Web Development 101
A blog to help commence your journey developing websites.
In today’s competitive and tech savvy world, it’s very important to be up-to-date with the latest technological trends. This is certainly not possible without being clear with the basics.
By the end of this blog, I’ll try to ensure that you have a clearer picture in mind regarding how you want to go about learning web development.
Web Dev has two subparts- the frontend and the backend of the website. Frontend is what you see in a browser whereas Backend (which cannot be seen) handles the logic and functionality that is necessary for everything to work.
Let’s begin by diving deep into Frontend Development:
The frontend of a website is made up of 3 types of files:
Hyper Text Markup Language is the foundation of all websites. It’s the main file type that is loaded in your browser when you look at a website which includes titles, paragraphs, lists, images and so on but they are pretty basic, like what you would see in a Word document.
Cascading Style Sheets, lets you style that HTML content so it looks nice and fancy. You can add colors, custom fonts, and layout the elements of your website however you want them to look. You can even create animations and shapes with CSS!
Additional Things To Learn:
AJAX is the simplest way for linking both frontend and backend, which is very important. There are other methods for linking both as well. For example: Django offers a method called templating.
Frameworks & Libraries:
Bootstrap: Framework for building responsive, mobile-first sites.
Responsivity of a website means that the website works for all screen sizes without ruining the website’s integrity. CSS Media Queries are also used to make a website responsive.
JQuery: JS Library to help ease development.
You can learn all these additional topics in the same order I’ve listed them in.
Essential Chrome Extensions:
Upon learning and practising everything above, you’ll be more than just a cliché frontend developer.
Now it’s time to explore Backend Development:
The back-end, or server-side of web development, is made up of three main components: the server, a server-side programming language, and the database.
The server is the computer where all the website files, the database, and other components are stored.
Traditional servers run on operating systems such as Linux, MacOS or Windows. They’re considered centralized because everything– the website files, backend code, and data are stored together on the server.
Nowadays there are also serverless architectures, which is a more decentralized type of setup. AWS and Netlify are some examples of serverless providers. The server still physically exists, just not on your own computer.
2) Server-side programming language:
- Python: Python is growing in popularity, especially as it is used in data science and machine learning. It’s also considered to be good for beginners, as its syntax is simpler than some other languages. Django or Flask are used to build web apps in Python.
- PHP: PHP is a server scripting language, and a powerful tool for making dynamic and interactive Web pages.
- Go: Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.
My personal favourite backend framework is Django written in the Python programming language because the same backend code can also be used for mobile applications without any hassle.
Django has a lot more features but that’s a blog for next time!
Databases, as the name implies, are where you store information for your website. Most databases use a language called Structured Query Language (SQL).
In the database, data is stored in tables, with rows sort of like complex Excel documents. Then you can write queries in SQL in order to create, read, update, and delete data.
The database is run on the server, using servers like Microsoft SQL Server on Windows servers, and MySQL for Linux.
There are also NoSQL databases, which store the data in JSON files as opposed to the traditional tables. One type of NoSQL database is MongoDB, which is often used with JS framework applications.
An example of how data is utilised on websites:
If you have a contact form on your website, you could build the form so that every time someone submits the form, their data is saved onto your database.
You can choose any server-side programming language to begin with and start exploring them. Practice.
Once you feel confident with the basics, try making a RESTful API.
Know both frontend and backend?
You are now a full-stack web developer. Full-stack web developers can build complete web applications and websites. They work on the frontend, backend, database and debugging of web applications or websites.
You won’t have full control over your website. You’ll have to settle with built-in designs for different elements. To add to that you’ll also have to manually update, backup and secure your website regularly.
I hope you were able to figure out the right path for you through this blog. If you still have any doubts, you can contact me at: