What is Web Programming?

Programming is the intricate art of telling a computer what to do. “You mean when I say, ‘Give me back my research paper you stupid machine’, that I’m programming”. Umm, no. Programming is giving written instructions in a logical manner that the computer can understand. Essentially, you give the computer small steps of instructions, and the computer goes down the list, executing each one in order. Programming allows you to make new software and have the computer do new things. Web site programming is the same except you write applications or web pages that are used by a web browser.

The good news is that web site programming can be easy! This page will help you understand, what is programming, and why you might want to do web site programming. Web Site Programming is the practice of writing applications that run on a web server and can be used by many different people. Many applications work really well as a web application. Some examples of popular web applications include Flickr, Gmail, and Google Maps. You are able to upload and view pictures, send email and lookup directions using these web applications and they are all made possible through web site programming.

How does web site programming work?

Basically, you will embed code within your normal HTML pages. Something like this:

<html> <head> <title>My Web Page</title> </head> <body> <?php print date(“Y/m/d”); ?> </body> </html>

When you access your page with a browser, your web server will parse, or read through, your HTML page line by line and when it comes across a programming language, it will execute the code. In this case, it writes out the current date on the page and then sends the page back to your web browser. Your web browser just sees a normal web page with a date but the server will generate a different web page when it is loaded on a different date. Dynamic!

What is web programming good for?

Web site programming allows you to turn a simple, static HTML page into a dynamic, Web 2.0 masterpiece. It allows others to interact with your web site and use the application on any computer with Internet access. Web site programming is often easier than programming applications that will run directly on the computer.

Essentially, if you want to make or edit anything dynamic on your website, such as a forum, a guestbook, or even a form submission, you will need to know how to do some web site programming.

What are web programming languages?

All web programming is done with web programming languages. These languages can include static technologies like HTML, XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, and XML. However, most web site programming is done using server-side web programming languages. This code runs on the server and then gives static information back to the web browser. The most popular web programming languages are: PHP, ASP.NET, Ruby on Rails, Perl, ASP classic, Python, and JSP

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