Web Development

Written by: Devin Schumacher  | May 12, 2021

What is web development?

Web development is a process for designing and developing websites, which are simply collections of "pages" stored in the form of editable files that live on a server.

Web developers usually specialize in certain aspects of web design; these could include front-end or back-end development, site architecture, design, or associated technologies.

In the past, a website was most often called an Internet site or web site and a Web developer in reference to one of these websites.

However, terms like "online" and "web" are falling out of favor; more recently, when discussing activities for online sites, the term Web development is being used to distinguish non-technical work from computer programming (which involves writing code).

The general process follows:

A user interacts with the website's content by sending documents and input data to a server computer which uses that input to generate dynamic responses.

The client then reads the output generated by the server based on its own input and renders it as HTML for viewing in a browser window.

Web development basics

Web development is the process of designing, building, testing, and maintaining websites.

Web developers write code in a variety of programming languages for both the front-end and back-end aspects of the site.

For instance, they may use HTML to design the user interface (UI) and JavaScript to make it interactive. Developers usually build websites using common open-source software tools like Apache, MySQL, or PHP.

They might use frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or Django. The job can be varied, but according to Stack Overflow's 2017 Developer Survey, 30% of web developers work in marketing, and another 30% work in IT or healthcare.

What is a Website

A website is a collection of related web pages, usually with the same domain name. It's a way for people to share information and interact with each other on the internet.

There are lots of different types of websites, including blogs, photo galleries, and e-commerce stores. A website can have an appearance that is completely customized and unique if the owner is skilled in web design.

What is a Web Application

A web application (also known as an online app or internet app) is a program that runs in a web browser.

A web application has a user interface written in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; there are no desktop applications needed.

Today, many of the most popular ones run entirely on the cloud-like Salesforce, Slack, and Workday.

What does Front-end Mean

The front end of a website refers to the interface that people see and interact with. It includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Front-end web development is the process of designing and building these interfaces.

While back-end developers are mostly concerned with things like databases, servers, computer code, and networking, front-end developers focus on how the site will look to users.

What does Back-end Mean

The back-end of a website is the set of code that handles all the processing or manages data storage. It's sometimes referred to as "the brains" behind the operation because it tells the front-end what to show and do.

In most cases, you'll need both front-end and back-end skills for web development.

Types of Web Development

Web development is the process of designing and building websites. Web developers write code in a variety of programming languages for both front-end and back-end aspects of website architecture: they use HTML to design user interfaces (UI) with JavaScript, using open-source software like Apache or MySQL as well as frameworks such as Ruby on Rails or Django.

A web application has a UI written in HTML, CSS & JS; there are no desktop applications needed because it runs entirely on the cloud – many popular ones run completely online today including Salesforce and Slack.

Development may include user experience (UX) design; security coding; serving and tracking analytics; search engine optimization (SEO) efforts; content curating and others, depending on each site's specifications.

Web developers should be familiar with usability and accessibility guidelines, HTML5, CSS3 or XHTML1&2, JavaScript or ActionScripting, cross-platform compatibility issues, web application firewalls (WAFs), session management (cookies), OAuth 1.0 protocol issues, API integration, writing in AJAX and JSON.

Most web developers code using a text editor like Notepad++ or Sublime Text on Windows; Xcode or TextMate on OSX; Gedit, Komodo Edit etc.

The more complex the site they're building (and the larger its audience), many of them work with content management systems that are integrated into a front-end development environment.

On large sites, developers might need to work with graphics tools for creating elements like buttons and icons and use version control software so colleagues can collaborate effectively within the group.

What is a Web "CMS" (Content Management System)

A CMS is an application used by website owners to create their websites via a WYSIWYG interface.

Web content management systems provide users with a way to update the website content without having to learn web development languages or programming skills.

However, most CMSes are developed with editing capabilities that exceed WYSIWYG editors, with the exception of products like CushyCMS which has a dedicated WYSIWYG editor for editing pages and blogs.

The core features provided by the vast majority of modern CMSs include:

Designing websites can be challenging because it is an exercise in visual communication.

Whether designing for print or web, designers must consider carefully not only how something looks but also how it will be used – A form that is too difficult or time-consuming to fill out may deter visitors from submitting the information needed.

Designing a mobile version of a site may require consideration of how to present complex information in a compact form, balancing usability and aesthetics.

Mobile content may need to be different from that presented to desktop users, depending on the device's screen size or browsing capabilities (e.g., identifying the user's location with GPS and displaying local weather conditions).

The design process must account for not only visual and textual content but also how people will interact with elements within the site and how that interaction affects their experience of the website as a whole.

A designer, therefore, needs some understanding of interface design, cognitive psychology, usability engineering, user-centered design methodology (including personas), and web accessibility guidelines: all aspects which are considered when designing a site.

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