WHAT IS WEB DEVELOPMENT?
Web development is the building and maintenance of websites; it’s the work that happens behind the scenes to make a website look great, work fast and perform well with a seamless user experience.
Web developers, or ‘devs’, do this by using a variety of coding languages. The languages they use depends on the types of tasks they are preforming and the platforms on which they are working.
Web development skills are in high demand worldwide and well paid too – making development a great career option. It is one of the easiest accessible higher paid fields as you do not need a traditional university degree to become qualified.
The field of web development is generally broken down into front-end (the user-facing side) and back-end (the server side). Let’s delve into the details.
Web development is the work involved in developing a Web site for the Internet or an intranet. Web development can range from developing a simple single static page of plain text to complex web applications, electronic businesses, and social network services
Front-End and Back-End Development
What you see and what you use, such as the visual aspect of the website, the drop down menus and the text, are all brought together by the front-end dev, who writes a series of programmes to bind and structure the elements, make them look good and add interactivity. These programmes are run through a browser.
The backend developer engineers what is going on behind the scenes. This is where the data is stored, and without this data, there would be no frontend. The backend of the web consists of the server that hosts the website, an application for running it and a database to contain the data.
The backend dev uses computer programmes to ensure that the server, the application and the database run smoothly together. This type of dev need to analyse what a company’s needs are and provide efficient programming solutions. To do all this amazing stuff they use a variety of server-side languages, like PHP, Ruby, Python and Java.
Website Development Process: How To Monitor & Optimize Your Web Project From Start To Finish
7 Stages Of The Website Development Process
From discovery to launch, these are the phases that your designers and developers will go through during web development process (or -should- go through) to build an engaging and high performance website
Stage #1: Project Definition
Most experienced agencies start with some sort of a survey or questionnaire that helps them understand the most important aspects of your business and website goals.
These typically include:
- Business details: This usually includes understanding your offering, unique value proposition, brand and other details relevant to website planning.
- Business goals: Setting clear, measurable goals will help your agency develop the most effective strategy to reach them, as well as help you measure web performance over time.
- Target audience: Defining your online target market will help your designers understand their preferences, study their online habits and develop wireframes and interfaces that are most likely to result in great user experience.
- Competition: This is one of the key elements for the research phase and it allows your agency to analyze the competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop a strategy that will result in a market-leading website.
During this website development phase, your agency should also address any of your questions, raise the ones you may not have considered in your in-house web planning, as well as explain their website planning process as it tends to vary from agency to agency.
Stage #2: Planning
At this stage, your agency will define your website’s layout and core functionality.
Based on the data they’ve previously collected, they will be able to create:
- A sitemap: A sitemap is a birdseye view of your site; It is a map that determines the list of pages, their placement and relationship on the website. It includes both the user-facing elements and those intended for web crawlers only (Google for example). A site map helps define and organize web content, allowing your strategist and designer to go deeper into planning the look, feel and functionality for each page.
- A wireframe: A wireframe, on the other hand, is the layout of each individual page of the site. It outlines and maps out the elements and content, from headlines to CTAs and subscription boxes, on each page. Most agencies wireframe both the desktop and mobile versions of the pages.
This stage of website development will help you plan your on-site buyers’ journey, finetune the features and other elements, as well as envision the result.Looking to create a custom website?
Stage #3: Design
The user interface (UI) design stage will introduce your branding and complete the look and feel of your website.
This is where your brand book comes into play to ensure your digital presence is consistent with all other marketing assets.
The designers will apply your chosen color palette, type of iconography, imagery and other elements that define your brand.
If you don’t have a brand book, the best agencies will analyze your existing assets to identify common elements, and they will document their creative decisions to help you consolidate your brand image.
As web design is in many ways subject to taste, it is important to select one or two design decision-makers at most.
Trying to acknowledge too many opinions and implement requests usually leads to a sub-par UI which can affect your brand credibility, increase bounce rates and hurt search engine rankings.
To illustrate: According to Hubspot, 90% of visitors bounce due to poor website design.
Feedback is important, but there is a point where it can do more damage than good.
Stage #4: Content Creation
This stage of the web development life cycle encompasses planning ,writing and editing various forms website content including:
- Landing pages
- Product/service description
- Case studies
- Blog posts
This stage requires working with skilled writers who will create assets that grab attention and help your pages rank on search engines.
Much like design itself, content is an important element of your user’s experience.
Quality web copy and resources will give them the information they need to make their purchasing decisions, while a strategic keyword optimization will place your web content on the path of searchers with high purchase intent.
