Getting started in Web Development (A Beginners Overview)

So you wanted to start learning about Web Development? Are you an aspiring student who wants to start a career in building web apps and websites? Or you want to try it as a hobby. Your first questions might be “Where do I start?” or “What programming language should I use?”.

Finding the answer on the web will give you tons of different opinions and suggestions on how to start and where to start. As a beginner, having too much information can be a bit overwhelming. Words like Front-end, Back-end, Frameworks, Content Management, Single Page Applications, Servers etc. can be a bit intimidating and can lead you to think that starting Web Development is difficult. It is true that at some point in your career that you will have to learn those things but for now we’ll focus on the basic foundations.

 

Static vs Dynamic

First, you have to understand the two main types of website, a static and a dynamic.

A Static website is a type of site that has no dynamic content, meaning that all the content are coded directly to the HTML and does not use a server-side language to interact with a database. This sites only use HTML, CSS & Javascript.

Dynamic websites are also built with HTML, CSS & Javascript but also use server-side scripting language like ASP, PHP, Ruby, Node etc. The main difference from the static website is it uses a database to store user information or the page content.

 

Front-end vs Back-end

The programming languages that you need to learn can be divided into two which is the Front-end and the Back-end.

Front-end languages are usually client-side scripting which runs on the user’s browser. This includes the basic HTML, CSS & Javascript. Static websites only require Front-end language so this is the easier to learn as a beginner.

Back-end uses languages that run on a web server. These languages are used to modify user information & interact with a database. Some examples are PHP, Ruby, Nodejs etc.

 

Conclusion

Once you have an idea about where to start, we will start creating a simple static website and learn the languages needed. In these next articles, we will go through each language and upload it to a server:

  1. HTML – your website’s building blocks
  2. HTML – building your first markup
  3. CSS – basic introduction
  4. CSS – adding style to your markup
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