Book a Call

A Web Developer at Work

Do you need a Web Designer or a Web Developer?

Do you need a Web Designer or a Web Developer? Building a successful website involves a thoughtful balance between aesthetics and functionality. In an ideal world you’d have the best of both. This balance is achieved by knowing when to hire a web designer and when a web developer is the better fit for your project. In this article, we’ll explore the key considerations that will help you decide when to enlist the services of a web designer and when a web developer is the right choice.

What’s the Difference?

In truth, it’s a bit of a spectrum. Typically a web designer is more involved with the aesthetics of a website: the design, the look and the branding. Whereas the rôle a web developer is about achieving technical outcomes from interaction with a website: delivery of email from a contact form, completion of an online checkout, building a browser-based game and so on. What does a web developer do? Check out this post.

A web designer might be expected to have more talent than a web developer: any eye for visual design, a grasp of user experience and so on. A web developer will definitely need more knowledge: an understanding of systems design, a grasp of data management and a number of more technical skills.

The division is rarely absolute, a web developer will often understand how to implement a brand strategy with a good template and a web designer will normally know how to configure an online form. Designers tend to be cheaper than developers.

When to Hire a Web Designer

Crafting an Engaging User Experience (UX)

Web designers are experts at creating websites that captivate and engage visitors. If your primary goal is to provide a visually appealing and user-friendly experience to your audience, it’s time to hire a web designer. They excel in design principles, color schemes, typography, and layout, ensuring that your website’s users have a seamless and enjoyable journey.

Building Your Brand’s Visual Identity

Your website is normally the key touchpoint for your brand, it’s important that it reflects your company identity. Web designers can incorporate your brand’s style, logo and messaging, creating a cohesive and visually appealing online representation. If you want your website to be a true extension of your brand, a web designer should be your choice.

Frontend Development

Web designers often possess frontend development skills, allowing them to bring their design concepts to life. They create user interfaces that look great and are responsive and easy to navigate. When aesthetics and user-friendliness are a top priority, a web designer is the way to go.

Responsive Design

In today’s mobile-centric world, having a website that adapts gracefully to various devices is essential. A good web designer will specialise in crafting responsive designs to guarantee your website looks and functions impeccably across smartphones, tablets, and desktops.

Good design should ensure a consistent and appealing user experience on all platforms.

When to Choose a Web Developer

Building Complex Functionalities

Web developers are the technical architects behind the functionalities of your website. If your project involves complex functionalities like e-commerce systems, user account management, or database integration, a web developer is the right choice. They have expertise in coding languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more, ensuring your website runs smoothly and efficiently.

Custom Web Applications

When you need custom web applications, such as content management systems or specialised online tools, web developers are indispensable. They are equipped to build these applications from the ground up, making them perform seamlessly.

Backend Development

Web developers manage the server-side aspects of your website. They handle databases, server configurations, and other technical elements, ensuring that your website’s data is stored, retrieved, and processed accurately. If your project involves complex backend work, a web developer is a must.

SEO and Performance Optimisation

To improve your website’s SEO and overall performance, you’ll need the technical expertise of a web developer. They can optimise page load times, enhance mobile responsiveness and implement SEO best practices to ensure your website ranks well in search engines.

Ongoing Maintenance

The kind of project you commission is likely to affect the kind of ongoing support you need. If your website is mainly about content and design then a web designer should be able to support you going forwards. The more custom development there is in any given project, the greater the development overhead is likely to be in the future.

Consider an Agency

If you have a project requires both web design and development skills, you might wish to consider and agency over a freelancer. Agencies will typically have a larger team to draw upon and be able to offer a mix of both skill sets.


The success of your web project hinges on understanding when to hire a web designer and when to opt for a web developer. A harmonious collaboration between these two professionals often results in a website that not only looks great but also functions flawlessly. Carefully assess your project’s specific needs and budget to determine whether a web designer, a web developer or an agency are the right choice for you. Ultimately, it’s the perfect synergy between design and functionality that will lead to a successful online presence.

Still Stuck?

We have developers and designers in house and we have the experience to understand what you need. Contact us for some free advice.