Stage #5: Development
Once you approve your final design, the website development process gets technical.
This stage includes coding and your developer’s job is to make your site function properly. Your developer will create your homepage followed by the other landing pages, based on the website hierarchy.
The process also includes combining all the previously designed elements and building an actual site.
Stage #6: Testing
Testing is one of the most significant phases of the web development process.
At this point, your developers will check the functionality of all the elements on your website. The aim is to detect any issues such as broken links and compatibility with different devices to ensure everything works properly.
They will use validators to check the code making sure it follows the current standards, test the site’s speed as well as test for mobile responsiveness.
Once they finish the manual and automated testing, your website will be ready to go into a live server and launch.Looking to grow your brand online?
Stage #7: Maintenance
The last -and the never-ending- phase of the website development timeline is maintenance. Once your site goes live, you may still need your agency’s assistance and support.
As your business grows, you might need to increase the number of pages, add more functionalities and features.
And you will need to carry out certain tasks on a regular basis, including:
- Editing existing content
- Adding blog posts
- Fixing bugs and issues
- Dosing site backups
- Installing plugins
POPULAR WEB DEVELOPMENT TOOLS
Different Types of Web Tools
There are many types of tools available for web development that support and simplify a particular aspect of development.
Some of the most used tools by web developers are-
- External libraries like BootStrap –
They contain pre-written code snippets and templates that can be reused and recalled in your code.
- Code editors like Sublime Text–
Come inbuilt with features such as syntax highlighting, debugger, and code auto-completion that simplifies the code writing and editing process
- Version control systems such as GitHub
Provides a central platform to manage and write code collaboratively.
- Database systems such as MySQL
Assists you in creating, editing and maintaining a database. You can also create different queries to access databases.
- Server like Apache
Establishes a connection between the server and client browsers and processes user requests.
- Task Runner like Grunt
Automates and performs repetitive tasks in your code so you don’t have to micro-manage each task.
- Local Environment like Laragon
Create an environment on your PC to test and run your web apps and solutions without requiring an internet connection or investing in web hosting
- Package Managers such as NPM
Helps you in downloading and installing dependencies of your frameworks and libraries in the right way.
These are just some of the many tools available for web developers. Moreover, with the evolving world of technologies, new web frameworks and tools are being developed every day.
Even the existing tools are getting exciting new updates. It is essential for your company to stay up to date with new tech and cater to ever-advancing customers.
To help you find your ideal fit-out of the expansive pool of tools for the web, we have curated a list of some of the best tools for web development, both frontend and backend.
These tools are in use by thousands of developers, and we assure you, you won’t regret using any of them.
Top 10 Frontend Web Development Tools
Frontend development is a significant part of the web. With the massive growth in web technologies, it is no surprise that frontend web development has also grown multifold in the past years.
Frontend development focuses on the client-side development, meaning what the users view.
Do you need to use frontend tools?
Frontend web developers are responsible for designing an accessible, attractive UI-UX design for web pages and web applications. They decide the feel and looks of the website.
Tools and frameworks will be of enormous help as they can automate and simplify a lot of these tasks.
Frontend tools help accelerate the process of developing a web app by providing drag and drop elements and various built-in features to create a more attractive web design layout.
Here is a list of the top 10 tools for frontend development to help you in your next development project.
- Novi BuilderNovi Builder is an HTML drag and drop builder that offers free customizable UI templates and plugins. It provides access to the source code of the elements and allows developers to make several changes in the website design at any point in time.Novi Builder comes as a built-in feature for many widely used browsers like Google Chrome and Opera. But it can work as a browser add-on. However, it is a little hard to grasp for people who are new to the web developing business.We would recommend it to experienced developers who have in-depth knowledge, understanding, and experience in making websites and applications.
- SassSass is a preprocessing scripting language. It compiles into CSS codes and can help you extend the functionality of an existing CSS site. Web developers can add variables, multiple and multilevel inheritances, and nesting with extreme ease.Advanced features like control directives for libraries, autoformatted outputs, and external libraries make Sass perfect for working with CSS.What is more, it is also an excellent tool for front-end designing. It gives access to many helpful features for manipulating colours and font and other UI components.Sass also enables easy design sharing within and across projects, as a result providing a seamless project management experience.
- InVision CloudInVision Cloud is a digital product design platform for creating captivating user experiences. InVision cloud is easy to use and provides sleek and modern icons.It has unique tools such as Element Library, a photography board, navigation flows, a web prototype for desktop sites, and several other traditional design elements and practices.Their Prototype tool for desktop and mobile apps can create clickable elements.You can also opt for a professional plan if you require multiple prototypes for a project and additional features.
