Do Web Designers Actually Code?

TechMan1836 asked:

Do professional web designers still code sites or use dragdrop interfaces like WordPress?

I’m glad you added the word “professional” in there, dude. There are a LOT of simple interfaces out there (such as WordPress, yes) that can be used to build a decent-looking site. These services are quite popular because anyone can learn to use them and create something quickly that suits their needs.

When it comes to professionals, though, I’d say most of them still code by hand. Pretty much all credible designers chose to code, it’s infinitely better than allowing a program to do the work for you. A program cannot possibly know the exact colors and fonts you want. There’s only so many ways you can customize something out-of-the-box in order to make it truly unique so that it stands out from the millions of other sites out there.

Let’s take this a step further: do I think it’s viable for someone to learn advanced coding methods if they want to be a web designer? You bet I do! I also think that anyone who calls themselves a professional and doesn’t know a lick of actual code is faking their way through their jobs. Maybe I’m a bit harsh, but that’s how I see it.

What about all of YOU? What do you think?

Do Web Designers Actually Code?

6 thoughts on “Do Web Designers Actually Code?”

  1. Yes. I agree that anyone building websites professionally should know coding.

  2. From my point of view it’s now a mixture of code and content management systems such as joomla.
    Designers still have the freedom to be able to code their own templates but it also gives them much quicker access to the site to make small changes, i.e. change a bit of text. It takes a bit of messing around to set up a template to work with something like joomla but in the long run it pays off, it also means clients can make alterations to the site without having to bother you! which is fantastic!

  3. I hate disagree with the premise of the question, but most designers I know don’t actually code at all. They create a design in Photoshop. A web developer converts that design into code.

    A professional web developer should be able to hand code a site. They may use CMSes and frameworks to speed development time, but they should be doing more then downloading an existing theme and customizing it a little. Keep in mind that one can code bespoke templates/themes for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc, so using one of those platforms isn’t an indication that a developer isn’t building something custom for you,

  4. No,you can never fully satisfy the business logic or Design Aesthetics without getting your hands dirty or compromising with client’s requirements

    I’m a pro web developer and BOY!! I’ve been writing those innumerable semi colons all my life

    In my past projects whenever I’ve used wordpress or any other CMS(Although I prefer not to use them) I’ve always ended up hand coding at least a plugin or a page.

    There’s no escape route.You cant call your self a pro and still do copy-paste-click stuff.

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