In the context of digital marketing, web development might not seem very important. However, digital marketers and entrepreneurs alike will find such knowledge about web development quite useful.
For instance, if you are a business owner, understanding what web development is can help you hire a more qualified specialist to create your business website. Hence, here’s what you should know about web development and its different types even as a beginner.
What Is Web Development?
To put it simply, web development is the process of building a website. Web development can involve anything from developing plain-text webpages to working on a complete and complex social media platform. More often than not, web development refers to web markup and coding and includes all the related activities.
Before discussing different types of web development, it is first necessary to understand some common web development terms and concepts:
- Website: You already know what websites are, but how do they work? In essence, websites are files that are stored on servers connected to the Internet. The servers are computers that “host” websites. To view a website, you need to use a browser which is a computer program that loads websites through your Internet connection.
- IP Address: IP stands for Internet Protocol which is a set of standards governing all interactions on the Internet. An IP address is a unique string of numbers every website and device has that distinguishes them from all others. When you access a website, you are pretty much using its IP address to do so. However, most people just use website domain names for this or access websites through search results.
- HTTP: HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol which is a set of rules defining the way messages are transmitted over the Internet. HTTP creates a connection between you and the Internet so that you can access a particular website by sending a website request to the server hosting the said website. The request is sent by your browser and allows you to both access websites and jump between web pages.
- Coding: Coding is the process of writing code for servers and applications with the help of different programming languages. These languages are specifically used for communication with computers and include different commands, abbreviations, etc. Depending on the platform, operating system, or style, a different coding language will be used. The two categories of coding languages are front-end and back-end.
- Front-End: Front-end (aka client-side) is the part of a website that users see and interact with in different ways. As the name suggests, front-end developers work with front-end coding on client-side development. Front-end coding languages let websites function without constantly communicating with the Internet when website data is transmitted from the server to the browser.
- CMS: CMS stands for content management system which is a web application or a series of programs that are used to create and manage web content. A CMS can be used to build a website, though it is not required. In essence, it provides you with structure and helps you use different building blocks to create the website.
- Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity is the type of security practice concerned with securing data, networks, and computers from different kinds of digital threats. Websites need to be protected from hackers and malicious software which is where cybersecurity is involved.
#1 Front-End Web Development
As explained above, front-end developers work on the client-side of things. Thus, front-end web development works on programs, software, and websites in terms of their visual looks and functionality. Anything from navigation to the layout would fall into this category. This is why user experience plays a key role in front-end web development as it is necessary to design interfaces that help users reach their goals when they interact with a website.
#2 Back-End Web Development
Back-end web development is concerned with all the work related to the servers hosting websites, programs, and software. It’s the behind-the-scenes of web development. Back-end web developers work with servers, operating systems, databases, and APIs. The two types of developers usually work together to create the final product.
#3 Full-Stack Web Development
As the name suggests, full-stack web development includes both front-end and back-end activities. Marla Carter, an expert from the writing services reviews site Writing Judge, puts it this way, “Full-stack web developers are specialists who can create a website, program, or application from beginning to end. To become a full-stack developer, you will usually need years of experience in the field that will help you understand how every small detail works.”
#4 Website Development
While the three types of development are the general terms, there are more specific niches of web development as a whole. For instance, website development is about building websites, but it can be done by developers of any kind (front-end, back-end, full-stack). Website development does not involve the development of software, mobile apps, etc.
#5 Desktop Development
On the other hand, you’ve god desktop development which is all about building desktop programs or software. Desktop applications don’t need the Internet and run locally instead, so the knowledge and skills desktop developers possess are usually vastly different from those of website developers, for instance. However, desktop developer knowledge can still overlap with that of web developers if the program in question is both an online and an offline one.
#6 Mobile Development
Mobile development is exactly what it sounds like – it’s the development of mobile applications. Jackson Pitt, an expert from the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online, explains, “Mobile developers work on applications that are designed to run on smartphones and tablets, so they don’t use the same coding language as, say, websites or desktop programs.”
#7 Game Development
Another type is game development which involves the development of video games. To an extent, game development overlaps with mobile development as it involves mobile games. However, game development also includes console games. Because game development requires the developer to be able to create particular gaming experiences, it is much different than website development.
#8 Embedded Development
Embedded development is different from others as it involves the development of hardware except for computers. This hardware can include anything from IoT devices to virtual assistants to smart appliances among many other things. Nowadays, embedded development is particularly in-demand thanks to the widespread use of different electronic devices of such kind in all areas of life.
#9 Security Development
Last but not least, security development is about working on the security side of developing programs and websites. In other words, it is closely connected to cybersecurity. Security developers often test programs and websites trying to find weak spots that need to be fixed to make the program or website more secure.
All in all, understanding what web development is and how it works will definitely give you a competitive edge over other digital marketers and entrepreneurs. Use this article to help you get started as a beginner and continue learning more about web development.