Deciding which web programming language you should use really depends on what you are looking to achieve in terms of website design. It’s better to start simple and learn website design before venturing off into learning a web programming language.
The Basics Come First:
Understanding the most basic structure of a web page involves HTML which is an acronym for Hypertext Markup Language. As DNA is to the building block of every human cell, so is HTML the primary building block of web pages. Unlike a person’s DNA which remains the same, HTML has been revised over the years; and each revision has added new features while deleting those features that become obsolete. The ‘new and improved’ standard for HTML is what is, now, known as HTML5.
At one time, HTML was responsible for the structure and appearance of a web page. Over time, a new file type was created called CSS, yet another acronym standing for ‘Cascading Stylesheet’ and contains definitions for such things as fonts, sizes and borders as well as other elements that contribute to the aesthetics of any given page.
Again, before delving into actual web programming, become fairly familiar with, both, HTML and CSS since these two files work in harmony with one another towards creating web pages.
A Few Programming Languages:
Again, which language you might choose to use should be dependent on what you plan to do. For example, if ‘blogging’ is your goal and you plan on utilizing WordPress, then PHP would serve you well since WordPress is developed through PHP. The nice thing is, most hosts support PHP.
PHP runs on 75% of web servers; and aside from WordPress, PHP is the power behind Wikipedia as well as the user-facing part of Facebook. PHP works hand in hand with MySQL to pull data, manipulate it and present it to the user.
MySQL is a key component of current websites; and though not, technically, a programming language per se, MySQL is a language in its own right in that it is a command-line language that powers WordPress. Posts and content are actually stored inside a MySQL database.
Ruby, along with Ruby On Rails, is a full, object-oriented language and is the power behind some hefty websites such as ‘Groupon’ and ‘Shopify’. Though it is advantageous in terms of rapid development, less code repetition and speed; the downside is that most web servers don’t support Ruby which means you’ll probably need to utilize a hosting service.
Python is as general-purpose, high-level language than can be utilized as a great learning tool. It is interpreted, open-sourced, object-oriented and utilizes automatic memory management. It is known for its syntactic simplicity. Python is also recognized for its code readability; and its syntax allows programmers to convey concepts in fewer lines of code.
Perl is ‘affectionately’ termed the “Swiss Army chainsaw of scripting languages” due to its impressive flexibility and power. Perl is utilized for graphics programming, system administration, network programming, finance and other applications. Perl has undergone a host of revisions since 1987 and Perl6 is a complete redesign of the language and is still being actively developed into 2013.
My name is Karen and I teach professionally in Iowa. I enjoy writing on various disciplines, programming definitely being in the top 3 of the more technical.