Like in other industries, the world of web development is broken up into different areas of specialty. Not every web developer possesses the same skills, nor do they focus on the same area of work.

A developer typically specializes in design, code, or content production or at least falls somewhere on that specialty spectrum.

To avoid communication issues and unrealistic expectations of deliverables, it’s important for web developers and business owners alike to understand the different areas of expertise.

Here are the three most common niches in web development:

The Web Design Niche

photo-1430760903787-4d91bbf15384Ahh, aesthetics. A developer in this category typically has an eye for design, what looks good and what doesn’t, and how to make the design as intuitive as possible for the user. From colors and graphics, to layout and placement, a developer in this niche really knows how to make a website look great.

Common characteristics of a developer in this niche:

  • Specializes in design or UX/UI
  • Is well versed in graphic design
  • Has basic coding knowledge to fix the little issues along the way

Most developers have more than enough design experience on their side, with extensive knowledge of InDesign or Photoshop, the ability to create graphics specific to web, and a comprehensive view on the site’s visual marketing ability.

The Web Programming Niche

photo-1468070454955-c5b6932bd08dCoding. You love it or you hate it. But for developers in this niche, coding is their specialty. They make the website run like it is supposed to, including handling user interaction elements, functionality, hosting, IT issues, and coding.

A developer in this niche is well versed in at least one coding language, if not more. The most common languages include PHP, Pearl, Java, JavaScript, and ASP. Depending on the client or even the location of the developer, popularity of a specific coding language can fluctuate, so it’s critical to know which language benefits you most as a businesses owner or a programmer.

Common characteristics of a developer in this niche:

  • Has extensive knowledge of at least one programming language
  • Can perform database maintenance
  • Is a top-notch problem solver

The Web Content Niche

photo-1434030216411-0b793f4b4173While a well-designed, well-programmed website is important, if you don’t have great content to fill it, you’ve essentially wasted time and money.

That’s where the developer in the web content niche comes in.

Common characteristics of a developer in this niche:

  • Possesses exceptional grammar/writing skills (or photography skills if the site is image based)
  • Has the ability to create, curate, and organize content to maximize marketing and sales
  • Creates content that informs and engages the site’s audience

Creating high-quality written (or visual) content takes a special skill set that not all those with a designer’s eye possess. After all, what good is an amazing looking website without killer copy or content to fill it?

A Passion for What You Do

If you’re a developer, you likely have a specific niche that you feel most comfortable in, even if you have basic skills in all of them. In the web design industry, focusing on a specific skill set increases the value and quality of your work, making you an invaluable asset for your clients. As you grow in your craft, strive for expertise. After all, there’s no limit to what you can learn in the web development industry.

A Need for A Skill Set

If you’re a business owner, it’s important to understand that to create a well-rounded website, you need valuable work in all three niches. While hiring a developer that has a limited amount of experience in all three niches can seem more cost-effective, it may not be the best decision for your brand as a whole. Your website represents your brand and values, so why not make it the best it can be? All three niches work together to make a truly great website, so consider hiring developers that cater to each area of expertise. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.