Fundamentals of Web Design

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a web developer? Smart choice! Every day, it seems like the business landscape changes more and more. Jobs and skills that were once in extremely high demand are becoming increasingly expendable.

 

Meanwhile, the web development industry continues to grow and expand at a rapid rate. The Department of Labor Statistics forecasts that web development will grow by 27% through the year 2024. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in web design, read on and get a better idea of what types of things you’ll need to know to succeed.

Coding Languages

To understand what you’ll need to know to begin a career in web development, let’s start from the bottom up. Think of a website as a house. To build a house, you must start with the foundation and framework. Once the house is built, you’ll need to install things like flooring, doors and windows, and molding.

 

Finally, before your house is complete, you’ll need to include the things that power your home’s amenities, like plumbing, electric and heat. We’re going to discuss some of the different types of coding languages that are responsible for the structure, functionality and look of a website.

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language or HTML as it’s more commonly known is the foundation of any website. HTML provides the basic framework of a website, and it does so with a series of tags. These tags provide the information a computer needs to display a website, like where to display images, or how to break up sections of text.

CSS

Cascading Style Sheets, more commonly referred to as CSS. CSS provides the look, feel, and style of a website. Let’s look back at our home analogy to understand CSS better. CSS are the windows, doors, flooring and decorative style of your home. These elements are responsible for how your website displays. Obviously, you’ll want your site to display in a way that’s interesting and inviting to the user. That’s where CSS comes in.

Javascript

Finally, Javascript provides your website with the power to process higher level website functions, such as displaying different graphics, powering interactive elements and more. You can think of Javascript as the thing that turns the lights on, powers the plumbing and heats the home you’ve just built. These elements provide the interactivity to your website and provide your users with an enjoyable experience.

Advanced Coding Languages

When it comes to the fundamentals of web development, we’re going to focus primarily on the languages above. However, it’s important to know that there are more advanced coding languages you’ll need to know in the future, like SQL and PHP.

 

These two languages work together on more advanced sites. While they’re entirely separate entities, they go together like peanut butter and jelly.

 

SQL is a coding language that allows you to store information in a database, while PHP is the language necessary for retrieving that information for the user when necessary. Before diving into these languages, you’ll need to have a firm understanding of HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Responsive Design

Arguably the most important skill for a web developer to possess in 2017 is a strong knack for developing responsive websites. Responsive design refers to a website’s ability to display properly across different devices. In the past, websites were designed strictly to function with computers.

 

Responsive design wasn’t necessary back in the days of the flip phone when we were only able to text 160 characters at a time, let alone visit our favorite websites. Thanks to the development of smartphones, users began using their phones as a tool to access the internet.

 

Unfortunately, websites which were designed to function exclusively on desktop or laptop computers did not provide a very enjoyable experience. Today, it’s all but required that your website features mobile responsive design.

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of enhancing your website’s content in a way that increases sites ranking in search engine results. The process of SEO is a job in itself, with an entire industry dedicated to increasing a website’s ranking.

 

But, web developers have a part to play as well, and designing websites with SEO in mind is a great way to make your clients happy (and attract new ones) as a developer.

 

As a web developer, you’ll want to make sure that aspects of your HTML coding like the title tags, meta tags, and heading tags are all correct and in the proper order. This will make it easy for bloggers, content creators and other parties who will be adding to the website once it’s completed to ensure that the website is properly optimized for search.