In today’s digital marketplace, pursuing a stable and secure functional web development process can make that critical difference between success and failure. Web development is key in making sure that your website is secure, can perform precisely the way you want it to perform, and also has the exact functionalities you want it to have.

In this article, we are going to talk all about web development, what it is, the different kinds of web developers there are, how web developers can develop their skill sets, and what tools they can use to ensure the websites they build are secure and functional.

Web Development 

Web development is constructing a website and ensuring its infrastructure is stable, secure, and functional. A lack of solid web development makes websites prone to malfunction, losing traffic, decreased sales, and possibly some security concerns.

In that context, web development is different from web design, which refers to the process of designing a website. This typically involves deciding the layout structure, the different colours, and the branding used across the website. Once the design has been signed off, the web development process, the actual website building, starts. 

Web development happens to be more vital than it sounds, given that the user experience on websites increasingly determines consumer purchase decisions. Web development is then there to ensure that the purchasing process is smooth for e-commerce websites and that everything is functioning efficiently behind the scenes.

web developers

Web Development Methods

There happen to be many methods for constructing websites. They can be built manually with in-depth handwritten code or with free and user-friendly web development platforms.

Prebuilt web development platforms, such as WordPress, are also known as WYSIWYG editors. What you see is what you get. All there is to do is just drag website elements into place. Although it sounds easy, using prebuilt website templates still requires knowledge and understanding.

On the other hand, building a website from scratch is much more complicated and requires more expertise and, well, patience. It is basically up to the web developer to choose the method that best works for them.

Web developers

Your Ultimate Guide to Web Developers 1

So who exactly is a web developer, and what do they do? Plain and simple, a web developer is the architect of your website. They construct and manage the website and ensure that it has a strong core infrastructure as well.

Web developers are highly skilled in building websites using a variety of platforms and programs. Their main goal is to ensure that websites function correctly and securely and that navigation is smooth. They fix any hosting issues, create URLs and new pages, optimise SEO practices and make sure the website pages follow them, and increase performance and capacity.

Websites should be as functional as they have to be aesthetically pleasing. It might be a complex process to build a strong and engaging website, but a poorly developed website will irritate visitors and may even affect your brand’s reputation and potential sales. A skilful web developer will create and design a high-performing website that best suits your business industry needs.

So it is always imperative for developers to continue to improve their own web skills through constant practice and stay informed about the new trends in the industry. Our team of web developers at ProfileTree keeps up to date with web development technologies and constantly improves their development skills. Besides, we offer courses and training sessions where developers can learn how to manage their websites based on the platform it is built on.

Now that we know what web developers do, it is time to learn about the three different types of web developers.

Front-end Developers

Front-end developers are masters at coding languages like HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. Many of them are also trained in graphic design programs like Photoshop or Adobe Premiere Pro. They consider the website layout and formatting, things like structure and design, manoeuvres throughout the site, site functionality, site navigation, and internal and external links as well. They are concerned about the visual and interactive aspects of a website, although it is more than just making a website look appealing. 

Additionally, front-end web developers create familiar layouts of our favourite publications and sites and make users feel familiar with your webpage so that they can pre-empt the navigation paths and explore your business a little bit better.

Back-end Developers

Back-end web developers, on the other hand, focus more on the infrastructure and technical aspects related to building a website. Their role includes investigating different designs for businesses and figuring out which works best for the client’s needs and target audience and what best suits the client’s budget.

Back-end developers might also manage website hosting security, monitor site traffic and web speed, process data, debug the website and maintain mechanisms that perform web actions.

Back-end developers then stay on top of the web development trends and implement tactics to remain competitive in the online market.

This is something significant to think about when you are looking for a web developer to build your site. You need to make sure they are keeping up with the latest best practices and trends.

Full-stack Developers

Then we have full-stack developers. Full-stack developers work on everything from the very backend all the way to the frontend, so they enjoy a wider range of web development skills and are quite able to manage the construction of a website from beginning to end.

Often, full-stack developers will have in-depth expertise in the role of software and web development. They are also proficient in areas like hosting environments, web servers, network capabilities, both relational and correlational databases, application programming interfaces, the correlation between user interface and user experience, as well as quality assurance and website and program security. However, mastering all these diverse skills takes time and experience. For businesses with complex development needs, it may be better to hire a dedicated developer to focus on each specific area rather than relying on one full-stack developer.

That said, full-stack development can also be offered in the form of an agency service where a client can pay for it, but the actual front-end and back-end processes might be handled by different staff members or even different internal teams.

