Web Developer vs Web Designer

by cdwise 9. September 2010 19:25

I have a Google alert set up for when Expression Web & web design. Today I received an interesting blurb and link that I followed to the blog it originated in. While the blog post turned out to be interlaced with spam links (so I won’t link to it) it did have some commentary that I felt needed to be addressed on the topic of what is a web developer and what is a web designer.

I basically agree with the definition presented of a web developer:

Quite simply, a web developer is a kind of software engineer, one that conceives, develops and runs applications that support the operation of the World Wide Web. Generally speaking, these types of programs deliver a particular server’s content to a client or end-user through a web browser.

Though I do not agree with the part of the author’s definition that claims that web developers have major industry certifications from from Novell, Cisco, Microsoft and Oracle. Since the vast majority of web developers I know do not have such certifications and certainly not from Novell or Cisco which are primarily network infrastructure certifications. You will find a very small minority of web developers are Microsoft Certified Solution Developers, MS SQL, Oracle DBA or MySQL DBA but that you really don’t see too many DBA (Database Administrators) actually working as web developers.

The author did have a good definition of web designer but he omitted the graphics skills that go along with his definition:

Web designers need to understand the behavior of the various pieces that go into a page, site and domain, not from an infrastructure level, but the perceptual level. A designer needs to put herself in the place of Internet surfers and understand how they “see” and navigate their way around the web. This understanding will inform her choices as to how she puts together the pages, links them to others and creates the overall environment, making disparate parts into one coherent whole.

Which is part of what was in the blurb Google sent me that made me follow the original link.

Web developers are not designers, as pointed out previously, but often are familiar with the high-end web design software programs like Front Page, Adobe Dreamweaver and Expression Web 2. Web designers, of course, are not only familiar with these, but have the full range of creative applications in their toolboxes-Photoshop, paint programs, Illustrator, word processors, the whole chi straightening irons collection. They need to manipulate images, colors, text and other elements to create the look, feel and actions that web visitors expect on the Internet.

Dreamweaver & Expression Web 4 are tools not web development tools even though each has some limited amount of back-end coding support. In the case of Dreamweaver that is PHP & ColdFusion while for Expression Web that is ASP.NET and PHP. No real web developer would use either one for web development on the back-end. Instead they would use a PHP IDE, Eclipse or PHP (depending on their preferred language).

Dreamweaver & Expression Web are used by web designers who need to understand how browsers work and work with front-end code by which I mean HTML, CSS & JavaScript. The web designer has to work with the visual elements of the page which means they also have to understand graphics, design and usability. This is what differentiates a web designer from a graphics designer who needs many of the same graphics skills but also needs the skills for print which is a completely different media.


Dreamweaver | Expression Web | Web Design

Comments Disabled

by cdwise 9. September 2010 08:30

Anti-spam measures are only so effective and lately I've been getting a show of manually entered spam comments. I'm relatively certain that this is happening because of our change of web applications and I don't have time right now to research and implement a different anti-spam solution besides moderator] each comment individually. As a result I'm disables comments until I have more time.


New Expression Web forums

by cdwise 6. September 2010 08:30

Now that we’ve had a chance to test the new Expression Web Forum we recommend using them for your Expression Web questions. At least 5 of the Expression Web MVPs have agreed to help answer your questions when posted there along with other folks.

Boards have been opened on the following topics:

  • Newbies
  • Expression Web – General
  • FAQs
  • Add-ins & Extensions
  • FrontPage to Expression Web – migrating
  • Dreamweaver & other web editors
  • Beginning CSS
  • Templates
  • Display issues
  • JavaScript & jQuery
  • PHP
  • and a place for off-topic and social conversations

We are looking forward to seeing you there.


Our Mail List

by cdwise 31. August 2010 04:49

Even though we have closed our forums pending the migration to the new platform I wanted to remind people that we have a companion mail list over on Google at http://groups.google.com/group/by-expression-web-designer/ if you want to join the discussions there.

Instead of re-opening our forums we’ll be joining with other Expression Web MVPs and Expression Web experts in posting at and supporting those who post over at http://expressionwebforum.com


More on Expression Web v4

by cdwise 9. July 2010 04:32

Here are a few things you might want to do when you migrate from Expression Web 3 to Expression Web 4.

1. Expression Web 4 Add-in Friendly In this month’s just released Newsletter has an article by Mike Lissick, Senior Software Development Engineer on the Expression Web team on the new JavaScript add-in model for Expression Web 4.
2. add-ins How to Install Add-ins Go to Tools > Add-ins then click the install button and browse to the folder where you have the .xadd file. 
3. Migrate existing file definitions To fully migrate your sites from version 3 to version 4 you would need to copy just the:%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Expression\Web 3\SiteDatadirectory to the equivalent Web 4 location. From Paul Bartholomew
4. Expression Web fails to load - Kapersky Internet Security 2010 Expression Web apparently has hooks into Internet Explorer, possibly to allow for Preview in Browser & SuperPreview to function. Unchecking “block dangerious scripts in Microsoft Internet Explorer” seems to resolve the issue according to this thread in the EW Forum UPDATE: Apparently this is a variation of a known Kapersky issue that has surfaced with other programs as well. There are a couple of other workarounds in the thread that have worked for others without completely disabling some of the protection.
5. SuperPreviewIf you find an inaccurate rendering or encounter any other problem with SuperPreview rendering send a bug report including the url & browser where the rendering problem is occuring to superbug@microsoft.com


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