What is Web Development?

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An Introduction to Web Development for Kids

Websites are the new business addresses. Every business or company working on the internet has some virtual presence in the form of a website. This trend does not look to decline any time soon since the market place itself has become virtual. Under such a scenario, it can be opined that web page development will continue to be a trending employment opportunity as businesses vie to get a piece of the virtual-estate pie.

So, how should children prepare for this scenario? If they are already interested in computers, then they will very easily be able to seek employment under this domain of work. And as a parent, you can support them in that journey. Besides, if they are not interested in computers, you can counsel them into understanding how useful building websites has become, and will always continue to be. Gradually, they will realise that this is the way of the future and an inevitable job trend.

But what if you yourself are confused about what is web development? What if you do not have the answers to any of their questions! For such parents, this article will be beneficial as it will clearly explain all the details that concern web development.

In this article the following matters are explained:

  • What is web development?

  • What is web site development, and what does web development mean?

Basics of Web Development

Before jumping into what is web development, let's look at some of the terms and the jargons associated with the subject.

  • What is a Website?

You have probably come to this portion of the text by accessing a website. You searched for something on your browser's (most likely it was Google) search bar, for example: what is web development, and you got some result pages. All of the results were webpages. They belong to their respective websites. A website is a collection of web pages that are classified under one name. Either a person or an organisation collectively owns them.

  • What are Browsers?

Browsers are computer programs that connect to the internet and help you to access the many resources available online. An example of a browser is Google Chrome or Internet Explorer.

  • What is WWW?

The World Wide Web is a subset of the internet, and the terms are not interchangeable. Tim Berners Lee formally introduced the World Wide Web in 1989. It refers to a collection of web pages that are found on a network of interconnected computers that use HTML, HTTP, and URL.

  • What is HTTP?

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) is a set of rules (protocol) that need to be followed to send and receive messages over the Web. It acts as the middle guy between you and the server. When you send a request to the server, it is sent following HTTP. And when you receive any responses, they come translated through HTTP.

  • What is the URL?

URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a virtual address given to some unique resource on the Web. The resource can be a page, an image, or an HTML document. For example, https://www.vedantu.com/supercoders is the URL for accessing the Super Coders program for kids.

  • What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a language that uses various tags that decide how a particular item should look on the web page. For example, the tags <h1> </h1> are used to encapsulate the first line of the web page which says “This line uses the h1 tag”.

  • What is an IP Address?

An IP address is the network level address of every computer that is connected to the internet. Every website is usually mapped to an IP Address. It specifies on which computer you can find the website.

  • What do Frontend and Backend Mean?

Front-end is that part of the website that you as a user interact with. You see the whole page laid out for you and you can click as well as type data into the webpage. The languages used for frontend web site development are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Backend refers to the structural part of the website that includes a server, an application and a database. The standard language for backend web site development is PHP, .NET, JAVA and Ruby.

Now you should be able to understand what is web development.

Web site development means to develop a website from scratch, both the front and back end and launch it for use. The website will be hosted on a server, which is a specialised computer used exclusively for this purpose. Users, who will be acting as clients, will access the resource (webpage) through its URL. The URL will be mapped to an IP address, and the corresponding computer on the network will be accessed. Then the page will be retrieved, and the results displayed.

What are the Various Types of Web Development?

While explaining web development to children and beginners, it’s important to state that there are majorly 3 different factions of website development - front end, backend and full stack. However, it is fair to mention 9 different types of the same:

  • Frontend Development

Frontend development of websites refers to the design, layout and navigation and graphics of the webpage or application under construction. The main task of the front end developer is to keep user experience in mind. The user needs to be able to navigate through the website to find what he came to look for quickly. He needs to get into the shoes of the end-user and think like them to be good at his job. The job of a front end developer is relatively easy and requires the knowledge of CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

  • Backend Development

The backend of web page development involves the most crucial aspect of the website under construction. What happens to the data that is entered in the front end? Where is the website itself hosted? And what about the data the website retrieves?

