19 Feb Digital Marketer vs. Web Designer vs. Web Developer
So you need a website. One that represents your brand, conveys your value proposition, and attracts customers. But custom web development can run up a tab that makes downtown rent look cheap. Luckily, your friend – or friend of a friend, or cousin’s husband, or the personable cashier at Starbucks – “does websites.” For super cheap, too!
What does “doing websites” even mean, though? Is this “web guy” a web designer, a web developer, or a digital marketer? The difference matters, big-time. It’s the dividing line between a static digital brochure that lies dormant and a lasting digital strategy that drives your business for years to come.
Before you start your project, understand the limitations and capabilities of the person you’re hiring.
Your company’s website is your online headquarters. It’s the all-encompassing resource for customers to buy your products, learn more about your services, and connect with your brand.
A web designer, then, is like your interior designer. They know how to decorate your brand both functionally and aesthetically with color, shape, size, spacing, and other visual elements. A web designer’s goal is to keep bounce rates low and customer conversion rates high through informed, strategic, user-friendly design. They know how to do what every coffee-chugging creative director asks: “make it pop,” which usually means roll out the Size 24 Comic Sans with the drop shadow and alarming shade of purple (designers will find that hilarious).
Think of the web developer as the engineer who builds the architecture of your website based on the blueprint laid out by the web designer. The web developer translates the designer’s layouts into an efficient, fully-functioning website. They ensure that your website not only works well on the outside, but also functions seamlessly and integrates with any third-party systems (such as a CRM) on the back end.
In order to understand which platform, hosting and integrations your site will need, a web developer should ask you tons of questions, including:
- Do you plan on blogging?
- Are you integrating any social media accounts?
- Are you planning on doing any PPC advertising that will require landing pages?
- Do you have an email newsletter?
- Do you want to collect email addresses on your website?
- Are you going to sell products on your website?
With that, you should begin to understand that very few “web guys” walking the planet truly excel in both web design and web development.
Behind the curtain of any profitable and growing business is a savvy digital marketer who has likely guided the organization through a website build or redesign. The digital marketer is the “architect” of a website’s overarching strategy and execution, often leading the project team altogether. They are the brains of the operation, responsible for everything from creating your brand voice to nitpicking micro-flaws that might hurt your site’s conversion rate.
Without a digital marketer onboard your website project, you will have major challenges with project management. You also might end up with a pretty website that fails to generate leads, a turbocharged website that looks like regurgitation from the 1990s AOL dial-up sound, or worst of all, a sucky website all-around.
You should never forego consulting a digital marketer about your vision for your website, as their insight will both inform the concept of the site and act as the quality control keeping your brand’s purpose at the heart of every feature.
Thinking of redesigning your website or creating a new site from scratch? Tresemer Group helps businesses create winning websites by bridging data-driven marketing strategy to web design and development. Click here to book a free consultation with our team.