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Introduction to Website Development- Everything You Must Know About Developing Your Website

Alekh Verma | March 1, 2023
website development

Whatever the sector, a company's online presence can have a big impact on how successful it is. Many businesses today are still ignorant of the fact that the majority of their customers will visit their website before making a purchase. A strong online presence, particularly a website, can be crucial for increasing revenue.

In this article, we’re going to discuss everything that you need to know about a website and how to develop one. We’re going to thoroughly explain all aspects of website creation to make your life easier.

What Is Website Development? And Why Is It Necessary?

The process of building a website is collectively referred to as "website development." This encompasses all forms of markup, code, scripting, network settings, and CMS development. Even though the term "web development" typically refers to web markup and coding, website development encompasses all related development tasks, such as content management system (CMS) development, server-side scripting, network security configuration, eCommerce development, and client-side scripting.

The industry of web development is growing quickly, which is not surprising considering the explosive growth of Internet users. In comparison to most other technological professions, web development jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 13% between now and 2030. Consequently, you must create a website for your firm.

We'll go through the fundamentals of web development, how to build a website and further resources for individuals who want to study more or pursue a career in development in this tutorial.

Website Development Basics

1.  What is a website?

Websites are composed of files that are stored on servers, which are computers that house (a fancy way to say "hold files for" websites). The Internet, a very huge network, is connected to these servers. Clients are the computers that access these websites, whereas browsers, such as Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, are programs that load websites over your Internet connection.

2.  What is an IP address?

The Internet Protocol (IP) address of a website is necessary to access it. An IP address is a unique sequence of digits. Each device has an IP address, which allows it to stand out from the billions of websites and other devices connected to the Internet.

To find your device's IP address, you may also type "what's my IP address" into your search browser. The majority of Internet users prefer to utilize domain names or search engines over IP addresses when visiting websites.

3.  What does HTTP mean?

The Hyper Text Transfer Protocol is used to connect to the distant server that houses all of the website's contents (HTTP). A protocol is a set of guidelines that specifies how emails should be transmitted over the Internet. You can navigate between websites and site pages with it.

When you enter a website address into your web browser or use a search engine, HTTP creates a framework that allows the client (computer) and server to communicate with each other across the Internet in the same language. It serves as a sort of interpreter between you and the Internet; it reads your request for a website, reads the code the server replies with, and then converts it into a webpage for you.

4.  What is coding?

Coding is the process of creating software for servers and applications using programming languages. They are referred to as "languages" because they have the vocabulary and grammatical rules for communicating with computers. Additionally, they include special punctuation, acronyms, and commands that can only be interpreted by particular programs and tools.

All software is written using at least one coding language, however, languages vary based on platform, OS, and design. Front-end and back-end languages are two distinct categories.

5.  What does front-end mean?

The side of a website or piece of software you see and use as an internet user is called the front-end (also known as the client-side). Front-end coding languages enable a website to operate without constantly having to “communicate” with the internet when data is transmitted from a server to a browser.

Users can interact with a website and play movies, expand or decrease photos, highlight text, and a lot more exciting things all thanks to the front-end code. Client-side development is done by web developers that specialize in front-end code.

6.  What does back-end mean?

When a person is using the internet, they don’t see the back-end (also known as the server-side). It is the digital infrastructure, which is indecipherable by non-developers and appears to them as a jumble of numbers, letters, and symbols.

Also, back-end languages are considerably more popular than front-end languages. That’s because servers may be set up to grasp virtually any language, whereas front-end browsers only comprehend HTMLJavaScript, and CSS.

7.  What is a CMS?

A web application or collection of tools used to create and manage web content is known as a content management system (CMS).

Even though a CMS isn’t required to build a website but using it can somewhat simplify the whole process. Thus, it depends on you whether you want to opt for a CMS or not. It offers the building elements (such as plugins and add-ons) and enables you to write the code to build the framework. CMSs are helpful for all types of websites, although they are frequently used for blogging and e-commerce.

8.  What is cybersecurity?  

The goal of malicious actors is to steal data, disclose private information, and crash systems. They are always looking for website weaknesses. Protecting data, networks, and computers from these dangers is the practice of cybersecurity. Hackers' methods and the security measures put in place to stop them are both evolving. It could be terrible if you don't understand the possible targeting of your website.

