Front-end Development: Tools, Frameworks, Languages, and All You Need to Know

Ever seen a website that looks appealing, has an incredibly user-friendly interface and wondered about the development process behind it? Well, all the aesthetic part of any website or any interface has a robust front-end development to rely on.

In this article, we are going to discuss front end development in-depth – related tools, frameworks, languages, and all that you need to know.

What is Front-End Development?

Front-end development, in the most simple terms, involves creating a graphical interface by the use of HTML, CSS, and Javascript for a website or any application. The HTML, CSS, and Javascript help in making the user interface that can directly interact with the users.

It is the entire process that goes inside designing the interface that you see whenever you open any website or application.

Front-end web development is also known as client-side development and front-end developers were known as client-side developers. That is because front-end development is associated with developing and tweaking the side of technology that the user sees.

While back end development is server-side development and back-end developers were called server-side developers.

Now that we have explained the basics of front-end development, we should also understand its importance.

You see, the first thing that you notice whenever you visit any website is the interface.

The interface of a website can be the very first and determining factor whether a user will visit a particular website again or not. Tech giants are aware of this and that is the reason they spend a whole lot of time and resources in front-end development.

Benefits of Front-End Technologies for Web and Mobile Development

New technologies are constantly improving front-end web development. This provides many benefits for web and mobile development.

Benefits of Front-end Development and Technology

Some of the main benefits are discussed below:

  1. Fast and User-Driven

    With new technologies, developers can push the pace of development in some areas of a website. Both front-end and back-end developers have to work in coordination for the development of an app, and it becomes effortless with the new front-end technologies.

  2. Providing More Features and Increased Responsiveness

    Modern-day websites and applications have gotten more responsive and are upgraded with more features. It’s the new front-end framework that gives this power to add more features and responsiveness to the websites and apps.

    Take Domino’s website, for example. It is pretty straightforward to redeem coupons and discounts on the new Domino’s website, and it is way responsive than it was a few years back.

  3. Easy to Learn and Adapt

    With the introduction of new tools and techniques, it has become a lot easier to learn the whole front-end web development technology. When something is easy to learn, it can be scaled and easily be used by a lot of people. This provides a lot of job opportunities to people as the skill is relatively unchallenging to acquire.

  4. Performance

    The performance part is mainly concerned with rendering time, and with the new technologies, this goal is super attainable. This is quite clear to observe, the modern-day websites are high-speed and responsive and it is all possible with the new technologies, tools, and frameworks.

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5 Simple Steps Process for Effective Front-End Development

Front-end Development Process

We already discussed the importance of front-end development. It is what controls the interface of any website or application. All of the websites want their interface smooth and easy-to-use. Why? So that more users visit their site.

For that, the most basic requirement is effective front-end development. Here, we will show you a 5-step process for effective front-end development.

Step 1: Info Gathering

Any effective front-end development begins with gathering information related to the project. One of the very first things to know is the goal of the website. That involves knowing the purpose of the website and then the things required to serve that purpose (web pages and features).

For example, if a client asks us to develop a website for him, our primary questions will be- what type of website do you want? Is it going to be a news website, a fashion blog, or anything else?

Now once we know the goal, we will collect information and then define the required web pages and features to attain its goal.

It is also important to keep the timeline in check for developing all these goals.

Step 2: Prototype and Development

Once the goal and scope are well-defined, it is easy to work and develop all the required web pages and features. The best way to do this is by developing a prototype first and checking if all the relevant web pages that align with the website’s goal are correctly developed or not.

Once the prototype looks viable, it is development ‘o’clock. This involves the real skills of working with HTML, CSS, Javascript, all of the other frameworks. This is where the front-end web developer develops the user interface, builds reusable code, and takes care of other crucial details.

Step 3: Adding Visual Elements

One of the most important aspects of a website is its visual elements. After some content and main architecture of the site is in place, it is time to add unique visual elements that can help in creating your brand image.

Step 4: Testing

Now that you have all the web pages, features, unique visual elements, it’s time for the Quality Assurance (QA) team to enter into the process. The QA team will start testing your site and make sure that the site or app works according to the requirements.

This involves all the necessary feedback like how the site works in different operating systems and environments. Every last detail is taken into account ranging from user experience issues to broken links.

Step 5: Launch and Maintenance

Once the testing is successful and everything is working smoothly, you can finally launch your site or app. The main goal here is to plan launch timing and communication strategies.

However, the development will not just stop at launching. The website or app might suffer from bugs from time-to-time and that is where the maintenance part comes into play. This also involves frequently adding new features without damaging the code.

