Learning about web development can sometimes lead to information overload; there’s so much information to take in that the learning process is often compared to drinking from a firehose. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of web development—a water fountain of information instead of a firehose. Here’s a quick guide to help you better understand what web development is, the various types of web development, the process it follows, plus web development career prospects.
Definition of Web Development
Web development is all the coding work that goes into the creation and maintenance of a website. Web developers use a variety of coding languages to make websites that are functional, user-friendly, and visually appealing while also meeting additional project specifications. The websites that web developers create can vary in complexity from a simple, plain-text webpage to a complicated ecommerce or social networking site plus practically anything in between.
Three Types of Web Development
Web development is broken down into three basic types: front end, back end, and full stack. Let’s take a look at each one of these.
Front End Web Development
Back End Web Development
Full Stack Web Development
Full stack web development is the combination of both front end and back end web development; that means it deals with both the user-facing elements of a website plus all the technological components behind the scenes that users don’t have access to. A Full Stack Developer needs to have wide-ranging skills and knowledge of a variety of programming languages, including those listed above for front end and back end development.
The Web Development Process
There are seven essential steps in the process of creating a website from start to finish. Keep in mind that not all of these tasks are carried out by the Web Developer; other members of the team responsible for producing the website will also contribute to its creation.
Discovery and Research
The first step in the process is gathering information to determine what needs to be included in the website. For example, if a Web Developer works at a marketing company creating websites for clients, a member of the team will need to talk to the client and ask them a series of questions to help guide the creation of the website. Questions will likely cover topics such as the company’s target audience, business goals, competition, branding, unique value proposition, content needs, plus their overall purpose for the website. Then based on the answers provided by the client, a member of staff can conduct additional research to help them formulate an outline of the website.
Once the initial information has been gathered, it’s time to plan a layout for the website. This plan will include a sitemap that lists pages and how they should be organized plus a wireframe that outlines the layout for each individual page.
After the site architecture and wireframing have been developed, the design team will work on creating visual components including logos, headers, footers, buttons, navigation, pictures, and videos. All of these elements are created with the client’s branding, target audience, and business goals in mind.
The next step in the website production process is to create all the content for the website, most of it written. This is another job that doesn’t fall to the Web Developer—it’s typically completed by the staff Copywriter. Written content for the site may include some or all of the following: landing pages, descriptions of products and/or services, testimonials, case studies, and blog posts. Additional content such as videos, infographics, and images may also be generated during this step.
Once all the written and visual components have been created and approved by the client, it’s time for the Web Developer to take over. The Web Developer is responsible for taking all the elements that have been created so far, both written and visual, and incorporating them into a secure, functional, and aesthetically pleasing website that follows the previously approved site map and wireframe.
Testing and Implementation
When the Web Developer has finished coding the back and front end of the website, it needs to be tested to make sure the website functions as it should. No person or code is perfect, so there are bound to be issues that must be resolved prior to launch. Quality assurance checks often test for functionality, compatibility, usability, performance, etc. Once all manual and automated tests have been completed and the detected issues fixed, the website can be deployed to the server.
Though it’s often overlooked, website maintenance is a necessary part of web development. Once a website has been launched, it needs to be maintained and updated regularly. Maintenance tasks may include doing site backups, installing plugins, fixing bugs and issues, adding new blog posts, updating existing content, enhancing site search engine optimization (SEO), and changing elements to improve user experience (UX).
Web Development Career Outlook
Web development is a promising career with great potential. Every company needs a website to reach their customers but few business owners have the ability to create one, which means those with web development skills are in high demand. In fact, career opportunities in web development are expected to grow in the U.S. by at least 13% each year between now and 2030—that’s significantly higher than the average job growth rate of 8% for all occupations.
That high growth rate equals roughly 25,500 open jobs every year. Many of those open positions will be in roles such as Web Developer, Front End Developer, Back End Developer, Full Stack Developer, and Software Engineer, which are lucrative career paths with employees often earning more than $100,000 per year.
How to Learn Web Development
Web development has become an attractive career option in part because you don’t need a university degree to qualify; you just need to be able to prove your ability to code. The best way to acquire coding skills is to take web development classes either online or in-person.
Noble Desktop offers in-person web development classes at their site in New York City plus live online web development courses that you can take from the convenience of your own home. If you’re eager to start a new profession in web development, the fastest way to become career-ready is by taking an intensive, skills-based bootcamp. You can easily locate various web development bootcamp options in your area using Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me tool.