Do I need a web designer or web developer – and what’s the difference?
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A web designer can build websites and eCommerce using a CMS and usually optimize the site for search for search. A web developer can usually do all this and much more.*
Consequently hiring a web developer is more expensive than a web designer.
Does your project require a web designer or web developer?
If your project is standard, get a good web designer will get the job done. For advanced projects with programming and customizations, hire a developer.
When you need a web designer
- For standard website design using a CMS such as WordPress.
- To build a basic eCommerce using a program such as Shopify, Magento, Woocommerce or Prestashop.
- For simple website customizations such as graphics, structure, layout and content.
When you need a web developer
- For websites that require advanced customizations with ad-hoc programming.
- When there are no plugins available to do what you require.
- For projects involving programming.
- Advanced integrations such as APIs.
- Web applications and single page web apps
Skill set – designer Vs developer
|Web designer||Web developer|
|Websites built||CMS||CMS, hand-coded, web applications, advanced customizations, plugins|
|Other skills||Graphic design, SEO, web marketing||Graphic design, SEO, web marketing|
Hiring the right team
A site’s success hinges partly on the ability of the development team you hire. Make sure they have advanced knowledge and a track record of delivering great looking websites with a proven results.
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* This post is aimed at website owners and aims to give a simple understanding of the similarities and differences be designers and developers so site stakeholders can make informed decisions. For the purpose of this post I am referring to front-end developers.