Introduction to Web Development

A typical web application consists of three basic concepts:


All that you see of a website is loaded from your browser client (ex: Google Chrome, Firefox, IE) this is called the “front-end” of an application. This includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. If you ever had a MySpace you may remember editing the code to change the appearance of your profile. This was actually done by editing the HTML and CSS of your profile.

HTML - (Hypertext Markup Language) This is the standard structure for telling the web browser what elements will be on the web page, i.e images, paragraphs, and another web element.

CSS - (Cascading Style Sheets) If we think of HTML as the bones of the webpage, we can think of CSS as it’s skin. CSS is a markup language like HTML that tells the browser what the elements on a web page should look like, for example, the background color of the page or the size of the font.

JavaScript - A computer programming language that every internet browser in the world uses. While HTML/CSS dictate the content and appearance of a website, JavaScript provides the logic.


A server is simply a computer that is connected to the internet and serves web pages to the client browser. The server also acts as a messenger between the client browser and the database.


You can imagine a database as a spreadsheet. Let’s say we have a website where we sell t-shirts, our database may contain a “spreadsheet” (known as a table) of all of our T-shirt designs, another “spreadsheet” on a list of orders, and so forth. The server uses SQL (Structured Query Language) to request information from the database, and show it on the “front-end” i.e on the computer browser.

Learning Resources: In my opinion, the best way to learn is by doing so I recommend creating a simple webpage. Perhaps, a static page featuring a biography of a pet, or of yourself.