The 3 Most Common Types of Web Developers

Both web developers and those who work with web developers need to know the importance of specialties within web development. Not all web developers have the same skill sets. Whether a knack for content production, coding, or designing, chances are a developer either falls into one of three categories, or is somewhere on the scale. Both developers and business owners should know where the skill set falls on this scale to avoid possible miscommunications. It’s worth it to know how to explain services or needs up front and know what niche of web developer is needed to accomplish the goals set out.

If you’re reading as a web developer, read on below to see where you fit on this scale. Or, if you are a business owner, learn what type of developer you should look for based on areas of expertise as explain below.

The Web Experience Developer

Web design is all about the aesthetics. UX/UI are key to successfully engaging visitors on a website. A Web Experience Developer usually has an eye for what looks good and what elements complement each other as well as insight into the intuitiveness of a website. From layout and placement, to graphics and colors, they make the website look its best.

experience developer

    A developer falls into this category if he or she:

    • specializes in UX/UI or design
    • possesses skills as a graphic designer
    • can even code if proficient in this skill

Sometimes this type of developer posses some design skills. Most designers have extensive experience with Photoshop or InDesign, know how to manipulate web-specific graphics, and can offer insight into the brand and visual messaging of the site. Also, while a basic understanding of HTML is helpful in fixing minor problems and hiccups along the way, it’s not necessary as a true Web Experience Developer.

The Web Programmer

Programmers focus on the behavioral elements of web development. From functionality and interactivity to technical details like the code to hosting setup and IT services, programming ensures that the website actually works and works well.

Programmers and coders have mastered at least one programming language, sometimes more. Some languages are more prominent than others, but PHP, ASP, Perl, Java, and JavaScript tend to be the most common. Popularity of a programming language can depend on location or type of client, so it’s important to know which kind will be most beneficial to you as a programmer, coder, or business owner.

web programmer

    A developer falls into this category if he or she:

    • displays mastery of one or more programming languages
    • is knowledgeable about database maintenance
    • has a knack for problem solving
    • enjoys making the web page function

Again, since this is an industry where skills often overlap, a Web Programmer can also have skill in design; however, it’s not necessary.

The Web Content Specialist

Depending on the type of site, a web developer who focuses on the actual content specializes in writing or maintenance of graphical content. This can be anything from managing content databases on WordPress to creating blog posts with copy and images. Content specialists are key in retaining customer bases and attracting new customers. While a well-designed, well-coded website is important, you need exceptional content to keep people on your page.

This type of development takes a very basic understanding of HTML for blog posting and a level of artistic expression to maintain the look and feel of a branded site. It is also key that a Web Content Specialist has mastered the website hosting platform, such as WordPress, Squarespace, or something similar.

web content

    A developer falls into this category if he or she:

    • has excellent writing/grammar skills (or photography skills if the website is image based)
    • understands how well-written, informative content is key to marketing and sales

Content creation takes a special talent. If writing, grammar, and photography aren’t your forte, don’t worry! The world needs other types of developers as well.

What’s the passion?

Developers likely prefer one element of design over the others. If you’re a web developer, you should identify the passion and focus on your particular niche. As we mentioned in our last post, focusing on a particular skill increases expertise and creates more valuable work. Mastering a skill is essential. Who want’s to work with someone who just vaguely know what they’re doing? Be an expert in your space, and work with others as a team to accomplish more. There’s never a cap on knowledge to learn about in this industry.


What’s the need?

Business owners must recognize that to have a well-rounded website, there is a need for all levels of contributions from all three types of web developers. While the Jack-Of-All-Trades developer may seem more cost-effective on the front end, hiring someone who specializes in each individual aspect will benefit a business more in the long run. After all, content, design, and programming all work in tandem to make a truly amazing website to market a business and maintain customer relationships. So why not make it the best it can be?