The last few years have shown a booming industry boom even further. Web development has become increasingly important to every industry. In this article, we look at some of the best coding languages for 2023.
When the web started, deciding what language to use was relatively easy. The 1993 version of this article would be quite succinct: What’s the best language for Web Development? HTML.
Of course, HTML was also the very worst web development language because it was, in fact, the only web development language.
Soon, however, more languages were added to the lexicon of the web. As the web has grown more complex and interactive and started to become more cooperative between client and server, ever more languages have accrued to the point where articles on which language to use are… less succinct.
Best Coding Languages
So, what are the best coding languages for the web? And to give a straight, no-nonsense definitive answer, I can confidently say: It depends. There’s a right tool for the right job, so the best language depends on what you’re doing. But it also often depends on personal preference, and there are as many opinions as there are developers.
What Languages Should a Web Developer Know
HTML was the first language of the web and was all there was for a time. Today, HTML defines the content and structure of the page. HTML is the lynchpin that everything else hangs from. Every other web development language can be defined by how it interacts with HTML, be it generating or altering the HTML or defining how it looks. In HTML5, it is also the most important component to aid in building accessible and inclusive websites to support the needs of all its visitors.
- Dynamically react to the users’ actions
- Alter what is displayed based on data streamed from a server or API
- Even generate the entire page itself.
We’re not dependent on native support from the browser on the backend. Pretty much anything can be utilised for server coding, from compiled languages like C to shell scripts. Despite this, several languages have distinguished themselves as particularly useful:
PHP is currently the most widely used language for web development. This is in no small part due to the WordPress content management system, which is written in PHP. PHP was built specifically for web development and has several mature frameworks such as Slim and Laravel. It also has a great many database interfaces, giving developers a far wider choice than most languages. PHP is well known to have a shallow learning curve, making it easy to pick up and get started with. Since PHP is structured more like a templating language and written directly into HTML templates, it can be easier for front-end developers to get started with.
Python is a general-purpose language, especially popular in AI, data science, and scientific applications. It is consistently counted as one of the most popular programming languages. Python recently topped the TIOBE index of influential languages, previously dominated by C and Java. It has been designed to be easy to learn and use and is well-suited to building small to large projects. For web development, it has some large and well-supported frameworks to help build server backends, notably Flask and Django.
Easiest Programming Language for Web Development
For backend server development, the two front runners are PHP and Python. PHP probably has the edge in ease of development. In fact, some people criticise PHP as being too easy to learn. PHP is specifically designed for web development and has greater support for databases and more web-development frameworks than Python. PHP can become harder to manage on large and more complex projects, and some people find Python easier to learn. Python, however, is much more suited to general-purpose programming. So it may be a better language to learn in the long run. It’s also easier to deal with for long-term projects and has better options for managing its environment.
Really the correct answer to the question “what is the easiest programming language” is “for what and for whom?” This means that you should strive to be as language agnostic as possible. Every language is a tool, and it’s a tool that fits a particular use case. You don’t want to hammer in a screw any more than you want to screw in a nail.
Sean Young, Code Institute Student
Learn some basics – for free