Web development and design has come a long way from just coding simple HTML pages and linking them to create a website. Now, websites are designed to load faster, look nicer, fit mobile devices, and do more. The code has evolved as web developers needed more complicated functions.
Many websites are now built using content management systems, or CMS. Commonly used CMS systems include WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. These systems provide web developers with a basic set of code and files to quickly create an empty website that can then be customized. Once a CMS is installed, developers can quickly add themes to change the appearance of the site and plugins and applications to add additional functionalities. Out of all of the CMS systems, WordPress is one of the most popular as it is easy to implement, fills most websites' needs and has a large user community that contributes code and help for other users.
Adobe Dreamweaver is a key coding tool for many Web developers. While the program has been in use for years, it has grown and changed over the years to allow developers a high-tech way to code and view the results live as they work.
Beyond the basic HTML and CSS files, more sites are now coded in PHP and other dynamic coding languages that can create and serve up HTML pages as a user loads the page. This allows for more customization for visitors and a greater range of tools to be used on a site. For example, using PHP, a site can detect which country a visitor is located in and serve up a different version of the Web page that they are accessing in the visitor's native language.
Web development for mobile devices is even more important now that everyone has smartphones and tablets. Creating a site with a responsive design improves the user experience, and can make a big difference in whether users stay on a site or visit it again.
SEO, or search engine optimization, techniques are also an important part of Web development, especially now with Google adjusting its search algorithms to promote better content for users. Fast loading sites, with proper meta tag and keyword optimization and clean code are the key in modern development.
Modern Web developers also keep in mind how important social networks can be in influencing a site's popularity. Adding a way for social media users to "Like" or "Follow" the site can help expose the website to potential readers, so this is a piece of web development that shouldn't be skipped.