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Building Websites 101: How Hard Is It?

'This has to be on the website and oh yes, please finish it yesterday'. Anyone who builds websites knows this. What seems like a small adjustment to a client can mean a lot of work behind the scenes. In a programmer's worldview, then, there are two types of people: a group that understands (or at least knows about) 'the back end' of websites – the smallest – and then there is a large group of 'ignorants'. Not bad at all, of course, but if you're dealing with our species (The Website Builder) in any way, it's nice to know the basics. This way you find out that adding that little button on the homepage is a longer job than expected and you know in which language we think (and sometimes even dream).

With the help of the well-known cms WordPress you can now build websites more easily. With the right knowledge, it is a perfect CMS, also search engine friendly and therefore great if you want to become organically findable in a short time. It offers a nice basis, but then it really starts. If you really want to create something special, it is essential that you can also program. This way you can make adjustments that exceed the standard. We show you the basic languages ​​used for programming (the code from which websites are built) here. 

The Skeleton: HTML

It starts with HTML (and in WordPress also PHP). This is the foundation and all other code will eventually hang on to this. It is not for nothing that this is called the skeleton of a website. Elements of the website are described with different tags. For example, you can indicate a heading with the tag [h1]. This will then look like this:

[h1]Here goes the text of the headline[/h1]

When you consider how many different elements are possible on a website – just think of links, contact forms or lists – you can probably imagine that there is an almost endless amount of tags. It's a completely different language that you have to master.

The Muscles: JavaScript

If you want to move, you really need muscles. And the JavaScript scripting language takes care of that. It is slightly more complicated but well worth it, because a dynamic website is much more attractive. And more than that: it is useful if your website visitor receives immediate feedback if he or she fills in a contact form incorrectly. The [script] tag allows a script to be included in the HTML. (So ​​this is all linked to the skeleton, the base, remember?) For example, this would look like this:

The skin: CSS

Muscles and a skeleton are nice, but without the skin it doesn't look very good. That's where CSS comes in. This language is about the design of the skeleton and muscles. CSS uses a selector property and gives it a value. Or in normal human language: you select an element from the HTML and give it a value. For example, if we wanted to make that [h1] tag from the HTML blue, it would look like this:


colour: blue;

This may look simple now, but again, the possibilities are endless. What if you also want to give the text a background color, make the headline even bigger or perhaps bold? And then you actually want the headline to be in the middle of the page, with some space around it. You get it.


Not only are there an insane amount of possibilities, if a lot has already been programmed for a website, you usually see pages of code. If you want to add a small button somewhere, then it's just a matter of finding where you can do that and you have to do it in such a way that you don't immediately confuse the rest of the code. Searching for where things go wrong… that can take so much time! But it's part of the job and our kind (The Website Builder) is of course trained in this. Fortunately, we can sleep better (and dream in programming languages) now that we know that you know our language a bit too.

PS This story is of course quite simplistic and we have only touched on the front end side of programming. Then there is also back end… In short, the difference is: what does it look like vs. how does it work? And how exactly that works is a long story for another time.

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