Therefore, for efficient web development, having a fundamental awareness of cybersecurity best practices is essential. Additionally, regular security audits should be performed.

Now that the fundamentals of web development are evident, let's thoroughly discuss all the points you must keep in mind while developing a website for your business.

The Website Development Process

Contrary to what people believe, building a website isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are no 2-3 steps that one can follow to create a website out of thin air. There are a lot of things that one needs to consider, and a lot of skills one needs to acquire, in order to build a website successfully. Moving forward in this article, we’ve tried to create a list of the process of website development and have briefly discussed the languages one must learn in order to create unique code for a website.

1.  Formulate a plan.

Before everything else, you must ask yourself and your team what kind of website you want to create for your business. Or better what kind of website best meets the needs of your business?

Before you create the initial draught of your website, think about the following:

  • What do you want your website to achieve?
  • What do you want website visitors to do when they arrive? Whom are you trying to reach?
  • What kind of website do you create? What kind of content—for example, membership-based, online retail—do you want to publish, and how frequently?
  • How would you set up your website to provide the best possible navigation?
  • How much can you spend to build this website?

To define your goals and make wise selections, you must interact with your web development, marketing, and financial teams when responding to the questions. Simply put, making a roadmap at the beginning of the process is far simpler than going back and starting over when you hit a roadblock.

2.  Create a wireframe for your website.  

Every good website starts out with a plan. The term "wireframe" is used by programmers. It doesn't have to be a formal document; it can simply be your site's vision, which will give you and your developer(s) guidance and a place to begin. You can use a tool like Invision, Slickplan, or Mindnode, or you simply draw it on a whiteboard.

You can visualize where text and graphs will appear on individual web pages with the use of wireframes. For a preview of how your material will appear on the front end, utilize empty boxes and “dummy text”. Create wireframes/a blueprint with your developer so that they can see what you have in mind.

3.  Draft up a sitemap.

The next step is to construct a sitemap. A sitemap gives a developer the details they need to realize your vision, just as a business strategy reveals your objectives and deliverables to potential investors. You can choose to work with your developer or generate your sitemap alone.

When designing your site, consider the following inquiries:

  • Which specific pages would you like?
  • What will be on those pages of content?
  • What categories can you create for those pages?
  • How are the pages organized on your website?
  • How will the pages connect to one another?
  • What categories and pages are crucial to the operation of your website?
  • Which categories or pages could be consolidated or deleted?

Again, consulting with different teams inside your firm is a smart idea. The linking structure and categorization of your pages will be greatly aided by the assistance of your SEO and/or content strategy team if you have one.

4.  Start writing your website code.

Writing the code is the following step in the web development process. Different coding languages will be used by developers for the front-end and back-end of websites, as well as for the site's various capabilities (such as design, interactivity, etc.). These various languages interact to construct and maintain your website.

Let’s start with the most widely used languages.

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)

The most recent version of the traditional HTML code, known as HTML5, has been in use since the early 1990s. HTML5 is especially well suited for presenting web content across a variety of devices because it is supported and interoperable with all major browsers and systems. The development of mobile applications has also benefited greatly from its popularity as a cross-platform coding solution. All front-end design is based on HTML5, with other languages playing 'supplementary' or supporting roles.

  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

The language of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is more concerned with concerns pertaining to website design. Programmers have the opportunity to design a visual aesthetic that can be customized for every device, operating system, or screen size thanks to CSS. Similar to HTML5, CSS is supported by all web browsers. The DOM (document object model), a platform- and language-neutral interface that programmers may access to alter parts of a page directly without having to refresh the page, also makes it simple to update HTML5 and CSS code.

  • JavaScript

A novelty at first, JavaScript was a language that allowed web designers to include more interactive elements on their web pages. Despite the fact that its function is virtually unchanged, the greater attention paid to website usability has made JavaScript one of the most widely used front-end scripting languages.

Most websites utilize JavaScript to some extent, and all current browsers support it without the need for a plug-in. In order to create dynamic, responsive websites that can change and adapt to user input without having to refresh from the server, developers employ JavaScript to automate operations within web pages, add animations, and incorporate interactive features. A quick pace of development is being maintained via JavaScript. It is crucial to understand as a developer. Even the idea of incorporating machine learning into JavaScript has been floated. It will be fascinating to observe how JavaScript develops in the future.

