Do Web Designers Need To Know Code?

does a web designer need to know how to code?

In today’s day and age, you might wonder, do web designers really need to know how to code? Do you need to know HTML and CSS to build websites? Do you need to code to use WordPress?

The short answer is no – website designers do not need to know code anymore. The long answer is… well, it depends.

We answer all your need-to-know coding questions about website design in 2024. So let’s dive in!

Does a web designer need to know how to code?

Back in the day, a web designer would absolutely need to know how to code to build a website from the ground up. Much of what was online in the early days of the internet were static “brochure” style websites built in HTML & CSS. They typically consisted of one page that housed all of the information for that resource. This was relatively easy to DIY as you would need very little coding experience to format this page and get it up and running. 

Side note -

Google and other search engines got used to how these old HTML websites were created, how the H-tags were organized, and so on.

However, very quickly, websites became more complex (font choices, images), larger in depth (internal links) and more complicated to code (JavaScript, Python, C#). In order to create a visually appealing and functional website, you needed to know the ins & outs of several languages – and without GitHub!! 

This carved out the occupation for website developers as this skill required a breadth of knowledge and experience.

Fast forward a bit, and software, like WordPress, started to be built to aid in website development & hosting. It standardized formatting by using the “block” method, and allowed less experienced people a way to try and create their own website. More & more softwares and tools kept being developed to the point where anyone can now “drag and drop” elements together to create a website. 

Someone with zero coding knowledge or experience could use Wix, SquareSpace, Elementor, etc. to pull together a website that has a range of colors, fonts, images, links, icons, and more.

do you need coding for wordPress?

Do you need to know code to use WordPress?

Now to get back to the original question after that ~short history lesson~ of “Do I need to know how to code to make a website? What about wordpress?” and you will see the answer is no…

but is it that simple? Maybe not.

WordPress and Coding 101:

  1. These software website editors have limits. If you want something very custom, i.e. an animation moving from left to right while a user scrolls, that might not be easy to do without some code. If you want a certain action to happen after a button is clicked, but it’s not one of the provided options the tool gives you, you might need some code. If you have a login portal that needs to be integrated with a certain landing page, you might need some code. There’s plenty of examples where these editors – made to be simple and effective – might not hit your specific needs. Long story short, the more advanced you want your look, the more you might have to implement code like some Custom CSS.
  2. Google still cares about some coding elements. Remember when we mentioned that Google got used to HTML elements and H-tags? Search engines still crawl and index pages & content based on what H-tag is assigned to the titles and other copy on pages. For example, when coding a website from scratch, you would give H1-H6 titles to the headers you deem important, so Google knows what your page is about. When using a website editing software, you have to remember to go add these H-tags so Google can rank your website effectively too.
  3. “No-code” doesn’t mean “perfect-website”. Just because you can “drag and drop” or “plug and play” with these new softwares without coding, does not mean that you will automatically get a visually stunning website with the right look & feel for what you need. You still might need branding help or a website designer to take a look or do it for you to make your website stand out!
Coding for WordPress

There are still plenty of websites that are being coded from the ground up today! However, unless you have some of the stipulations mentioned above, you can build a website without any code. 

We hope you found this helpful!

Keep creative friends!
– Anna Jo & Madison Leigh


We offer plenty of digital marketing services, including web design. If you don't want to mess with *coding or not coding*, drop us a message!

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