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Web Designer vs Web Developer

Web Designer vs Web Developer: Find the Dream Job That Suits You

If you are trying to choose a career in the tech industry, it can present you with a dilemma, to be a web designer or a web developer. Both of these closely related jobs require distinct skills and cater to different aspects of website creation. 

Web designers create visually captivating and user-friendly websites, while web developers build the intricate functionality and systems that make websites work. 

But which one is for you? 
In the following sections, we will discuss more about web designer vs web developer to help you find a suitable career path.

The Role of Web Designer vs. Web Developer

When deciding between two jobs, the first thing you must figure out is what each job requires. So, before we move forward, let us tell you about the role of a web designer and a web developer.

What Does a Web Designer Do?

A web designer creates the look and feel of websites, making the website more visually appealing and user-friendly. They are responsible for choosing colors, layout, fonts, aesthetics, and the usability of a website. The web developers later implement these designs. 

Generally, web designers fall into three categories based on their goals:

  • UX designers: Works on the user experience.
  • UI designers: Works on the user interface.
  • Visual designers: Works on the visual aesthetics of a website.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

Web developers build websites from the ground up. They use their coding knowledge to integrate different website components to make it work. Also, they implement designs made by web designers to make the website user-friendly and visually appealing to visitors. 

It is also the responsibility of the web developers to test and debug the website after it has been built. And even after handing over the site, the developers still update and maintain the website.  

A rookie web developer can follow one of three paths-

  • Front-end developer: Works on the client side.
  • Back-end developer: Works on the server side.
  • Full-stack developer: Specialized in both front and back end. 

Web Designer vs. Web Developer: The Fundamental Differences

Now that you have a basic understanding of what a web designer and a developer do, let’s discuss their differences.

Skill Requirements

Web designers focus on design software, creativity, and aesthetics; meanwhile, web developers deal with coding, databases, and functionality. 

It is more difficult to become a web developer than a web designer since you need to learn more technical skills. 

A web designer must be an expert in design software (Photoshop, Illustrator) and different aspects of design, such as design principles, color theory, typography, etc. On top of that, knowing a few programming languages, like HTML, CSS, etc., will come in handy. 

Meanwhile, a web developer has to know multiple coding languages, frameworks, database design, testing, debugging, etc., and have strong analytical and critical thinking abilities, which can be a handful. 

However, there are many courses available online that will help you in your journey to becoming a web designer and a developer. These courses are launched by renowned universities, (MIT, Harvard), educational services (Udemy, Coursera), and tech companies (Google, Microsoft). Most of these courses are very cheap, if not free.

Educational Requirements

To become a web designer, you do not need a specific degree, but a degree in creative design, art, or even computer science can help. What you will need most in this career path is your creativity and, preferably, a certification course in various design software.

As for web developers, a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree in computer science and engineering is what your employers will prefer. Aside from your degree, you will need excellent analytical and logical skills.

Although degrees are important, nowadays, having the right skills is more important than academic certificates. For example, you can look at today’s tech giants; Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs were all dropouts from their respective colleges.

If that was not enough, here’s a fun fact: 63.8% of all developers are self-taught.

According to Stack Overflow’s 2019 survey, 85.5% of them taught themselves a new skill or language, and 60.1% said they had taken an online course in software development or programming. In a similar survey conducted by HackerRank, 27.4% of developers claim that they are self-taught.

We are not encouraging students to drop out but if you do not have an academic degree, do not worry, you can still make it!

Job Responsibilities

As compared to web designers, web developers have more extensive and long-term job responsibilities.

But don’t get us wrong, web designers have a lot of work to do. For example, designing the site’s navigation, choosing an appropriate color theme, designing buttons, menus, and other controls for the site, etc. 

Let’s take a closer look at the job responsibilities of a web designer vs a web developer.

However, the responsibilities of the web developer are expansive, as in, implementing the design of the web designer, coding the client and the server side, ensuring the site’s functionality, testing and debugging the features, and more. 

Also, they are the ones who are responsible for maintaining and troubleshooting the website even after the website is functional. 


At first, web developers earn more than web designers, but the salary gap narrows with experience. 

The salary range for web developers is generally higher than that for web designers. However, this is only true for entry-level positions. As web designers advance in their careers, the gap in the salary becomes non-existent.

Here are the top companies in the US that pay well for web developers-

Also, here are top companies in the US that pay well for a web designer-

Apart from on-site employment, both professions also pay well for remote work. In Upwork, web developers earn around $67-$112k per year. In Fiverr, the amount is slightly lower, $62k-$99k. 

Similarly, for web design, freelance designers earn $28-$47 per hour in Upwork, which translates to $53k-$90k per year. In Fiverr, web designers get paid $23-$38 per hour, meaning $44k-$73k. 


