Website development takes on a number of forms, with different process requiring various skills and with certain tasks requiring specific forms of development. Front-end web development is concerned primarily with the appearance and design of your website and it is an essential consideration, whether you are updating an old site or creating a new one from scratch.
Learning about what front-end development requires, as well as about some of the technology and skills involved is an excellent way to get insight into the role that professionals might play.
If you are interested in learning about front-end web development in more depth then keep reading; otherwise, if you would like to start comparing front-end developers right away, just complete the quick and easy form above now.
What is Front-End Web Development?
When it comes to web development, there are two different kinds: front-end and back-end. They each serve separate purposes and have different areas of responsibility, though there is a large amount of crossover.
The front-end side of things deals with anything that your customers or visitors will end up seeing. It’s mostly to do with the visual aspects of your site, including: layout, design, and even animation. The front-end of your website can be entirely static or dynamically created by a back-end system, but we’ll get onto this in a little more detail later on.
The back-end of your website is anything that happens on the server to dynamically create or update your site. It can handle user logins, pull information from databases, or even interact with other websites, then feed this information back into the front-end to decide what the end user will see.
When do I need a Front-End web developer?
You may already be able to tell that front- and back-end development are intertwined with one another. To be a successful developer in one area you are almost definitely going to need to have at least a basic understanding of the other.
If you’ve got an even slightly complicated site, it’s unlikely that you’re going to just need a front-end developer, though this can happen in certain instances.
If, for example, you were setting up a static website – that is, a site for which all of the files that will be passed to the user’s browser have already been created and are not going to be dynamically changing – you would only need to hire a front-end developer. This might be the case if you want a simple website that tells customers basic information about your business, such as what you do and your opening opening hours - basically anything that won't change frequently.
You might also just be looking to hire a front-end developer if you have already got a dynamic website but want to make some cosmetic changes to it such as colour schemes, basic layout, or adding new visual elements that don’t require any extra support from a back-end. In these cases you’ll probably want to check with your developer that they are at least somewhat familiar with back-end technologies – you don’t want them changing something that ends up breaking the work your back-end developer has previously done.
If, however, you want a new site built from scratch that needs to include dynamically changing content, you’re probably going to be working with both a front-end and a back-end developer or a professional developer who is competent in both areas. If you’re going through a professional website development company they’ll probably handle all of this for you as they most likely employ both front-end and back-end developers.
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Front-End Web Development Technologies
We’ve already mentioned that front-end development involves the files that are passed onto an end user’s browser. Because of this, there are a limited set of languages and technologies that front-end developers can use if they want to be sure that their work will be consistent across every browser.
HTML is the most basic building block of the web. It stands for Hypertext Markup Language and, as a markup language, uses a series of different tags to describe how different text should be displayed and how the browser should understand any content in between the tags.
With HTML you can do basic things such as: describing the colour, weight, size, and alignment of text; placing images in the page and describing how they should be displayed; providing a description and title for that page that will be read by the web browser; and quite a bit more.
There are two very basic sections in every HTML page: the head and the body. The head contains information about the page - often used by search engines - and, aside from a few exceptions, will not be used to present information to the user. The body section contains the content that the browser will render and display to the people who view the sites – this is where all of your content will be placed.
Cascading Style Sheets contain, as the name may suggest, information about how a page should be styled. They can allow for more complicated layout and presentation information than HTML can manage alone, as well as defining style information that can be applied to an entire HTML page, rather than having to manually configure styles for each tag.
CSS is often placed in an external file which can then be used by every page of your website, allowing developers to easily create a consistent style for your site. It can also be used inline with tags in HTML documents if a very specific style is needed for just one element on a page.
Most front-end developers will use some sort of framework to speed up development and simplify tasks that they want to do frequently. This might be something that they have created for themselves or, more likely, an open-source framework that is freely available to any developer.
There are a huge number of these that exist, all serving different purposes and offering different advantages, but we’ll take a look at just a few.
If your website has many animations or content that appears to be dynamic, it’s likely that your front-end developer will be utilising the jQuery library.
Bootstrap is one of the most popular frameworks for making a website that’s responsive. That is, a site that will work well on every screen size from a large desktop computer to the small screen of a smartphone.
Bootstrap simplifies the process of making a responsive website and makes it easier to keep the content of your site consistent on every device, without having to create separate mobile sites.
Front-End Web Development Prices
If you are looking for a front-end web developer then comparing your options is vital - not only does it allow you to find the best price, but it also allows you to find the front-end professional most suited to your project.
Approved Index can help with this comparison process; we use your budget and requirements to provide you with quotes from top UK developers - we only work with the best so you can feel safe in the knowledge that the work will be completed to an excellent standard.
Comparing developers with AI is the best way to find the best deal and professional for your business needs; to start the comparison process and save up to 40% on your project simply complete the quick and easy form at the top of this page.
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