Building a website or a web application is no simple task. It’s a process with a whole lot of steps. However, fret not, there are plenty of tools to help you in this process. The task of a web developer can be mainly divided into 2 parts: front-end and back-end. Front-end refers to the part of the website that the visitor can see and interact with (the client), while back-end refers to the server-side mechanisms that interact with the databases and other cloud services (the server).
HTML is very beginner-friendly, as all you need to start coding in HTML is Notepad and a browser. If you want to do web development, HTML is a must-know. Here's a guide that will teach you all you need to know about this language.
CSS is used to complement HTML. While HTML is great for displaying the content of a webpage, CSS focuses on the presentation of that content. Let’s say you have a paragraph of text on your website. Maybe you want it to be blue, to have a Calibri font with size 56, to show text shadow and to grow bigger with an animation when you hover it. CSS got you covered. To use CSS, you can either write the CSS code directly in the HTML code or in a separate file.
Exhaustive list of CSS properties found here
Front-end of a website is defined as the user interface, as in what the user interacts with directly and how it looks from a stylistic point of view.
To use the the jQuery library, you simply add a line importing the library at the beginning of your HTML code and you are set! There are many guides on the Internet that go into details about how to use the specific features of the library. W3Schools is good place to start. This guide will walk you through, step by step, everything you need to know to get started with jQuery. For a complete and more technical list of the features and how to use them, you can check out the official documentation.
To use AngularJS, you have to import it the same way as you did with jQuery (the details will be in the W3Schools guide). Again, W3Schools has a great beginner’s guide for AngularJS, which can be found here.
There is also a pretty good free course on Code School on AngularJS.
The official documentation for AngularJS is here
If you want to start learning React.js, the official website has a great tutorial on how to build a simple tic-tac-toe game with it. It’s a good place to start. There are also many more intermediate and advanced guides on the official website.
Back-end on the other hand is what the user can not see but it is essential to the functioning of a website. Such as the databases and complex logic and algorithms running in the background.
To transform your computer into a server and run Node.js code on it, you have to first install the runtime environment onto your computer. You can download it from their official website. To run a Node.js application, you have to use the command prompt and navigate to the path of the folder that contains the script you created. Then, you can use the node <filename>.js command to initiate the script. This will create a local testing server, with the address “localhost:<port number>”, that will run your script. A great beginner’s guide here by W3Schools. If you are planning on using external modules, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to use npm.
Official documentation for v8 here
Official documentation for v9 here
PHP is the most popular server-side scripting language for web development. PHP code can be embedded in HTML code or written as a standalone file. Just like any other scripting language, to run PHP code, the server-side system needs to have a PHP interpreter. The good thing with PHP is that it’s so widely used that virtually every server will support it.
Similarly to Node.js, running PHP code on your computer will require downloading and installing the interpreter here. To run a PHP script, you have to use the command prompt and navigate to the path of the folder that contains the script you created. Then, you can use the php -S localhost:8000 command to initiate the script. This will create a local testing server, with the address “localhost:8000”, that will run your script. For a beginner’s guide on PHP syntax and how to use it in HTML, check out Codecademy
Official documentation for PHP 7 here.