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Web Design vs Web Development: Compare & Choose

Web Design vs Web Development

Many find it difficult to understand the differences between web design and web development. Although the titles might be confusing, they focus on different aspects. In short, a web designer is in charge of the visual or aesthetic aspect of the project, while the web developer is in charge of the technical side. Obviously, there are distinctions and similarities between them. As they work with websites, some of their skills overlap.

To clarify things a bit, in this article, we will take a look in detail at each position, its skills and responsibilities, and the tools it uses, to determine when projects require a web developer or a web designer (or both). Moreover, we will discuss and compare the salaries and hourly rates of Web Design vs App Development.

What Is Web Design vs Web Developer?

What Is Web Design: Role, Skills, & Responsibilities

The process of planning, conceptualizing, and arranging content online is known as web design. Nowadays, web design is much more than the aesthetics of a website; it also includes its overall functionality and covers web apps, mobile apps, and user interfaces (UI). The layout and actual design of the website or online pages are the responsibility of a web designer, who may create a website from scratch or work with an existing one.

Web Designer's Responsibilities

In general, web designers perform the following:

  • Creating unique website design concepts and ideas that foster simplicity;
  • Constructing sample sites;
  • Keeping up with the latest technological and software advancements and trends;
  • Creating all visual design states from concept to engineering;
  • Meeting with clients to discuss the project’s needs, deadlines, and/or progress;
  • Receiving constant feedback from clients on the draft websites;
  • Gaining and/or improving knowledge and skills in applicable programming languages such as JavaScript and HTML;
  • Producing user-friendly, appealing, and functional products;
  • Being part of a diverse team that includes mostly specialists in digital retouching and picture editing.

Web Designer’s Skills

Design Tools

To design an appealing and functional website, a good web designer must be proficient in a set of applications. Although it is possible to design a website in the web browser, the use of such tools as Photoshop, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe After Effects, and others will highly influence the quality of prototyping, image and icon design, etc. Using the right tool at a certain stage of the process of website design opens new possibilities and makes the work much more effective.

UX Design

To provide an efficient user experience design, a web designer must conduct effective research to learn about the users’ interactions and, based on this data, create layouts. Through the repetition of such types of testing, the user experience design can be improved and, consequently, grow conversions.

Graphic Design

Even though graphic and web design are not the same, being a web designer with graphic design skills leads to more opportunities for creating something special, which is highly valued.

Design Sense

Having a good sense of design is crucial. Web design entails more than creating a visually appealing website. You must be familiar with design elements such as typeset and graphics, as well as design principles and ideas such as layout, form design principles, etc.

Responsive Design

With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, more people are viewing and reading web page information on small screens. A good web designer understands, to the core, the concepts of responsive web design and knows how to make web pages readable on different displays.

Front-End Programming Language

 It is very much advisable for a web designer to master HTML/CSS. Such a skill allows professionals to easily solve problems and create necessary changes. HTML determines the structure of the website, while CSS takes care of the visual appearance. Moreover, knowing JavaScript is a huge advantage for web designers, as they can solve major problems.

Web Server Management

Understanding the web server and its basic features helps web designers solve downtime issues and other problems much faster. Although not everyone wants to deal with the server, it is a very appreciated skill.

Search Engine Optimization

Though SEO knowledge is not a primary skill, it is very useful for anyone building a website. Web designers should at least understand its basics, so they can create sites that are attractive to search engines.

What Is Web Development: Role, Skills, & Responsibilities

Creating, building, and maintaining websites is known as web development, which can also include database management web design, web management, etc. Web developers should possess a combination of technical and graphic design skills to create highly functional and secure websites that will meet the requirements of clients or employers.

Web Developer's Responsibilities

In general, web developers perform the following:

  • Updating and maintaining websites;
  • Resolving problems with the website;
  • Creating, maintaining, and developing websites and software applications;
  • Keeping track of the website's traffic;
  • Keeping up with the latest technological advancements;
  • Collaborating with graphic artists and other designers;
  • Identifying and resolving problems discovered through consumer feedback and testing;
  • Evaluating code to ensure it complies with industry standards, is valid and well-structured, and works with different browsers, devices, and operating systems;
  • Analyzing technology to determine user needs.

Web Developer´s Skills

Backend Knowledge 

Understanding the backend is crucial to creating a highly functional backend. Data is saved, manipulated, and retrieved in this location. Web developers will benefit from understanding the foundations of backend development both when collaborating with backend developers and when working independently. SQL, cybersecurity, databases, and APIs are just a few of the crucial server-side skills to be aware of.

HTML/CSS Knowledge

HTML establishes the foundation for the creation of web pages and HTML documents on the Internet and determines the structure of the website, while CSS takes care of the visual appearance, meaning that it styles the site based on layout, color, and font. 

Python/JavaScript/PHP Skills

 Knowledge of the Python programming language is one of the most important web developer qualifications. PHP allows web developers to create dynamic content and interact with databases. JavaScript can implement complex features and such components as maps, videos, and moving elements. In fact, it helps develop interactive websites with uncommon features. 

SEO Knowledge

 Search engine optimization is a prominent skill for web developers. If the site is created taking into consideration the SEO requirements, it will obtain good traffic.

Frameworks and Libraries

Libraries are collections of commonly used, ready-to-use functions that can be reused throughout the code. This simplifies the life of a developer by making programming simple. Frameworks are similar to libraries in that they simplify the traditional coding process. It is worth mentioning that the most used backend libraries for web development are Django and Laravel, while React, Vue.js, Angular, and Svetle are used for the front end.

