Websites require both design and development – one is mostly the front and one is mostly the back, in the simplest of terms. It’s very rare that you find someone with equally great qualities in both, but it makes the project next to perfect when you do. As a designer, I learned parts of coding through designing so I focus more on the way a website is branded – I create for basic functionality. So you should only get 2 types of similar scenarios…
Client, ask a freelancer: “I need a database to collect data input when visitors fill out a form on the site. Is that something you can do?”
- You will be asking a developer to do this part with PHP, etc… but doesn’t rule out a designers input or perspective
Freelancer, ask a client: “So you just want this site to be fully functional with a menu, some text and images?”
- You will be confirming this to a designer, but it doesn’t rule out a developer helping with HTML or CSS
It really just depends on what has been requested/is required but it helps everyone if you do your research to make sure you are asking the right questions to the right individuals. I also have an amazing PHP guru, a natural developer, to be able to pass that part of a project onto – creating better working relationships and not limiting what services can be offered.
There are many, many infographics online about this topic, going much further into detail and they clearly outline who focuses on what. But they never state one is better than the other or one is not needed over the other – they are both extremely critical pieces to the puzzle.