What exactly is a web developer?

With technologies advancing far beyond where we imagined they could when the Internet first began all those years ago, the need for specialists in the web development sector has advanced along with it.

In order to keep up with today’s demand to have a strong online presence and to meet the expectations of customers who are much more inclined to research and buy online than ever before, website builds are becoming more and more complex. Project managers will take into account the rate and scale that a company plans to grow over a significant amount of time as well as their specific needs and requirements. Through this, they can determine the amount of technical work and time that is needed to build a website, with a specialised web developer required 9 times out of 10 in order to achieve them – but what exactly does the role of the web developer involve?

What does a Web Developer do?

Web developers are responsible for all of the technical aspects of a website, including its initial build specification, coding, integration with other business systems, implementing the stylistic components and maintaining the performance and capacity of traffic that the site’s infrastructure can handle. Dependant on whether they work mainly for clients as we do here at Codeminers, or in-house for an organisation, web developers also fix bugs in existing and ongoing web projects, build and maintain databases and optimise existing code, as well as continuing to build new functionality for users.

Different types of web developers

Contrary to belief, there are a few different types of web developers, and their skill sets differ quite substantially, dependant on which part of the website they build and maintain:

Front End Developers

Front End Developers take the required visual aspects of a website from a graphic design or web design team and write the code that is needed to bring it to life, as well as ensuring that all of the outbound links and buttons work properly and that it is responsive for mobile devices. They’re traditionally fluent in more than one technical language such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Back End Developers

Working with the ‘back end’ of websites and databases or writing the custom code needed to power the function of a website and its applications, Back End Developers ensure that the data or services that are requested by the front end of the website get delivered via the chosen CMS. Many Back End Developers know front-end languages such as HTML, CSS and .net, but will use languages such as Java, PHP or Python for the actual build.

Full Stack Developers

With the understanding of both the front and back end of a website build, a Full Stack Web Developer is someone who has the ability to oversee the different aspects of a web development project, however, they will often spend a large majority of time in the area of the build that they are most experienced in. Full Stack Developers are often fluent in a range of technical languages in order to contribute to the overall web build.

In reality, true ‘full stack’ developers are hard to come by – most are a ‘Jack of all trades and a master of none’. Understandably though, many businesses feel like they’re getting great value (particularly if they don’t understand the complexity of their project) by taking on a full stack developer, but this is a false economy, as it can often cost more in the long run through the requirement of additional plugins, licenses and resource.


When undergoing a complex web build, you want to ensure that your new website performs at its best. In order to ensure this, web development teams like ours, undertake DevOps in order to encourage clear lines of communication between development and operation teams.

A set of practices which automates software development, DevOps is used between the web development and client IT teams, so that projects can be built, tested and released more reliably and more efficiently.  

Web Development vs Web Design

It’s important to remember that developers and designers provide two very different functions, so you may need to look at taking on both in order to complete your web project.

The web designer(s) on your project are those responsible for the creation of the visual look and feel of your website. They’ll often work with you to decide on aspects such as colours, the layout of content on landing pages and sometimes even creating graphics and logos to ensure that your new website comes across online how you want it to and have a strong background and focus on User Experience (UX) and data. However, they will have no actual role within the construction, coding or maintenance of your website.

Once the final design is complete, the web developer will then work from the design concepts created by your web designer, and develop the code needed to bring both the front and back end of your website to life, as well as ensuring that any applications, plugins and API keys are working effectively.

Here at Codeminers, we have a range of highly skilled and specialised web developers to help bring your designs and concepts to life, as well as help fix and maintain them for future developments.

Find out more about how we can help you with your upcoming project by talking to a member of our team.

  • Written by Simon Proctor, May 20 2019