A Beginners Guide to Website Development Programming

Website development programming is the art and science of creating useful websites. It can be a daunting task, and it’s hard to know where to begin.

Struggling to start? Here is a basic tutorial that discusses the various programming concepts.

Design vs Functionality

“Design” refers to how a website looks. Examples of this would be a logo, the color scheme, fonts, and images.

“Functionality” refers to what a website does. Accepting credit cards or having a login portal are examples of functionality. The difference is crucial to understand when developing a site.

The skill sets required to handle design and functionality are separate things. Design and functionality are often – but not always – done by separate specialist people. A designer might work in Danbury, Connecticut, and collaborate with a programmer in Ukraine!

Design, while it is a serious technical field, often relies on a person’s opinions and taste when it’s created. Functionality is usually created by a programmer and contains a more objective element. Does the credit card processing work, or not – yes or no?

On the WordPress platform, this distinction is usually understood to represent “themes” versus “plugins”. Although there is some overlap, the theme generally controls how the site looks, and plugins control the functionality.

Website Development Programming

The following are some of the standard programming languages for web development.


HTML, CSS and other markup languages are not true programming languages. They are really more of a suggestion to a browser about how an element should look or behave. That’s why web pages may have slight differences when views with different browsers.

HTML is the standard markup language for the web. However, HTML is very complicated and using it is like programming.


JavaScript [which is a TOTALLY different thing from Java] is a true programming language that runs in the memory of the browser. It allows functionality control without compromising the computer the browser is running on.

A JavaScript program generally cannot access the hard drive of the system without a user prompt. This is by design! You don’t want a random web page you’ve visited to have access to your files.


Javascript is written in external files that the browser can access. These “libraries” allow a group of functions to be distributed across the internet. jQuery, is the most popular JS library. It allows the programmer to do simple routine tasks in an easier manner.


PHP has now become the most popular programming language in the world for website development programming. It’s a strange case because PHP wasn’t even really designed as a serious programming language! It was a hobby project for a single programmer and it just took off.

Originally, PHP was an acronym for “personal home page”, but it has since been changed to stand for “hypertext preprocessor”.

Java, Python, Ruby, and Peal

All of these are true application programming languages that run in the back end. They can take full control of the computer and are used for running software that may be memory or resource intensive.

You Might Need Help

This quick introduction hopefully points you in the right direction when it comes to website development programming. It is an incredibly complex field to navigate, and it helps to have some real professionals on your side.

Check out our blog for more information on setting up your website!

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