Web development: what is it and which type should you choose?

Learn Web Development

If you want to build a site, an app or some software, you should hire a web development team. From this article, you’ll get to know about the types of web development and the stages of the development process.

The term “web development” denotes the process of building websites. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a simple landing page or a complex social network. From this article, you’ll learn about the types of web development and the stages of creating a site. You’ll get to know which programming languages web developers use and which questions they need to ask themselves in their workflow.

Types of Web Development

In total, there are 9 main types of web development that differ by their goals and skills required.

  • Front end. This term refers to the client- or user-facing side of websites. Front-end developers focus on the visual aspects of the site, such as the layout, navigation and graphics. Many professionals switch to the front end after gaining experience in UI/UX design services.
  • Back end. This sphere includes work on the servers of websites, programs, APIs, databases and software behind the scenes.
  • Full stack. It’s a combination of the front end and back end. Full-stack developers are versatile and can create a site, app or piece of software from start to finish.
  • Website development. Professionals in this sphere build only sites but not apps or software.
  • Mobile development. It means building apps for mobile devices.
  • Desktop development. This area partly overlaps with website and mobile development but is distinct from them. Desktop software runs locally on a specific device and can’t be accessed from other computers, smartphones or tablets.
  • Game development. As its name suggests, this sphere is focused on games.
  • Embedded. Developers from this field work with all hardware that isn’t a computer — that is, real-time systems, IoT and consumer devices, electronic interfaces and so on.
  • Security. Security developers are also known as ethical hackers. They try to “break” websites to expose vulnerabilities without intending harm. Also, they build systems that detect and eliminate security risks.

Some developer teams specialize only in one of the above-listed options. Others might combine several of them. To increase your odds of receiving an excellent product, you might want to entrust web development service to a team that has extensive experience in the particular sphere of your interest.

Website Development Stages

The process of building a website consists of seven stages.

Make a Plan

At this stage, you should ask yourself the following questions.

  • What’s the goal of your site?
  • Who is its target audience and what will they do on this site?
  • What’s the type of site? (landing page, social network, Internet shop and so forth)
  • What content will the site feature?
  • What will be the navigation of the site?
  • What’s your budget?

Based on the answers, you’ll be able to design a comprehensive roadmap and a schedule for your work.

Create a Wireframe

A wireframe is a sitemap. Unlike the general plan, it is more focused on details.

  • How many pages will the site contain and which content will they feature?
  • How should you organize those pages into categories?
  • What will be the hierarchy of pages?
  • How will they be linked together?
  • Which pages can be merged and which ones you can completely get rid of?

Your wireframe doesn’t need to be an official document. It would be enough to create a draft that all your team members can access.

Write the Code

Today, web developers most often use a combination of three programming languages to build sites.

  • HTML. It’s the foundation of all websites and it’s compatible with all browsers.
  • CSS. This one is responsible for typography, colors and layouts. It enables you to reach your aesthetic goals.
  • JavaScript. Professionals use it to add functionality to websites, such as interactive features, animation or task automation.

If needed, web developers can also use Java, C++, Python, SQL and any other languages that they find helpful.

Build the Back End

The back end of a site consists of two key components: databases and servers. The former store, organize and process data and make it retrievable by server requests. The latter send, process and receive data requests. Servers act as intermediaries between databases and browsers.

Backend developers will establish a logic code for your website. This is a set of rules that determine the response of the site to certain requests and the interaction of different objects within the site. Also, the developers will orchestrate your database management — that is, the processes of organizing, managing and retrieving the data.

This phase also includes choosing a hosting for your site. Independent hosting might be costly — but it gives you greater control over your site. Plus, you’ll need to take care of your own server health and security.

Build the Front End

More and more no-code solutions are becoming available for the front end. With the back end, it’s not the case yet. Nevertheless, with the help of traditional coding, it might be easier to implement your goals and demands.

Fill the Site with Content

To facilitate working with content, you might want to install a ready-to-use CMS (content management system). It might include plugins that will save you from the necessity to write many lines of code. On the flipside, a CMS might lack flexibility and give you little control over your front-end.

Register a Domain Name

So far, your site has only an IP address. Now, you should select a unique and memorable domain name for it and link it to the host. Most likely, you’ll need to renew your domain registration once per year.

Once you finalize all the above-listed stages, you can launch your site.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this information came in handy and now you have a better understanding of web development. Whenever you need to build a site, a mobile app or a piece of software, you should hire a team of developers that specializes in this type of product. Ideally, this team should not only build a product for you but also provide support for it. The competition in this sphere is rather fierce, so you should be able to quickly find a team that ideally meets your demands.

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