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Difference between Web Designer and Web Programmer

While it’s popularly believed that Web Designer and Web Programmer are interchangeable, they are not. This underlying chasm results from the divergent nature of their job responsibilities and the differing skillset they bring to the table. Both are integral parts of the website development process, and both interact and collaborate at multiple stages of the project.

In essence, both are dependent on one another to give a dynamic World Wide Web experience.

Website creation – like all other product development projects – demands task partitioning in the division of labor. A web designer is responsible for the “front-end” of a website, the interface of the website that you can visually discern, such as the icons, where the menu bar is, the aesthetic layout of the website and so forth. While a web programmer is responsible for the unseen coding that enables the website to be functional, shaping the navigation scheme (like when you click on something, it takes you to a certain place), positioning etc. In other words, web designers graphically construct the website, programmers use specialized languages like Python, Ruby, PHP and so on, to give life to that website. Although there is a clear boundaries that distinguishes the two roles from one another, there can be a quite a bit of crossover between the two as well. Fidelity IT Solutions is an IT Consulting company that manages your IT Support and IT Management as well.

What is a Web Designer?

A web designer is concerned with the visual component of the website. They employ their expertise and use their discretion to come up with the coloring scheme, what fonts would work best, and what layout would magnify the brand’s power. They have to factor in what cultural messages they are trying to project to outsiders and insiders, and have to reconcile the plethora of options that exist and pick the best route to take. This is their burden, and it takes an exceptional artistic ability to simplify and get the message across without compromising on the aesthetical nature of the website. In a nutshell, the web designer tries to make a website look and feel the way it should through a user-friendly interface.

What is a Web Programmer

A web programmer engineers the website to make everything work in a fluid and orderly fashion, and works overtime to ensure that the back-end of a website is free from coding errors, such as cross-site scripting. Privy to details, they will scope out potential impediments to end-user experience and rectify them in the back-end. Web programmers are architectures who have to build a framework to operate in; set technical parameters and specifications of the project; and test and deploy the product to a live environment.

Furthermore, beyond providing client-side programming (what appears in the web browser), they also are responsible for server-side scripting, which keys-in on the server doing the heavy-lifting on tasks like storage, shouldering the processing duties and so forth.  They draft a blueprint, and program a network that enables the client and servers to “talk” to one another, and communicate and share in an uninterrupted and trouble-free manner. In short, a web programmer knows how to make a website/ software do what people want it to do. This means that it has to evaluate the human psychological state and translate those expectations into a website format.


In the world of technology, there is a popular perception that technical professionals are “jack of all trades” and are not limited in their field of specialization. The biggest victims of this caricature seem to be Web Programmers and Web Designers who – albeit offering equally important skillset and indispensable parts of the web development process – are lumped together and believed to do the same thing.

Web designers is responsible for the “front end” feature of the website as they deliberate on such matters like coloring scheme, icons and so on. While Web Programmers give life to the graphical components of the website and are responsible for the unseen coding that makes the website functional.

In your experience, what is difference between web designer and web programmer?