What is the best career choice: web developer or web designer?

With the rising demand for websites and web applications for all kinds of businesses, the responsibilities of web developers and web designers are increasing exponentially, and so is their expertise.

To become a successful developer and designer, you'd need the required skillset; knowledge of programming language, understanding of Ui/UX, design, colors, and typography, and most of all the ability to create a product.

But, many aspirants wonder if they should pursue web development or web designing. Although, both the terms are frequently interchanged when referring to someone who creates a website, they do not mean the same thing.

So, if you’re wondering about pursuing either web development or web designing, then this guide is for you.

Web Developer vs. Web Designer

So, what is the basic difference between these two?

In simple terms, a web developer refers to someone who develops a website or web application as a final product. On the other hand, a web designer creates a complete layout of a website or web application.

Let’s talk about web designers and web developers, and what it takes to become one.

1. Web Designer

If you have an inclining towards creating art or designing products, then web designers might sound ideal to you.

As a web designer, you will use up all your creative niches on typography pairings, color schemes, building wireframes, and giving website designs using made editing tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator skills.

Also, a designer is less likely to edit programming codes, but most jobs require you to have a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Responsibilities as a web designer

  • Working as part of a multidisciplinary team including designers, developers, quality control, and programmers.
  • Creating website/application designs
  • Producing samples
  • Demonstrating and receiving feedback about the design
  • Creating products that are user-friendly, effective, and appealing.
  • Digital retouching and image editing

Skills and requirements of a web designer

As an aspiring web designer, you must possess or develop creativity, attention to detail, analytical skills, the technical ability for problem-solving, knowledge of SEO, and experience in using design editing tools like PhotoShop or InDesign.

A university degree may sound good, but without the aforementioned skills, you are less likely to become a successful web designer.

2. Web Developer

Web developers are those who make the website and web applications interactive.  Also known as coders or programmers, web developers use their skills to build a functional website with interactive abilities and visible structure.

But, it doesn't end here. They are also responsible for ensuring a site functions correctly on all browsers, and devices (Desktop and mobile), testing products, updating and tweaking websites, carrying out maintenance, and adding or removing features.

Web developers are further categorized into two types according to their responsibilities and skills -frontend and backend.

Skills and responsibilities of a web developer

Frontend developers focus on creating visible applications using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. While, backend developers create the logic that runs the application using PHP, Ruby, ASP, SQL, and other relevant programming languages.

Being a web developer means, you'd need to find your niche such as creative (designer), UID (User interface developer), or backend (coding).

While it may be true that developers don't need designing skills, having one will set you apart as a successful web developer.

A web developer would also require an innate understanding of User experience (UX), User interface (UI), visual design, coding languages, troubleshooting, and in-depth knowledge of SEO.

Myths about Web Designing and Web Development

Many aspirants have a lot of misconceptions about designers and developers had to do with how much money they make, how steep the learning curve is, and what kind of work they do.

Here are some myth-busters for you.

1. Development is harder than Designing

While learning frontend or backend coding language is harder and more time-consuming, designing a website isn't easy either. Both jobs require learning something new from the scratch and completing varied tasks.

2. Developers make far more than designers do

Many believe that developers work more than designers so they get paid more, but this isn't true. A web developer earns on average $71,497 and a web designer with great experience and skill earns $80,000 or more.

3. Designers don't need to know about coding

This isn't entirely true. While most of the work of a designer doesn't include dealing with codes, they still require understanding basic HTML, CSS, and Javascript to comprehend the website's functionality.

Many web designers are good developers as well. Some do both!

What are the benefits of choosing either career path?

Like any other highly prospective job, becoming a web designer or web developer comes with many great benefits.

1. Growing demand

Web designers and developers are always in demand. Unlike some jobs that are replaced by automation, designing and developing websites require human intervention.

These jobs are required for any industry including education, finance, and health. Both small and large companies hire designers and developers.

2. Job security

Job security is another benefit of choosing these career paths.  By the year 2024, we can expect a 27% growth in the field of web design. As the field continues to grow and evolve, so will job opportunities. While designing and developing is crucial in this field, you can take a step ahead and become a website quality analyst or even a project manager who deals with both clients and a team.

So, it's likely that you will never run out of a job.

3. Minimal qualifications

Becoming a web designer or developer doesn't require you to earn a university degree. While having one always comes with additional benefits, you need not require degrees.

Companies that hire web designers and developers mostly search for skilled, experienced, and over-achieving employees. Hence, a minimal qualification will do.

4. Work flexibility

You can choose to work nine to five or take up freelance projects according to your availability and lifestyle. With industries evolving after COVID-19, you can choose to work from home as well as office. Both web designers and developers can enjoy work flexibility, unlike any other professional.

5. High wages

High wages are another USP of becoming a web designer or developer. Depending on the number of projects you do, you can make a lot of money. Earning over $80,000 a year is possible with these jobs. Some even make over $110,000 a year!

6. Exposure to technology

If technology is something that interests you, web designing and developing is perfect for you. You'd get exposure to a lot of different technologies and experts. You can keep learning to become well equipped with all new modern skills.

What Sets Web Developers and Web Designers Apart?

With a different set of skills come different responsibilities.

  • Web designers experience the world in visual ways. They rely on intuition and feeling such as how the website visitor will perceive information on a webpage or what color of the font will suit the page.
  • Web developers, on the other hand, experience the world from a logical, scientific standpoint. They are proficient in using different tools and techniques to get tasks done quickly.

Check this infographic out for more information. 


Whatever career path you choose, it's quintessential to acquire the right set of skills. As your job is to stand out, it is important that you work on your portfolio and market yourself in the right way.

Get in touch with Searchable Design LLC., the best web development agency in the USA.

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