What Is Web Development?

You will find today that web development is a hot market for employers, every business needs a website, every person with an idea needs a product, and the internet is moving in a faster pace than ever with mobile application development merging with web development. Chances are, you know someone close to you that is a web developer, but that doesn’t mean the market is saturated.

Basic Elements of a Website?

On a very basic level, websites are generally comprised of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) and now in most cases JS (Javascript). If you take a design, and use HTML and CSS to create a single web page, some people may say you technically didn’t program anything, you wrote ‘markup’ to output the design to the browser. However I believe with the introduction of HTML5, and CSS3, those lines have been blured since you could very well have HTML5 elements do specific things to the browser or other services, and with CSS3 you can technically write animation rules that will react to the user. Some people have made games just using CSS3! (insert sources here)

Javascript has become more commonly used on every site you go to, before iPhones and Androids it was safe to say any site you went to on mobile probably didn’t use javascript or used a very small amount of javascript because the performance wasn’t there, but in the almost 10 years of the existance of these mobile devices, phones can handle CSS3 and Javascript almost as well as your desktop browser can, so now it’s almost a guarantee that any site you visit will have Javascript running on that page, whether it be to show you a fancy menu or animations, display an advertisement, track analytics about how you use the website, or provide you with widgets to share across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Or even power comments on the bottom of sites to speed up page load times.

What is Happening Behind the Scenes?

Most websites today don’t technically need a backend, and most websites won’t really have a backend. Take this site for example, it’s ‘powered’ by a backend, but because it’s a website that’s sole purpose is to provide information, there isn’t really any back and forth. The application running on the backend’s purpose is to output HTML to the browser, but is not expecting a response back. To help speed up that process of serving the web page to you, we’ve gone so far as to cache the entire site behind a CDN (Content Delivery Network). What this means is if the web server goes down, the Content Delivery Network has the content cached on their servers, this could be thousands of servers across the world, so the page will always load quickly for you no matter the circumstance.

Woah, you threw a lot out there

Yes I did, once you get past the basics of HTML, CSS and JS, how you develop your website is truely up to you. All you really need is a text editor, some patience and an active imagination and with time and finding the right resources, you can create almost anything you could imagine. For example, PHP is one of the most widely used server-side languages in the planet. Wikipedia, Facebook, Zynga and countless other large companies out there use PHP as their backend, primarily because it’s easy to get set up and running, and has a lower learning curve.

PHP can do almost anything, from saving information to a database, fetch another website or web service and take that information and react to it accordingly, or even render an image dynamically that is unique to the end user that requested it.

Last Updated: 2015-01-06 00:00:00 +0000 UTC

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