The difference between a web developer, a web programmer and a web designer

What is the difference between a web developer, a web programmer and a web designer?

Most people will use those words interchangeably. Design activity is usually related to graphic design, so a web designer will mainly take care of the visual side of a web site.

Programming or development on the other hand is related to coding. Web development can be divided into front end (client-side) and back-end (server-side) programming. It is also quite common for web programmers to focus their experience either on back-end or front-end programming.

Most specialists in website development and design have a combination of skills, and depending on their experience the skill set may vary greatly. For example a freelancer or one-man-company web designer will need to get hold of all skills related to creating a web site. A micro-company consisting of one more technical and one more creative person might do a better job, as each specialises in their own area. In larger web development companies the work can be divided between people who are much more specialised.

Web designers usually have some html and JavaScript skills, and some of them might also handle the client side of server-based code, for example page templates or Java Server Pages in Java applications. Even if they are not able to code the page logic themselves, they should at least understand the basics to change a page layout or graphics.

Web developers write pages using HTML and CSS; strictly speaking they are not programming languages, so a web designer skilled in HTML and CSS can produce a static website, or a website with some interactive front-end elements, such as drop-down menus.

What’s the difference between web design company and web development agency?

As follows from the name, web design company should specialise in creating design and web development agency should elaborate what web design companies have come up with. In fact, you may be quite confused with the terms because web design companies claim they can also develop websites and a good web development agency for sure is able to create a design.

How then to define what company you really need? The main point is that a web development agency (developers in it’s core) is not only creating websites. Web applications development, database development, software development – these are also areas of expertise of web development companies.

Web designers as mentioned above can also be experienced in programming, but not so mature in creating apps or complex websites (for example database-driven or CRM-based).

Here, at Magic Web Solutions we have people specialising in all the mentioned areas, so we can provide full-cycle services: web design and web development (both back-end and front-end).

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