An Introduction / What is it?

Web development is the process of taking the concepts, ideas and designs of a website and turning them into a digital product (e.g. website) that will be published on the internet. In its simplest form, it is the non-design related aspect of building a website.

This process, typically completed by a web developer, is the physical act of programming and coding a website, so the once flat designs are converted into a dynamic web application, such as a website, that can be viewed and interacted with from within a web browser.

Known by many as programming or coding, website development can largely be broken down into two broad specialisms – front-end development (also known as client-side development) and back-end development (also known as server-side development). Whilst front-end developers create what a visitor sees in a web application, including content, design and the interactions between the website and the visitor, back-end developers build and maintain the technology that powers the web application in the background, and enables the front-end, user-facing side of the website to exist in the first place.

There are many different coding languages that web developers use, including HTML, CSS, Javascript as well as a multitude of back-end codes and frameworks such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, ASP.NET, Java, Python and Node.js.

Furthermore, web development agencies will typically develop a website to be used in conjunction with a CMS (Content Management System) which provides the admin (i.e. whoever manages the website, such as the owner) control over what is published on it and how it is presented to the visitor. Common open source CMS’s include Wordpress, Magento, Joomla and Drupal, but bear in mind a web development company may also offer its own proprietary CMS too.

In general, web development completes the process of creating a website, by using the output of web design to code a web application, that will then be hosted and accessible to its intended users.

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