Front-end Web Development

Front-end web development, is the practice of producing HTML, CSS and JavaScript for a website or Web Application so that a user can see and interact with them directly. The challenge associated with front end development is that the tools and techniques used to create the front end of a website change con stantly and so the developer needs to constantly be aware of how the field is developing.

The objective of designing a site is to ensure that when the users open up the site they see the information in a format that is easy to read and relevant. This is further complicated by the fact that users now use a large variety of devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions thus forcing the designer to take into consideration these aspects when designing the site. They need to ensure that their site comes up correctly in different browsers (cross-browser), different operating systems (cross-platform) and different devices (cross-device), which requires careful planning on the side of the developer.[]

Tools used for front-end development

There are several tools available that can be used to develop the front end of a website, and understanding which tools are best fit for specific tasks marks the difference between developing a hacked site and a well designed, scalable site.[1]

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the backbone of any website development process, without which a web page doesn't exist. Hypertext means that text has links, termed hyperlinks, embedded in it. When a user clicks on a word or a phrase that has a hyperlink, it will bring another webpage. A markup language indicates text can be turned into images, tables, links, and other representations. It is the HTML code that provides an overall framework of how the site will look. HTML was developed by Tim Berners-Lee. The latest version of HTML is called HTML5 and was published on October 28, 2014 by the W3 recommendation. This version contains new and efficient ways of handling elements such as video and audio files.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) controls the presentation aspect of the site and allows your site to have its own unique look. It does this by maintaining style sheets which sit on top of other style rules and are triggered based on other inputs, such as device screen size and resolution.

JavaScript

JavaScript is an event-based imperative programming language (as opposed to HTML's declarative language model) that is used to transform a static HTML page into a dynamic interface. JavaScript code can use the Document Object Model (DOM), provided by the HTML standard, to manipulate a web page in response to events, like user input.

Using a technique called AJAX, JavaScript code can also actively retrieve content from the web (independent of the original HTML page retrieval), and also react to server-side events as well, adding a truly dynamic nature to the web page experience.

Goals for development

The developer of the front end keeps these points in mind, utilizing available tools and techniques to reach this end.[1]

Accessibility

With continuing development for mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets, designers need to ensure that their site comes up correctly in browsers on all devices. This can be done by creating a responsive web design using stylesheets in CSS.

Performance

Performance goals are chiefly concerned with render time, manipulating the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to ensure that the site opens up quickly.

References


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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