Client-side Web Development

Web development can be broken down into three parts: client-side scripting, involving the programs that run in the user’s web browser; server-side scripting, which involves everything running on the web server; and database tech, which controls all the server database’s information that supports a website. These three parts, when put together, create your web browsing experience.

Each of these three sections requires knowledge of specific languages. These languages are the code that scripts are written in. While there are “full-stack” developers, many tend to specialize. If you’re looking to learn to code or simply interesting in learning the basics so you can articulate better to those you want to code for you, keep reading.

Client-side scripting

Scripting on the client side includes any code that’s purpose to run within a web browser. These scripts run by enabling your web browser to temporarily download all the mandatory files from the site’s web server. This is what gives you the web page and being downloaded for the moment allows you to view the files with a lost internet connection, so long as you don’t leave the browser. JavaScript is the most commonly used client-side script, but we’ll start off with web design basics.

Web design as a concept includes all things needed to draft and complete the visual part of a website. As far as scripting is concerned, the two languages are HTML and CSS. These two languages give the developer control of the structure and color of the website. If you’re looking for a solid team of web designers, look no further than http://www.thinkbound.com/toronto-web-design/.

HTML or hypertext markup language is the standardized language that gives structure. It also formats the content and page elements that you see when browsing. You can imagine HTML as a frame to the house that is your website, with the content and elements being the walls.

CSS or cascading style sheets is decorations and furnishing in this website-house analogy. This language enables programmers to permanently set patterns, placements, and colors for text, links, and elements. It saves the developer time by permanently setting the look and format for multiple pages. It has the added bonus of being its own separate file as to not interrupt with the HTML.

The two languages create the visual part of your web browsing experience. As technology develops, dynamic web pages have become normal. This takes more expertise on part of the developer as these pages are scripted to work on different browsers and mobile devices. The above however is only one of many layers and once the look is complete it’s time to move under the hood.

JavaScript and its frameworks

At the time of writing, the two most relevant programming languages in client-side scripting are JavaScript and ActionScript. JavaScript is used for various animations, games, apps and other dynamic or interactive online media. ActionScript is the language used for Adobe Flash audio and video. With Adobe Flash begin its phase-out process, we’ll only discuss JavaScript.

JavaScript is used in tandem with HTML and CSS to create interactive and personalized web browsing and app experiences. It’s been around for a while and thankfully for many, has various frameworks available that simply its use.

A JavaScript framework is a library of pre-written JavaScript which exhibits full-stack capabilities and allows for easier development when programming. Frameworks like AngularJS and jQuery enable a developer to do more in less time. This is major for professionals, especially when they’re working on big projects.

Final notes

The above may seem like a ton of information. If so, now you understand why developers specialize. The other two pieces of the puzzle weren’t mentioned. But, now have the gist of what goes into creating a web browsing experience on the client-side. If you plan to become a developer here are a few easy tips.

The basics of the languages can all be found online for free, as are practicing and testing your coding results. You’re a Google search away from everything you need to know about programming languages. Remember to have fun.