Improving Web Development Skills 

Your Ultimate Guide to Web Developers 2

As mentioned before, it is highly critical for developers to keep up to date with their web development skills. In the wake of COVID-19, businesses started recognising the importance of digital transformation. With more and more demand for websites, web development is becoming a very crucial industry with daily updates to practices and software.

It is critical that developers hone their web development skills if they want to continue being the best that there is. Taking the time to practise their coding and developing as programmers can help them build more complex sites. There are also plenty of web applications that can help develop their technique and abilities. Their code will be more readable and have better performance metrics and maintainability when they focus on improving their skills.

1. Contributing to Open Source Projects

In that matter, there are loads of web development skills pretty essential for developers in order to improve their web development capabilities, as well as loads of ways to hone them. One example might be to contribute to open-source projects, which allow them to immerse themselves in coding and find a greater understanding of the language they are using.

Software like GitHub offers excellent opportunities to contribute to such projects. Developers can either get involved with an existing open-source project or try to create an iteration of it by themselves. It is a great way to meet like-minded people as they can contribute to existing projects and help them reach their final stage by fixing minor bugs to improve their stability.

Taking this hands-on approach to coding allows developers to have a greater understanding of coding itself and exposes them not only to traditional coding but also to unique coding that is done by other people, which can help them with their own knowledge base as well. Collaborating with other coders also enables developers to enhance their skills, as this can help point out what they are doing well and what requires improvement to unlock their full coding potential.

2. Finding New Skills

Another outstanding way developers can use to improve their development skills is to search for new skills in general. One of the most exciting parts of web development is that it constantly evolves, and there are new programming languages to learn constantly. For example, many developers are currently focused on building expertise in ReactJS, a popular JavaScript library for building user interfaces. Businesses looking to expand their development teams should consider options to hire ReactJS developers to bring these cutting-edge skills on board. Staying on top of emerging languages and frameworks keeps developers’ skills sharp and allows companies to build modern, engaging applications.

Developers could learn to build plugins for WordPress, or they may end up building their own mobile apps. The possibilities are endless.

There are a variety of online web development tutorials to help developers enhance their knowledge and pick up and share new trends in the industry as they happen.

Learning through tutorials exposes developers to the skill they are targeting and gives them the opportunity to test it themselves and, therefore, grow their knowledge. That said, tutorials might not provide the level of mastery developers need to be entirely sufficient in that particular skill. They still need to go beyond the content of these tutorials and keep learning and developing their skills as much as possible.

A perfect website for learning to code is Codecademy has an extensive catalogue of different coding languages divided by topic. Developers can just click on the preferred language, and it takes them to a huge variety of courses and skills. 

The website also has a different division called career path, where developers just choose the position or title they want to have, say a front-end engineer, and the website provides them with all the skills necessary to get that.

A lot of these courses are free, but the website does have pricing plans with some really cool features that are worth checking. Codecademy is organised really nicely and makes a great starting point for anyone wanting to go into web development or data science.

3. Coding, Coding, and Coding

As developers learn, they need to make sure that they write as much code as possible. Arguably, the most critical part of all web development skills is that writing code is crucial; yet, it is just a skill like all others. The more developers practise writing code, the better they will become at it.

However, as coding requires plenty of thought and concentration, developers have to practise daily to familiarise themselves with the different coding languages. 

Writing code consistently helps developers recognise issues more swiftly, reduce the chances of mistakes, and become more efficient when dealing with client sites, which means a developed skill, more money, and more business too.

4. Choosing a Code Editor

Another great way developers can use to hone their web development skills is by finding and using their favourite code editor. Experimenting with code editors and exploring their features help developers code more efficiently and effectively and become more productive and better at coding.

There are loads of code editors out there, so developers need to invest some time in trying and testing multiple ones until they settle on a code editor that works best for them. Then they need to learn as much as possible to utilise it while coding.

One of the most famous online code editors is CodePen which developers can use to test out different bits of their code that they do not want to add to their website or application just yet.

5. Sandboxing 

Another thing developers want to do is to ensure that they sandbox their experiments. If they are coding every day and experimenting with different lines of code, how will they remember everything they have learned? Everyone makes mistakes, and whether they are front-end or back-end, developers need to keep track of them, and this is precisely what sandboxing does.

Code sandboxing is pretty straightforward. All developers have to do is set up a server environment on their computers. This could be LaMP for Linux users, MAMP for Mac users, or Wamp for Windows users. Keeping experimental code confined to the server environment means developers do not have to worry about their entire code base being impacted. It also makes identifying mistakes easier to prevent them from happening in the future.

