The Basics Of A Website


If you are a new to the world of website development and programming, then you might have heard of HTML,CSS,Javascript and PHP. The presence of so many web focused languages  might be overwhelming  and you might probably be wondering how they all come together to create a website.The goal of this article is to help to demystify this mystery for you.

Like every seemingly complex scientific phenomenon, the best way to understand it is to break it down into little parts.So let us break down a website into two main parts; the Front and the Back end. Think of the Front end as what the user of a website sees or can see and the Back end as what the user can not see or have access to. Within the tech community, the Front end is also commonly known as Client side while the Back end is commonly known as the Server side.

Front-end (Client Side)

The best way to understand the Front end or client side is to think one thing; the browser. If you have ever viewed a website with a computer or phone then you have used a browser. The most common web browsers are Google Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer. When you type the name of a website (for example into the address bar of a web browser like chrome, the website that is delivered to you is a combination of HTML, CSS and Javascript.

In the most simplistic view, HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is the language that your browsers uses to display your website. Then CSS (cascading style sheet) is the language that the browser uses to decorate your website. It is what makes the texts, images, pictures and many other website components to look white, green or what ever colour and dimensions the programmer choses. You can think of HTML as the house while CSS is the paint.

Javascript is the last piece of the front end.Javascript is what is executed by the browser to give additional functionality to the website. Javascript is used by the browser to do things like form validation, slideshows, animations and many more. So basically Javascript is used to make a website carry out actions.

Back-end (Server side)

The Back-end or server side is basically everything that happens behind the scenes.In this case, behind the scenes means everything that executed by the web server and not the web browser.Think of a server as another machine or computer that is keeping your website for you. PHP is a language that runs on the server. Just like Javascript, It is used to do things like form validation, animations, cookies, and many more.However, the fundamental difference is that PHP is executed on the server and not the browser. PHP is used to build a lot of web applications, and e-commerce sites. Its popularity in the world websites is mainly due to  how well it mixes with HTML  and Database systems.


So in a nutshell, if a website is to be  built from scratch this will be the steps. Firstly, HTML will be used to build the website and then  CSS will be used to decorate it. Finally, Javascript and PHP will be used  to give it additional functionality.

Please note that this article is for beginners, newbies and possibly non-programmers. It is a very simplistic overview meant to provide a high level understanding.