Web Development

Web Development Overview

Web development encompasses every task you undertake to create and make a website functional. This process typically includes:

Planning: Before any technical work begins, the team meets with the client to assess what they want from the website. They discuss who the target audience is and what the website’s goals are.

Mapping: The next step is creating a site map that outlines all the pages of the website. For example, you could set up a navigation bar on your homepage that directs to a resources page. On this resources page, you might have the option to go to another page for each specific resource. The site map will summarize the relationships between all these pages.

Design: Before the building begins, the team discusses how the site should look. Usually, a web designer or graphic designer manages this process and focuses on the aesthetics of the site.

Coding: This is when the website is built. The web developer considers the client’s vision, site map, and design elements to code the website.

Review: Before launching a website, the team must review and test the site to ensure it’s functional.

Launch: This is when the website goes live. It’s uploaded to a server and becomes visible to everyone on the internet.

Types of Web Development

Because there’s so much involved in creating a website, web development is often divided into two parts: front-end and back-end.

Front-End Development: Also known as client-side development, front-end web development is the side of the website that users see. It includes the look and feel of the site. Front-end developers typically work on website design, user interface, and user experience. While it involves technical work, it’s a creative function that focuses on visual appeal.

Back-End Development: Also known as server-side development, back-end web development is technology-focused and deals with everything you don’t see when you look at a website, like the website’s code. This type of development also focuses on the site’s efficiency (speed) and performance.

Full Stack Development: Full stack web development involves both front-end and back-end work. These developers have the knowledge to take on any task required to build a website, whether it’s implementing a design application on the client side or coding on the back end.

Web Development vs. Software Development

Web development and software development require similar technical skills such as coding and programming languages, but they work with different tools. For example, while web development encompasses all tasks to create a website, software development focuses on computer programs that run on computers and phones.

These career paths also differ based on who they work with. Developers often collaborate with clients beyond their teams to understand the goals and target audience of the website before starting to build it. For example, web development might involve a marketing specialist when discussing website copy. In contrast, software developers typically work with other technical experts within a larger company to design, upgrade, and maintain software.

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