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16 / 02 / 18

3 Steps to Success – Beginner’s Guide to Web Development

At Formation Media, we design and develop secure, high-quality, hand-coded websites. Furthermore, our in-house team have a lot of insight into the world of website coding.

In the 21st century, coding is all around us. Traces of coding can be found in:

  • Apps
  • Smartphones
  • ATMs
  • Computers
  • Streaming services
  • Websites and emails

And that is only scratching the tip of the iceberg. But how does coding really work? Our developers have provided some insights

  • Coding is a type of programming which closely or exactly represents how a processor handles interactions. Think of coding as translating actions to the computer and getting it to carry them out.
  • Programming is to write code in a high-level form (this means it is a human language, not binary, which is made of 0 and 1). A programming language is a compiler. This means it takes the binary code and re-packages it to a useable format that both the user and computer can process. Programming tells the computer what to do, and what you want it to do specifically. There are hundreds of programming languages that are designed for specific purposes to help accurately communicate with the computer.

Fact: Mathematician Ada Lovelace is widely regarded as the first computer programmer. Between 1842 and 1843 she wrote an algorithm design to be carried out by a machine. Her work would later become essential to Charles Babbage, the inventor of the computer.

Website structures

At Formation, our team follow three steps when starting web development, using a combination of programming languages:

Step 1: HTML.

HTML (hypertext markup language) forms the structure of our websites. Although HTML is a solid language for building strong and secure websites, it lacks diverse visual capabilities. HTML allows for the building of elements of a website, such as pages, menus, text, headings and more. When you need a basic build with excellent construction capabilities, HTML is the answer.

Step 2: CSS.

Also known as cascading style sheets, CSS adds visuals and descriptive elements to the basic HTML structure of a page. CSS allows the addition of specifics such as colour, size, font, themes and formatting. Developers can be highly specific when using CSS, and with the use of the style sheet formats, it allows for the quick changing of graphic designs without having to edit the HTML.

Step 3: JavaScript.

Now that your website is well structured and has visual elements added, JavaScript is the final step in making your website amazing. JavaScript adds website interactions and functionality, such as sliders, animations, pop-ups, to make it dynamic and able to process functions and commands.

We also use JQuery, a JavaScript library which contains many common code functions already pre-written. JQuery is valuable in web development as it saves production time, as with a few modifications you can produce strings of JavaScript code without the need to hand-type.

Fact: Studio Manager Tom’s first website was called TheSimsSpot - a Sims fan website, built when he was just 11. He’s come a long way since then!


Behind the scenes

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are known as client-side languages. Client-side languages cannot function without server-side languages, which for us is MySQL and PHP.

A client-side language is interpreted by a server-side one. The client-side language interacts with the server to fetch data and turn that data into a command to be executed. The server is the site where the information is processed on the behalf of the client-side interface (in this instance, a website). The server’s job is to process the data it receives, translate it to commands and action these back on the client side. All this happens in the blink of an eye.

Servers can be extremely powerful, but many processors (a unit within a computer or smart device that performs a number of key operations) have caught up now, particularly in smartphones and modern laptops, so client-side languages have been able to shorten the amount of time spent sending data back and forth to the server, which speeds up the whole process for the user.

There are many skills involved in web development, including building, coding and maintenance, which is why we have our own dedicated team. Formation also builds in many other features such as security, encryption and search engine optimisation to our website builds.

Want to work with an innovative web design agency? Get in touch today to discuss your website needs.

Written by Formation Formation