There is a distinction between these two phrases, although in practical usage they become kind of interchangeable. Let’s unpack that. 

What A Web Designer Does

A web designer is primarily focused on the look and aesthetics of the website. This involves everything from the color choices to the UX (user experience), how the menus are laid out, and the general flow of each page.

Web designers are specialists in the sense of story and tone the website presents. Often professionals in this space are graphic designers (like us!) or have other experience to make insightful decisions about how the website looks and functions for a great user experience.

In larger marketing firms the designer is a distinct role focused on graphics and color theory. The design team will create the design concept, and then often pass that along to the development team. 

What A Web Developer Does

A web developer is a more technical role, focused more on the HTML, CSS, and Javascript that make a website work. They are also the ones that would handle bug fixes and general site maintenance.

In larger marketing firms there are usually design teams and developer teams, and the developers will get the design from the creative teams and then use code and other technical tools to make that design happen on the live website. 

Why The Terms Become Somewhat Interchangeable

While the above is true in larger marketing firms with numerous departments, for smaller or boutique agencies these roles usually are both one person’s job.

The graphic designer that creates the aesthetics may also be knowledgable about code or technical tools. This means they can create a design concept and then implement it themselves.

What you generally see in these boutique marketing firms is that the person building the websites has both sets of skills, and is specialized more one way than the other.

For instance, in our case the Creative Director is a graphic designer who is also technical enough to implement designs and modify code, but her greatest skills are in the aesthetics.

Other website marketing firms may be led by a much more technical person who is a wizard at code and highly custom applications, but that person may not have as much experience in design aesthetics.

When the typical business owner does a search for “web designer” they are most often looking for both of these roles to be filled. After all, you need a good design for the website build to be successful, but a design alone isn’t worth much without someone to make it happen for viewers. 

Our Team

Creative Force combines a diverse pool of talent from a handful of skills people to offer competitive solutions to business owners around the Winston Salem area.

That means we have extensive design and aesthetic expertise, along with copywriting and SEO professionals, complemented by hosting and security specialists.

That’s a win for businesses we work with, since we’re able to bring high-end production to bear without the “big agency” pricing. And since our business model isn’t built on churning through huge volumes of projects each month, turnaround times and communication are more ideal.