Here is a complete tutorial for a beginner to learn web development.

It’s hard to find the right advice without suffering from information overload. Fortunately, you can lay out all the basic information you need to learn web development from this topic.

We’re going to go through each step so that by the end of this guide you’ll be able to understand the basics of web development and what skills you need.

Then depending on whether you want to focus on more Front-End or Back-End web development.

I, personally think it’s a good idea for front-end web developers to learn at least a little bit of back-end and vice versa

When you get a knowledge of the basics of both, it will help you know whether you like Front-End or Back-End web development better.

Let’s dig deeper into the road-map before getting into actual coding.

General Concepts:

You’ll need to understand some general concepts as you start your career path to learn web development.

How websites work the difference between Front-End and Back-End and using a Code Editor?

All websites at the most basic are just a bunch of files that are stored on a computer called a server.

You can then load that website through a browser like Chrome, Firefox or Safari on your computer or your phone.

Your browser in this situation is also called the client.

So when you’re on the Internet, you the client are loading data from the server and at the same time submitting data back to the server.

This back and forth between the client and the server is the basis of the internet.

Categories of web developers:

There are three different categories of Web developers.

  • Front End Developer
  • Back End Developer
  • Full-Stack Developer

The terms Front-End, Back-End, and Full-Stack web developers describe what part of the client-server relationship that you’re working with.

Front-End Developer:

The client-side of the web is called Front-End.

It’s called the Front-End because it’s what you can see in the browser of your computer.

The Front-End web development is just like the front-of-house, part of a restaurant. It’s a section where customers come to see and experience the restaurant, the interior decor seating and of course eating the food.

Back-End Developer:

Conversely, the Back-End is the part of the website that you can’t see but it handles a lot of the logic and functionality that is necessary for.

And the Back-End web development is like the back part of the restaurant where deliveries and inventory are managed and the process to create.

There’s a lot of things at the Back-End that the customers won’t see. They will experience and hopefully enjoy the end product, a delicious meal, fun.

Aside from Front-End and Back-End, Illustrations serve different but it performs very important functions in web development.

Code Editor:

When you build a website the most essential tool that you’ll use is your code editor or IDE integrated development environment.

This tool allows you to write the markup and code which build the website.

You may find many options out there but currently, the most popular code editor is VS code.

It is a more lightweight version of Visual Studio Microsoft’s main IDE.

It’s fast free easy to use and you can customize it with themes and extensions.

Some other powerful code editors are:

  • Sublime text
  • Atom
  • Vim

If you’re just going to start, I’d recommend checking out VS code which can download from their website.

In-Depth Discussion:

After discovering some of the broader concepts of web development, let’s get into more of the details.

The front end of a website is made up of three types of files namely:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

These files are what is loaded in the browser on a client-side.

HTML:

HTML or hypertext markup language is the basic foundation language of all websites.

It’s the main file type that is loaded in your browser when you look at a web site.

The HTML file contains all of the content on the web page. It uses different tags to denote different types of content.

For example, tags can be used to create headline titles, paragraphs, bulleted lists images, etc.

HTML tags by themselves do have some Styles attached. But they’re pretty basic kind of like what you would see in a Word document, CSS, or cascading style.

Sheets lets you style HTML content to give it a nice and fancy look.

You can add and change colors, custom fonts, and layout the elements of your website.

CSS:

However, you want them to look, you can even create animations and shapes with CSS.

There’s a lot of depth to CSS and sometimes people tend to gloss over it.

However, it’s really important to be able to convert a design into a front-end website layout using CSS.

JavaScript:

JavaScript is a marvelous programming language that is designed to run in any browser using JavaScript.

By using JavaScript, you can easily make your website respond to different inputs from the user or any other sources.

For example, you can build a back to the top button using JavaScript. When a user clicks this button, he’ll scroll back up to the top of the page.

Package Manager:

As we mentioned, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the basic building blocks of front-end web development.

In addition to them, there are a few other tools that you’ll want to learn at this point. Among these, Package managers are online collections of software, which are mostly open source.

Each piece of software is called a package and it is available for anybody to install and use in his projects.

You can use these like plugins, in which you don’t need to write everything from scratch. You can use helpful utilities that are already written by other people.

For instance, instead of coding, you can simply use a slider plug-in freely. If you want to code it yourself, it could take days to figure out. Why reinvent the wheel? If you don’t have to.

NPM:

The most popular package manager is called NPM or node package manager.

Node Package Manager

According to my point of view, it’s probably best to start with NPM. In addition to the package manager, you’ll want to become familiar with build tools.

Module bundlers and build tools are another essential part of Front-End development. These tools run tasks and process files.

For better browser support, you can run a local web server and many other helpful tasks saving you a ton of hassle & time.

