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Web Development and Web Hosting
Web development refers to a wide range of activities from setting up simple websites to building complex web applications. It may include front-end website design, server-side scripting, the creation of new tools or libraries, coding plugins for existing applications, designing themes and templates for content management systems, and a number of other activities.
How to Use This Page:
This page is an index to web development related hosting features that we track with our comparison tool. Need a host that supports your favorite development framework, or just curious to learn more about what a development framework is? We've got you covered. Browse this page to learn about some of the common terms you'll run into when shopping for a web host or scroll to the bottom to narrow your search by category.
Web Development Languages
Client-side languages are sent in plain-text form to web browsers, which interpret them for displaying content to the end-user of a website. The primary three client-side languages are:
- HTML — Hypertext Markup Language — This is not a programming language, but is rather a markup language. It is used to create documents for the web which contain the content of a page, as well as details (the “markup”) which tell a browser how the parts of the document relate to each other.
- CSS — Cascading Style Sheet — This is also not a programming language, but is rather a way of providing display instructions to a web browser about how the content of an HTML document should be displayed, including fonts, colors, placement of elements on screen, and sizes.
Server-side languages are programming languages that are used to build web applications which run on the server (the computer that hosts the website, not the computer of the person visiting it).
Almost any programming language programming language (C#, Objective-C, etc.) can be used to build server-side applications, but a handful of specific languages have come to be especially popular for doing so. Some of them were designed for the web (PHP, ASP), others began as general-purpose languages but have been extended with a standardized set of tools for web development.
- ASP — Active Server Pages — An early attempt to provide dynamic scripting functionality into HTML documents. In some ways, it was a precursor to PHP. It has since been succeeded by ASP.NET.
- Perl — General-purpose development language, particularly popular with hip Comp Sci geeks.
- PHP — PHP hypertext preprocessor — The most popular server-side scripting language in the world. PHP is behind the most popular content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Mediawiki.
- Python — Popular general purpose language, popular for shell scripting, and popular for other uses among the type of people who really get into shell scripting.
- Ruby — Very popular, elegantly constructed language with an overly-devoted user base. Can be used on its own as a general purpose language for desktop applications or shell-scripting. For web use, it is usually used in the context of the Ruby on Rails application framework.
Frameworks provide a basic application template, upon which a developer can flesh out the specific features needed to meet a business need, without needing to reinvent the wheel for common features like logins and user management. Popular frameworks: Laravel, Zend
Version Control systems are indispensable to a well-functioning development team. They keep track of the state of a code base at every point in time, log who changed what and when it was changed (and, hopefully, why), and allow code to be reverted to its state at a previous point in time. Popular tools: Subversion, Git
Web Hosting for Developers
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