A Guide to Coding Languages For Those Who Don’t Code

Arcane Blog Post

A Guide to Coding Languages For Those Who Don’t Code

A Guide to Coding Languages For Those Who Don’t Code


Have you ever wondered why there are so many coding languages (a set of instructions that tell a webpage what to say and how to look), and which one is best for your business?

Ask a room of developers which one comes out on top and you’ll be bombarded with conflicting opinions.

For a business person with no background in web development, choosing which language your site should use out of countless options can be a daunting task.

Unfortunately, there’s no straight forward answer; mainly because there isn’t one mega coding language that unanimously beats out all others. The truth is, it all depends on what you want your site to do and look like — and even then you won’t have just one option.

Let’s walk through the difference between front-end and back-end development, and the leading coding languages to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each one. Afterwards, you should be able to better communicate with your web development team about how language choice can best align with your business goals.

Major Coding Languages and Their Purposes


A back-end developer works with code on the server side of web development. This means that they are working on anything that can’t be easily seen on the site, including servers and databases, to ensure proper functionality of the website.

Structured Query Language, more commonly known as SQL, is a communication tool used to talk to a database. It’s used to insert data, submit queries, update and delete data, and control the point of access. It is a database management system used in back-end development.

Hypertext Preprocessor,more commonly known as PHP, is used on over 80% of websites. PHP is commonly paired with JavaScript — both Facebook and Wikipedia use a combination of the two languages on their sites. PHP is incredibly popular and has developed a dedicated community of developers that maintain it.

C#, referred to as “C Sharp”, is a back-end development coding language used in developing desktop apps while being used jointly with other languages in web development. C# is most easily used through the Windows network because it is a part of the .NET languages. This means that moving code from development to production is a seamless process on Windows.

Front End

A front-end developer manages anything that users visually see on the site. This is often referred to client-side code because it is focused on the design of the site to deliver a smooth user experience.

The most basic coding language is Hypertext Markup Language(HTML) which is used in front-end development for structuring and presenting content consistently across all browsers. HTML was designed decades ago when web content was meant to be plain text. Other languages and codes need to be used in conjunction with HTML to add dynamic content and display it in a way that’s aesthetically pleasing.

Cascading Style Sheets, known as CSS, is front-end coding used to take basic HTML code and make it look good. The purpose of CSS is to take the structure of the page from HTML and style it to flow properly for viewers. It’s a simple language that requires only a few lines of code per page, leading to faster loading times.

JavaScript is used in front-end development for dynamic scripting, writing Web services, and general purpose programming language. JavaScript is used in more than 90% of all websites. It is compatible with all browsers and is used by the most popular sites including Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia.JavaScript is client-side, which means that all of the code functions are run immediately rather than having to contact the server first. This results in higher site speeds because you don’t have to wait for the server to respond to each function.

While each code language is unique, when it comes to building websites, each one has a very special part to play. For example, HTML is the foundation of most sites, but without CSS, you’d just see a screen of plain text. Knowing which member on your web development team can help you, someone that is specialized in front-end versus back-end, is a valuable tool for any business professional. Much like a symphony, it takes careful and precise cooperation to make something beautiful.

Feel up to the challenge? Talk to your development team to learn more about each coding language and the special role it plays in website building!


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