Marketing Insights

Why a ‘Designer’ shouldn’t try to do it all

Written by
Jason Greenlees

Over the years I’ve been involved in building websites, almost 20 years now there’s often a debate between the roles of web designers and web developers.

While both roles are crucial, they serve distinct purposes that should not be conflated. Web designers focus on aesthetics and user experience, crafting visually appealing and engaging interfaces. On the other hand, web developers bring the technical expertise required for a robust, scalable, and maintainable website. The developer simply needs the designer to create a wireframe and concept to implement. There’s some really important reasons you don’t want your web designer to do the implementation as well as the design.

Don’t get me wrong this symbiotic relationship between designers and developers is essential for a successful project. However, designers must recognise the importance of letting go of their designs at the implementation stage, allowing developers to bring those designs to life with the necessary technical precision.

The Power of ACSS: A Scalable Structure by Kevin Gearly

Responsive Framework: ACSS is a responsive framework designed to work seamlessly across various devices. This framework ensures that websites are not just visually appealing but also functionally robust. Unlike traditional design-focused approaches, ACSS requires a programming mindset to code classes with variables

Scalable Variables: One of the standout features of ACSS is its use of scalable variables. Font sizing, padding, and other design elements are controlled through units that adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions. This level of precision and scalability ensures a consistent user experience, no matter the device.

But I see it all the time a designer tries to build a website and applies styling to an ID instead of a class. What this ends up doing is when you go through the process or after the website has been delivered a customer decides they want to make some change to the colour or font. All of a suddent they need to make the one change in 30 places because the styling has been applied at an ID level.

The use of global variables for maintenance is a must: Web developers understand the importance of maintainability. By using global variables, changes can be made universally across the website without the need for extensive rewrites. This makes updates and tweaks significantly more manageable, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.

Is your website being built the right way? Is it maintainable after it’s been built.

Advanced Custom Fields (ACF): Simplifying Backend Management

I’ve been using ACF for around 10 years and appreciate the flexibilities it provides not only in creating a custom database structure to store data but also how easy this makes it for the customer to make updates and changes though having to know how to use the professional complex website builders web developers use on a daily basis.

User-Friendly Backend: One of the challenges non-developers face is managing website content without diving into complex code. ACF (Advanced Custom Fields) provides a solution by allowing backend users to easily make changes without needing to understand the intricacies of builders like Bricks or Oxygen.

Custom Fields for Custom Needs: ACF enables developers to create custom fields tailored to the specific needs of the website. This means that content managers can update text, images, and other elements through a simple, intuitive interface, reducing the dependency on developers for everyday updates.

Reducing Complexity: Complex builders can be overwhelming for users who are not technically inclined. ACT simplifies the backend experience, making it accessible for users with varying levels of technical knowledge. This democratization of content management ensures that websites remain up-to-date and relevant without the constant need for developer intervention.

The world that is an entrepreneur’s oyster

What I mean here is everyone wants to be their own boss don’t they, nobody wants the old J-O-B but to work for your self and to run a digital agency or freelance seems like a great way to go to get away from the grind. The problem is especially in regional Australia and towns like Wagga if you start to try to do it all you won’t do it well. You’re doing your customers a disservice or working for the man in disguise of SquareSpace or Wix to remove the development burden. I’ve seen it many, many times with the world that tells us all we can do anything we set our heart on. It takes a marketing team though to truely create something that will be optimised for results. Think strategy, photography, content, writing, design, development and operations. Wow, your website just went from 5k to 20k with Aussie wages killing us all.

The Developer Advantage

Again, back to the main topic at hand, Web Developers, Technical Expertise: Web developers bring a depth of technical expertise that goes beyond making a website look good. They ensure that the site is built on a solid foundation, optimised for performance, and scalable for future growth.

Security and Performance: Developers are adept at implementing security measures and optimizing website performance. This ensures that the website is not only beautiful but also safe and fast, providing a better user experience and higher search engine rankings.

Long-Term Vision: Developers think long-term, planning for future enhancements and scalability. They build websites with the understanding that technology evolves, and the site needs to adapt to new trends and requirements.

The Web Developer Advantage


While web designers play a crucial role in crafting the visual aspects of a website, web developers are essential for building a site that is scalable, maintainable, and user-friendly. The symbiotic relationship between designers and developers is key to a successful project. Designers must trust developers to implement their vision with the necessary technical expertise. Frameworks like ACSS and tools like ÅCF highlight the need for a developer’s skillset to create websites that are not just aesthetically pleasing but also robust and easy to manage. For a truly effective and sustainable web presence, entrusting the build to skilled web developers, while valuing the designer’s input, is the way to go.

Wagga Web Desgin

Jason Greenlees

Jason is the CEO of Regional Web Developer, one of the original founders of Angry Ant Web and a passionate WordPress educator. If you're interested in learning directly from Jason, you can book him for a one-to-one session.

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Jason Greenlees

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