A Beginner’s Guide to the Complete Web Development Process

Web Development | 06-03-2021 | Rajamanickam Rajan

guide to the complete web development process

Congratulations on deciding to learn one of the most in-demand skills in the Information Technology industry. If you are confused about how and where to begin this learning process, you are in the right place. This guide will provide you a basic outline of the end-to-end web development process.

What Exactly Is Web Development?

The process of building the many components of a website via coding to make it accessible on the internet is called web development. From plain text pages to complex single page internet applications, and social media platforms, web development covers a wide range of services.

To understand web development, you must first familiarize yourself with the two major components of web development:

Front-end development: This involves designing and developing the website’s view, scripting the data into a graphical interface through which users can interact with the data.

As the name suggests, this is the face of the website. You need competence in basic front-end scripting languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript. An advanced developer employs JavaScript frameworks like Angular, Vue, React, etc to accomplish front-end development.

Back-end development: The back-end is often treated as the backbone of a website as server-side scripting contains the logic a website is built on, and decides a website’s functionality. Server and database management also are taken care of in the back-end.

To become a back-end developer, you require knowledge and expertise in multiple programming languages, database systems, and development frameworks.

- Programming languages like Java, C#, Python, PHP
- Servers like Database Servers, Web Servers, File Servers, Mail Servers, Game Servers, etc.
- Databases like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle MySQL, among others.

Developing both the server-side and client-side programs is referred to as Full Stack web development.

Another essential tool that has extensive application in the web development process is a code editor. You should have a good code editor installed on your computer. Some of the best code editors in today’s market are VS Code, Atom, Brackets, Vim, and Sublime Text.

Steps involved in the web development process

Step 1: Determine the purpose of the website you are planning to build

Based on the type of website (E-commerce, business, entertainment, portfolio, etc., the layout of the website varies. Therefore, you must decide this beforehand to avoid challenges later.

Step 2: Create prototypes and wireframes

To clearly define the positioning of the elements and their functionality on the website, we need a prototype. Creating wireframes/prototypes speeds up and simplifies the UX design process. This involves logic building, creating page layouts, and getting approvals.

You can use tools like Sketch, Balsamiq, Prototype to create a basic layout (also called a wireframe) which highlights where all elements (text boxes, forms, buttons, etc) should be positioned.

Step 3: Create content of the website

Content creation is an ongoing process that moves parallelly with the various stages of development. Editing headlines and improvising call-to-action messages are key in driving traffic to the website. This requires input from the UI and IX designers to optimally position content on the website.

Step 4: Creating the front-end

In this phase, we develop static HTML pages using CSS and JavaScript, and these pages are linked to the back-end based on a business's objectives. This is done to code the look and feel of your website. In the design phase, we define various elements of the web page with a focus on aesthetics, functionality, and user experience. This depends on an effective user interface developer.

Step 5: Creating the back-end

Using one of the previously discussed programming languages, Java, C#, python, etc., you need to develop the business logic. This forms the foundation of a website and determines its speed, performance, and functionality.

Step 6: Testing

Coding is bound to produce errors and to build a bug-free website, we need to create flows and test cases and test them through the stages of the development process. Testing is done to evaluate a website's functionality, database capabilities, performance, security, and usability.

Step 7: Deploying the website

Until this stage, all the web development activities took place in a development environment. Upon successfully completing all the above steps, it’s time to deploy the site to the production environment.

Step 8: Maintenance and support

While most of the heavy lifting is complete once a website has launched, web development still doesn't end here. A website requires maintenance which involves regularly checking the website for issues, correcting them, and making updates. You need to search for 404 errors from time to time, and fix or redirect the URLs.

Other Web Development Tools

Here are some progressive tools that can make the web development process a little simpler:

GitHub

Possibly the most valuable resource at a web developer's disposal is the largest developer community in the world a GitHub. You can upload codes here, or access the work of fellow developers to gain insight on the development process.

We have something called Git, which is used for version control – to track what changes have been made to the source code. If you are building an application on your local machine and want to maintain a version for each of your changes, Git shines with its ability to keep copies of code using a feature called branching.

There are many version control software in the market, but Git is the most famous and widely-used tool.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

A Content Management System is a web application that uses a database (usually MySQL as PHP goes well with MySQL) or other methods to create, edit, and store HTML web content in a manner that it is manageable and accessible. CMSs have been a powerful web development tool since the rise of the programming language PHP.

The plethora of themes they provide developers makes web development a relatively easy process when compared with building a website from scratch.

Web development process made easier

This brings us to the end of the article, and now you know the complete web development process. Sounded simple, didn't it? All it needs is your valuable time, dedicated efforts, and a willingness to learn.

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Author

Rajamanickam Rajan

Rajamanickam Rajan is the director of Skein Technologies, a website development company that provides expert website development services in Coimbatore. He is also an expert in developing and testing Hybrid and Native Applications.