What is web development, and how do I become a web developer?

by Georgia Monk on 3rd November 2023

So, what is web development?


This a question that could be answered in many different ways, but overall, all web development usually refers to any work related to websites, whether that’s web markup such as coding, server and network security configuration, or even content management system (CMS) development. Multiple parts are connected to web development and three main types of developers, which you’ve probably heard about. 


Front-end developers specialise in anything “front end”, meaning anything the user sees on their devices and desktop. There is no hard boundary, and often, the types of developers cross over work, especially when working in a team. Front-end developers usually specialise in building websites and lean on “back end” developers for additional support, possibly on more complex builds, custom API integrations or scripts.


Back-end developers are a little more behind the scenes, working away on creating custom code scripts and delving into security and hosting. You would look to contact a back-end developer if you needed something custom-created or a particular integration. Nowadays, especially on WordPress, there’s a plugin for pretty much everything, but you can often find limitations on what you can and can’t do. A back-end developer will be able to create a custom solution and streamline the process by only creating the code you need to achieve your goal.


Lastly, we have a full-stack developer, which is a combination of the two above. Your full-stack developer should be able to solve all your website development issues and offer full support on hosting, content management systems and more. With such a bundle of knowledge, full-stack developers are expensive and can increase your website cost.


How do I become a web developer?


There is no right or wrong way to become a developer! Some people choose to study at college and then go on to university, some prefer to go for an apprenticeship, and some are self-taught. There are multiple impressive courses available online which will allow you to study and qualify with different qualifications. With web development, because everything is online, employees are not necessarily looking for a specific certification but more experience, case studies and examples of work. 


Most developers will start in a junior position, gaining experience within the workplace whilst developing their skills as an actual developers. This might be within an agency or in-house. So what’s the difference? In-house, you may have been employed to build the company website, maintain and update it full-time, and manage your company’s emails and hosting. When working in an agency, you’ll likely be working across multiple projects for multiple clients simultaneously. It’s fast-paced and challenging, but gaining experience across sectors and types of development is great. 


I’m hooked. Now, where do I start?


So you’ve been thinking about delving into web development as you find problem-solving fun, you’re always searching the web on your phone and computer, or you want to seek a new career change. A great free selection of courses for a nice introduction to web development is available at https://www.codecademy.com/catalog/subject/web-development or simply google, and you’ll find an endless list of opportunities. 


You’ll need to start with the basics before jumping leaps and bounds ahead! Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and Javascript (JS) are the three fundamental principles of web development. 


Html is the foundation and the structure. Tags you may have seen include <header> <div> <h1> <h2> <p> etc. If you’ve delved into digital marketing, you would have likely seen some script tags which need to be placed in the header tag. CSS is the styling, so changing those foundation blocks to have colours, shapes and depth to the page; lastly, javascript is code which makes elements do an action. So, for example, opening a mobile menu or adding a filter to a blog page.


We hope this blog post has provided you with valuable insights and guidance to kickstart your journey in the world of web development. Remember, the field is dynamic and always evolving, so staying curious and continuously learning will be the key to your success. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear from you and offer any assistance we can. Good luck with your web development adventure!

Georgia Monk

Written by Georgia Monk

Georgia is our Lead Website Developer with a fantastic knowledge of the WordPress content management system. After completing her apprenticeship and working as a frontend developer at a local agency she joined our team. A typical day for Georgia involves building and maintaining websites for all of our clients. Georgia has a bright and bubbly personality that is reflected through her work. Despite being a web developer extraordinaire, at the weekend she’s a dance superstar running her own school. Some say she brings a whole new lease of life to the kick-ball-change, all we know is that she’s a huge chocolate lover and adores her new pet kittens!

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