5 Best Front End Development Frameworks

  1. Vue.js

    Vue Js

    Vue.JS is an open-source front-end web development framework based on a Javascript framework. It is easy to learn and is used to make compact web applications. Many people also compare the two framework Vue vs React difference. Vue was built by Evan You after working on a different projects for Google using AngularJS.

    Websites/apps that use Vue.js: 9GAG and Nintendo

  2. AngularJS

    Angular Js

    Google’s AngularJS is a bit more complex than any other on the list but makes it up with its appealing features. Along with simple HTML templates and competent server performance, it also offers to create quite decent web designs. It is a popular web development framework developed using open source JavaScript.

    Websites/apps that use AngularJS: UpWork and Netflix

  3. Emberjs

    Ember Js

    Similar to Angular, Emberjs also offers two-way data binding and is component-based. It is designed keeping in mind the ever-increasing demands of today’s complex technologies. Emberjs is adept at handling issues that pop up in mobile and web apps. That being said, I won’t deny that it is one of the most difficult frameworks to learn and to top that its back end developer community is relatively small.

    Websites/apps that use Emberjs: Apple Music, Square, Inc

  4. React

    React Js

    Facebook’s React is a Javascript language library. This is one of the most ideal frameworks for front-end developers who are looking to build UI components on a web page. It also allows users to create dynamic web pages. It is an open-source framework and considered as the fast-growing Javascript platform, with more than 1000 Gitlab contributors and searches. In fact, many people compare React Vs. Angular to check which one is the best for app development.

    Websites/apps that use React: Uber, Asana, and Airbnb

  5. Backbonejs

    Backbone JS

    Known for being one of the simplest frameworks, Backbonejs is the most efficient way to develop single page apps. Based on the MVC architecture, it aids the implementation of component logic. Irrespective of whether you use it frontend or backend, its REST API compatibility assures perfect alignment between the two which makes it an ideal option. It has a lightweight JavaScript library which use to build the client-side application.

    Web apps built using Backbone.js: Foursquare, Basecamp Calendar, & Hulu

    You may also like to know about the popular web frameworks, their comparison, core features, Pros and Cons.

Languages Used for Front End Development

Apart from the frameworks that we have mentioned above, there are a lot of other languages that are used for front-end development. Some of the most popular ones are:

  1. HTML

    Everyone knows about HTML. It stands for HyperText Markup Language and it is the standard markup language added when creating a website. This programming language is the main structure of a web page. It is simple to use and its ability to integrate with other languages is its highlight. Pretty much every website uses HTML in its front-end code.

  2. CSS

    CSS is short for Cascading Style Sheets and it is one of the staple front-end development languages for a majority of websites. CSS is basically responsible for how the HTML elements come together and are displayed on a given website. It is simple to add and code. It is easy to use as well and has multiple browser support.

  3. Javascript

    JavaScript is one of the most important and popular front-end development languages. The best part is that it can make dynamic and responsive web pages which are most crucial for user experience. Competent in terms of speed, it offers a wide range of functionality.

  4. ELM

    It is a fairly latest addition in front-end development languages. ELM is another great language used to create fast and seamless websites. It has a fast rendering rate and is also easy to use.

  5. Typescript

    Typescript is also an open-source front-end web development language based on the Javascript framework. It is easy to use and understand and has rich IDE support. This is one of the hottest front-end development languages set to gain a lot of popularity in the future.

  6. Ruby

    Ruby is a great dynamic programming language for front-end development. It is mainly used for developing web applications. The language is simple to use and can also be used for data analytics.

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7 Most Essential Front End Development Tools

Along with good knowledge of languages and frameworks essential for front-end development, you will also need some development tools.

The 7 most essential tools that you need are:

  1. jQuery

    Javascript is one of the most essential languages for front-end development. However, it has its drawbacks. It faces a lot of inconsistency with browsers and is honestly a little complicated as well.

    With the introduction of jQuery, a compact, cross-platform Javascript library, it all gets resolved easily. It abstracts a lot of processes so that the front-end developers can pay complete attention to creating animations, and adding plug-ins.

  2. Chrome Developer Tools

    Google’s Chrome Developer Tools allows you to edit your HTML and CSS code in real-time. It also lets you debug your Javascript. It is one of the most essential tools for front-end web developers.

  3. Sublime Text

    This is one of the most basic tools that you must have as a front-end developer. It is an extremely simple and minimalistic code-editor. It comes with a huge list of keyboard shortcuts that will help you accomplish your tasks speedily.