More importantly, sandboxing permits developers to explore the freedom of coding, fail without any consequences, and therefore enhance their web development skills.

6. Documenting

Lastly, developers need to make sure they properly document their code. This may seem obvious, but many people forget to do the simple task of commenting on their code. 

Documentation is sincerely necessary. While everyone wants code that is written for human readability first, sometimes that is just not possible. Sometimes code cannot be simplified or made more readable for users. So it is at times like this that commenting is really crucial for understanding.

Comments explain to other developers what the original developer is trying to do with their code, why they are doing it, and how they have implemented it. It can also be critical for helping themselves understand their previous actions and why they have chosen a particular line, for instance. Commenting gives developers time for an assessment of their work and is a useful tool for guiding them through the code, especially if they have to pause it while they are working on other pressing projects.

Web development is one of the most challenging and rewarding fields developers can engage with, thanks to the different trends and languages impacting how they build sites, as well as other types of applications and technologies. That is why improving web development skills is highly important. Developers have to become familiar with these trends and languages and study as often as possible to master programming fundamentals and become better developers.

Web Development Tools

Your Ultimate Guide to Web Developers 3

Getting to know the tools of the trade helps developers stay on top of the skills they might need to land a better job or work more efficiently with their current team and clients. As mentioned before, there are lots of tools front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers use. Some tools just happen to be more important than others. So, let’s go over some of those.

1. Code Editors

As we said, code editors are critical. Developers spend most of their day in their code editors since it is where they actually write the code for their sites. All code editors provide the plain text format developers need so that their code can be interpreted as a website.

One of the best code editors out there is Atom. Atom streamlines the code by letting developers customise it with thousands of add-on functions, features, and themes so it eventually comes out exactly how they want it.

Atom also enables adding new and different add-ons. All there is to do is to go into the Packages tab, then Package Manager, and there developers can just look at various community packages and core packages, add them to their code editors, and have them behave precisely the way they want.

Interestingly, Atom was built by the same company that created Git and GitHub, so it is easy to access these tools directly via Atom as well.

Sublime Text is another much-loved code editor known for its Go To feature. It allows developers to move quickly through their code, multi-select to save keystrokes, and highlight to spot similar sections of the code easily.

Visual Studio Code is a relatively new yet very powerful and collaborative editor. It features IntelliSense for code smart auto-completion, a built-in debugger for fewer mistakes, and live code for multiple developers working together in the same editor.

2. Version Control Systems

When freelancing or especially when being part of a team, developers need a reliable version control system to help them keep track of all the changes they have made to their code over time because, at some point, they will definitely need to check or even revert to an earlier version of their code base.

Git is a top choice for collaborative and team-friendly version control systems. It is by far the most well-supported and frequently chosen system nowadays. It allows everyone on the team to work on the same files of the same project simultaneously without worrying about overriding someone else’s work. It gives developers more freedom to work wherever and whenever they want since everyone has a local copy of the code.

3. Front-end Assets

The following tools are especially important for front-end developers. They help them make sure their code, once they make a solid start at setting it up, looks streamlined. By selecting some stunning front-end assets, such as fonts, icons, photos, and graphics, developers can transform any site from boring to beautiful.


Font typography has two primary purposes in graphic design. The first is to promote eligibility, while the second focuses on communicating the message, tone, and sentiment of a design piece. Another function of typography revolves around aesthetics. We are visually drawn to attractive designs as they are clean and easy on the eyes. So, choosing from a wide range of fonts and not being restricted by the few ones available is really important.

That is why Google Fonts is one of the best front-end assets, which allows developers to use fonts on their websites. It has a big selection of free fonts, but some others are premium. 


The second thing front-end developers must think about is iconography. Icons are important as they help break up and arrange the text on websites so that it becomes easy for the users to read it. Icons are also eye-catching, and they give websites a more modern and fun feel.

There are loads and loads of different icons developers can use. Websites like FontAwesome are basically a library of icons with more than a thousand free icons and over 7,000 others on the paid plan. They are very easy to download and add to websites.


Another key part of front-end assets is images. These include images added to blog posts and images used to fill in some white space or separate out some text, all of which are incredibly important. That is why developers have to ensure that they have access to stock images besides their own images. They must also use a mix of both on their website appropriately.

Unsplash is an image website boasting more than 800,000 high-resolution stock photos that are free to use at no charge and no copyright households either. To access them, one should just go into Unsplash and search for the types of images they want to add and then download them in any quality and size. This can be small, medium, or large, or just the original size too.

