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Web Developer 101: 6 Terms You Should Know

By Snap Agency October 16, 2018

If you’re anything like me (brilliant content writer, zero knowledge on web development) you may not know the difference between web design and development, or where one specialty ends and the other begins. To anyone outside of a digital agency, or even to a non-tech professional within the same field, web design and web development can appear so closely related that confusing them is likely. However, there are definite differences between the two disciplines: keep reading to find out the most common web developer terms, that will help you distinguish a designer from a developer.

Front End vs. Back End Web Developer

Front End Web Developers are responsible for brainstorming and developing visual elements that users see and interact with inside a web application. Usually, they work closely with Back End Web Developers, who code and integrate the apps and websites they create into the larger digital ecosphere. Although some companies rely far more heavily on one type of developer than the other, it is wise to have a full team of experts who can work together, to produce the best site possible. Many companies out there specialize in web development, such as Snap. If you’re new to developing sites, we recommend asking for help to ensure you end up with the site of your dreams.


According to Hubspot, search engine optimization (SEO) refers to marketing tactics that can help your website rank higher in search engine results pages. SEO helps to increase your website visibility, and to drive more organic traffic to your site. In fact, many digital marketing agencies employ writers who specialize in SEO to intentionally cater content to rank more highly on Google, Bing, or Yahoo. But let’s be real—mostly Google.

A Web Developer will help keep best digital marketing practices in mind when crafting a site, and will be useful in configuring technical SEO for your website. For this reason, SEO content writers/strategists and developers work together closely.


HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the universal language of the interweb. Every device understands it, and it provides web designers a way to tell a web browser how to treat a particular piece of content (page, content, image, video, etc,.). Using a number of different “tags” allows a designer to mark-up a site in a way that is understandable to search engines and backends. It ensures that photos are communicated as photos, type as type, etc.


Like HTML, Javascript is a programming/scripting language that helps a searcher to interact with a website without having to go through the server supporting that site. By streamlining the whole process, the dynamic programming language acts as a bridge between a user and the web pages they are browsing.

Today, the program is embedded in many web browsers to make searching and browsing easier. Some of its cooler uses include being able to program special visual effects, such as the ability to load new content without having to reload the whole page or any other number of unique customizations.

Responsive Design

An essential tool for anyone with a strong, online digital presence, responsive web design refers to a page or site that has been designed to “respond” and adapt to fit whatever device it is opened on. For example, a web page that has been designed responsively will be able to be browsed the same way if it was opened on a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet. Making it a huge asset to any business that heavily relies on their website for ecommerce or thought leadership. Responsive design will increase the overall user-friendliness of your site, and ultimately aid in boosting your conversions.

Semantic Markup

According to html.com, HTML tags work with browsers to communicate with searchers about the contents of a semantic element. In semantic markup, a sort of coding shorthand, tags are much more than a strategy to get content to show up on web pages in a sensible format. Instead, they become a communication avenue to a machine that speaks to the value of the content. To write semantic markup, a developer must have the knowledge to use HTML tags correctly, so that the markup is useful to both the searcher, and the machine they are searching on.

How Do I Learn More About Becoming a Web Developer?

If learning new things about technology, and how to implement what you’ve learned into your website or business is interesting to you, then web development may be the specialty for you! Many businesses and institutions offer courses on web development, and certification on different programs – some are even free. However, if you are in need of a web developer, and soon, we recommend working with experts to develop the website that will best meet your business and marketing needs.

At Snap, our team of developers pride themselves on designing and developing smart, efficient websites that will blow your socks off. Whether you’re just seeking to freshen up an existing site, or you want to branch out and develop a new site from scratch, our experts are standing by to help. We can’t wait to hear from you!