What's a web developer?

What's a web developer?
And so we return to our discussion of marketing and the various roles your potential marketing employees will play when you take your shop digital. Today we’re talking about a pretty flashy role: that of the web developer.

What does a web developer do? They develop websites.

Tee-hee. We’re funny.

Seriously though—your web developer puts together your website. They make sure it’s functional and attractive, and they load it up with special effects if that’s what you’re after. They’re responsible for pulling together things like copy, photographs, and graphic elements to build out an internet storefront that will reel in potential customers.


Like we said topside, your web dev is your website guru. They are responsible for every aspect of a functioning website. Everything about your site is largely dependent on these fine folks. That includes:

  • How fast it loads.
  • How well it loads on various devices (phones, computers, and so on).
  • How it looks in general.
  • How it functions (can people book service through it? Can they send you emails?).
  • How it interfaces with your SEM.
  • Any troubleshooting, maintenance, or repair work necessary—yes, websites need maintenance and repairs, too!
  • And way, way more. Seriously, this gig is serious business.

How they attend to those functions can vary. Some developers are skilled in numerous programming languages (remember HTML? That was just the gateway drug), coding, platforms, and everything else. 

Some developers will focus more on front-end stuff, like appearance and aesthetics; this type of focus often gets labeled as “web design,” though they’re still developers. Others will focus on the back end (function, databases, and so on). And of course you do get those diamonds in the rough who can do it all.

We’re not saying your web developer is your website…but we’re not saying they aren’t. 


The better question might be, Do you need a full-time web dev forever and ever? The answer to that might be no. If you’re starting a new website from scratch, or completely rebuilding an old one, then yes, this person will be doing a ton of work for you over the course of a few weeks or months. 

Once the site is complete and functioning, however, you may not need them to be constantly on-call. You should still have them on speed dial for website updates and changes, but they may not need to be sitting around at their desk constantly. 

In this case, a part-time or contract role might be best for a web dev—as long as the contract includes the hours you’ll need as the work gets started.


We do suggest looking for someone who has at least a few years of experience in development so they can hit the ground running. You can absolutely find junior web developers who will do a bang-up job, however. Look for someone with the following:

  • Communication skills: They’ll be talking to you and the rest of your team about how the site should look and function. They’ll need to be able to explain technical stuff to you and understand your vision.
  • Creativity: They’ll be building mockups for you to review, solving design issues on the fly, and more. Yes, the site has to function, but it has to look good, too.
  • Coding ability: Oh, right. Hard to be a web developer without coding skills, right? If they have limited experience working with Wordpress, or they don’t know how to build and modify themes/HTML code for other platforms…they may not be your best bet.
  • Appreciation for user experience: Where should a call to action go? How do you make sure someone can browse the site comfortably on any device? Do the text colors, fonts, and so on blend nicely? Your web dev should be asking all of these questions (and answering them, too).
  • Background in multimedia. Do you want to add video to your site? What about music or sound? That takes some extra doing if you want to add them seamlessly.
  • Patience. Sure, sometimes they’ll get everything right on the first go…but sometimes they will need to make lots of little adjustments, testing things over and over again. Your web dev needs to be willing to put in the work, basically.


Payscale suggests an average yearly salary of $62,085. This rate will slide up and down depending on how much experience they’ve got and what their portfolio looks like. And, of course, if you bring on a full-time person, you’re looking at additional expenses like PTO, health benefits, and payroll. 

If you do look into contracting, this calculator can show you what to expect—you can plug in features you’d like and watch the price tick upward. =D If you’re like us and nervous about any kind of calculator, you can assume a skilled web dev contractor probably starts between $100 and $125 per hour.


By now, you’re well aware that we’re going to end every single one of these marketing posts with a suggestion that you hire us instead of a whole team. You know you’re getting an awesome, diesel-centric crew that will be ready to go immediately—and you’ll be able to hire us for less than you’d pay a whole internal team on your own. That means a writer, a social media specialist, and yes, one of those glorious web developers you just read so much about. Those developers, by the way, will always be on-hand to update your site and make changes as needed. No frantically texting contractors in the wee hours…no lost traffic and customers if something goes wrong. 

Plus, you can see exactly how your marketing is doing.

Get in touch with us today. We’re ready to put the pedal to the metal on your marketing.

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Suz Baldwin
Suz Baldwin