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Types of Web Development & How to Learn Them

07 Apr 2022
Web development can be defined as a process of developing web applications, online portals, and web pages. At the core of web development, there is the foundational markup language, HTML (HyperText Markup Language). The browser-side render of web pages are in HTML, and thus, knowing this markup language is essential for having a solid understanding […]

Web development can be defined as a process of developing web applications, online portals, and web pages. At the core of web development, there is the foundational markup language, HTML (HyperText Markup Language). The browser-side render of web pages are in HTML, and thus, knowing this markup language is essential for having a solid understanding of how web pages function on the front-end.

Similarly, web developers are expected to know CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for styling and back-end languages, too, if they are back-end developers. HTML and CSS are essential, but finally, it boils down to what kind of web developer you aspire to be. You can be a front-end developer who completely focuses on the UI/UX (user interface/user experience) of web environments or a back-end developer who sets up the core functionalities, structure, and database of the website.

You can even be a full-stack web developer to handle all of these single-handedly for individual clients. There are various kinds of roles in web development and an ample number of tools to choose from. This offers multiple ways to go about developing great user experiences (on the web) for your target audience.

Another thing you must keep in mind when you are preparing to be a web developer is the kind of company you wish to work for and the nature of your services. For instance, if you wish to start your own agency or want to do freelancing, you should look at becoming a full-stack developer. However, if you wish to join a specialized job role in web development for MNCs and other corporations, you can focus specifically on back-end or front-end development.

What do web developers do?

Web developers develop web environments, pages, and platforms. Web development professionals use languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP to materialize the web requirements of clients or users. Web developers are expected to know the use of libraries, frameworks, databases, and a variety of tools beside programming languages.

Web developers also need to know scripting languages as well since both front-end and back-end coding are required for fully developing web projects.

What are the different types of web development?

Web development can be broadly classified into four types. These are front-end development, back-end development, full-stack development, and web application development. The objective of each kind of web development is different, and there is a difference in the tools and technologies used as well.

Before understanding what kind of tools you wish to learn, you must first decide upon what type of web development you wish to be involved with.

What is front-end development?

Front-end development is the development of the browser-side or client-side of web environments. HTML and CSS are traditionally used for front-end development. HTML is processed at the user’s end to render web pages or applications.

CSS and HTML  are processed by the browsers and do not rely on the server side to show pages once the raw data is received. The front-end mainly deals with static visual experiences, textual content, and styling. However, with JavaScript (a front-end and back-end language), it is possible to also conduct complex front-end development with dynamic functionalities and design.

What is back-end development?

Back-end development can be defined as developing the foundations, server-side, and background functions of web pages or web applications. This area deals with the server rendering data to the user and the database sourcing the data. In this kind of development process, JavaScript and PHP are very popular.

You can also use technologies such as NodeJS and Python for developing the back-end. For setting up the databases, you will also need to know either MySQL or NoSQL technologies such as MongoDB. The back-end allows you to build advanced applications and complex integrations in the web environment.

What is full-stack development?

Full-stack web development is the development of the front-end and the back-end simultaneously. This means that full-stack professionals are expected to know both front-end and back-end languages. Full-stack developers must also know how to program and set up the servers as well as the databases.

Technology stacks such as MERN (MongoDB, Express, React, Node) and MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node.js) are quite popular in full-stack development. Full-stack developers also use technologies and frameworks such as Scala, GO, and Rails. According to Statista, React is the most widely used framework.

What is mobile web development?

For mobile web development, a lot of areas are focused upon such as multi-device HTML support and specifically designing the mobile web by keeping fluctuating bandwidth in mind. React, Angular and Node are all popular frameworks used for mobile web development. For Angular, you need to write scripts using TypeScript and not JavaScript like in AngularJS.

What are the skills web developers need?

Web developers need to use specific tools for different development frameworks and projects. Thus, being flexible and having the ability to use multiple technologies is very helpful in this domain. However, if you wish to stick to certain methodologies, choosing the right set of tools is essential.

If you are wondering how to become a full-stack web developer or a front-end/back-end developer, here are the skills that you will need:

  • HTML and CSS
  • The ability to program the server-side (for back-end developers)
  • Technology stacks such as MERN or MEAN (For full-stack developers)
  • An understanding of development requirements and user requirements
  • The ability to use IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) such as Visual Studio
  • Frameworks, libraries, extensions, and plugins that work with the languages of your choice
  • Good foundations in user experience
  • Problem-solving abilities
  • The ability to use developer tools in browsers
  • UI/UX tools such as Figma and Adobe XD
  • Terminal Access and Servers

What tools and technologies should web developers learn?

Being a web developer can take a bit of time, but you can make the most effective use of your time by choosing the right technology for you.

Every individual technology or stack is suited for certain purposes and individuals. Thus, once you select the most optimal tools for yourself, you can quickly learn the type of web development that you need.

  • JavaScript: JavaScript is a highly preferred language for both front-end and back-end development. This functional programming language allows developers to take both imperative and declarative approaches. JavaScript also promotes high-level immersive designs and elements to make truly dynamic web pages and applications. Alternatively, you can also learn TypeScript.
  • PHP: PHP is another scripting language extensively used for back-end web development. Using this language, you can also create dynamic applications and pages. PHP works well with databases such as Microsoft’s SQL server and extensions such as .NET or Apache that increase the functionality of the web project. However, PHP is not as fun to program compared to JavaScript or even Python.
  • Python: Python is very useful in developing web applications. This object-oriented programming language also compiles faster than PHP. Python can be used for advanced integrations and to incorporate Artificial Intelligence. You can also use the vast range of libraries and tools available when using Python.
  • Python is extremely easy to learn. It can also be replaced by programming languages such as Dart, GO, Rust, Kotlin, Ruby, Go, and Scala.
  • Libraries and Frameworks: Libraries and frameworks cut down the work for developers with ready-made components, structures, and templates, while giving them the freedom to make as many modifications as they want. Frameworks such as Node, React, and Angular allow full-stack developers to develop both the front-end and the back-end effectively. You can choose between other libraries and frameworks such as jQuery, Bootstrap, Express, SASS, Django, Laravel, Sprint, Rails, and Ember.
  • SQL and Databases: SQL is essential when one needs to work with an SQL-based database; however, one can also use NoSQL databases such as MongoDB. Standard knowledge of CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) functions and other SQL queries is always recommended for web developers. Being able to manage integrations and data transactions is also crucial. MariaDB, MySQL, and SQL Server are some databases you should become familiar with.

Now, if you wish to progress in full-stack web development as fast as you can, it always chooses to go with a technology stack such as:

  • MEAN - MongoDB, Express, Angular, and Node
  • MERN - MongoDB, Express, React, Node
  • LAMP - Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP

However, the MEAN and MERN stack is more up-to-date and capable of building advanced web applications.

You can easily learn the MEAN and MERN stack with a full stack web development course. Such a  full stack development certification also helps you land great job roles in top MNCs.

Web development is one of the most sought-after domains in today’s world. The field has become even more lucrative due to dozens of companies shifting to e-commerce models every month. All kinds of businesses need their presence on the web. Thus, web developers will always be in demand.

You can easily learn the technologies of your choice through academic resources, tutorials, and web development courses. If you are wondering how long it takes to become a full-stack developer, it is anywhere between 3 months to a year, depending upon the skills you already possess.

Web development skills are one of the most valuable skills in IT and for businesses.

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