What every developer or designer should know before calling themeselves a designer or developer

Over the last 3 years I have considered myself as a web developer. About a year ago I was looking for jobs for web designers/developer and notice many web languages that I was unfamiliar with. So I started to think to myself, am I a web developer or just a designer? In this article I will explain the difference between a web developer and a web designer. After this article you will know whether you’re a designer, developer or both.

Website Designer

Many of you designers out there probably consider yourself as a web designer. A web designer can live up to more than just designing and often work with familiar web languages to create dynamic web pages.

What does it mean to be a Web designer

a person or business that designs and prepares content for the World Wide Web, including text, images, site architecture and multimedia.

website designer

Web designers are mainly the ones who design the whole look and aspects of a website. As a web designer your job would be to stay up to date with the latest trends and produce great designs that you or a developer could code. Being a web designer may seem like an easy job or thing to do but if you actually break down the steps it can take quite sometime to produce a homepage with sub pages. So what is a web designer typical schedule?

A Web designer schedule is not exactly how I will list it below but I will just give you a prime example. I will skip the wake up and brush teeth steps, you should already have that down pack.

  1. Find Inspiration
  2. Sketch out a design on paper
  3. Clean sketch up in Photoshop, use guide lines
  4. Find Colors for website
  5. Find clip arts, images, brushes, textures, etc
  6. Start inserting textures, brushes, and icons into design
  7. Name layers and group them
  8. Slice the layout and get it ready for the developer
  9. Save work

That may seem like it is nothing but each step can take a very long time. Whenever you design something it is very important that you design and send it off the right way. For example a developer expects for your design to be pixel perfect, layered & grouped, sliced, and ready to be coded.

Website Developer

Many of you designers out there probably consider yourself as a website designer/developer. If you’re wondering what is a web developer, then do not worry I will explain it below.

web developer

Web Developer is the person who deals with websites from a technical perspective

Web developers are usually the ones doing all of the dirty work. What I mean by dirty work is coding the website in many different web languages. As a developer their jobs are to create web pages using front-end developer techniques or back-end developer techniques. If you’re lost then do not worry, I will explain it below.

Developer usually work with many web languages depending on whether its front-end work or back-end work. If you take a look at the list below you can see what type of languages web developers work with to create dynamic web pages.

  • Markup languages (such as HTML, XHTML and XML)
  • Style sheet languages (such as CSS and XSL)
  • Client-side scripting (such as JavaScript)
  • Server-side scripting (such as PHP and ASP)
  • Database technologies (such as MySQL and PostgreSQL)
  • Multimedia technologies (such as Flash and Silverlight)

Many designers consider themselves as Web developers but mainly know half of the languages. I know it is very difficult to learn new web languages while mainly working with a code that you’re familiar with. Each language above is very important if you’re one of those developers who has a plan to work for a company or keep a job.

Front-End Developers mainly know some of the basic codes like HTML, CSS, Javascript, and might have a little understanding of PHP, and some back-end work. To learn more about Front-end developers check out this article from Fuel Your Coding.

Back-End Developers are just as important as a Front-End developers. Back-End developer mainly work with web languages like Perl, PHP, ASP, JSP, ColdFusion, etc. What I love about working on the back-end of the site is that you can control the website and its functions. Say you wanted to create a membership website and you need a place to store the visitors user-name and password. You would need to create a database that stores the information and that is when the back-end developers come in.

What should I know to be considered a website designer/developer

To be considered a website designer and developers I would recommend that you spend time working with new lanuages that you normally do not work with and you keep designing the kick butt web pages and designs. You do not have to have every single web language down pack but it would be good to have a good understanding of what each languages does and how you can work with it to create something worth while. I hope this article gave you a basic understanding on what each field does and the main codes they use. If you’re looking forward to becoming a developer or designer keep working hard and you will be one in no time.

Joe Granados the author

Joe Granados is the owner of WebDevTuts. He is also a web designer & developer who loves to design and develop websites. If you're looking for him you can find him via @webdevtuts
  1. Brian Lovin says:

    Hey Marcell, great site! However, the text size is painfully small. It’s pretty difficult to read the content while sitting back in my chair (about 3 feet from my screen). Anything bigger would definitely help 🙂

    • Marcell says:

      Thanks for your comment Brian. I also notice the text was quite small and a other few things about a week ago. I am currently making changes to this site so just hang in there.

  2. Natasha H. says:

    Nice post. I’ve been reading a couple of other articles that explain the difference between developers and designers and trying to sort the two out. This was definitely very helpful.

    I guess by what this article says I’m aiming to become a web designer with front-end developer skills. Wish me luck and keep up the good article postings!

    • Marcell says:

      Yeah I think the two are very different but goes hand and hand. Good luck with becoming a web designer. It’s always great to see new designers joining the design community.

  3. Scott says:

    Wow bro! You impress me with everything I read. Way to really use what God gave you. I wish I could learn everything you seem to know. I have been in this for 10+ years and feel lost and behind constantly! I have spent a lot of time on your website and appreciate you. I am not sure if I have anything to offer you but friendship but hopefully that’s enough. Add me anywhere including facebook, I would love to collaborate! For you my friend, I have all the respect in the world!!!

    have a blessed day!

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