Difference Between a Website Designer vs a Website Developer In Ottawa

Feb 23, 2022 Web Design Comments

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Web Design, Web Development, Ottawa,

What is the difference between a website designer and website developer In Ottawa?

There are many web designers and web developers in Ottawa. During my time working in the industry, there have been misconceptions about web design and development. Where should we draw the line between what is considered web design vs. web development. Web design consists of designing the visual components of a web page. It also includes working with structural languages like HTML5 and CSS3. Web designers will work with familiar design tools and software. These include tools such as: Figma, Sketch, and Photoshop. They will also create web pages in structural languages such as HTML5 and CSS3.

Web designers are responsible for the visual component of a website creation; while web developers are responsible for the website's functionality.

Web Design Software Tools and Structural Languages

In 2022, web designers will usually design their layouts in software. These may include tools such as Sketch or Figma, and they will use Photoshop to set up proper image sizing. There are popular tools on the market today that allows web designers to create websites. These tools need a minimal understanding of coding languages such as HTML5 and CSS3. HTML5 stands for Hyper Text Markup Language and CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. Together, these structural languages create the visual presentation of a web page. Web designers will work with these languages to design and create the visuals of the page; both in design software and on the web browser.

Among the tools that are out there for web designers to use, Webflow is a very popular choice. It is being currently taught in the Graphic Design program in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Webflow allows web designers to create websites right in the browser by using Cloud based software. Webflow is a drag and drop page builder that outputs semantically well written code for you. It relies on traditional conventions for building websites with proper structure. Working in Webflow creates an environment that simulates coding web pages from scratch. To use the tool, a web designer must understand how HTML5 and CSS3 works at the fundamental level. Then Webflow can export the code where it can be used in further development. This code can be used in content management systems. These include: WordPress, Craft CMS, Joomla, Drupal, and others.

Among the tools that are out there for web designers to use, Webflow is a very popular choice. It is being currently taught in the Graphic Design program in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

The Difference Between a Web Designer & a Web Developer

Web Designers and web developers differentiate in the following: web designers focus on the presentation of websites; while web developers focus on functionality. Web Designers focus on the overall look and aesthetic of a website. While web developer focus more on how a website should operate and function. A web designer will use tools such as: Figma, Sketch, and Photoshop as well as HTML5 and CSS3. A web developer will work with programming languages such as JavaScript, PHP, Python, Ruby, C#, Java, and more. A web designer will focus on presentation and the aesthetic of a website. While a web developer will focus more on functionality rather than solely presentation. Structural languages are visual languages that focus on presentation. Working with these languages will allow you to place content on a page and decide how it should look. Programming languages focus on logic breakdown of functionality. These programming languages determine how a website should interact and function; both on the front-end and back-end.

With current trends as they are, the lines are sometimes blurred between web design and web development. A tricky area where this may be the case is when using page builders. Webflow is a page builder and design tool that focuses on building both static and dynamic websites. However, there are other page builders to consider. You might have heard of things like Elementor and wondered what that’s all about.

All About Page Builders and How They Fit In

Elementor is a page builder that is a plugin build on top of a larger ecosystem. In this particular ecosystem, we are referring to WordPress, which is known as a CMS, which stands for content management system. WordPress allows both web designers and web developers to work on the platform. For web designers, WordPress offers templates known as WordPress themes. These themes allow designers to manipulate elements on a page by dragging and dropping content to form the website. They can do this without needing to program any logical component. In some cases even e-commerce websites can be built this way with WooCommerce. Elementor is a plugin that is a page builder within WordPress that allows web designers to design the pages on screen. Many web agencies in Ottawa, Ontario, use page builders such as: Elementor, WP Baker, and Avada, to design web pages quickly.

WordPress Developers

WordPress developers are familiar with programming languages used with WordPress. such as JavaScript and PHP. Rather than relying on existing themes, these web developers can create their own themes from scratch. The difference between these developers vs. the designers is that the web developers know how to write the PHP code from scratch. Web designers leverage themes in WordPress, where the PHP code is already written for them.

With my current experience in Ottawa, I have found that most web agencies work with WordPress. They leverage the speed of page builders to speed up their workflow and process. There are few firms out there that create custom WordPress themes from scratch. These would be referred to as web development agencies. At Skylight Designs we do both. We can develop the WordPress theme from scratch, use a page builder when it makes sense, or develop a hybrid approach.

Conclusion

To conclude, web designers are responsible for the visual component of a website creation; while web developers are responsible for website functionality. However, these professions are closely tied together, and often times you will find a single person fulfilling both roles.

If you would like a professionally designed Website for your Business, please Contact Skylight Designs at (613) 501-4487.