Website development is the process of creating a website for the World Wide Web or an intranet. It involves conceptualization, planning, modeling, designing, coding, testing, and maintenance of the website. Professional website development requires extensive knowledge of markup languages and other programming tools for successful completion.
What is website development?
Website development, not web design, is concerned with the technical aspects of a website. Website design is concerned with the appearance and feel of a website.
It’s beneficial to understand how web code works.
However, modern CMSs such as WordPress and Wix have made web development accessible to people who do not have a coding background.
Nonetheless, knowing the fundamentals of web technologies can help a developer troubleshoot problems or create custom solutions.
Web development is important because it has a direct impact on earnings by creating high-performance online experiences.
What Is the Difference Between Web Design and Web Development?
Web design is generally thought to be concerned with how a site appears and how users interact with it.
Web development refers to the technical work involved in creating a website.
While there may be some overlap between the two disciplines, such as a web designer having development skills and vice versa, the two are distinct.
The Two Types of Web Development
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There are numerous types of web development. They all, however, fall into two categories:
Front-End Web Development
Front-end web development is the work done to create everything that a site visitor sees through their browser.
In technical terms, a web browser is referred to as a client, which is the device that runs the website code.
As a result, front-end development is also known as client-side development.
(Note: A client is anything that requests a web page from the server, such as a screen reader, a bot, and so on.)
Back-End Web Development
The website code that runs on the server, including scripting languages and web frameworks, is referred to as back-end web development.
Back-end development is also known as server-side development because it encompasses what runs in the background on the server.
PHP, for example, allows a web server to retrieve individual webpage elements from a database.
HTML Is The Coding Language Of Websites
HTML is the most essential building block of a website. It is a method of telling a machine how a webpage should look.
HTML is a coding language with straightforward rules.
If you’ve ever played a board game such as Monopoly, chess, or checkers, you’re already familiar with how rules and pieces are used to play games.
HTML is very much like a game. The components are the various HTML elements and their attributes, and the rules govern how they are used.
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The rules enable anyone to create a webpage that a browser can display to a site visitor.
HTML is a shorthand for Hypertext Markup Language.
Understanding the fundamentals of HTML is essential for web developers and almost anyone who works with a website.
Hypertext is simply another word for links.
The term hypertext was popular in the 1990s because it described a method for creating a self-organizing global information network.
HyperText links connected webpages within a website as well as connected websites to other websites, resulting in a vast network of information interconnected like a spider’s web.
Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the Internet, coined the metaphor of a spiderweb. That is why webpages, websites, and search engine spiders are named as they are.
Markup language is a structured method of communicating information about how a webpage is formatted and what the individual components that make up the entire webpage are.
To summarize, Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is a link-based system for creating webpages and websites that are linked to other webpages and websites.
HTML Components HTML is made up of building blocks known as elements.
Attributes can be used to modify elements.
Some elements are significant sections of a website.
Consider these major sections to be the playing board itself, within which all of the action takes place.
The Major Sections Of A Webpage
It informs the browser that this page is an HTML page.
This element encompasses the entire webpage.
This section is where the metadata goes.
Metadata is non-visible information on a webpage that is intended for browsers and search engines.
The meta description element is an example of metadata because it provides a description of the webpage that search engines use in their search results.
This section also includes links to resources needed to build the visible portion of the site.
The <BODY> visible portion of a webpage is the body. It is always followed by the <HEAD> section.
The major elements have “tags” at the beginning and end that indicate where an element begins and ends.
A beginning tag looks like this:
An ending tag looks like this:
Here is a macro-level outline of a webpage:
All other elements that define the visible part of the webpage, such as paragraphs, images, and links, are contained within the <BODY> element.
Attributes modify the element in some way, sometimes to provide additional information.
For example, an image element can have a “alt” attribute that provides alternative text that visitors using assistive technology like screen readers can use to communicate the contents of the image.
A paragraph element can have a “class” attribute that adds formatting to the paragraph’s words, such as a different font size to use.
Deep Dive: What Is the Difference Between an Element and a Tag?
Although the terms “element” and “tag” are frequently used interchangeably, there is a distinction.
Because there is usually a start tag and an ending tag, the code snippet of the HTML element itself is referred to as a tag. For example, the TITLE element, which conveys information about the topic of a webpage, looks like this:
Words that describe a website’s content.
The TITLE element is used in HTML to represent a title.
But the code snippets themselves are referred to as tags—in this case, the starting and ending tags.
Tags identify the element as well as where it begins and ends (for elements that require a start and an ending tag).
Elements are frequently referred to as tags. However, HTML elements are referred to as elements rather than tags.
Only the code snippet itself is referred to as a tag.
Clear as mud?
Additional Reading on Tags and Elements
A historical reference to HTML Tags at W3c.org discusses tags in the context of beginning and ending tags, rather than the elements themselves.
The Mozilla developer pages define tags as follows:
“In HTML, a tag is used for creating an element.”
The W3C’s historical element page does not refer to elements as tags. It only employs the word tag in the context of the beginning and ending tags.
Elements are not tags, according to the Mozilla developer page:
“Elements and tags are not synonymous “
In source code, tags begin or end an element, whereas elements are part of the DOM, the document model used to display the page in the browser.”
The use of the word tag when referencing an HTML element appears to be minor. However, in web development, it is best to be precise by using the correct jargon so that everyone understands what is meant when anything is referenced.
CSS – How A Site Appearance
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is another fundamental web development building block that controls how a webpage looks.
CSS files contain information about fonts, border sizes, and colors.
Previously, the style information was embedded in the HTML itself. That changed with the release of HTML 4, which introduced style sheets to separate style data from content-related data.
CSS innovation allows you to style an entire website with a single file.
Types Of Web Development
Although HTML allows you to create webpages from scratch, it is inconvenient for regularly publishing sites.
As a result, the most common method of creating websites is with a content management system (CMS).
There are open-source and closed-source content management systems.
Examples of open-source CMS:
Examples of closed-source CMS:
WordPress And Web Development
WordPress is the most popular platform for building any type of website, including ecommerce stores, news sites, topic-specific informational sites, and local business sites.
With WordPress, you can choose a template for the site’s appearance and begin publishing. However, making the template look exactly how you want it will necessitate some template editing.
To edit a template, you don’t need to know how to code HTML, CSS, or PHP.
Although WordPress is intended to be simple to use, web development skills are useful for creating alternate templates (known as “child templates”) and useful functionalities that are not included in the template.
That is why third-party WordPress site builders exist: to make creating WordPress sites easier.
Because closed-source content management systems are generally designed to be simple to use, web development is less of an issue with them.
How Web Development and SEO Interact
Web development is becoming increasingly important for SEO.
Page speed has an impact on webpage search rankings both directly and indirectly.
Understanding technical aspects of web development that influence how webpages are rendered in a browser is often required when optimizing for page speed.
Chrome Developer Tools (not Chrome SEO Tools) is the tool for debugging website performance in Chrome.
While some SEO professionals may try to install WordPress plugins to improve site performance, web development skills are more effective for troubleshooting and fixing performance issues.
Web development provides solutions for scaling SEO requirements such as structured data, automating meta descriptions, and optimizing code for search engine crawling.
Web development, from the front end to the back end, can play an important role in properly search-optimizing a website.
The Development of a Website Is Critical to Online Success
Understanding web development entails more than just knowing how to fix a problem.
It’s also useful because it allows you to identify the problem in the first place and gives you a general idea of how to solve it.
Even learning the fundamentals of web development will help you achieve greater online success.