The face of web development has changed significantly over the past two decades especially as the move toward tablets and smartphones as the primary devices for communication and work continues to rise every year. While laptops and desktops still remain essential for most office environments, remote work, and other professional functions, web development has lost some of the luster it used to have, as mobile development has become a more popular choice for many new and experienced programmers.
However, behind the appeal of mobile development, the truth is that traditional web development remains the essential element that drives modern technology and the Internet. Companies still need websites to interact with customers, organizations need websites to communicate with potential donors or subscribers, and individuals need websites and web apps to promote their small business, club, group, or bold new idea. What this all means is that the demand for web development isn’t likely to flag anytime soon.
While modern web development is driven by a combination of long-time programming languages with illustrious histories, as well as some new kids on the block that have built off successful existing languages along with newer features and tools, choosing the right language to learn for becoming a website developer can be a daunting choice. That’s why we have identified three languages you should know to become a website developer, and the attractive features that help these languages stand out from the rest.
In comparison to other coding languages (such as Java), Python offers a less-limited programming approach. It includes multiple paradigms and can support a variety of programming styles, such as procedural, object-oriented, and functional methods. This makes Python a great language for startups especially, since the startup environment often requires approaches to be changed at any given moment with little warning. Python also allows for quick prototyping and iterations, which makes work easier and far more productive for developers. This can cut down on the time, resources, and financial investment needed for developing a website, which is another positive for startups or individuals without big bank accounts or dev teams.
People don’t always think about PHP for web development, because it is largely used for what is known as server-side or back-end development. Essentially, PHP is a general-purpose language which is continually developed and maintained by a huge existing community. As a “back-end” language, PHP code gets executed on the server and the client-side (or front-end) only sees the plain HTML code that is displayed to the users by the web browser itself.
PHP is widely used for:
- Adding or modifying database information.
- Creating dynamic content.
- Creating, writing, opening, deleting, reading, and closing files on a server.
- Sending or receiving cookies.
- Collecting data from forms.
- Performing data encryption
- PHP not only generates HTML output but also generates output as PDF, XML, Flash, and other file types.
The downside of PHP is that it does not offer nearly as much front-end development capabilities as some of the other options on this list. This means that for certain websites, the ability to customize the front-end experience or tweak the site to deliver a high-end user experience is limited.
Other languages to consider for website development
- Java - was designed to create content for the early Internet, and has since evolved into one of the most effective and comprehensive tools for the creation of enterprise websites, mobile applications, and other server-side and client-side software technologies. It is also massively popular and offers all of the benefits of a language with a huge global developer community behind it.
- C# - allows developers to build dynamic websites and web apps using the .NET platform or other open-source platforms. The learning curve for C# is a bit steeper than some of the other options on this list, though.