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Learn front-end web development online

From formatted text to pop-up chats, front-end web developers help create the user-facing aspects of a website, ensuring that a website is designed for the optimal user experience. Discover how to learn front-end web development online with edX.

What is front-end web development?

The front-end of the web is the user-facing side. Front-end web development refers to the tools and procedures used to create everything a visitor can interact with on a website.Footnote 1 It includes the processes of coding, creating, and activating the visuals and digital interfaces for a website based on client specifications and needs. Front-end web developers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to manage the style, speed, and accessibility of a webpage.Footnote 2 The photos, graphic charts, headlines, selection buttons, and other items that a user sees on a website are the result of front-end development. Some common front-end web development tasks include:

  • Creating new web pages.

  • Building HTML emails for marketing campaigns.

  • Improving website speed by cleaning code.

  • Making sure websites are accessible on mobile devices and tablets.

In comparison, back-end web development involves development on the server-side of the website that is unseen by users. Back-end web development includes the processes and tools that store, manage, and analyze data.Footnote 3

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Learn how to do front-end web development with online classes

Various front-end web development tutorials, advanced programs, and coding boot camps are available online to learn front-end web development. Learners and workers considering a change of career or enhancing their skills can learn about various front-end web development tools.

Front-end web development course curriculum

A college degree is not always a requirement to be a front-end web developer. One way to enter the field or gain expertise is through free front-end web development courses. Courses can cover topics such as basic computer science for web programming, multimedia publishing, and web programming languages. Common programming languages for front-end web development include:Footnote 4

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the standard language for creating web pages and is used to define static elements, such as text and images.

  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is used to define the format and layout of elements on a web page.

  • JavaScript defines the behavior of elements on a web page and can be used to create interactivity, control multimedia, and implement complex features.

Lessons in a foundational computer science for web course can cover how to track changes in code, design web pages, and increase performance or scalability.

Explore front-end web development jobs

While front-end web development careers typically focus on creating and maintaining websites, front-end web developer job titles can vary. Here are some titles and descriptions of likely duties:

  • UX or Digital designer: creates websites or mobile applications and/or their assets with a focus on interactivity, including animation.Footnote 5 Footnote 6

  • Technology applications engineer: designs and tests digital user interfaces and websites for compatibility and usability.Footnote 7

  • Web architect: ensures websites and mobile applications are designed with the infrastructure and components necessary to function properly.Footnote 8

  • Web designer: makes websites and mobile applications look good and are user-friendly, with emphasis on visual appeal.Footnote 9

  • Web developer: converts web designers’ work into functioning websites and mobile applications using software and tools.Footnote 9

  • Webmaster: implements and maintains websites; can possess the skills to perform tasks of web designers.Footnote 10 Learn Front End Development Footnote

Some employers may prefer to hire front-end web developer candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree or hold an advanced degree in fields such as computer science, programming, web design, digital design, or graphic arts.Footnote 11

How to become a front-end web developer

Front-end web developers often have knowledge about computers and electronic devices and possess skills in programming, critical thinking, reading comprehension, solving problems, customer service, active learning, active listening, and making decisions. Front-end web developers who have bachelor degrees may be able to advance to other positions in an organization. Anyone in the field could benefit by continuing to expand their knowledge and skills by learning the latest in software and technology, especially front-end web development tools.

While developers may not need specific education credentials if their previous work experience or projects can demonstrate their abilities, they may benefit from earning front-end web development certification, which can increase opportunities for jobs and promotions.