How to Start Coding: Three Coding Languages to Start Your WPEngine

Nope, that’s no alien language. That’s code, baby, and there’s a lot to learn. Seeing lines of code for the first time can either be an inspiring, or overwhelming experience – actually, it’s the same even for the millionth time. But for those that want to learn how to start coding, identifying a goal or purpose is step one. 

 

While similar functions can be achieved using different languages, it’s important for an aspiring web designer or web developer, to know what types of software or platforms they’d like to build. Want to build robust software, social platforms, or search engines? Great! Facebook is built with a series of coding languages like Hack, PHP (HHVM), Python, C++, Java, Erlang, D, XHP, Haskell, while the almighty Google search engine uses C, C++, Go, Java, Python.

 

The- ah, shucks! “How to Start Coding” should be simple – and it is! Let’s take three steps back. 

 

Building websites truly can be as technical or as creative as you wish! It all depends on your goals. So, identifying the goal is step one! 

 

Some web designers just want to make something fast and functional and can build beautiful websites with just knowing the barebone basics of HTML and CSS. With the help of WordPress, themes, plugins, and a bit of grit, they can build gorgeous, functional websites; however, stopping at the basics can lead to unnecessary stress and not much room for career growth.  

 

Web designers that want to start a career, delve into computer science, or start their own business, should learn how to start coding equipped with an education plan, starting with laying a solid foundation.

 

There are free education and training resources at W3 Schools and Code Academy, among countless others! While both of those are incredibly useful learning tools, Code Academy is our preferred platform, as it’s laid out in an incredibly friendly interface, users are able to test code live on the website, and you can design a path that suits your learning style!

 

Let’s demystify the three pillars of code: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These three coding languages will help you confidently take the first steps when learning how to start coding! 

LEARN HTML

 

HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language”. Just like grammar allows people to form sentences and understand one another, HTML forms the “grammatical” structure of code. 

 

When a user navigates to a website, HTML jumps into action. The “markup language speaks” to the server on which that website is hosted. It pings that server, has a pleasant conversation in which the HTML describes the structure of the website that’s trying to be accessed. The server understands, thanks HTML, then delivers the requested website back to the user to see and enjoy. 

 

Without HTML, there is no website, so this is the universal, first pit stop when learning how to start coding.

 

  • Used on every freaking browser. 
  • Easy to learn.
  • Proper syntax allows for greater search engine visibility.
  • The most search engine friendly coding language there is. 
How to Start Coding: Learn HTML, CSS, Javascript

 

LEARN CSS

 

CSS is an abbreviation for “Cascading Style Sheet”. It sounds pretty straightforward, right? Maybe… no? Well – it is. Cascading style sheets are used to format the feel of a website layout. CSS can be used to define text styles, table sizes, color, images, links, hover elements, and other aspects of web pages. 

 

CSS lives in a separate document from HTML called an “external stylesheet”. Inline CSS can be useful, but it clogs up search engine visibility and web page load times. So, CSS needs its own sheet separate sheet.

 

It’s rather easy to use an external style sheet for HTML and CSS, and it makes website load times lightning fast. 

 

  • Goes hand-in-hand with HTML.
  • Super easy to learn.
  • Flexible, direct, and easy to change.
  • Lightweight code.
  • Faster download times.
  • Search engine optimization benefits.

 

LEARN JAVASCRIPT (JS)

 

JavaScript (JS) is a popular, in-demand object-oriented programming language, also known as a scripting language. Along with HTML and CSS, JavaScript forms one of the three pillars of web design. HTML delivers content structure to users, CSS commands the look and feel of the website layout, and JavaScript speaks to the behavior of the website.

 

JavaScript is a functional language, having a structured programming syntax supports modulation, implicit and explicit delegation. It is usually on client-side, thus reduces the workload on the server, which makes it extremely fast. JavaScript interface is easy to understand and also much versatile, so one can use it in many ways.

 

Every modern browser has a built-in JavaScript engine. There is no need to install JavaScript, as it’s a script that is present in all browsers. If you want to build a website or a game for the web, then JavaScript must be on your how to start coding list.

 

 

  • Improved, interactive user experiences. 
  • Super-fast website development.
  • Easy maintenance and upkeep.
  • Fast server delivery and better website load times.
  • Lower bounce rates.

 

In terms of human anatomy, think of HTML as the skeleton, Javascript as the body’s organs, and CSS as its appearance. The combination of these three pillars enable web designers to build fully functional, user-friendly websites from scratch. 

 

 

COOL! WHAT’S NEXT? PHP!

 

 

Learning how to start coding is overwhelming at first, but with any new endeavor, it is best to unpack the content bit-by-bit. HTML, CSS, and Javascript are the three foundational coding languages when it comes to competently mastering front-end web design. When embarking on your coding journey, take your time to understand the functionality and “grammatical structure” of these languages. 

 

 

When you’ve got your mind wrapped around those three suckers, learning how to start coding in PHP is the next step. PHP lets users speak in a more conversational tone. PHP commands more advanced functions and is the common tongue used when building complex websites and powerful themes, especially on WordPress. 

 

 

GHOSTWE CAN HELP

 

 

Of course, if learning to code sounds like a headache and a half, there are stock site builders such as Wix or Squarespace. These drag-and-drop platforms enable non-coders to build simple websites. 

If you require total control of your website and server (which, to us, is always the better option), then give us a shout and we’ll get you set up with our responsive web design services and/or content marketing services

Written by:

Elyssa Coultas is a copywriter, web designer, UX writer, and content strategist for GHOSTWE. Contact us today if you'd like to work with her!

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