If you were to try to do all these essential steps by yourself, three tools that you’ll continue to come across a lot are:

  • Gulp
  • Web Pack
  • Parcel

I like using Gulp for my Front-End workflows where I just want to compile my .sass and JavaScript files and not do too much else.

Version Control:

Another interesting tool you’ll need to learn about at this stage is Version Control. Version Control which is also known as source control is a system.

While working on your project, it keeps track of every code change that you make in your project files. You can even revert to a previous chain if you make a mistake.

It’s almost like having infinite save points for your projects and let me tell you it can be a huge lifesaver.

Among all, the most popular version control system is Git which is an open-source system. Using Git you can store all your files and then change history in collections called repositories.

You must also be familiar with GitHub which is an online hosting company and is owned by Microsoft. In GitHub, you can store all your Git repositories.

Important Intermediate Skills:

For your interest, there are some other intermediate skills that you should learn. I recommend you to take look at the .sass responsive design and a JavaScript framework.

.sass:

.sass is an extension of CSS that makes writing styles more intuitive and modular. It’s a really powerful tool.

With .sass you can change the styles of your web into multiple files for better organization, create variables to store colors and fonts, and use mix-ins and placeholders.

To reuse styles easily, although you use just some of the basic features, like nesting, you can easily write your Styles quickly and with peace of mind.

Responsive design ensures that your web will look good on all devices desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

To target styles for specific devices and widths, you must follow the core practices of responsive design which include using flexible sizing for elements as well as utilizing media queries.

For example instead of setting your content to be a static 400 pixels wide, you can use a media query and set the content to be 50% width on desktop and 100% on mobile.

Building a website with responsive CSS is a must nowadays, as mobile traffic is becoming the main source of traffic than desktop traffic.

JavaScript Framework:

Once you have the fundamentals of vanilla JavaScript, you may want to learn one of the JavaScript frameworks to become a full-stack JavaScript developer.

These frameworks have pre-built structures and components. These frameworks allow you to build apps quickly than if you started from scratch.

Currently, there are three main choices namely:

  • React
  • Angular
  • Vue

React:

React which is technically a library was created by Facebook and is the most popular framework right now.

React Framework

Angular:

Google created Angular which was the first big framework. Although it is surpassed by React, yet it’s still very popular.

Angular Framework

Vue:

Vue is a newer framework as compared to React and Angular. It was created by Evan you who was a former Angular developer at Google.

Vue Framework

You might be wondering which framework is the best. The truth is they are all good and in web development, there’s rarely a single choice.

That is 100% the best choice for every person in every situation. It’s your choice which framework you want to use.

If your goal is to get a job at a company, then you should consult which framework is most common in potential job listings. You need not worry too much about the selection of the framework.

It’s of much importance for you to learn and understand the concepts behind these. Once you have learned one framework, it’s much easier to learn about others.

Back-End Web Development:

Now we move forward to the last section to learn web development which is Back-End web development. The Back-End or server-side of web development mainly consists of three components.

  • The server
  • A server-side programming language
  • The database

As mentioned earlier, the server is the computer where all website files, the database, and other components related to your web are stored.

Traditional servers are hosted on operating systems such as:

They’re considered to be centralized because everything about the website files, back-end code, and data are stored all together on these servers.

Nowadays, there are server-less architectures which is a more decentralized type of setup. This type of application splits up those components and leverages third-party vendors to handle each of them.

Despite the name, you still need some kind of web-server to host the files of your website.

Some examples of service providers are AWS, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Cloud Platform.

Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud Platform setups are popular because they are fast and cheap.

You need not worry about server maintenance in this case. They’re great for simple static websites that don’t require a traditional server-side language.

However, for certain very complex applications, the traditional server setup will be a better option according to experts.

On the server, you have to use a programming language that writes the functions and logic for your application. The server then compiles your code and conveys the result back to the client.

Popular Programming Languages:

Some of the popular programming languages to learn web development are:

  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • c-sharp
  • Java

There is also a form of server-side JavaScript node.js which is a runtime environment that can run JavaScript code on the server.

Databases:

Finally, you’ll need to learn about databases in order to learn web development.

Databases are where we store information on a server for our website. Most databases use a language called SQL which is an abbreviation of Structured Query Language.

In an SQL database, data is stored in tables like complex Excel documents. You can create, read, update, and delete data through queries. The database is run on the server.

Some databases store the data in .JSON files that are not traditional tables.

One type of no SQL database is MongoDB. It is frequently used with React, Angular, and Vue applications.

One example is contact form. It is used to store data of users on your website.

You can build the contact form on your website. Every time someone submits his data through the form, it is saved to your database. You can store user logins on the database and you can also write the logic in the server-side language to check and authenticate the logins.

That’s how I would recommend you start your journey to learn web development.

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