Getting Started

Basic information about websites and the web design business

Web Designer vs. Web Developer

Getting Started

Are you searching for a Tucson website designer or a web developer? Sometimes it seems like the two terms are used interchangeably, but what’s the difference? Who should you hire to build your website?

Truth is, most freelancers or design firms you will find probably do a little of each, but here’s the difference:


The designer is the person who creates the “look” or graphics of the website. A web designer is typically proficient in the use of graphics programs like Photoshop or Gimp and has experience with layouts, color schemes and art composition. A designer, technically speaking, doesn’t do coding but rather creates all of the imagery that goes into the site.


A web developer, on the other hand, has experience with databases and knows how to write code. He’ll take the design the designer created and code it out into a working website with content management systems or whatever other functionality is needed.

They work together (and often overlap)

Web designers and developers obviously work together. A good web designer needs to know enough about web development and coding processes to understand what makes a good website (including how navigation should be organized, what types of images and designs work well on the web, etc).

Often times you’ll find people who label themselves as a “designer/developer” because they do both. While obviously a person who tries to be a “Jack of all trades” may ultimately “master none,” if you find a skilled freelancer with experience in both, he or she may be in a position to offer you a complete solution from a single source, which has its perks.

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