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How does a website work and function?

When surfing the web you look at and use many different websites but have you ever wondered how they work. Websites use many different technologies and web development techniques that all work in unison to create the designed layout, the text content and the mechanics.

Many website owners or web editors have never thought about the code and development techniques that make it work. When you see and navigate around a website you see the designed interface and web layout a designer has created but behind the scenes there is different web programming code that makes it run. There are many different programming languages that can make a website work and most of them talk with each other to create a website that performs well and looks great.

Different web design companies favor different programing languages. There are different coding and programming languages used for the front-end of the website ( the bit that you see ), than the back-end ( the bit that makes it work ) . Generally web design companies specialise in one or two programming languages but very rarely them all.

The languages used for the front-end are pretty generic across the web design industry and you have probably heard of a few of them. The major ones are HTML, CSS and Javascript. Just about every website has been designed using these front-end programming languages. The front-end code determines the structure, design, layout and navigation of the website. This code would normally refer to images placed in a folder and position them to make the website look like is all fits together. A basic website can be built using only these tools. To add more functionality and complicated features you will need some back-end programming to make it work.

The back-end programming languages are very different to their front-end counterparts, but generally they need to work together to make the design and function come together as one. The main back-end languages used are PHP, ASP, JSP, Coldfusion and .Net. These languages are used for what is called a dynamic website. Dynamic websites are normally connected to a database which stores information for the website and can be updated using a content management system (CMS). It can store all the text, the images, statistics, members and anything else. The database can display and cross reference any data stored – which makes it a powerful tool in building larger websites.

There are quite a few pre-built content management systems that can be downloaded for free or some more elaborate systems that can be bought for a once off fee or on a subscription basis. Some web designers choose to utilise these content management systems and specilise in re-designing and customising the software. Other web designers choose to build their own content management systems using their preferred web programming language. These custom built systems can be specifically tailored to the websites features where as their pre-built counterparts generally have certain guidelines to stick to.

There are many factors that contribute to a website working and functioning well. The code behind the web design needs to seamlessly fit with the back-end programming and CMS. Many websites work differently but perform that same functions. Think of all the different websites being like different car brands – All cars have a shell, paint work and get you to where you’re going but under the hood there are different technologies and parts that make them run. Some are fast, powerful and luxurious others are economical, comfortable and practical.

At Rustyice Solutions, our engineers have the technical expertise to select the best elements of this bewildering mix of components to ensure that you get a site that is fit for purpose and lives up to every expectation.


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