Alright, let’s get down and dirty about the whole web developer versus web designer drama. Picture this: someone claims they’re a web designer because they’ve watched a couple of YouTube tutorials or maybe they’ve got a knack for making things look pretty. They might have even picked up some skills along the way or gone through some formal training. But here’s the kicker—not all of them can actually make your website work. And by work, I mean doing more than just looking good.

Now, I’ve had countless folks come up to me, totally frazzled, complaining, “My cousin Frank built my website on Wix, but I’m not popping up on Google!” Here’s the thing—while Cousin Frank’s heart might be in the right place, using platforms like Wix, Weebly, or GoDaddy’s builder might not get you the Google love you’re hoping for. Why? Because these platforms, while user-friendly and great for getting something up that’s easy on the eyes, often fall short in the nitty-gritty of SEO—the behind-the-scenes magic that makes your site findable and rankable.

You see, the internet is not just about good looks. Google’s like the strictest teacher you ever had; it grades you not just on your project’s glitter, but whether your science is sound. If your site’s back-end coding is more tangled than last year’s Christmas lights, then my friend, you are in for some ranking woes.

So, when should you hire a web designer? If you need something that dazzles visually and you’re sure the coding under the hood is handled, then a designer can make your site shine. But if you want your website to do heavy lifting—like climbing up the SEO charts, handling complex functions, or managing a beast of an e-commerce store—you need a web developer. They’re the ones who can knit the code together so tightly that Google has to take notice.

And before you let anyone touch your website, here are a few no-nonsense questions to throw at them:

  1. “How many H1 tags should be on a webpage?” There should be just one. If they scratch their head at that, run.
  2. “Can you implement schema markup?” If they stare blankly, wave them goodbye.
  3. Got any unique features in mind, like a custom pricing calculator for your flooring company? Or an integration with a third party service? Ask them if they can complete the functionality and if that stumps them, it’s a no-go.

Choosing the right person to build your website isn’t about finding someone who just wants to play around with pretty templates. It’s about finding a true tech-savvy partner who gets the web’s inner workings, ensuring your site not only looks awesome but also ranks well, attracts traffic, and genuinely supports your business goals. Don’t settle for a Cousin Frank disaster; go for the pro who knows what they’re doing.