Website development is the work that it takes to build or create a website. It includes creating a single plain-text web page to developing a complex web application or even social network.
Learning website development takes a lot of effort and understanding, but you can be a good website developer once you get familiar with it.
Website development precisely refers to coding and web markup. It consists of all related development tasks like server-side scripting, client-side scripting, e-commerce development, server and network security, and content management system (CMS) development.
Importance of Website Development
With the world becoming technology-driven, website development has evolved as a significant profession. Be it any business or industry; it always needs a website developer to make a grip over their audience online.
The internet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and more than half the world’s population is using the internet to fulfill their various needs.
To fulfill all the needs of people searching online, websites are required, and creating a good website takes a skilled website developer.
Not only this, but a lot of social media platforms are also getting introduced nowadays and such platforms are also designed and created by website developers. These are the main reasons why the website development industry is rapidly growing, and a lot of people are taking to website development as a profession.
What Skills Should a Website Developer Possess?
Anyone can choose to be a website developer as you don’t need a fancy degree in computer science to master the skills of website development. It just takes your interest and passion in the field.
Basics One Should Know About Before Becoming a Website Developer
What is a Website?
Websites are the files stored on servers. It is described as a collection of web pages and related content that share a single domain name. These servers are connected to a vast network called the internet. Those websites are loaded through a network by various browsers (for instance, Google Chrome).
IP means Internet Protocol. It alludes to the set of standards that regulates interaction on the internet. You must know the IP address to access a particular site.
An IP address is a unique thread of numbers, and each device and site has its own IP address that distinguishes it from the other websites and devices connected via the internet.
Though one can access a site using its IP address, most internet users do it through domain names or search engines.
Concept of HTTP
HTTP refers to HyperText Transfer Protocol. It connects you and your website request to the remote server that stores all website data. It is a set of rules that defines how messages should be sent over the internet.
Whenever you search for something through a search engine, HTTP provides a framework to ensure that the client (computer) and the server can speak the same language when making requests and respond to each other over the internet.
It is the translator between you and the internet that reads your request and translates it for you in terms of a website.
Coding means writing code for various servers and applications using programming languages. We call them ‘languages’ because they consist of vocabulary and grammatical rules for communicating with computers.
They also comprise special commands, abbreviations and punctuation that can be read only by devices and programs.
Every software is written in at least one coding language, though the languages vary based on platform, operating system, and style. There are a lot of coding languages, and they fall into two categories i.e., front-end and back-end.
The Front end is the client-side. It is that side of a software or website that you get to see and interact with as an internet user. When the website information is transferred to a browser from a server, front-end coding languages allow the website to function without continuously communicating with the internet.
Website developers who work on front-end coding have to work on client-side development.
The Back-end is server-side. It is the side that you don’t get to see when using the internet. It is looked at as the digital infrastructure, and to non-developers, it appears to be a bunch of numbers, letters, and symbols.
Back-end coding languages are more in numbers than front-end languages because browsers at the front-end understand only Java Script, but the server at the back-end understands almost every language.
What do you Understand by CMS?
CMS refers to the Content Management System. It is a web application or series of programs that are used to create and manage web content. It is not necessary, but it makes things easier while building a website as it provides the building blocks, such as plugins and add-ons, and lets you create the structure with your code.
Generally, CMSs are used for blogging and e-commerce, but they are useful for other kinds of sites as well.
With the existence of the internet, many users are looking to find flaws in the websites to steal data and expose private information and crash servers.
All this makes cybersecurity important as it is a practice to save and secure data, computers, and networks from various threats.
With the constant increase in methods used by the hackers, the measures taken to secure the sites and computers are also increasing with time.
Process of Website development
The road to create a website is not that easy. It consists of many steps that are different from each other and each development path is different based on types of websites, programming languages and resources.
1) Formation of a Plan
The first thing before getting started is to form a powerful plan for your website. It’s really important to connect and communicate with your team and personnel to strategize a good plan.
