The World Wide Web is an essential source of information and an effective marketing medium. Today, internet users can satisfy their thirst for knowledge anytime and anywhere via a computer or smartphone. They don’t care or know if the website they are navigating was built by a designer or a team of 100 developers.
The site administrator must have access to a dashboard to update the content, manage users, orders, or sales. Although we are talking about the same website, we refer to the back-end, a protected area that is a totally different site from what regular users see.
More and more companies are taking advantage of people’s online presence to produce powerful marketing campaigns and increase visitors, leads, and sales. Having the right system in place, your company can also benefit from the endless possibilities of the Internet.
A web agency can support you in your project with barrier-free web design, professional search engine optimization, responsive web design, and other tailor-made solutions. But, do you need an entire agency, a team, or just one person – a skilled programmer when it comes to website design and development?
Whether we discuss about building a new website or just updating an existing one, countless people don’t know the type of professionals they need to complete their project.
Do you need a web designer or a web developer?
There are three categories of web professionals involved in intricate website design and development:
- back-end developers
- front-end developers
- web designers.
Back-end developers – these people use programming languages like PHP, RUBY, JAVA, PEARL, PYTHON, .NET, MySQL, or MSSQL to build interactive websites that use behind-the-scenes applications to store data, improve security, and let the designers refresh the content. They can build data management tools, content management systems, security features.
Usually, their work can’t be seen by the usual website’s user. The owner or the website administrator will benefit more from a back-end developer’s output.
A few examples :
- an internal tool built to analyze the sales and extrapolate the profits for the next quarter – handy for admin but can’t be accessed by site visitors
- creating and using an API to import/export data provided by suppliers
- a section used to manage users or to print/send invoices to customers.
You need a front-end developer if your design concept needs to work on multiple computers, platforms, and browsers.
It doesn’t matter if a user is browsing the site on a tablet, smartphone, laptop, or computer. Also, whatever their internet connection is on optical fiber, 5G, or a satellite Internet connection, the general experience must be the same.
The site’s design needs to be scalable enough to serve all users’ types; front-end developers know that consistency is the key.
Web designers – these guys are not involved in accessing databases or using programming languages in their daily activities.
Their job is to create the look of a website or an app, icons, menus and navigation bars, widgets, or other attributes useful for the website’s front user.
The web designers are not the right people you want to rely on when building a complex website from scratch. They are artists and should know how to use standard tools, basic HTML, and CSS to create a web page’s layout design and the website in general.
We can compare a web designer with a makeup artist bringing in media content, colors, beautiful lines, and shapes to your website. Your website would be ugly without their work as a back-end developer doesn’t care about “beauty” when programming.
With work being globally mobile and remote positions becoming the norm nowadays, using outsourcing companies is more important than ever before.
In this article, I did not refer to prices, costs, or the SEO aspect that allows a site to appear in SERP (pages with search engine results). I just tried to clarify the type of programmer you need to update, optimize or build a website.
As you can see, each has its role, covering different aspects of a complex application’s construction and functionality. Although everyone involved knows what the others do, one can’t do the work of their teammates. In conclusion, it would be best if you had a team.
A good Web team will hold at least one highly-skilled designer and developer. The best teams have multiple designers and developers who can work collectively to build a website that meets the client’s unique interests.