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The Difference Between Web Designers and Web Developers

March 8, 2022

A woman with her hair in a messy bun sits at a desk looking at a laptop. There are images and photos pinned to the wall in front of her. Blurred lightbulbs hang from the ceiling. Text on the image reads The Difference Between Web Designers and Web Developers

Have you ever wondered what's the difference between a Web Designer and a Web Developer?

The answer depends on who you ask.

A graphic designer who learned some code to enhance their skills may still only call themselves a Web Designer.

Someone who learned how to code a website from scratch and has learned Photoshop and photography skills throughout their career may still call themselves a Web Developer.

A business looking for a brand new website may hire for a Web Designer but expect them to know how to add custom code too. Or they could be looking for a Web Developer and expect the site to function and look beautiful as well.

A little over 10 years ago, I called myself a Web Unicorn. Having a career that spanned both graphic design and building websites from scratch, I was unique. With additional experience in accessibility standards, fine/digital arts, animation, branding, and video, there was little I could say no to. Now, as more people have joined the coding+design world and gained more experience, the lines between Web Designer and a Web Developer get extremely blurred.

listen vs. label

When I talk about web design and development with business owners, I try to listen rather than label. I figure out their needs rather than putting a position title on it. This is why discovery calls or connection calls are so important to a project. Each one of you is different. Each one of your businesses is different. Some of you may need more design and some of you may need more custom development. It's not up to you to know exactly what to call it. And each designer or developer — sor unicorn — sis going to call it something different. Make sure whoever is helping you is listening and not just labeling.

Need a Web Designer or Web Developer? Not sure what you need? Let's talk and figure it out. Book a 20 minute call with me.