It takes a lot of hands to build and maintain a website. And sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether a web designer, web developer, or webmaster is the one behind the project.
However, there is an important difference between them. In this post, we’ll look at each role’s primary responsibilities and help you figure out which ones you need to run a successful web design agency.
Web designers are the creative minds behind every website project. They design the wireframes for the site, decide on the color scheme, draw up graphics, select typography – and handle everything else that goes into making the user interface look and feel great.
To do this, they often work with tools like Figma, Adobe, and Sketch to create mockups of each web page that site visitors will interact with on the website. Once the designs are finalized, many web designers will also handle the frontend development to ensure that the site turns out exactly the way they envision.
You won’t get far without a team of top-notch web designers. Not only do their creative skills take years to learn and master, but they’re irreplaceable. Great website designers create the powerful, inspiring user experiences (UX) that site visitors expect and appreciate. And more importantly, they create the visuals that make your clients’ brands come together beautifully online.
Web developers are the geniuses behind-the-scenes. They take the sleek mockups your designers whip up, and they turn them into functioning websites by writing lines of code that run in the background as visitors navigate each page.
Since web developers are the ones that make your websites functional, you can’t do without them. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a nice-looking image on a screen that can be reached by visitors or navigated by anyone who magically found a way to land on it.
However, with the right developers on your team, you can create some fantastic websites that your clients and their customers will love.
Webmasters are considered the jack-of-all-trades. They design. They develop. They manage SEO. They even create content from time to time. For that reason, they often handle websites after they go live - ensuring that everything is always in good working order.
Because their skillsets overlap with web designers and web developers a bit, they can get confused with both. The trick to picking one out is identifying the breadth and depth of their skillset. The more areas of expertise they cover, the more likely they are to be webmasters rather than full-stack developers or web designers.
The answer here is slightly nuanced. Obviously, it’s nice to have a teammate that can handle web design, web development, and web maintenance work. But a single webmaster (or a few of them) can’t fully substitute a strong team of designers and developers. Besides the risk of burnout, webmasters don’t have enough time in the day to handle everything.
However, you should consider adding a webmaster to your team, if you’re currently (or planning) to offer your clients website maintenance services. Not only do their skillsets shine in this capacity - as they can quickly jump from task to task and manage lots of different websites seamlessly - but it also takes the added pressure off your designers and developers, giving them the freedom to focus on the work they need to do.
With so many moving pieces involved in building and maintaining a website, it can be difficult to know exactly who you need on your team. Luckily, by digging deeper into each job description and skillset, you can find the right people to support your clients.