The idea of creating websites on a daily basis may be an exciting one for you. Maybe you are looking to start a career in this area. One of the main questions that you need to answer is whether you want to be a web designer or a web developer. If you do not fully understand the different roles, it can seem as though you have a straight choice between a career that is based on creative ability and one that is based on technical ability.

You only have to take a look at the training for both careers to know that this is not necessarily the case; click here for more information. While it’s certainly true that web development involves more purely technical work when compared with web design, the whole picture is a little more complicated than that.

The role of a web developer

The main role of a web developer is to use programming languages such as CSS, Javascript, and HTML to create websites. They spend their time building the code that is needed to make this happen, using software solutions such as text editors and command line interface. Web developers are normally highly logical people who enjoy solving problems. However, developers also need to have an awareness of how their development work impacts elements of website design. If you would like to pursue this option, you can start with Wild Code School — a perfect starting point for everyone who would like to become a web developer.

The role of a web designer

The role of a web designer is to make sure that websites look good and that they provide an excellent user experience. They use design software solutions such as Photoshop, Illustrator and GIMP to make this happen. They design the layout of a website and it helps them to have a basic understanding of how coding impacts the design. Like developers, designers can work for a company or run their own business.

Where do you fit?

Being able to see how the roles of a web developer and web designer differ helps you to see which career you are best suited to. It’s often said that if your left brain is more dominant, you are more likely to be logical and to enjoy the world of web development. On the other hand, if your right brain  is dominant, you are more likely to be creative, making web design a better career option.

However, many people do not fit cleanly into either of these descriptions. It’s entirely possible to be logically minded and creative. In truth, no matter which option you choose, you will find that you are more successful if you have some knowledge of the other discipline. For instance, many web designers code using HTML, CSS or Javascript and many developers understand the use of design elements such as color schemes.

Designers and developers tend to work very closely together. The more knowledge is shared, the better the working relationship tends to be.

Salary expectations

There is no doubt that the top of the scale developers earns higher salaries than designers. However, it usually takes several years for developers to reach this level. There is also disparities between the average salary of$54,180 for a web designer and $74,795 for a web developer. However, it’simportant to note that certain design roles, such as mobile design, attracthigher salaries.

It’s also important that salary should never be the only factor you take into account when deciding if you should choose web design or web development as a career. You need to spend time considering all aspects of each role before deciding which is the best choice for you.

About the Author

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Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.