Friday, June 4, 2010
Learning web development, step by step
One of the questions I often get when I tell people I’m a web developer is “Hey, I want to make a website! How can I learn to make websites?” Being a programmer isn’t for everyone, but basic web development isn’t hard & can be a very worthwhile skill to have.
Web developers use a bunch of programming languages, layered on top of each other, to present the dynamic websites that are popular today. I am going to lay out the languages I feel are essential for making web sites. As web languages often build upon and interface with one another, the order here is important.
The core: HTML
This was the internet back when I made my first web site. HTML, or its modern equivalent XHTML, is the core language for the World Wide Web. Every item you see on the page is either contained or referenced in the HTML for the page.
The look: CSS
CSS is responsible for how things contained in the HTML are displayed in your browser. Font, size, color, placement & more should all be controlled using CSS.
These are the three basic languages needed to start making web sites. If you want to learn, I recommend using the great free guides on http://w3schools.com. They are quick, easy to understand, and cover not only these but other important web programming languages as well. In a future article I’ll go a bit deeper into the languages & tools I use to go beyond the basics and start using server side storage and scripting.