- Sublime TextSublime Text is an open-source, cross-platform editing software for code, prose, and markup. It supports multiple programming and markup languages, and you can customize almost anything according to your project needs.It has a well-designed, fast, and efficient user interface. Most web designers prefer using Sublime Text because of its exceptional collection of components and intelligent editing tool.It provides fantastic features like simultaneous editing, quick navigational skills for files, symbols, lines, and variables, and multiple keyboard shortcuts for smooth and flexible application designing.
- OneOne is a web development kit that offers a variety of easy-to-use themes. You can use this tool for unlimited domains and projects.It provides a wide range of add-ons, plugins, and stock photos. You can develop a professional web app using the offered audio and video assets.One provides the ‘Draftium tool,’ which helps in visualizing your website or application idea. It is the perfect tool for developing web applications for commercial purposes.
Top Backend Web Development Tools
People are dazzled by beautiful, easy-to-use web applications. But if the website was slow or did not fulfill its purpose, no matter how good the looks, you would attract no users.
You need the backend development to be immaculate if you want a well-functioning web app or website.
Do you need to use backend tools?
To make a website run smoothly, you need the right frameworks, the proper coding environment, the perfect hosting services, and a seamless data management system.
Backend tools help manage databases, build queries and help in seamless retrieval of data when user requests it.
Session management, HTTP requests and version control, is all supported by various backend tools
We feature a list of some of the best backend development tools a web app developer needs to have in their arsenal in the next section.
- GitHubGitHub is the most powerful tool for software professionals today. It can be considered a vast library of coding knowledge or a dedicated platform for open source collaboration.Perhaps best of all, GitHub is a community for developers to share and collaborate. But initially, it was only version control software.GitHub allows you to share and store code, contribute to open-source projects and keep track of revisions.You can use it to version control your own project, or you can use it to build your profile as a developer by contributing to others’ projects.
- WordPressWordPress is an online blogging platform developed with PHP. It is extremely popular and handles millions of free users and paid members.It is an excellent platform for hosting your websites. It also provides the option of hosting it on your server with PHP/MySQL.As one of the best web developer tools, the software can be used as CMS to set up a commercial website.Its features include the WYSIWYG text editor, co-authoring with multiple authors, permalinks optimized for search engines, static page, Trackback/Pingback, and member registration/login.Want a Custom WordPress Solution?Let’s talk. We can help you convert your business requirements into a custom WordPress website with personalized themes and plugins.Schedule A Free Consultation
- MongoDBMongoDB is a NoSQL database that can store and return vast volumes of unstructured data. It does this by sorting data into documents rather than tables.This allows you to create more complex structures, build hierarchies, define relationships, and store arrays.MongoDB can use data like demographics, site browsing history and user behaviour to tailor-make an experience for each individual user.What this means in practice is that you can customize user experiences according to each user’s likes and preferences, making it a must-have web development tool.
- ApacheApache is free, open-source web server software that establishes the connection between your client-side and server-side and delivers files between them.Apache also offers customization, with modules that administrators can turn on and off as needed.Apache isn’t suitable for high-traffic sites, and if you’re building a site that will have to control and manage heavy traffic load, we would recommend using NGINX for its speed and optimized performance.But Apache’s customization features and user-friendliness make it an excellent solution for most developers.
- NGINXNGINX is an open-source software used for web serving. It can also be used as a reverse proxy, load balancer, HTTP cache, and media player and streamer.It is extremely fast and efficient and has been steadily competing with Apache.In addition, NGINX can also function as a proxy server for email. You can opt for the NGINX Plus for support and additional enterprise features.
- MySQLMySQL is the world’s most popular open-source relational database.It’s easily accessible and is often known to be part of the LAMP web development stack, standing for the ‘M’ in the acronym of popular tools, along with Linux, Apache, and PHP/Perl/Python.MySQL is free, easy to set up and learn, and scales fast and is thus a top choice for most backend developers for a database management system. It is good for handling large databases and supports multiple users.
- LaragonLaragon provides a fast and easy way to spin up an isolated Windows development.The platform comes pre-installed with many popular applications like Node.js, PHP, Apache, Composer, and MySQL.It supports PHP, NodeJS, Python, Java, Ruby and many others. Extremely lightweight and efficient, Laragon is an excellent tool for developing and managing modern applications.
Drop your comment