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3 Languages You Should Know To Become A Website Developer

3 Languages You Should Know To Become A Website Developer

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.

JavaScript 

No list of recommendations for web development languages should start anywhere aside from JavaScript. There is no doubt that JavaScript is the reigning king of web development, and probably the most popular language among all web developers around the globe. It’s also the only language that allows you to create web applications (either front-end or back-end) as well as mobile applications (using frameworks like React Native). Since most companies are interested in websites that can easily scale between traditional computers, tablets, and mobile devices, the versatility and scalability of JavaScript makes it an ideal choice for the modern age of web development.

The strength of JavaScript is not just that it can operate on any browser and server (by using NodeJS), but especially the impressive array of frameworks and libraries that optimize JavaScript for web development and app development. Angular, React, Node -- the list of versatile frameworks that offer easy workarounds for common bugs and problems, tools and plugins that can automate coding, and enhancements to the base language that make life easier for developers is ever-growing, thanks to the massive global JavaScript developer community. The global community also offers all of the benefits of any well-supported language -- numerous resources for receiving help or finding open sourced solutions for coding problems, FAQs and networking opportunities to collaborate with other JavaScript developers, and a native community that is consistently crowdsourcing new solutions and tools to continuously improve the language.

Python 

While JavaScript may be the king of web development, Python is nearly as popular around the globe; not only because of its useful applications for web development, but also for its versatility as an option for data science, machine learning, AI, and a number of other exciting (and programming intensive) fields. Python is often cited as one of the best languages for newer programmers to learn, due to its combination of relatively simplistic syntax (often considered the closest to plain English), simpler learning curve, and structural principles that make it logical and easy to master.

Similar to JavaScript, Python also enjoys huge community support and offers a multitude of useful frameworks, libraries, and tools that can help new and experienced developers create a web application rapidly. For example, developers can use Django to create full-stack web applications, without having to messily integrate a variety of different tools or write lines and lines of excessive and repetitive code. Or, for developers who want more control, there’s Flask, a minimalist web development framework that allows for greater customization and tinkering “under the hood”.

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.

PHP 

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 can load data from a server and put it into the HTML DOM, but it doesn’t have as much control over HTML as other languages like JavaScript. However, PHP can be used to connect to different databases, apply scripts to HTML, start sessions, and perform many other tasks. 

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.
  • HTML/CSS - along with JavaScript, knowing HTML and CSS and how to manipulate them gives you the trifecta of web development languages to know.