The Ultimate Guide to Web Development

Table of Contents

In this guide, we’ll cover the bare-bone-basics of web development, the process of creating a website, and additional resources for those who want to learn more about development — or become a developer themselves.

In this guide you will learn :

  • Web Development Basics
  • Types of Web Development

What is web development?

Web development refers to the work that goes into building a website. This could apply to anything from creating a single plain-text webpage to developing a complex web application or social network.

While web development typically refers to web markup and coding, it includes all related development tasks, such as client-side scripting, server-side scripting, server and network security configuration, ecommerce development, and content management system (CMS) development.

Web Development Basics

  1. Website
  2. IP address
  3. HTTP
  4. Coding
  5. Front-end
  6. Backend
  7. CMS

Now that we’ve defined web development, let’s review some web development basics to better familiarize you with the topic.

1. What is a website?

Websites are files stored on servers, which are computers that host websites. These servers are connected to a giant network called the internet … or the World Wide Web.

Browsers are computer programs that load the websites via your internet connection, such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer. Your computer is also known as the client.

2. What is an Internet Protocol (IP) address?

Internet Protocol is a set of standards that govern interaction on the internet.

To access a website, you need to know its IP address. An IP address is a unique string of numbers. Each device has an IP address to distinguish itself from the billions of websites and devices connected via the internet.

To find your device’s IP address, you can also type “what’s my IP address” into your search browser.

While you can access a website using its IP address, most internet users prefer to use domain names or by going through search engines.

3. What is HyperText Transfer Protocol?

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) connects you and your website request to the remote server that houses all website data. It’s a set of rules (a protocol) that defines how messages should be sent over the internet. It allows you to jump between site pages and websites.

When you type a website into your web browser or search for something through a search engine, HTTP provides a framework so that the client (computer) and server can speak the same language when they make requests and responses to each other over the internet. It’s essentially the translator between you and the internet — it reads your website request, reads the code sent back from the server, and translates it for you in the form of a website.

4. What is coding?

Coding refers to writing code for servers and applications. It’s called a “language” because it’s comprised of vocabulary and grammatical rules for communicating with computers. They also include special commands, abbreviations, and punctuation that can only be read by devices and programs.

In a sense, developers are translators, too.

All software is written by at least one coding language, but they all vary based on platform, operating system, and style. There are many different types of coding languages … all of which fall into two categories (written by two different types of developers) — front-end and backend.

5. What is the front-end?

Front-end (or client-side) is the side of a website or software that you see and interact with as an internet user. When website information is transferred from a server to a browser, front-end coding languages allow the website to function without having to continually “communicate” with the internet.

Front-end code allows users like you and me to interact with a website and play videos, expand or minimize images, highlight text, and more. Web developers who work on front-end coding work on client-side development.

6. What is the backend?

Backend (or server-side) is the side that you don’t see when you use the internet. It’s the digital infrastructure, and to non-developers, it looks like a bunch of numbers, letters, and symbols.

There are more backend coding languages than front-end languages. That’s because of browsers — at the front-end — only understand JavaScript, but a server — at the backend — can be configured to understand (pretty much) any language. We’ll cover more about backend development next.

7. What is a content management system?

A content management system (CMS) is a web application or a series of programs used to create and manage web content. (Note: CMSs aren’t the same as site builders, like Squarespace or Wix.)

While not required to build a website, using is CMS is certainly easier. It provides the building blocks (like plugins and add-ons) and lets you create the structure with your code. CMSs are typically used for e-commerce and blogging, but they’re useful for all types of websites.

Types of Web Development

  1. Front-end development
  2. Backend development
  3. Full stack development

1. Front-end

Front-end developers work on the client- or user-facing side of websites, programs, and software. They design and develop the visual aspects, including the layout, navigation, graphics, and other aesthetics. These developers also work on the user interface and user experience of whatever project they’re developing.

2. Backend

Backend developers work on the server-facing side of websites, programs, and software. These developers work in systems like servers, operating systems, APIs, and databases and manage the code for security, content, and site structure.

3. Full Stack

Full stack developers work in both the front-end and backend sides of a website. They can create a website, application, or software program from start to finish.

In next post we will see web Development Process.

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