Website design and website development are two totally separate things.

Website designer

A website designer will decide the layout, colours, typography… everything ‘design’. They will make the website look great, but it’s not just a pretty face. A website designer also works with the usability of the website, deciding where everything should go so that it’s easy to use and maximises conversions.

The key thing to remember here, a website designer is creative or right-brained.

Website developer

Whereas a website designer is creative, a website developer is technical or left-brained.

A website developer will build the website based on the designs and make it functional. Often a website designer will design a website using something like Photoshop, which obviously doesn’t create an actual website, but just an image of the proposed website. That’s where the developer comes in, building the fully functional website for you.

Developers know various different languages, like HTML, CSS, Javascript, and often many more, which they use to create a website.

What am I

Some people are solely designers who can create glorious designs for a website but the thought of looking at lines and lines of code resembling the Matrix brings them out in a rash. The same can be said for developers. Some are tech wizards but ask them a colour theory or typography question and they’re baffled.

Neither job is more superior, just different. Without each other, they just don’t function as well. A developer might create a very technically sound website but it may not look very pretty. And a designer…well, they may never even get past the image stage if they don’t have any development knowledge!

It’s good to have at least a little knowledge of both if you’re a web professional. Knowing the very basics of the technical aspects as a website designer helps you to create better designs that are suited for the web. And having some basic design knowledge as a developer helps you to build the website while maintaining the beauty of the original design.

I call myself a website designer, although I can do development. I work with WordPress, which allows me to design and build great websites without having to have really in-depth knowledge of code. I know enough so that I can create really customised websites using WordPress but I’m not a full stack developer by far!

It’s on my bucket list to learn website development in full but my mind is definitely more creative than technical.

If you’re thinking of working on a website project, make sure you know what you’re getting! You don’t want to be paying for what you think is a fully functional website only to find out that they’re just providing the designs and you need to hire a developer separately!

Also, make sure you know what you need. Do you just want a beautiful new website for your business or do you want a fancy website with many different functions, for example, an online shop? Who you work with depends on what you need. Not sure? Email me or comment on my #WebsiteWorries thread.

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