What is the difference between a Web Designer and a Web Developer?

Some of the time, the terms “web design” and “web development” are used interchangeably, but the two phrases actually mean two different things. Simply put, web designers deal with the front-end of a website, while web developers deal with the back-end of a website. However, these days there can be quite a bit of crossover between the two.

What is Web Design?

Web design is the term used to explain the creation of the visual layout and aspects of a website – how wide/long it is, where the images should go, if it has a sidebar, and what the header will look like all fall under web design’s banner.

The finished product of the design does not typically contain code. Rather, the graphical representation of the web page is used by another or the same party as the basis for the code. The representation is divided into areas that can be represented by web code, and other areas that are purely graphics.

Often, web design and development firms use the term “web design” to refer to the entire development of a web site because it is the most commonly recognized term in the marketplace.

What is Web Development?

Web development deals more with the code of the site – which dictates how it will act. What will happen when you click on a certain link and when animations or videos will play on a page are examples of web development’s role. It is the art of making websites that do things, such as logins, useful tools for the users, e-commerce capabilities such as a shopping cart or online payments, online forums and more.

A developer is known to focus on specialties such as HTML, CSS and PHP. They deal with the unseen coding aspect of a website, known as the back-end, and are primarily concerned with making a website function quickly, efficiently, and with the greatest stability.

Typically, a web-developer will be responsible for developing and coding server-side applications, databases, complex e-commerce transactions, and for search engine optimization. Although this process is not actually visible to the visitors of the website, it is absolutely vital to the visitor’s experience while browsing the website.

and, just in case you’re wondering…

The difference between a programmer and a developer: a programmer is given a specific set of instructions and creates code according to those instructions. A developer on the other hand is given a problem and needs to devise a way to overcome it.


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