However, one thing developers have to pay attention to when using images from Unsplash is that they, the images, are of really high quality and can take up a lot of space on the server. This may result in some performance issues. So, it is crucial when developers are uploading the images they downloaded from Unsplash to their website that they compress them correctly.

Image compression is no big deal at all. Developers can either use a website like TinyPNG to compress the images before uploading them onto their website or upload them to their website first and then use a plugin like Smoosh to compress them. Whether they do it before or after makes no big difference, it is just vital they use compressed images.

That being said, if there is an ultimate way to do things, it would be compressing the images before uploading them to the website to avoid them taking up much space from the beginning.

Overall, these are the front-end assets websites, Google Fonts, FontAwesome and Unsplash. For the most part, they are free and really good for front-end developers to use when they are first building out a website.

4. Inspect Element

As developers build their websites, they often want to make modifications and test how they look live in the browser before committing them. This is available with developer tools, or DevTools for short.

DevTools, also referred to as Inspect Element, are a function built into modern web browsers. Such browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari all have this web Inspector Element which lets developers basically peek at the code behind their website or just any website. So, it is a really good way to learn a thing or two from other developers as well.

Using Chrome DevTools is highly recommended for Chrome as it is one of the industry leaders and has a really well-organised and easy-to-use Inspect Element.

However, that does mean the Inspect Element on other browsers is not worth it. It is important that developers check out this feature on different browsers and test for themselves what best works for them.

The Chrome Inspect Element, for instance, is relatively easy to open. By right-clicking on any webpage and then clicking Inspect, developers can essentially see the site layout and code as well. Any issues they might run into, in terms of security issues, bugging issues, or JavaScript issues, will all be listed out and flagged in the Console and in the Issues part as well.

This is how everything is organised, allowing developers to test out different things before adding them to their code.

Another thing developers can do with Inspect Element is test the responsiveness of a website. The little Responsive icon on the top bar of the Inspect window enables changing the viewport so that the website is being viewed on different platforms. Either doing custom dimensions or using dimensions from existing popular devices like the iPhone, Samsung, or iPad will basically resize the viewport accordingly.

Responsive Design is simply when the site displays differently based on what device it is viewed on. Typically, the appearance of the site is automatically adjusted to suit the screen on the user’s device. This involves a combination of resizing elements, collapsing menus, rearranging components of the website, displaying different media, and in some cases, even hiding some sections.

This might seem complicated, but most modern web development tools offer Responsive Design as a native functionality as mobile devices account for more web traffic now than ever. More and more people now are going online using their phones, tablets, and even their TVs.

For businesses, this presents an opportunity as well as challenges. For instance, it is more vital now than ever to ensure that websites work properly on all devices, and that is where Responsive Design comes in.

In other words, the Inspector Element tool is really good for testing website design. It honestly can be a bit of a pain as it sometimes gets a bit glitchy or may display a little bit incorrectly. But it is useful anyway to keep seeing any major flagged issues as developers are building out their website.

5. BrowserStack

To get around this, though, there are other popular platforms dedicated to testing websites in different browser platforms. BrowserStack is a web and mobile testing website that lets developers test their websites and mobile applications across on-demand browsers, operating systems, and real-life mobile devices, as each of them will render websites slightly differently.

By granting developers instant access to a cloud platform, they can comprehensively test their websites and mobile applications on over 2,500 browsers and actual devices, which replaces any need for teams to own and manage an in-house test infrastructure.

The Live for Teams function on BrowserStack also allows users to test from anywhere and anytime in the cloud. Besides, it allows teams to connect the tools they already have to capture bugs, file issues, and notify the right team members without ever leaving the dashboard.

Unlike Inspect Element, though, Browserstack is not free. They do have some pricing plans that can be as little as $29 a month. Developers can just take a look at some of the plans and see which best suits them. This may, however, not be a cost some developers expect whenever they are building out their website or any application. Yet, it is indeed crucial that they invest some time and money into ensuring that their website is responsive.

As mentioned before, more and more people are coming onto websites using their mobile devices. If they are not user-friendly or difficult to navigate, users will be clicking off pretty soon. So, it is really important that developers have that mobile-ready design and development on their website as well.

Designing and developing a stable, strong, and secure website comes as the first logical step when you are establishing an online presence. You want to make sure that you continually monitor your website performance with regular audits, as it is crucial to maintain the attention and loyalty of your customers.

At ProfileTree, we not only can help our clients with developing and designing their website, ensuring that it follows the industry standards, performing exactly how they want it to perform, and it is safe and secure. We also provide them with training so they are fully capable of maintaining the application that we have built for them and have confidence in the tools to do that.

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