You’ve got the ideas in your head. The plan is in place and you’ve done all the necessary research. You know the products or service you want to offer, the group of people who are most likely to buy from you and now, you just need the website.

Branding matters to you as well, so you have to get this just right. Pull it off and you know your product or service will eclipse that of your competition. Now all you need is a WordPress Designer. Maybe a WordPress Developer would work better…

Trying to figure it out can be confusing and the last thing you need is confusion getting in the way of you making progress, so read on to get help in deciding who to hire for your project once and for all.

What does the designer do?

First, let’s look at the kind of work a designer might carry out and the tools that might be used. Going by the description given on the UK Web Design Association website (UKWDA):

“Web designers manage the look and feel of websites – be they large corporate sites consisting of hundreds of pages, or sites for small businesses comprising just a few. Either way, it’s the web designer’s responsibility to make decisions about every visual aspect of the site – its colour scheme, the fonts and text size, the images, the buttons, menus and other navigation”

So if the only thing that matters to you is having a website that looks good, gives the user a positive and uncomplicated experience, encompasses your brand and doesn’t resemble something out of the 90s, a designer could be the best fit for you. He or she may use graphic design tools such as InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Illustrator to get the job done.

If they’re competent, they’ll be able to bring your ideas and brand to life.

How do you know if a developer would be the best fit instead?

This is how the UKWDA describes them and their work:

“Web developers – also known as web programmers – make websites

‘do things’. In other words, they develop a site’s ‘functionality’ and ‘interactivity’. So if you use the web to do things like book a flight, comment on forums, view a bank balance, report a fault… and countless other tasks, then a web developer will have been involved in making sure it all works smoothly.”

The more complex your website idea, the more likely it is that you’ll need a WordPress developer to execute your plans. Having said that, you may be able to get away with taking advantage of the wide range of free and paid plugins available.

Many of them have been designed with the sole purpose of enabling you to add functionality to your site without too much hassle.

But, you want it all. The good-looking website that entices and captivates. The perfect code that operates seamlessly behind the scenes and gives your visitors exactly what they need. Does that mean you would have to pay for both?

Not necessarily and here’s why.

There are people out there that have some knowledge in both the visual and programming aspects of WordPress websites. Depending on your needs, that may be more than enough.

Meet the hybrid

Or unicorn, or Devsigner. Whatever they prefer to be called, they have knowledge that crosses both skillsets. Designers know a bit about coding and developers know a bit about design and usability.

The problem is, while they may have an understanding of each other’s fields, it doesn’t mean they have in-depth knowledge, so if you’re happy to go with a WordPress theme and have it customised here and there, a Devsigner may be for you.

On the other hand, if you want a heavyweight site with a backend as convoluted as Amazon, you’ll need both the WordPress developer and designer. Keep in mind, however, that WordPress can do many things but it still has its idiosyncrasies, so it may not be the best option if your plans are colossal.

Your best option for a website that requires more than a template, would be to find two Devsigners. One who’s mainly a programmer and the other who mostly works with design. This will reduce the chance of miscommunication between the two parties as they work to complete your website.