The Difference Between a Web Designer and a Website Developer

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The terms website designer and web developer are often used interchangeably, but they are absolutely not the same thing. And the differences are significant. While many web developers are sometimes designers, the vast majority of designers are typically not developers. Let’s take a quick look at the differences and why it should matter to anyone building a website.

Allow me to preface this article by stating clearly that Electric Bricks is both a web design and development agency. And being able to make that claim is what sets us apart from many of the smaller companies out there.

What is Web Design?

In a nutshell, a web designer does exactly that – they “design” the look and feel of a site. This process can take many forms, but very often, less experienced or freelance designers will start with a commercially-available base design (referred to as the “theme” in WordPress parlance), and then add photos and graphics, your logo, some color scheme adjustments, and your written content. The amount of creativity that goes into this is relatively low on the designer’s part since most of the layout decisions are already made for them by the base theme.

There are a number of other limitations with this technique; most notably, these types of sites tend to look somewhat “cookie-cutter” – they all kind of look the same – since the base theme restricts what can be done with the layout. For example, you may not be able to add important items, like a call-to-action button or your phone number in the most logical area because the base theme doesn’t make space for it. You also may not be able to edit other important features like the fonts or the layout of critical areas like the header or footer.

website design & development layout

All-in-all, this approach is very limiting and rarely yields a design that really reflects the true character of the company it’s built for.

Electric Bricks takes a very different approach to web design. Since our designers are true graphic arts experts, proficient in the entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite of software tools, like Adobe XD and Photoshop, we start each project with a blank canvas and build a design based on a collaboration between us and our client. We use…:

  • client input
  • our decades of design best-practices experience
  • clearly defined marketing goals
  • an understanding of the website’s audience
  • and a thorough competitive analysis

…to come up with a completely unique design that accurately portrays the style and character of our client while helping them achieve their marketing objectives.

More importantly, the design can now incorporate anything needed to make the user experience (UX) one that encourages visitor engagement, which ultimately helps lead to more business. This technique allows for a true “marketing-first” approach to the layout so proper attention can be given to the things that help turn site visitors into new customers.

But, of course, the Electric Bricks technique is only viable if you can then turn that design into a working website. That’s where being a web developer comes in.

What is Web Development?

Simply put, being a web developer means you know how to write code. Understanding the languages that make up a web page (PHP, HTML, CSS, jQuery, JavaScript, etc.) and the rules for writing code that works with WordPress are the skills necessary to take a raw design and turn it into a working website.

The developers at Electric Bricks have (quite literally) decades of experience writing code and they also incorporate the latest cutting-edge coding tools (like Bootstrap and jQuery) to build highly functional and mobile-ready sites that load fast and look great on any device.

Because our designs are always unique, we can do literally anything we want with them without restriction. Since we’re writing the code for the theme, we can put any design element anywhere we like on a page. This is why, when clients ask us to redesign their old site from a previous designer, the website we build tends to convert far more customers when compared to the old one. We make sure we place the most important elements, like call-to-action buttons, right where a user expects them. More clicks mean more customers.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, every company wants to stand out from its competitors. No one wants to appear basic or boring. So it only stands to reason that if you use a basic web designer, you will get just that – a run-of-the-mill site that does nothing to express your true individuality or shows customers you truly care about your brand. Building a site that looks just like everyone else’s is self-defeating and can actually hinder your marketing efforts. “Good enough” shouldn’t be good enough if you’re serious about success.

Talk to Electric Bricks today and you’ll discover what a difference hiring the right digital marketing agency can have on your bottom line.

Wanna Build Something with Electric Bricks?

Call us at 631-909-1004 or give us a few details and we’ll show you how!

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