Website Design or Website Developer?

By Telligence

The terms Website Developer and Website Designer are used interchangeably by the public, but is there a difference?  Yes there is.

Back in 1994 we were all called website designers. Back in the good old days, building a website's structure was quite a simple matter, HTML is a simple markup language to learn. The effort and value in making a nice website was all in the graphic design elements. There were no databases driving sites, there were no content management systems and pages were put together one at a time. It was a very labour intensive process and feature wise the most difficult programming aspect of it was the evergreen emergence of roller images for navigation using JavaScript (and there were plenty of scripts on the net you could use without having to learn to program).

website design newcastle

How Website Design Has Changed

After a while clients started asking for product catalogues they could update themselves, they wanted to publish articles and news online, e-commerce emerged and a site's value, and cost became more about back end function. These requests presented difficulties to traditionally trained graphic designers who were used to building everything one page at a time (what we call a static site). If a site became large it often became a nightmare to manage and a labour money pit. So a website designer either had to learn a programming language and gain database skills or link up with a computer programmer who could build the back end system that the designers work could talk to. These back end programmers became what in industry terms are now called website developers.

How Website Designers and Developers Work Together

Nowdays delivering a website requires a multidisciplinary specialist team of people. Who you deal with will dictate how the relationships between website designers and website developers work. Here's some examples of how the market is currently segmented.

 We see traditionally trained designers with an interest in the web who partner with a web developer to deliver a site. How well this works for you will depend on the nature of the relationship with the developer. If that relationship is not strong your designer might find themselves stuck to deliver on future requests you make for technical changes.

 We also see designers happy to deliver great looking simple static sites, or build them themselves based on a basic content management system they've learnt to deliver but typically aren't capable of tweaking or delivering things the system doesn't already do.

 There's also an emerging of people who are not website designers nor website developers.  They are usually sales people with a franchise or reseller relationship with a website design/development company. This can be a great combination but you MUST make sure that the company providing the back end design and development support are reputable, stable and capable.

 Over the last decade, some website developers have abandoned most of their development skill set and deliver open source or other content management systems but retain the capability of customising features within the limits of the product they have selected.

 You can find a website development company with an in house multidisciplinary team of graphic designers, web developers, database administrators and dedicated support personnel, just like our team here at Telligence. We can deliver anything you want as a retail client and also may support companies using the four other models described above.

Lastly, when describing themselves for search engines website developers and website designers target both phrases so you'll find them using your choice of search terms. You won't really know what they are though until you ask the question.

Looking for a Website Designer or Developer?

If you are looking for a website developer or website designer, however you want to look at it, contact our Newcastle based website design and website development agnecy to discuss your next online project needs.

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