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Web development is the technical process of building a website for the internet or a private intranet. It involves nonvisual design tasks such as coding and programming. Front-end web development builds the code that determines what a user sees in a browser window. Back-end web development creates the server code that manages a website's functions.
There are three types of web developers.
Depending on the complexity of a project, there may be a team of developers involved.
E-commerce website development is the process of building an online store that enables companies to sell goods and services and accept payment over the internet. An e-commerce website requires:
A web developer can recommend a suitable e-commerce platform and bring these elements together in a functional site.
Web designers and web developers have different skills. Web developers create the functionality of a website, such as content management systems, databases, e-commerce stores, and security features. They also ensure a website works on multiple devices including smartphones, desktops, and tablets. Web designers can create the overall look and visual concept of a website, including graphical elements, but a web developer is usually needed to implement the design. Most website projects require a team approach.
Web developers use a variety of tools and programming languages depending on the requirements of a project. Back-end developers may be proficient in:
Front-end developers are often familiar with languages such as:
While web developers and software engineers both work with programming languages, their job responsibilities differ. A web developer builds websites and web apps that help businesses, government, nonprofit organizations, and entrepreneurs deliver information or services to their customers and clients. Software engineers create computer programs and software applications that operate on various devices such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
There are several options for developing a website. Do-it-yourself publishing tools such as Wix and Squarespace are relatively easy to use but limited in functionality. A content management system such as WordPress offers plug-in features but requires coding knowledge and time investment.
An experienced professional web developer can build a website requiring an e-commerce platform, log-in, database features, and other complex integrations. They can also assist with technical questions related to hosting, search engine optimization, and ongoing maintenance and support. There's a financial cost to hiring a professional, but there's a benefit to their expertise, and it saves time that can be used on other marketing efforts.