Backend refers to the development of server-side logic. It consists of the server to host the website, and an application to run it as well as the database where the information is stored. You can like the backend of the website to the functional aspect of a house, its structure and the various internal plumbing, and electrical fittings it has. The languages used in backend development are JAVA, Ruby, Python and PHP to name a few.

  • Full Stack Development

Full-stack web page development refers to those developers who work on both the backend as well as the front end. This is one of the toughest jobs around and requires years of experience before one can actually be called a full-stack developer.

Since full-stack developers need to have a mastery over both the front end as well as the server-side, they are most sought after. The job is highly paid.

Now let's discuss two related but slightly different types of development.

  • Embedded Program Development

This type of development is program development for regular computers. It refers to those devices that are not traditional computers but have more or less the same features. For example, industrial devices, consumer devices, electronics of cars, televisions, set-top boxes to name a few. Developing programs for these standalone devices are also quite a challenging prospect.

  • Website Security Development

Once a website is up and running, it may be compromised. So, there are ethical hackers who attempt to find the weak links in a website and help to devise ways in which these weak links can be rectified. Jobs of these ethical hackers are quite challenging though they continue to be in demand.

Following are some of the other forms of development that come under web page development. They are:

  • Website Development

Website development, as previously explained, refers to the frontend, backend, and full-stack development. Building a website from scratch is web development meaning. As already explained, those who work in this field are highly in demand. They also need to be very experienced, and it takes years to build up the expertise in this field.

  • Desktop Application Development

While not under the domain of web page development, some of the skills required in web development overlaps with desktop application development. Desktop development refers to the building of standalone projects meant only to be run on the computer with or without internet access.

  • Mobile Development

Mobile applications require different languages to make apps that run on both mobile phones as well as tablets. Working in this field requires a different skill set than working in web development. However, apps are quite as popular as websites, and they can be a beneficial work avenue.

  • Game Development

The last kind of development that is game development. Game development can refer to those games that are built either to be played on mobiles or PCs. The skillset here is also quite different from traditional website development.

What is the Process of Web Development?

Now that web development meaning is quite clear to you, you may wonder how to get started on building a website. Here are six steps that you can follow to have your website up and running.

  1. Make a Plan

Once you have decided to create a website, you should first answer a couple of quick questions. Why do you want a website? What sort of website is yours going to be? Who is your target audience? Sit down with pen and paper and come up with the philosophy behind creating a website. Once you have jotted down the answers to these questions, you can start planning your website. You should also have a budget in mind concerning how much you are willing to spend on your site.

  1. Formulate a Wireframe

Before starting on making the website create a sitemap, a sitemap shows you the connection between pages and helps you to visualise how the final product is going to look like. You can draw this out on a whiteboard or use tools like Mindnode. Once you and the developer have decided on the entire wireframe, you can start the coding process.

  1. Write the Code for Frontend of the Website

The front end of your website should be interactive, engaging and user-friendly. Also, the design and layout of the various items should facilitate easy usage. To achieve this, you need to use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create a website. These three languages are used in the majority of websites that are available online.

  1. Make the Backend of the Website

The backend of the website will usually store the data that you are going to work with, such as the input that is entered. This information needs to be stored on a server. For example, if you are using an e-commerce site like Amazon, you will need the login information to be stored in a server. To create appropriate server-side infrastructure, you could use SQL and PHP.

  1. Acquire a Domain Name

This is the penultimate step of developing your website. It is to acquire a domain name. The domain name is basically a website name that you need to use so that people can find your website. Also, you can use sites like GoDaddy to purchase a website name and register the site with ICANN. ICANN is an organisation that coordinates unique website identifiers.

  1. Launch Your Site

Before launching your site there is one thing left to do, and that is to find someone who will host the site for you. Ideally, GoDaddy also hosts websites for you at a nominal fee so you can register with them. Then it’s time for your website to come live!

