When someone goes looking for a website to be made, often one of 3 words comes to mind; web designer, web developer and webmaster. The term that probably has the most usage is ‘web designer’. So, what is the difference between the 3? Typically, the web designer is the person who makes the design using an HTML editor like Dreamweaver or software like Photoshop to convert a PSD file to XHTML/CSS. The web designer is the style behind the project. The web developer on the other hand, is the person who takes the original style and makes a functional website by applying custom coding. The website can be a simple one page HTML file with style tags, or it can be an elaborate CMS with a SSL shopping cart. Finally, the webmaster is the person who oversees the project from beginning to completion and works with everyone in the design and development process. For small companies, the web designer, web developer and webmaster can be the same person. Alternatively, the web designer can be one entity while the otehr person is the web developer / webmaster.
To make this unclear, most companies have their own specifications for web design and web developer positions. The web designer may be expected to hand-code and know CSS and PHP.
Since there are so many platforms for which one can use to build an elaborate website, the web developer could be anything from someone who hand codes in XHTML /CSS and PHP to someone who is flexible and can be efficient using PHP / MYSQL, Joomla, Drupal, Ruby On Rails, XOOPs, DotNetNuke and .NET.