In addition to being essential for front-end development, JavaScript is utilized so frequently in expert back-end web development that JavaScript-trained programmers are typically in great demand. JavaScript can be utilized for backend programming with the aid of Node.JS.

5.  Build your website's back-end.

Although writing code is undoubtedly one of the most challenging aspects of developing a website, it is by no means the only one. You must also develop the front-end and back-end site architecture and design.

The data that makes the front-functionality end possible is handled by the back-end.

  • Databases

Databases are in charge of conserving, arranging, and processing data so that service requests can access it. As the name suggests, databases are where you keep the data for your website. The majority of databases employ a language called SQL, or "Structured Query Language," which is pronounced "sequel." Data is kept in a database as tables with rows that resemble complicated Excel pages. Then, you can create, read, update, and delete data using SQL queries.

The database is operated on the server using MySQL for Linux and Microsoft SQL Server for Windows systems. There are also NoSQL databases, which instead of using conventional tables, store the data as JSON files. MongoDB is one kind of NoSQL database that is frequently used with ReactJs, AngularJs, and Vue applications.

  • Servers

Servers are the computer's hardware and operating system. Data requests must be sent, processed, and received by servers. They serve as a bridge between the client/browser and the database. In essence, the browser will alert the server, "I need this information," and the server will be aware of how to retrieve it from the database and provide it to the client. Windows or Linux are common operating systems used by conventional servers. Because the website files, back-end code, and data are all stored on the same server, they are seen as being "centralized."

Serverless architectures, a more decentralized sort of arrangement, are now available. This kind of program divides those components into separate parts and uses outside vendors to handle each part. Despite the name, you still need a server to at the very least host your website's files. AWS (Amazon Web Services) or Netlify are two instances of serverless service providers.

Serverless systems are common because they are quick, affordable, and require no server upkeep. They work well with straightforward static webpages that don't need a conventional server-side language. The conventional server configuration, however, can be a superior choice for extremely complicated applications.

Together, these elements form the basis for every website.

Moreover, backend developers will establish three things when constructing your website.

  • Your website's logic code consists of a collection of instructions for how various requests will be handled and how their objects will communicate with one another.
  • Your database management will organize, manage, and retrieve data for your website.
  • Your infrastructure will be used to host your website. Although it is more expensive and requires you to look after your own server's security and health, hosting your own website will give you more control.

Your website will be prepared for front-end development once you've made these choices and put these elements into place.

6.  Build your website’s front-end.

You've worked with front-end web development if you've ever experimented with web design or played around with a website built in WordPress, Squarespace, or Google Sites. The front-end components are crucial since they affect how your website's users, clients, and visitors will interact with it.

In front-end (or client-side) programming, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS are often used together. In addition, it controls navigation, positioning, typography, and fonts, as well as browser responsiveness and compatibility. More of your original site vision and the elements you included in your wireframe will be reflected in this section.

Client-side coding typically ages considerably more quickly than back-end programming as technology and user preferences evolves. Here is where coding resources (discussed later in the article) can be very helpful.

7.  Work with a CMS

You must be wondering why someone would pick a CMS over writing code on their own or writing code from scratch. However, employing a CMS comes with many benefits. A CMS is simpler to use (as you have to write less code) and frequently comes with features for hosting the website, storing user data, making blogs, publishing landing pages, obtaining leads, and even constructing email lists. Thus, with CMS you’ll be able to increase your website’s profitability with less effort.

Before we move further along, let’s just get one thing out of the way- using a content management system (CMS) isn’t strictly required and it’s more of a choice that may differ from business to business. A CMS is usually not necessary for a modern web application; it is more effective for blogging and e-commerce. In most cases, JavaScript frameworks make it simple to coordinate code and markup to keep your program succinct and tidy, and the use of CMS is typically not necessary when using the correct backend databases in conjunction with trustworthy web apps.  

Nevertheless, CMS choices are available, and some novice developers appreciate the time savings they offer while still having direct code access and hosting control over their website (which are not options when using site builders). CMS options essentially provide a range of plugins and addons that you may mix to produce a useful product. Simply put, CMS provides the building blocks, but you design the structure. Having some knowledge of these prominent coding languages is still helpful because the CMS alternatives are frequently created using PHP, SQL, or another one of the more widely used coding languages.