Creativity is a must if you want to become a web designer. For web developers, being creative is always a plus but you will need to be more in touch with your analytic side.  

Web designers use their imagination to design layouts, choose colors, and select fonts that make users feel welcome and engaged online. Creativity allows them to overcome challenges and create unique designs to make websites stand out.

As a sample of what a creative web designer can do, check this out.

Web developers, however, are more analytical in their thinking. In coding and programming websites, web developers must be methodical and precise. That’s because they need to analyze complex problems, break them down into smaller parts, and then build solutions step by step. 


As for flexibility, both web design and development jobs are equally flexible as you will be able to do your job from your home. As long as you have a working computer and an internet connection, you can do your job virtually from anywhere.

This flexibility means you can create or code websites from your living room, kitchen table, or even while traveling. It gives you the freedom to adapt your work environment to suit your preferences, making it easier to balance work with other aspects of your life, such as family or personal interests.

At present hybrid or completely remote workplaces are increasing rapidly. Well-established web design or development companies are abolishing their physical office, and going completely remote.

Bitovi, Lullbot, and Scrapinghub are some of the well-known web development and design companies that follow this culture. More companies are eager to follow this model, as Forbes reported that 16% of companies in the world operate without a physical office and the number is likely to increase. They’ve also noticed that most of these companies are IT companies.

Web Designer vs. Web Developer: Market Demand

As far as market demand goes, web developer jobs are more in demand compared to web design jobs. 
Even so, there are still a lot of opportunities in the web design market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Web Designers is expected to rise 8 percent by 2029. This rise in percentage is thanks to the fact that 73% of companies are investing in web design to differentiate their brands.

Nevertheless, there is an even greater demand for developer jobs. The market for web developers will increase by 15 percent in the next three years which is also reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To convince you further, here are also some fun facts about web development and design-

  • The number of websites worldwide is around 1.14 billion at the moment and a new website is created every three seconds. 
  • As of 2023, 71% of all businesses in the world have a website.
  • In the US, DIY web development platforms are worth $24 billion. Their annual growth rate is also 4.9%.
  • In the US, the web design services market is worth 40.8 billion dollars.
  • According to 50% of consumers, website design is important to a business’s brand.

To put it simply, as long as websites do not become obsolete, web designers and developers will always be in demand, and let’s face it, we’re always going to need websites. 

Web Designer vs. Web Developer: Future

AI complements but doesn’t replace either profession due to their unique human skills.

Despite the advancements in AI, it cannot fully replicate human creativity, problem-solving abilities, or the nuanced thought processes that designers and developers employ.

AI tools have indeed revolutionized web design, streamlining certain aspects of the creative process. Tools like Adobe Sensei and Wix ADI can assist designers in generating layouts and suggesting design elements. However, they do not replace the designer’s artistic intuition and ability to craft unique, emotionally resonant designs.

Human designers bring empathy, cultural understanding, and a deep appreciation for aesthetics, factors that AI struggles to comprehend fully. Web designers are indispensable because of their intricate choices in color theory, typography, and visual storytelling.

In the realm of web development, AI has made strides in automating routine tasks such as code generation and testing. Tools like GitHub Copilot and Codecademy’s Code Assistant can aid developers by suggesting code snippets and helping with debugging. 

Nevertheless, AI remains far from replacing the complex problem-solving and analytical skills that human developers possess. That’s because AI struggles with the conceptualization and architecture of complex systems, an area where human developers excel. 

Crafting elegant, efficient algorithms, understanding the unique needs of each project, and ensuring the seamless integration of various technologies are domains where human intervention is irreplaceable.

Web Designer vs. Web Developer: Which One Should You Go for?

When considering a career in the digital industry, being both a web designer and web developer offers promising opportunities with competitive salaries, demand, and prospects.

  • The first thing to consider is your passion and interest. The career you choose should be one you are interested in. It is very hard to succeed in a career you barely enjoy.
  • You should also consider your personality type. If you consider yourself creative, you should go for web design, and if you lean towards critical thinking, you should go for web development.
  • The financial needs you have can also play a role in this decision. The fact that web developers get paid higher initially makes it an attractive option than web design. 
  • A web developer’s job is usually more stressful than a designer’s work because it involves more responsibilities. Work-life balance seems negligible at the start of the job, but it soon takes its toll. 

However, it can be possible for you to excel both with enough time and dedication. That’s because these jobs are different aspects of website creation. If you feel an attachment to both of these paths, you can try them simultaneously.


When choosing a job between web designer and web developer, the most important thing to consider is what you are passionate about. Both of these skills need dedication and practice and once you master them, it will surely be worth it.  

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