What’s the difference between a web designer and web developer? And which do I need?


Back in the day, when you needed a new website, you’d have to fork out A LOT of money for a web developer to make you something from scratch. Now that we have CMS platforms like WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace, it’s changed the game and having a web presence is a lot more accessible and affordable. It’s important to understand the difference between a web designer and web developer to understand their limitations. So what’s the difference between a web designer and a web developer, and which do you need for your website? Let’s dive in and discuss.

What's the main difference?

Generally speaking, a web developer has more technical  knowledge and coding know-how than a web designer and can create a custom website for you, as opposed to using a customised theme template.

A web designer will generally set up your website in a way that makes it more simple for you to maintain and update yourself. You may find that a web designer has a bit more of a creative eye, as opposed to looking at your project from a technical perspective.

Which is more expensive? A web developer or web designer?

Another generalisation, but you should expect to pay more for a web developer to create your website. The reason being, you are paying for a custom built website, with superior functionality. You’re also paying for their technical knowledge, and IT qualifications. 

Do I need to engage a developer or a designer?

It really depends on your needs. If you need specialised functionality on your website, like a directory, or membership platform, you’re probably best to engage a web developer to set everything up properly, as opposed to using plug ins.

If you’re a small business that just wants to sell products or a service, a web designer will be able to assist. Whichever you choose, be sure to inspect their portfolio closely before you sign the dotted line. 

Curious about working with me? Click here to check out my recent web design projects.

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