It is almost the end of 2021. One of the most important things these last two years have taught us is that business can be done online as efficiently as offline. And for that, you need a fully-functional, smooth-running website for your business. Now, if you are looking for a web designer and/or web developer in South Africa, you should understand the difference between the two. In this article, we will simplify the difference between a web designer and a web developer.

Who is a Web Designer in South Africa?

A web designer defines the aesthetics of a website. They are responsible for making your website look enticing to your visitors. A designer uses tools like Figma, Adobe XD, Photoshop, or online tools like WordPress (with their huge library of themes) to define a website’s outlook and aesthetic. A web designer does not deal with the coding but the ‘feeling’ of a website.

There are mainly two types of Web Designers:

1. UX Designer:

UX designer mainly focuses on designing a website from the user experience point of view. Their goal is to design a website in such a way that it should invoke positive reactions from visitors. And how does one do that? By implementing a design that answers to their needs positively and efficiently. A UX focuses on making the website handling experience positive, interactive, and efficient as per a website’s anticipations.

2. UI Designer:

UI designer mainly focuses on the aesthetics of the website, meaning a website’s visual outlook. They mix a bunch of elements together to create a design wonder that is enticing. And of course, this also depends on the kind of business the website will be representing and so. The UI designer works tirelessly around the elements such as images, text, videos, visual content, and themes to create a perfect and unique design for your business

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works.” — Steve Jobs

And that being said, UI and UX go hand-in-hand when it comes to designing. UI and UX designers must work together to create an appropriate design that will speak to visitors’ hearts.

Who is a Web Developer in South Africa?

A web developer is a person who deals with the coding background of the website. Of course, you will have themes and visual elements for your website. But without a proper set of instructions (i.e. code), a website will not work. This is what a developer (or a programmer) handles. They work with code development applications such as Java, PHP, MySQL, Node.js, React.js to create a viable set of instructions for your website that aligns parallelly with your website design.

There are mainly three types of web developers:

1. Front-end developer:

The front-end developer deals with the client-side version of the website. Users visiting, interacting, and navigating a website are all part of the front-end component. A front-end developer makes sure that these operations go smooth and efficient as intended. They mainly work with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS to define a code for the website. Whenever you visit a website, you see a bunch of content, navigation menu, images or videos appearing on the screen. This is all thanks to a front-end developer. Their main responsibility is to deal with the responsiveness and the performance of a website. Furthermore, Front-end developers are also responsible for troubleshooting and debugging the errors occurring on the front-end aspect of the website.

2. Back-end developer:

A back-end developer deals with the server-side aspect of a website. This includes data management, the communication exchange between server and client, and other operations hidden from a user visiting the website. For example, you must have seen websites prompting about anonymous data collection and asking your consent for it. This data collection happens off-screen, i.e. server-side. This is a back-end function of the website. Back-end developers focus on creating libraries, coding APIs, and other components that affect the front-end operations of a website.

3. Full-stack developer:

Full-stack developers use the best of both worlds to develop a viable website for your business. They aren’t necessarily proficient in back-end or front-end developing in particular, but they certainly know what they are doing. They also work on database management and debugging.

The No-Code Movement and WordPress

In 2021, the technological marvels are also allowing us all to experience no-coded, yet fully functional websites. This means you can create your own website easily without requiring any technical knowledge. This has blurred the line between a web developer and a web designer in South Africa and internationally.

Take Weebly for example. You can make your own website for free without any effort. Weebly is a visual website builder that allows making websites of your dream for free. You only have to pay for a few premium tools and a domain name.

The best example of a free website builder is WordPress. The website you are reading this article on is also made in WordPress. WordPress is a Content Management System (CMS) Tool. It constitutes a vast library of free plugins and themes which can be used in enhancing your website’s appearance and performance – all without having the knowledge of coding. You can simply log in to your WordPress account, choose a theme, define a layout, create pages, add elements to each page with drag and drop technology as you see fit, and you’re done! WordPress gives you full control over your website and you can access these settings through WordPress’ admin dashboard.

Please note that WordPress itself is not a visual website builder. However, you can turn it into a visual builder by using visual builder alternatives like Gutenberg.

Does this mean we will require no coders in the future? Of course not. A coder will provide you with what these predefined modules in WordPress cannot – unique features that are unique to your website. To make a website unique, we still do require special libraries, codes, and APIs. And we will always require them in the future as businesses continue to grow online.

Bottom Line

If you are hiring a third-party party in South Africa to make a website for you, you should be aware of the difference between a web developer and a web designer. Hopefully, this article clarifies this basic doubt. Remember, whom to hire depends on what kind of service are you actually looking for.

We – Digital Lime Green – are also a website design agency in Cape Town, South Africa. Please free to contact us anytime if you require a quote or if you have any questions regarding our services. We will be happy to answer them. Take a look at our website design service page for more information.