Beginners Guide To Web Development

Beginners Guide To Web Development

If you are looking to start your web development career, you have come to the right place. This post will give you step by step instructions on the languages you should learn, the programs you should download and the resources you should use to begin coding. This post assumes you know as much about web development as you know about open heart surgery, but it may be suitable for developers who has not coded for some time now and need a refresher. You can revisit this post if you get stuck or to communicate with other developers. You should know that programming takes a level of passion and you must be eager to learn and be comfortable with making errors. This post wont teach you how to write codes but it will set you up for success in programming. So let’s get started.

What is Web Development?

Web development broadly refers to the tasks associated with developing websites for hosting via intranet or Internet. The Web development process includes Web design, Web content development, client-side/server-side scripting and network security configuration, among other tasks. It is the coding or programming that enables website functionality, per the owner’s requirements. It mainly deals with the non-design aspect of building websites, which includes coding and writing markup.(Source)

Although web development mostly deals with the back-end coding, this guide will also prepare you to make beautifully designed applications by introducing HTML and JavaScript.

Step 1. Get to Know HTML


Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is the standard mark-up language used to create web-pages. Web browsers uses this language to create the layout and present the information of the web pages. It is important to know this language as you will be working with web browsers and would need to know how the browser works. This language is very basic and can be coded using your NotePad.

To get started with this language it is recommended that you use SoloLearn, which is an online platform that we will be using to learn the basics of most of our languages. So head over to SoloLearn and Complete the HTML Fundamentals Course. The beauty about SoloLearn courses is that you are given detailed instructions and also videos that explains and gives you a visual of what you should be doing. It also has quizzes that ensures you are really learning. It is a very interactive and fun platform to learn coding. So after going through those courses you should also grab this free book HTML 5 Step by Step . It is a great guide and it will be easier to go through once you completed the SoloLearn course.

Note that, due to the fact you are simply doing html coding, your website wont look flashy or beautiful but would look similar to a word document. This is because we have not started to style the document which we will be going into next. It is very important that you fully understand the concept on HTML and know how to put together a basic web page.

Step 2. Get to Know CSS


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a simple mechanism for adding style (e.g., fonts, colors, spacing) to Web documents. (Source). CSS basically tells the browser how your web page should be organized and presented. This is the language you use to beautify your web-pages. Many web developers don’t spend too much time in this area as it can be done by a designer or someone that specialize in styling web pages. It is however a great asset to know this language especially if you will be working on web applications for yourself.

If you completed the book mentioned above you will have grasped the basic of CSS and also used it in practical applications. You should also complete the CSS Fundamentals Course  on SoloLearn which will give you the basics of the CSS language. Remember to keep practicing using these languages together and trying new ways of making your web pages look better.

Step 3. Get to Know MySQL


MySQL is an open source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) that uses Structured Query Language (SQL). SQL is the most popular language for adding, accessing and managing content in a database. (Source). Even though part of that might be confusing just know that MySQL is used to manage data. It is similar to Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access where you can enter, edit and retrieve data in tables. Knowing this language is vital to becoming a web developer.

To get started with this language you should start by installing a server on your computer. You can accomplish this by using the XAMPP software. Download this software by visitng XAMPP and choosing the one for the OS you are using. You can get detailed instructions for installing and setting up XAMPP by visiting here or by watching this video.After installing XAMPP you should complete the SQL Fundamentals Course on SoloLearn. After completing this course you should purchase the SQL- The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide on Amazon. This is not a must be it will help you to get a firm grasp of MySQL and working with SQL Databases in general.

Step 4. Get to Know PHP


PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. This is the language that will turn you into an actual web developer and this is where the fun starts. PHP is a server side language which means that the codes are executed on the server. If you followed the instruction in Step 3 and downloaded and setup XAMPP then you are well on your way to start coding PHP. PHP is what makes your website become dynamic – having different outputs based on the situation or user. Take for example Facebook, which is coded using PHP. Each member has their profile which looks similar to every other profiles, except that the information presented is based on the user of the profile. So the developers of Facebook created one page called profile and used php codes to generate different contents based on the owner of that profile.

To start coding PHP you can use any text editor including the NotePad. But for efficiency and better organization you should download the free and very popular NotePad++. Since PHP is a server side language, you cannot run the code unless you have the files on a server, so ensure you followed the instruction is Step 3 to have XAMPP installed. You should complete the PHP Tutorial Course on SoloLearn to get the basics of the PHP language.

After you have a grasp on all the language listed above then you can start working on actual web development projects. You can choose what application you want to build… whether it be an Invoice application, an Inventory application, a Social Media… you name it. To see a tutorial that uses all the languages above and create practical applications, visit here and watch all of the tutorial videos. The videos might not be in order and you may need to sort them or ensure that you follow the number correctly. After watching this tutorial you will be well on your way to create you own web application! Please let me know if this guide helped you to start programming web applications.

Categories: Tutorials

About Author

Darren Beckford

A young entrepreneur who is dedicated to the development of advanced and useful technological systems. Growing up in the city of Montego Bay I was a lover of mathematics, problem solving, aviation, finance, technology and business.

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