Do you want to become a web developer?

Website Development: Key Skill Requirements

Website Design

Do you want to become a web developer?

Website development is the designing and planning of websites. Website development requires knowledge of design and an understanding of the code used to create a design idea as a functioning website.

Programming

There are a number of online resources for teaching yourself one or more of the various programming languages commonly used in website development. Each language can be learned at a basic level or can be studied in great depth according to the level of product that you are planning to produce.

Staring with the most basic, yet essential programming languages which you will need to become familiar with, HTML provides the skeletal framework of any web page and along with CSS, you will be able to design the style and look of your webpage in great detail.

Javascript is another commonly used programming language that adds interactive elements to your webpage offering a modern, dynamic experience for your website users. You may also want to consider researching other popular programming languages including PHP, Python, ASP.Net, Perl or Ruby depending on how you feel they can improve your development requirements.

If you want to get familiar with the most used programming languages used in website development there are free online resources available with helpful communities offering tuition, advice and exercises to help you refine your skills.

Codecademy
Udacity

Self Development

The most desirable employees for web development are those who are innovative, remain at the forefront of technologies and are constantly pushing themselves to learn more about their craft. A website developer or designer can find their way to creating a reasonable website with basic knowledge, but the skills required within the industry include :

  • website and application creation
  • bug fixing
  • high level of knowledge
  • creativity

Learn self improvement through tutorials and articles at Tutorial9.

Testing Your Site

Testing your website throughout the development process is an essential task in website design and development. The finished product that you present to a client must work in all browsers, devices and all elements on the page should work correctly. The following tests should be applied before a project completion:

  • Check your website in all major browsers
  • Ensure all links are correct and work
  • Check that your forms are working
  • Navigation menu algorithm
  • Page loading speeds

Test page loading speeds.

Design Knowledge

Website designers are usually focused on the graphic design aspects of a website and the developer ensures that the website is functioning correctly. A developer with basic design skills can produce a more effective website as they can identify with design taste and visual appeal.

The most basic requirements of design tools for a developer is the ability to re-size an image, create a transparent background and understand ways to work with responsive design. You can learn the basics of website/graphic design skills at Lynda http://www.lynda.com/. You may also be interested in reading informative blogs about design to gain a more comprehensive understanding:

About.com
Webdesigner Depot
Designmodo

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a marketing tool which is used to improve the strategic positioning of a website online. A developer may not need to be a marketer or SEO engineer, but some basic knowledge of SEO will improve the performance of the website in searches.

Developers are required to focus on the speed of a website loading time. The developer can apply a range of tactics to produce improved loading time including CSS and Javascript compression, image sizes and use of programming languages.

Other SEO practices that a website developer needs to be aware of include :

  • internal linking
  • subdomains
  • meta tags
  • 301 and 302 redirects
  • keyword implementation
  • page titles
  • webmaster tools

MOZ Guide

Hobo SEO Tutorial

Preventing Common Security Attacks

Website development includes an awareness of common security attacks which need to be addressed in order to protect your clients website from dubious behaviour. Here are some of the most common security attacks that a web developer need to be aware of:

SQL injection

Cross-site scripting

Error messages

Images and Resizing for the Web

A developer is required to understand a basic image manipulation knowledge. At the least, you should be able to customise the colours of an image, resize it and add an image to a transparent background. This link offers suggestions to image editing tools available.

Time Management

Planning your work processes can help you find the correct balance between work and recreation. Assigning yourself regular breaks and setting long term goals for what you want to achieve can help you deliver your developer requirements whilst enjoying enough free time to pursue outside activities.

Here are some useful tools to help you to plan your working days more efficiently:

Rescue Time

Toggl

Finding Shortcuts

Once you have established an efficient working practice, you will be able to save time in your work schedule by looking for the easiest way to achieve your goals. Creating the same code more than once is not efficient working, and nor is writing a length of code which is available as an open source snippet for you to copy and paste into your project.

Whatever your level of skills, there are a number of platforms available today to help you create websites for a range of specific purposes. Here are some web builder tools which offer easy to create sites for specific requirements:

Letís Eat: restaurant specific

Adobe Muse: for graphic designers

MotoCMS : travel agents and financial consultants

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