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Web Design: Mastering The Back End Development Languages

Back end development languages are what bridge the gap between the concept of user experience in web design to actual user experience on the website.

Back End Development Languages

Legit Web Design means learning how to write computer code. I’m not talking about DIY online builders… I’m talking about back end development languages.

Gaining this skill is similar to learning a foreign language, except that you will be learning how to speak to a computer instead of a person from another country. Additionally, instead of the one language that you probably studied in high school, you need to learn a minimum of three: HTML, CSS, and JS.

You will have to devote time to practicing these skills, but without them, you cannot be a successful web designer.

Let’s take a look into these back end development languages:

HTML

You have probably heard the term “HTML” many times or seen it on your computer, but you may not know what it means. It stands for Hypertext Markup Language and refers to the code that web designers use to create new websites.

Before using HTML, the content for the webpage, such as text, images and charts, must be decided. Each element of HTML directs a computer to manipulate this content in a certain way.

For example; some direct the software to emphasize a specific word. The elements must be enclosed by angle brackets, which should go both before and after the words that are being affected by the command. The only difference between closing and opening an element is that when the closing element is written, it has a slash after the first angle bracket.

For example; the element <strong> indicates that a word will be emphasized, and the element </strong> indicates that no further words will be emphasized. Similarly, <p> denotes the beginning of a paragraph, while </p> signals that the paragraph is over. Incorrect placement of elements or failure to close elements will make the text appear differently than was planned.

In addition to elements that control specific words or phrases, HTML is also used for the entire content of a webpage.

For example; the elements <html> and </html> must enclose all of the text typed into a HTML document. Other commands specify what the title of the webpage will be and control keywords and other information that will not display on the page.

CSS

HTML is not a programming language, but Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is. This language takes the content created with HTML and makes the commands that involve its presentation more specific. Almost every webpage uses CSS to control its appearance.

While HTML has directions for specific parts of the webpage’s content, CSS allows designers to create rules that apply to larger chunks of the information. These rules are introduced and closed with the following type of brackets: {}. Researchers are constantly developing new ways of writing CSS, but the changes usually do not affect the compatibility of old websites. If you decide to use CSS, you may need to continue to learn new ways of coding, but you will not have to go back and correct webpages structured with an older form of CSS.

CSS is critical to making an attractive webpage. However, it can be difficult to master. To make the process easier, you can use a framework such as Bulma CSS. Frameworks simplify the programming process by giving designers starting points such as templates and tutorials. They still have the adaptability of writing CSS from scratch but take care of lots of the details so that you can focus on the most important aesthetic decisions for your webpage. Before choosing a framework, make sure that it is compatible with the way your webpage will be accessed, whether on a phone or computer browser. Like the coding languages themselves, frameworks undergo changes that affect the way designers use them. Make sure you stay updated on any new versions so that you are using the best possible tools and not missing any shortcuts experts have developed.

JS

While HTML allows you to input content onto your webpage and CSS helps you fine-tune its appearance, you must also learn JavaScript, or JS. Although most people use JS for creating webpages, some desktop applications also employ this language. You should also note that JS is not the same thing as Java, another language used for coding.

Web designers refer to JS as a dynamic code because it allows the webpage to change and adapt from the state that the HTML and CSS codes created. If you want to create animations or other graphics and allow your webpage to post updates involving its content, you will need to use JS. Since JS takes the content and layout developed by the other languages and adds special features, web browsers generate its features last when someone visits your website.

Once you are ready to write using JS, keep the following tips in mind. The order in which you input JS matters, so make sure that each piece of code is in the right place in relation to the other JS commands as well as the HTML and CSS text. In your early days of coding, isolate those features that you really want to create using JS, and focus on them. Avoid adding unnecessary coding if you are not sure that you will like the result or you are short on time. Either through tutorials, online articles or the help of a knowledgeable friend, learn the many shortcuts that exist in this language. If you are talking quickly, you use contractions. The same idea exists in coding if you look for it. Finally, try to keep your files manageable by not having so much code in them that they are hard to work with.

Perhaps you initially thought that web design would be an easy and fun hobby or way to make money. Now, you may be overwhelmed at how much work you have to do before you can be successful. Do not let this thought prevent you from starting. As with any skill, you must start at the beginning and slowly build up your body of knowledge. Thankfully, you can access help from fellow web designers or interactive tutorials online. The people who wrote the webpages you’ll learn these skills from were beginners once, too.

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