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Web Designer vs Web Programmer vs Web Developer.

Published December 15, 2009 by dfordsi Comments: 3

  1. Does your website look amazingly slick and well designed but not perform exactly the way it’s supposed to?
  2. Does it look like a broken down site from the mid 90s and but yet function perfectly?
  3. Or does it look great AND do what it is supposed to?

If you answered yes to question 3, you can stop reading now. If you answered yes to questions 1 or 2, you may want to keep reading. Many of you maybe even have a site that neither works well nor looks good… in which case you should definitely continue reading.

Many sites out there for whatever reason have only been designed well OR only been programmed well. That’s because many pure designers get their hands on a copy of dreamweaver and declare they can do it all and just as many pure programmers get a copy of photoshop and declare they can do it all.

As a general guideline think of it in the following way:

Web Designer: Typically can create outstanding “wow effect” graphical layouts. Not really interested in web standards as long as the design stays as true as possible. Familiar with Adobe design suite and or other graphic tools. May know basic html/css but has no knowledge of server side or dynamic scripting. May or may not have a copy of dreamweaver that will only get them in trouble.

Web Programmer: Typically an expert in a server side language like PHP/MySQL, ASP.NET/SQL, etc. May be an expert as well with a client side language like javascript. Despite getting their hands on a copy of photoshop has no real eye for design. Can do “skeleton/plain” layouts at best and may or may not care about web standards.

Web Developer: Typically a true jack of all trades of sorts. They are a hybrid of both the Web Programmer and Web Designer and not just posing as one or the other. They care about standards, clean code, clean design, best practices, and latest trends in general web design, scripting and development.

So when you’re looking to have some web work done, a 2 person team consisting of a good web designer and good web programmer or 1 or more solid web developers would ensure that your site will look good AND function properly as well.

In conclusion look for web developers and avoid the pure designer or pure programmer unless their best friend/colleague is the other… my proof? Just click around the web… it’s full of sites that are non-designed and/or non-functioning.


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3 Responses to “Web Designer vs Web Programmer vs Web Developer.”

  1. Patrick said:

    Agree 100%. Web developers also typically have the ability to manage the DNS, Hosting, Email creation, server administration, etc. In my experience, web developers make the absolute best team leaders because they have solid understanding of design, and programming as well as the end result and can also take a step forward for marketing purposes as well. Typically, pure designers/programmers only care about their “part” of the job. A web developer cares about the entire scope of the project. When making your hiring choice, make sure you ask the right questions and don’t get stuck with a “i’m not a programmer”, or “I’m not a designer”. A web developer will more than likely respons with something along the lines of “I can handle most of the design and programming and get your site from inception to launch without much need of outside help”. Just my $0.02.

  2. essex website designers said:

    Well I don’t see why it has to be ‘vs’ to be honest, we can and do all work in harmony otgether, like here, it’s all good^^

    Nice article though, keep them coming:)

  3. essex website designers said:

    Hi there

    I work for a web design specialists and there are some very good points here. It usually takes a comination of all three to create a very sucessful website. We specialize in all areas of the Internet, anything Google related.
    This is a very useful article!