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Web Designer vs. Web Developer: What’s The Difference Anyways?

is there a difference between a web designer and wed developer

Within the world of marketing, there are many different jobs and possibilities that make marketing for a brand work. From social media, to brand audits, to design and building websites, the array of services is vast. 

So vast that our parents are constantly asking us “so what exactly do you do?” when we talk about marketing—so we get it. 

In this blog, we will be highlighting the difference between two positions that get mixed up easily (even by our internal team): web designer vs. web developer. We’ll talk about the difference between the two and what the positions entail when it comes to the wide, wide world of marketing. 


web developers vs. web designers


Think about it like building a house. 

Web developers are construction workers. They’re experts at starting from scratch and building the actual structure from the ground up in a way that’s functional and can withstand the elements. When it comes to websites, web developers are the ones who are doing all of the behind-the-scenes work from scratch and creating sites that are functional and easy to use. 

Web designers are interior designers. They come in and make the house a beautiful space to live in and make sure that the experience of the house is enjoyable and easy. The ultimate goal of a web designer is to make sure the user experience on a website is as enjoyable and simple as possible and also nice to look at. 


venn diagram explaining web developer vs web designer

Now that we have a broad view of things, let’s dive deeper and get into the nitty-gritty parts of each role and why they are important in our industry.  



what is web development


In the last 20 years, the internet has become wholly intertwined with our day-to-day lives. More and more of our lives are happening online—meaning the digital experience of searching a website is crucial for all of us to make it through the day. The basic definition of web development is the work involved with building a website for the internet, and it’s quickly becoming one of the fastest fields to work in.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Well … no, not really. 

Web developers have this unique knack to turn our regular languages into codes that can translate to HTML (HyperText Markup Language.) This is an extensive task that web developers are faced with on the daily. 

With the rise of all of the sites that make building a website simple, like Wix or Shopify, people think that web developers aren’t needed. We can tell you right away that’s not true (literally, at all). Most websites can benefit from the customization and personalization that a developer brings to the table, from unique functionality through coding to straightforward navigation.


Types of Web Developers

There are three main types of web developers:

  • Front-end developers
  • Back-end developers
  • Full-stack developers

Each type of developer does something different and unique that makes the world of web development go round. 

Front-end developers

Front-end developers are experts at taking a client’s current website and writing the code behind it to make sure it can be seen on the internet. Front-end developers are well versed in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

The main goal of this type of developer is to ensure the website content is clear, visible, and works well, including CTA buttons, navigation, and more. 

Back-end developers

Back-end developers are the magicians of the code needed to make a website work. These people are running the behind-the-scenes server of the website and all of the databases needed to make sure the website at hand actually works. 

Back-end developers are very knowledgeable about how to write efficient code that is clean and clear. Typically, back-end developers are people who are very detail-oriented. Back-end developers are fluent in the languages of PHP, JavaScript, Java, Ruby, and Python. 

Full-stack developers

Full-stack developers are the perfect mix of both front-end and back-end developers. Sometimes, companies will hire full-stack developers because they understand both processes of web development and could do both on their own. 

Full-stack developers can be seen as the jack of all trades in the development world because they can work on the front-end of things to make sure the site is viable and works, and also can create the codes needed for the servers and databases of a website. 

Is the world of web development starting to make a little bit more sense now? Yes?  Perfect, it is for us too. Now let’s take some time to chat about our second subject in this blog, web design.  


what is web design


Web design is all about the look and feel of a website. It’s the web designer’s role to create the layout, content, structure, and all-around appearance of the website. 

Web designers are professionals at figuring out the best colors for a brand, the perfect images to use for the website, and creating or finding the best fonts for a particular brand and their website as well. 

Again, they’re those interior designers.

When it comes to web design, web designers are typically knowledgeable with programs like:

These experts can see the big picture, are motivated by creativity and are skilled at understanding the trends of the world and what makes a website as aesthetically pleasing as possible. 

Not only this, they are also there to make sure that users of the website will have a good user experience and user interaction. They do this by having a deep understanding of the navigational elements of a website. 

Just like web developers, web designers also have different types of roles they can fulfill.

UX Designers

UX Design, or user experience design, is all about the user and their interactions with a brand from the first time they look at their website and brand on to the time they exit out of the website. 

UX Designers look at every single element of a website to make sure that the navigation elements are working correctly, and the website as a whole is easy to use and will motivate users to come back. 

UI Designers

UI Design, otherwise known as User Interface Design, focuses on the creative aspects of websites. Think things like: 

  • Typography
  • Logos
  • Spacing
  • Images
  • Colors of a website

UI Designers are typically creative individuals that are knowledgeable about how to make a website as aesthetically pleasing as possible. 

do web designers and web developers work together


That’s like asking if Starsky and Hutch work together to bust criminals. The answer is yes, of course. 

Web developers and designers have to work together to execute on a client’s vision. 

Sure, sometimes they can butt heads on the best way to solve a problem, but at the end of the day, the goal is always the same: Make the best website possible.

The unique qualities of the people who work in these two different fields make a pretty talented duo when it comes to the big world of marketing. It is important for web developers and designers to have strong communication amongst each other to make a brand’s website the best that it can be. 

By working together, web designers and web developers can troubleshoot the website as a whole in order to create a beautiful and well-functioning site that makes for an amazing user experience.


importance of web designers and developers in the marketing industry


Without web designers and web developers, brands or marketing teams like ours would have a hard time creating an amazing experience for their users when it comes to their websites. 

Without web developers, we would not have websites that work and run well. 

Without web designers, we would not get websites that are beautiful and easy to navigate. 

These two roles are vital to the world of marketing and it is important to recognize just how much the people who work in these roles have changed the way the internet works forever. 

Luckily for you, we have some pretty talented web developers and web designers at MAKE Digital group that want to make all of your website dreams come true. Contact us today to talk about how we can make that happen for you and your brand.