What Does a Web Developer Do?
Now that you know what a web designer does, we’ll finish the puzzle for you! In this article, we’ll cover the basics of web development, and explain to you exactly what you’re paying for the next time you contract professional web development services.
Design vs development
Just to reiterate, web design and web development are two sides of the same coin. For the purposes of our articles, you can think of the former being more creatively-inclined, and the latter more technical in nature.
When you set out to get or redesign a website for your company, however, both services are absolutely necessary if you want any chance of competing online.
The standards for a website have risen dramatically in recent years, and a healthy mix of gorgeous design and intuitive technical development is the only way to truly establish a beneficial web presence.
Web developers create the inner workings of a website. When you sign up for an account, click on a button, or use a pricing wizard, it was a web developer that constructed that functionality.
Web developers typically have computer science-heavy backgrounds, and are experts in various web-friendly programming languages like PHP, Python, Ruby., .NET, and so on.
We’ll elaborate on some of the core responsibilities of a web developer below.
Client-side programming refers to web development work that users interact with. It can be just about anything you might think of. A few examples are:
- Storing user data in browser cookies
- Generating dynamic content based on a user’s location, age, operating system, and so on
- Interactive tools and resources like price calculators, setup wizards, and so on
One of the biggest tasks for many web developers is building out the back-end of a graphical user interface.
When most people think of user interfaces, they think of the pretty, visual representation they’re presented with. That front-end aspect is the work of a web designer.
A web developer, on the other hand, makes sure that the user interface actually does something when users interact with it. They use a variety of programming language to ensure that a specific result happens as a response to a specific user action.
Server-side programming is kind of like glue, creating a bridge between web server databases and a user’s web browser. It essentially tells the web server what to do when a user completes a certain action.
Think of all the various images, audio files, code, files, and other data that you see on the Internet every single time you use it. None of that is stored on your personal computer – it’s stored on remote web servers that could be physically located half a world away.
Server-side programming makes sure that the web server shows the user the correct images, files, and other data whenever it needs to. Server-side code is largely inaccessible to the average Internet surfer, and most people aren’t even aware that it exists.
Server-side programming typically utilizes programming languages like C, Java, PHP, Python, Ruby, and more.
Database programming is the super-technical backend of most websites. While server-side programming instructs a web server when to display certain data, database programming determines how that data is stored, sorted, called, deleted, and so on, as necessary.
Without properly implemented database architecture, none of the Internet would work properly.
Common database management systems include Oracle, MySQL, Apache, and many more.
Common developer background traits
Most web developers have a strong command of multiple programming languages, either through a Computer Science course of study, or through personal interest and experience.
Developers tend to be more left-brained, analytical, and logical in nature, and enjoy coming up with smart, efficient solutions to any problem.
Few people “dabble” in web development with any sort of extended success, and as a result, most web developers are deeply committed to their chosen profession.
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Are you looking for professional web development services?
Maybe you want a new app built, or a new pricing wizard implemented for a service you’re offering. Either way, WebFX is here to help.
Our expert web development team has years of experience working with the guts of the Internet, and can build out any idea you throw at them. We’ve helped clients across the country implement industry-leading functionality, and we’d love to do the same for you.
Contact us today for a free quote or more information!