HTML converts plain text into a structured webpage and CSS adds various styles to that webpage such as themes, colors, font, and background. Although regular CSS has a ton of features, it lacks some programming features such as variables, loops, and conditionals. CSS preprocessors allow the addition of these features. Common CSS preprocessors include SASS, Stylus, and LESS. Furthermore, the CSS frameworks add responsiveness to webpages, optimizing viewing on multiple screen sizes in addition to easy styling. There are many frameworks and figuring out the usefulness of each framework will only be possible with experience. Some popular frameworks include Bootstrap, Bulma, UIkit, and Foundation.
Backend technologies are the heart of web development, and this is where most beginner developers feel overwhelmed. Backend development is controlled by languages such as PHP, Python, Java, Ruby, and NodeJS among many others. Backend web development integrates servers, databases, and APIs.
Server-side programming languages respond to user requests and deliver appropriate content. It only runs on servers. To make things fast and easier, PHP also has frameworks. Some of the most used PHP frameworks are especially useful for web application development, they include Laravel, Drupal, CodeIgniter, CakePHP, and Symfony, among others. Frameworks build upon pure PHP and enable developers to start quickly by providing them with ready-made libraries and built-in functions. PHP frameworks save time, prevent repetition, and allow rapid development.
In addition to server-side scripting and programming languages, the knowledge of web server software is also essential. Webservers enable the connection between the web browser and the server. The most used web server applications are Apache and NGINX. Apache is open source and the most widely used, whereas NGINX is comparatively faster. Other web server applications include IIS, Oracle WebLogic, LightSpeed, Lighted, etc.
An important backend development technology is the incorporation of databases to store data and deliver content stored in databases. Scripting languages such as PHP enable communication between the server and databases. Common databases include MySQL, MariaDB, MongoDB, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and more. MariaDB is faster than MySQL.
APIs allow front-end and back-end application communication. Some APIs are synchronous because they make us wait for their response after we submit a request. While some APIs are asynchronous, meaning they can respond at any time but we can continue our work. A common type is a RESTful API. It allows the obtaining of data from a server. Another type is SOAP API, which defines the rules for communication between different web services and clients.
CMSs allow the user to generate, manage, and change content on a website without advanced technical knowledge. They eliminate the need to build websites from scratch, instead, they provide templates and frameworks to build a website rather quickly. Therefore, an experienced developer has a strong knowledge of the inner workings of CMSs and template creation. A good developer must be able to provide support for templates and update their templates regularly to ensure security and reliability.