Some of the popular CMS options available are- WordPress, Magento, Drupal, Joomla, and more.

8.  Purchase a domain name.

Now comes the part where your website will be assigned with an IP address. Additionally, it needs a domain name, a catchy website name that people can remember and use to find your website. Websites like GoDaddy and Hover might be familiar to you. You can purchase a domain name and register with ICANN using these services (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). The majority of domain registrations last for a year before needing to be renewed.

You can also buy a domain name using website builders and hosting providers like WordPress and Squarespace.

9.  Finally, launch your site.

You're almost ready to share your work with the world wide web once you've created a domain name and connected it to your host.

But hold on, there are still a few things you need to double-check before a launch. These include establishing roles for your team, extensively testing your site for bugs, optimizing for SEO, and performing the last check before "turning the switch" and going live with your site.

Website Development Resources

Although connecting with other developers can be quite enlightening but sometimes you just need a little extra to be able to thrive as a developer and take your website one step further. For this purpose, there are tons of (often times free) resources available on the internet that can help you learn everything you need to learn about coding, development, and anything else you’re interested in.  

Web Development Training Programs

Here are a few online programs and classes that we suggest you check out if you're interested in learning more about front-end, back-end, or full-stack coding.

  • TutorialsPoint

Resources and all information on TutorialsPoint are free. There are several ways to learn to code thanks to TutorialsPoint, which offers lessons, eBooks, and videos.

  • egghead

Egghead is a collection of working web development experts and open-source contributors that provides you with succinct, information-dense video courses on the greatest technologies in the industry. Users can learn about a wide range of web development topics by enrolling in courses, taking lessons, or learning using podcasts.

  • Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a well-known free educational tool that helps users understand computing-related topics in an easy and fun way. In addition to that, users can also learn anything ranging from macroeconomics to linear algebra to US history.

  • freeCodeCamp

Like Khan Academy, freeCodeCamp is a nonprofit that offers free coding instruction to the public. freeCodeCamp educates millions of developers and engineers about careers in programming and real estate development through its tens of thousands of articles, videos, and interactive lessons, as well as its global study groups.

  • Team Treehouse

Team Treehouse is a subscription-based online learning platform, where users can access hundreds of courses on more than 20 different topics by paying a monthly subscription. Treehouse can teach you everything you need to know about web development, from JavaScript to Python to PHP.

Web Development Communities

One of the best ways for developers to stay up to date and keep growing with the ever-changing internet trends is to stay involved in the development communities.

Here are some of the reasons why developers join these communities-

  • Stay connected with current knowledge and problem-solving
  • To receive lucid responses and fresh viewpoints
  • For programmers of all skill levels, some advice
  • Links to publications, presentations, and resources
  • Making new acquaintances, coding partners, and business partners

Here are a few online communities that we suggest you check out.

  • Stack Overflow

Since its launch about 15 years ago, Stack Overflow has grown to become one of the most well-known programming communities on the planet. "Stack Overflow is by programmers, for programmers, with the ultimate goal of jointly expanding the sum total of good programming knowledge in the world," says co-founder Jeff Atwood. Because other developers frequently ask and respond to the same questions, Stack Overflow is an excellent place to go with inquiries. You may stay updated and connected to other developers through Stack Overflow's forums.

  • Mozilla Development Network

Compared to other online resources, Mozilla Development Network (MDN) is renowned for being more detailed and accurate. It is more of a comprehensive resource and document library for coding languages than it is a community. MDN is especially helpful when it comes to studying how specific functions operate and keeping up with coding and development news.

  • Reddit

Developers of all skill levels congregate on Reddit, a forum-based community, to post and respond to inquiries. It has participants from all over the world and is a highly engaged community. Additionally, you can join “subreddits” devoted to particular subjects like web design, JavaScript, or freelancing.

Conclusion

Although creating the ideal website is by no means an easy task, it is possible. Determine the most effective method for you to learn web development. Make connections with the developer community, become familiar with online resources, try out different programming languages and tools, and obtain the coding training you require to turn your vision for a website into reality.

And if you believe that you need help with developing the website, then you can always outsource the task or hire freelance developers to do the job for you. If you outsource the development of your website, then you need to make sure you’re hiring the right developer or development company. Make sure they’re invested in making your project a success.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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