Web Designer? Web Developer? Website Builder?
Building a website, especially for the first time, can be a pretty overwhelming task. A lot of terms are thrown around including Web Designer, Web Developer, and Website builder.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these options and by the end of this article you should have all of the information you need to make a well informed decision as to which will give you the most bang for your buck.
What’s the difference between a Web Designer and a Web Developer?
More often than not, web developer and web designers are used as synonyms. This is incorrect and can end up costing more time and money because they possess different abilities and may not be able to achieve what you need. So what’s the difference?
Web developers work much more with code. They do both back-end and front-end work and are responsible for the actual building of the website. They also create items that will affect user experiences such as animations, integrating other websites, or adding features to your website.
Web designers generally come from a design background. These are the folks responsible for making your site visually appealing. They create a layout for the site as well as any graphics that will be used. Many web designers have experience with graphic design so they can help you with various things that will directly affect your customer’s opinion of the site and ability to locate your website.
Should I use a Website Builder or hire a Web Designer?
There are quite a few website builders out there including Wix, Squarespace, or even GoDaddy. These tools make it simple for someone without any coding experience to set up a simple website using drag and drop features. If you’re creating a webpage that won’t be changing often, then this may be fine. If you will need to change or add features or content more frequently, this may not be the ideal solution for you. Using a website builder can also cost more than just hiring a web developer or designer.
Working with a designer will mean that you are not in direct control of everything on the page, but your designer should be able to turn your ideas into a reality. Because of this, you will be able to customize your website more than you would be able to using a website builder. A designer will also be more familiar with best practices and can help with file uploads. It can also help to create a single point of contact instead of having to go through a larger company’s customer support.
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Hiring a Web Designer can have Other Benefits
As I mentioned before, there are other benefits to using a Web Designer. The first of which is a working knowledge of SEO. If you’re not sure what SEO means, I touch on it here. This will help your website to get found through search engines. Most web designers will also have a portfolio which will show you their experience. This not only shows you what they are capable of doing, but may also give you some ideas for your own site. Experience is awesome because it will give you confidence in your new site as well as save you time and money. Who doesn’t like saving money while meeting deadlines?
Where do I fall?
I started in code by building applications for windows using c#. I then took an interested in website development and began learning code. Through practice I have become comfortable with HTML, CSS, JQuery, and I’m currently learning Ruby. After learning to code, I decided to dive into design. I consider myself to be both a web designer and a front-end web developer.
Although there are some different options when it comes to building your website, each option has pros and cons. Designers can save time and money but are not as hands on. Website builders allow you to drag and drop things into place, but can be expensive and more brittle. Web developers are the folks who handle the code behind the scenes and make a website work.
If you have any questions or want to hire me, you can contact me here.