With this understanding of web development meaning, you are on your way to create and develop some of the best websites. And you can help your children understand what goes behind the creation and launch of a website.

What are Some Resources of Web Development?

As you may want your child involved in web development, either as a full-stack or a frontend or backend developer But you do not have any idea on how to start. In this portion, the ways to get started with web development will be detailed for your convenience. While there are plenty of websites that teach web development, very few actually have curated courses just for kids. Vedanut Super coders is one such program where you can get your child introduced to the coding world with Live online coding classes. Here are some more details about Supercoders and other resources:

  • Vedantu Super Coders

Recently, Vedantu has also started its platform for educating children on the various stacks of development. Children can easily learn and engage with teachers online to create their own projects.

  • W3Schools

W3schools is the best place to get started on your learning of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. All the tools there are for free, and the whole process of learning is highly simplified. The courses are not very lengthy, and children can easily grasp concepts from here. They can also learn SQL for backend database use as well as Python.

  • TutorialsPoint

Another free place to learn almost every aspect of web development is TutorialsPoint. They have some of the best courses available for students looking to pursue web development. This site also teaches you the languages that you will require during the full-stack development.

  • Khan Academy

You can learn almost anything from Khan Academy. What is web development is no exception. They also teach HTML, JavaScript and CSS, and SQL.

Why is Web Development Important?

Almost every company or business has got some online presence in the form of an app or a website. As the market place and social meeting grounds become virtual, websites will definitely continue to play a big part in shaping the landscape of the next decade. They will become crucial if businesses want to stay relevant in the world.

That is why good quality websites can change the game for a business, an organisation or even a person. Your brand, your goods, your goals can achieve their target with the help of websites. So, to keep with this trend, website development will continue to be an essential part of the job scope for the next decade.

Under such circumstances, it is common to extrapolate the idea that there will also be a demand for many website developers who can make full-stack web development.  Also, the security and safety of websites will be an essential factor to consider when building and creating websites, so there will be a demand for ethical hackers as well.

To sum up, understand that websites are here to stay, so to take advantage of this fact, children should be given adequate training while they are still young so that when they mature they can take up web development as a career.

Through this article, a ready explanation of what is web development can be found. Also, some resources are explained to understand how to begin web development as well as web development meaning.

Parents are encouraged to get their children enrolled in learning the entire range of web development to make them future-ready.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Meant by Web Development?

Ans. Web site development or web development means creating a website from scratch encompassing both front ends as well as back end functionalities. It includes making the website look great so that it is easily accessible to the end-user, and a website should also run fast and not take time to load on the screen. In a nutshell, everything that goes behind creating a quality website comes under the purview of web development.

2. How can I Learn Web Development?

Ans. To learn website development, you first need to decide if you want to become a backend or a frontend developer. Front end developers usually create the design, layout, and structure of the webpage, including where every item on the page will be placed. Backend developers write the server-side logic of every webpage, which includes where does the data entered go, where should the query answers be displayed.

You can also decide to become a full-stack developer which includes both the front end and the back end. To learn web development, you can learn from any of the resources online or by signing up for classes with a tutor. Start with common languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the front end. For the server-side, you can use languages like Python, C++, Java and SQL.

3. What does a Web Developer do?

Ans. A web developer creates a website, designs layout, including all webpages, then makes sure the site is up and running to be visible to end-users. He needs to confirm that a website is functioning on all possible web browsers. A web developer will usually be either a frontend developer or a backend developer depending on his area of expertise. Front end developer is the equivalent of the interior designer of the house, and the back end developer is the one who creates the main framework of the house.

4. What Languages do Web Developers Use?

Ans. For web page development, that is a front end, development languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are used. For backend development, languages like Java, Python, SQL, PHP, .NET are used. Usually knowing a handful of these programming languages will be quite sufficient to develop websites from scratch. When you start out learning web development, try picking either the front end or the backend and specialise in one of the two approaches. While there is nothing wrong with being a full stack developer, it is not recommended for beginners.