  4. GitHub

    Not just for front-end developers, GitHub is an integral platform for all developers in general. If you add your project to GitHub, you can have much more control over it. You can view the changes and even go back if you don’t like them. Github’s highlight is its community support. It also provides bug tracking, feature requests, task management, and a lot more.

  5. Twitter Bootstrap

    Twitter Bootstrap is a UI framework that will help you get rid of typing the common elements time and again. The UI framework is developed by Twitter and has a bunch of features and tools you can use to make your project work easy.

  6. Angular.js

    Pretty much all of the websites are based on HTML codes but one of the biggest disadvantages of HTML is that it can’t handle dynamic views. This is where Angular.js saves the day. It lets you extend the HTML syntax thereby making the interface more expressive, readable, and quick.

  7. Sass

    So one of the first things you must learn when entering the front-end development environment is DRY – Don’t Repeat Yourself. And you must know CSS is not very DRY.

    That is where Sass will help you. It is a CSS preprocessor that will help you write maintainable and future-proof code. Plus, it will also reduce the CSS that you will have to write.

Required Skills for Best Front End Developer

Here are some of the most basic skills for the best front-end developer:

Front-end Developer Skills

  1. Essential Coding Languages and Frameworks Knowledge

    For you to become a great front-end developer, you must have a good command of the following three primary coding/ programming languages:

    • HTML
    • CSS
    • JavaScript

    HTML and CSS are the elements that make a website or application. Once you learn these two languages, JavaScript will help you in adding more functionality to the website or application.

    Once you perfect these three languages, you can proceed to learn about JavaScript frameworks and Front End Frameworks.

    Gain Experience With CSS Preprocessors

    Preprocessors help speed up the CSS coding. CSS preprocessor will add more functionality to CSS. With that, you can easily scale the work.

  2. Mobile Design and Cross-Browser Development

    A lot of users use their mobile phones for website navigation so it’s no news that the front-end developer must optimize the website according to the mobile screen sizes.

    For example, if you open a website on your laptop, it is organized, but for a mobile phone, the same site’s interactions are limited to a single column and optimized for touch responsiveness.

    Next is cross-browser development. Although the current day browsers are proficient at displaying websites, they have different ways of interpreting the code and that is why you must know how to make your site work on each of them smoothly.

  3. Testing and Debugging

    Be ready to test your project rigorously for all the possibilities that you can imagine. Take user input into account, go through it from a user perspective and try to find out errors in your code. Post which, it is time for debugging. You might find bugs in your code in the testing phase itself or you might see them after some time. Whenever it happens, it is the developer’s responsibility to debug the code for smooth operation.

  4. Version Control Systems and Git

    GitHub is the most well-known Version Control System and it helps you keep a track of the changes that you have made over time in your code. It also allows you to go back if you mess up.

    Content Management Systems

    A majority of websites are built on some kind of CMS(Content Management System). The most famous one is WordPress.

    Almost 64.4% of websites use WordPress for content management (W3Techs).

    It is reliable to use a CMS as it has a lot of well-researched themes and styles to optimize your website.

  5. Problem Solving Skills

    Last but not least, problem-solving skills are essential if you aim to become a good front-end developer. No short-cut here!

    This involves everything from figuring out the web design along with the designer, outlay of contents, to removing bugs.

    Remember that you also have to work in coordination with back-end developers – in sync with back-end development.

    Your perfect code might get some problems once you hand it over to the back-end development team. That is where your problem-solving abilities will save you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Front-End Developer?

    A Front-End Developer uses coding languages like HTML, Javascript, CSS, and other tools to create appealing graphical interfaces for websites and web apps.

  2. What is Front End Web Application?

    A Front-end web application is an application that runs on a web server. They can be accessed by a web browser.

  3. Which language is best for Front End Development?

    There is no single best language for front-end development. It is a set of languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

  4. What are the best Front End Development Tools?

    Some of the best front-end development tools are Sass, Twitter Bootstrap, Sublime Text, and Chrome Developer Tools

  5. What is the future of Front-End Development?

    With more and more websites going live on the internet, the future of front-end development is going to be massive. The sector will witness a lot of job opportunities.

Conclusion

That was all about front-end development, its benefits, tools, and frameworks.
Front end development is all about the tools and processes used to create an interface on any website or an app. With more websites going live in an exponential manner, most businesses are looking forward to having their own website or web application.

Being an entrepreneur, if you also want to develop a website or web application using front-development tools, frameworks, and the latest technology, then you can get in touch with us. We are a leading web development company in Toronto, offering a range of web development services. Have any queries or questions in mind? Just fill our contact us form and one of our representatives will get back to you.

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.