helps you set expectations.
Once you decide what type of professional to hire, please check out these resources to help guide your hiring process: Three Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Web Developer and Three Signs you’ve Found a Rockstar Developer.
If you’re not sure what you need, schedule a free consultation. I will help you create a technology plan to support your business vision that can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Hi! I’m Jen! I have over 25 years of training, teaching, and executive experience in leadership, strategic project planning, and digital marketing. Today, I am the founder of Women Conquer Business, a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community build sustainable businesses. I’m a frequent guest speaker and trainer. Get access to my free business growth accelerator and hang out with me on my weekly women in business podcast, Women Conquer Business.