Some of the questions that one should consider before beginning the website development process :
a) Goal of your website
b) Who’s your target audience?
c) Decide the type of website (basic informational, membership or online store, etc.)
d) What kind of content are you aiming to publish and what’s the purpose of this content?
e) How will you structure your website to make it easy for people to navigate?
f) What’s your budget?
Get in contact with all your team members and find answers to those questions. It is only after you have your answers that you should begin the process of website development.
2) Create a Blueprint
All the good websites start with a blueprint. It is called a wireframe or sitemap in the language of the developers. It need not be an official document as it’s just a vision for your site that will help and give directions to both you and your team. You can either draw it on a whiteboard/blackboard or use some tool like Slickplan and Invision etc.
The sitemap gives you a clear picture of your idea to let you take a look at your own vision. Here are some important questions to ask yourself while planning your site:
a) What individual pages do you want? What content will be there on those pages?
b) Ways to organize those pages into categories.
c) Hierarchy of the pages on your site.
d) How will you link the pages together?
e) What pages and categories are important for your site and which ones should be removed?
While answering these questions, you should consult with your team members as their inputs can add to the structure of your site.
3) Writing Down your Website Code
Writing the website code is the next step in the process of website development. As a developer, you must use different coding languages for the front-end and Back-end of the website, as well as for different functionalities of the site, such as design etc. These languages work together to build your site.
The most commonly used languages are:
HyperText Markup Language is the base of all websites and is significantly needed when creating a site. It has been used since 1990s. You can even create a website with only HTML but it wouldn’t look that good though.
Cascading Style Sheets enhances and modifies the basic structure built by HTML codes. It was developed in the late 1990s. It helps you add design elements like colors, typography and layouts to websites.
CSS permits you to transform your website into a better version and makes it match the level you envisioned for your site.
4) Building the Back-end of Your Website
The back-end controls the data that enables the functionalities on the front-end. Like Facebook’s Back-end stores the pictures so that the front-end can allow others to look at them.
The back-end comprises of two components that are that databases and servers. Database is meant to store, organize and process data so that it can be retrievable by server requests. Servers are the hardware and software that make up your computer. They are meant to send, process and receive data requests.
These components are significant to build the foundation of your website. To build a website, Back-end developers must establish these things:
Logic code: It refers to a set of rules that defines how your website will respond to certain requests and how the objects of your website will interact.
Database management: It is about how your website will organize, manage and retrieve its data.
Infrastructure: It is the way your site will be hosted.
5) Building the Front-end of Your Website
The front-end of a website is very important as it is what your visitors, users and customers will get to see and how they’ll use and navigate the website.
It also handles the components such as fonts, positioning, navigation, browser compatibility and responsiveness. With the constant change in technology and consumer preferences, client-side coding tends to get outdated faster than Back-end development.
6) Work with a CMS
This is an optional step. You must be curious why would someone choose to work with a CMS instead of coding by hand. It is because a CMS is easier to use and it even has tools for hosting a site.
At the same time, it’s less flexible and hence gives you less control over the front-end of your website. CMS options include plugins as well, that removes the need to write a Back-end for your site.
7) Decide a Domain Name
At this point of time, your website will have an IP address. It needs a domain name as well. Decide a good name for your website that your audience and visitors would use to find your site.
Get your domain name registered as well. You must have heard of sites like GoDaddy. These services help you purchase a domain name for your site and register it with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
Most of the domain registration are good for an year, as after that you are required to renew.
8) Launch Your Website
After you are done setting up a domain name and linked it to your host, you are almost ready to present your work on web. Though there are still a few things that you need to check before officially launching your website.
These include distribution of responsibilities among the team members, testing your site to make sure that there are no glitches, optimizing for SEO and a final complete check before finally launching your site and making it available to the users.
So, are you ready to create your own site after getting well versed with the basics and process of website development? This guide offers you a comprehensive knowledge about all the significant steps for website development. You just need a passion within yourself to learn the methods and you are not far enough to launch your own website. Best wishes.