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Webucator's Free HTML Training Tutorial

Lesson: A Quick Overview of Web Development

Welcome to our free HTML Training tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to HTML Training course.

Web development involves a combination of client-side programming and server-side programming. We introduce the most common languages in this lesson. You don't need to memorize any of this. At this point, the most important takeaway is that there are many languages used in web development.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about client-side web development languages.
  • Learn about server-side web development languages.

Client-side Programming

Client-side programming involves writing code that is interpreted by a browser, such as Google Chrome or Safari, whether it be on your desktop or mobile device. The most common languages and technologies used in client-side programming are HTML, JavaScript, and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).


HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the language behind most web pages. The language is made up of elements that describe the structure of the content on a web page.

Cascading Style Sheets

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are used in HTML pages to format and lay out the content. CSS rules defining color, size, positioning, and other display aspects of elements are mixed within the HTML code or in linked external style sheets.


JavaScript is used to make HTML pages more dynamic and interactive. It can be used to validate forms, pop up new windows, create audio and video controls, and create dynamic effects such as drop-down menus and modal dialogs.


The term Ajax was originally a pseudo-acronym for "Asynchronous JavaScript And XML" but is now used much more broadly to cover all methods of communicating with a server using JavaScript.

The main purpose of Ajax is to provide a simple and standard means for a web page to communicate with the server without a complete page refresh.

JavaScript Frameworks

JavaScript frameworks are frameworks written in JavaScript that create a different approach to web application design. Popular frameworks include Angular, React, Vue.js, and jQuery. You should learn JavaScript before beginning to work with a JavaScript framework.

Server-side Programming

Server-side programming involves writing code that connects web pages with databases, XML pages, email servers, file systems, and other systems and software accessible from the web server. The most common server-side languages and programming frameworks are Java Enterprise Edition, ASP.NET, Python, PHP, ColdFusion, and Node.js.


PHP is open source. It is the language behind WordPress and has long been a popular alternative to proprietary languages such as ColdFusion and ASP.NET. PHP is lightweight and relatively simple to learn.

Java EE

Java Enterprise Edition is used in large web projects. With its power and robustness comes a steep learning curve.


Microsoft's ASP.NET is not a language, but a framework for writing websites and software. ASP.NET pages can be written in many languages, but the most popular are C# (pronounced C-sharp) and Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET).


ColdFusion, created by Allaire (now owned by Adobe), is arguably the simplest of all server-side languages. It is tag-based, which makes it look a lot like HTML and easier for client-side programmers to understand than some of the other choices.


Node.js is a JavaScript framework that runs on the server, allowing developers to use JavaScript for server-side scripting as well as client-side scripting.


Python has been a popular open source programming language for a long time. There are many web frameworks based on Python, the most popular of which is Django.