Hosting Skills

If you want your website to be scalable and accessible, you'll need to do some hosting. This enables you to save your resources (data, photos, and so on) on a server that is accessible over the Internet.

Testing Skills

There are two important testing methods that every web developer should know and apply: functional testing and unit testing, which check whether the code is performing well. Before deploying a website, it is crucial to thoroughly test it from the user's perspective.

Responsive Design Skills 

Web developers must ensure that their designs adapt to different screen sizes, whether they are on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. You must ensure that the website you design is adaptable to and suitable for a wide range of device sizes. The number of visitors to your site is also affected by responsive design. As a result, it is important to keep up with the newest market trends in order to remain relevant.

Code Versioning Skills

A version control system allows developers to control and check the changes made in code. In such a way, developers look at the code before any modifications. 

Debugging Skills

Debugging is the procedure that helps get rid of abnormalities in the code. This is quite difficult to perform. However, if the code is written in JavaScript, this process can be simplified.

Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer: Who Do I Need?

To identify whom to hire, i.e., a web developer or a web designer, it is advisable to focus on your business needs and goals to determine exactly what you need on your site. For instance, a web designer is an excellent alternative for a service-based firm wishing to establish a web presence and create leads. A web developer is the perfect choice if your project requires multiple elements, complex systems, or the integration of a specialized program. If you need a more complicated setup or a dedicated app integration, you should look for a developer who can tailor your site to your exact requirements.

Web Developer vs Web Designer: Which Is Better

Now that we have discussed the roles of web designers and web developers, as well as their skills and responsibilities, it should be easy to say who is better. However, there is no correct answer. Both web design and web development are very much required when it comes to a specific project. Let's take a look at the key differences between web designer and developer.

Web Designers

Web Developers

Creative Highly technical
Refers to the aesthetic element Refers to creating user-friendly websites depending on the client's needs
Transform concepts into aesthetically appealing designs Transform designs into fully working websites
The appearance and feel of a website is referred to as web design The functioning of a website and how it functions is referred to as web development
Web designing tools include Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Sketch, etc. HTML, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, Python, Ruby, jQuery, and more languages are utilized

Web Design vs Development: When to Use

Web Design

Web Development

Create a new homepage design Make a mobile application
Edit photos and videos Solve issues with the server/hosting
Create a new website branding concept Create a new contact form
Establish a presence and generate leads Integrate with third-party apps

Web Developer vs UX/UI Designer: Salary and Hourly Rates


Hiring freelancers works best for short-term projects, as there is no need to get involved in a long-term commitment with the freelancer. Freelance web developers and designers work independently and possess time flexibility. Depending on the type of web developer or designer you are looking for, you will probably come across different hourly rates for different skill sets. However, let's take a look at the hourly rates of freelance web designers and web developers.

According to Codementor, the average hourly rate for web developers is between $61-$80. However, keep in mind that those numbers vary depending on the technology stack and seniority level, as well as the hiring needs.

Web Developer Hourly Rate Distribution

According to Upwork, the hourly rate for freelance web designers ranges between $15 and $30.

Web Designers on Upwork Cost

Local Full-Time Developers

When you require a web developer or designer for a long period, hiring locals is the best option. Because you are limited in terms of geography, it may take longer to find a web developer or designer; nevertheless, you will employ a specialist who will take the time to completely understand your company processes to the core and participate in all the necessary projects.

A lot of brilliant developers out there have the necessary expertise and are eager to work full-time.

Web Design vs App Development: Average Salary Rates in the United States

According to, the average salary of a web developer is $89,999 a year. Taking into consideration the experience level of the developers, the average salary ranges from $69,998 to $126,750 per year.

The Average Web Developer Salary in the USA

The same source reports that the average salary of a web designer in the United States is $60,000 per year. Taking into consideration the experience level of the programmers, the average salary ranges between $45,000 and $97,500 per year.

The Average Web Designer Salary in the USA

Full-Time Remote Web Developers vs Web Designers

Hiring on a remote basis provides flexibility in terms of location and time zones and also extends the possibility of finding the necessary talent at a suitable price. Ukraine has become a popular destination for outsourcing due to its residents’ professionalism, brilliant development skills, and outstanding English communication. Looking for any type of developer in Ukraine is the perfect choice for those who would like to extend their team for a project, save money, or just get rid of the tedious recruitment process.

Let’s compare the average salary of web developers and web designers in Ukraine to the numbers we have already found out of the United States.

According to, which is the largest developer community in Ukraine, a web designer's salary in Ukraine is $2,000 per month, ranging from $1,500 to $3,000, making it approximately $24,000 per year, while in the United States it is $5,000 per month, ranging from $3,754 to $8,125, reports In contradiction to the United States hiring market, this is the net salary of the designers.

Web Designer's Salary in Ukraine

As per, the average salary of a web developer in Ukraine is $2,700 per month, ranging from $2,200 to $3,000 per month.

Web Developer's Salary in Ukraine


The distinction between a web developer and a web designer is more significant than you would believe. A web designer transforms a brand's concept into an on-screen reality and understands the preferences of the target audience. The basic structure of a website is built by a web developer, who uses coding languages to create logical, highly functional sites. Now that we are at the end of this article, you should know what type of professional your project requires. However, sometimes you may require both of them: You'll need a web developer to lay the foundation and web designers to make it look and feel the way you—and, more importantly, your users — want it to look and feel.

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Written by

Dmitriy Ogol

Starting from 2008, Dmitriy is working on the creation of dedicated teams. During these years, he helped to establish more than 20 teams of software developers from 2 to 25 members for clients from Europe and the USA.

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