Web designer or developer?

Good day all! :slight_smile:

I’m starting university in September for Computer Science and over the last few months I’ve been researching and learning a lot about programming languages (HTML & CSS specifically). Which lead me to want to start my own website design company, with just myself and take on small clients. I live in the Bahamas and there are a lot of local businesses who do not have an online presence as yet.

I just have some confusion I was hoping someone could help me out.

What exactly is the difference between a web developer and a designer?

I’m more interested in the actual coding of a web page than the design aspect but I still feel like I know what looks good to someone’s eye etc. I don’t want to actually create a design template for a client to choose from but instead have them decide what they want and make it function.

I would appreciate any help & suggestions I can get.

A web developer programs, basically. Most of the time is referred to backend programmers.

A web designer creates the look and design of the website. They should think about colour scheme, contrast, UX… It also depends on their experience, of course. And UX is resonsibility of both the designer (first) and the programmer (later). Sometimes they can code the page with some HTML, CSS and, in some cases, even jQuery or Javascript (this last option is more rare. Libraries like jQuery are the norm)

Thanks a lot for your help, this is all very new to me and is very exciting to learn.

I guess molona has explained it pretty good. But let met just add an analogy to this never ending comparison. A web developer and a web designer could also be likened to a civil engineer and an architect. Indeed, both professions work on buildings and structures, but what differs them is that architects are more concerned with the design while a civil engineer is more concerned of the foundations and the structure of the building. Like the developer and the designer, the developer creates the line of codes that supports the websites and the applications within it while the designer creates the line of codes that makes the website more appealing to the eye.

Thank you, it’s starting to make a lot more sense now.

It is a quite good analogy :slight_smile:

Yes, it’s quite common to have Web Designer aka GUI Expert and Web Developer aka Back-end developer. Yes, it is quite rare when a person knows both area very well… To me, it just seems very weird… I feel a programmer should be very good at design and developement. Anyways, that’s another topic. If I was in your situation then I would lean toward buying Design templates from many sites like wrapbootstrap.com. They are super cheap and if you know a bit of HTML/CSS then you can reverse engineer how they created that design and refactor to custom fit your client needs. If you cannot reverse engineer or take a long time to create fancy GUI then I guess you can work with the designer.

I don’t know how it is here (in English realm), but in Soviet Russia web design designs designer… Just kidding :smiley:

But really, in Russia people used to think about process of creating website in three/four steps (or by 3/4 people): design, markup, UX (JS), and backend. It’s really rare that designer is writing the HTML markup (however it’s important for designer to have some skills of HTML). Back end programmer expected to write only server code. So it’s all strict by specialization, but one person can do several of these if specialized (or cheapier).