What’s the Difference Between a Website Designer and a Website Developer? 

Website Designer vs Developer

What is the difference between a website designer and a website developer? Web designer vs. web developer – which do I choose? What’s a website theme? These are common questions we get from clients starting their website projects, so, we thought we’d put together a brief guide based on that experience.

Website designers and developers are different jobs requiring different skill sets. A website designer is typically an artist who specializes in designing the visual aspects of websites, including the organizational, branding, and visual elements. Website designers focus their work on how a site looks, and how the user interacts with it, and often get involved with working with you on how it’s organized so that it all flows well.

Website developers, conversely, are typically not artists. They are instead specialists in the back-end technical work necessary to build functional websites. This includes expertise in coding of various types: PHP, CSS, Java, and more. They typically have in-depth experience with the back end of complicated site platforms like WordPress and Shopify. They work with web servers, databases, and APIs to handle data and dynamic website content and they make sure that the website is mobile responsive, fast-loading, and compatible with different browsers and devices.

Both jobs specialize in their respective disciplines and there’s not usually a lot of overlap, For a larger website project you typically need to hire a designer and a developer. When DAVID.MARKET builds a custom site, our project will involve a designer, a developer, and a project manager.

Do I Need to Hire a Website Developer?

For simpler website projects where you’re looking to minimize costs and project scope, the easiest approach is to use a pre-built website template on an existing content management system like WordPress, Shopify, or Squarespace. That way, the back-end software has already been developed and set up and your website designer can focus solely on integrating new visual elements into the existing site template structure.

Squarespace, for example, is a popular service based entirely on that concept. When a client wants a Squarespace website, we typically do not need to use a developer. Our project manager and our designer work with clients to identify an appropriate template or theme, and then we design visual assets to fit within it. WordPress and Shopify also have many pre-made templates that can be used as a basis for a site design.

If you have a specific vision for how your site will look and work, both on the front end, for visitors, and in the back-end, for you and your team, you’ll want to go bigger and use an expert developer on your project. An expert developer is proficient in all the custom coding and components that go into complicated WordPress and Shopify builds where not only the front end is important but how your team interacts with the back end content management is also vital. This includes complex functionality, like integration of POS (point of sale) and CRM (customer relationship management) software.

DAVID.MARKET has recently created a custom WordPress theme, CMS, and site design for Parasol Projects and for Mastertrack, and used theme bases for many other website projects.


DAVID.MARKET has extensive experience with all current major website design and hosting platforms: WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix. We are equipped with an experienced design and development team. This allows us to give you a complete experience from start to finish. Additionally, our marketing services are ready to help you after you launch your website.

Ready to grow your website design and development?

Just contact us to receive a consultation and a proposal.