"You guys may not be following the internet like I do." former president Trump

Many people, much like Trump, confuse the World Wide Web, a service that comprises email, web pages and so on, with the internet. George Bush also coined the term ‘interweb’ during the 2004 election. Though the term is not correct, it is a little closer to illustrating the connection between the internet and the web.

Does it seem trivial that we are dissecting words or picking on presidents? Read on to find out why not.

Other web-related terms that can cause confusion are ‘web designer’ and ‘web developer’. A web developer creates pages on websites where businesses and their clients can interact, but they also develop back-end processes and protocols that allow websites to function.    

If you’re here, it means that you want to know how to build a website with Python.

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A Web Development Background

As ubiquitous as the World Wide Web is today, it is hard to believe that it has only been around for around 30 years. The internet, on the other hand, has been around since the 1960’s.

First developed as a method for selected US military branches to share computers and information, the concept later received enough funding for it to become a public utility.

Enter Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

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Tim Berners-Lee's CERN computer became the world's first web server
Sir Berners-Lee's NeXT computer at CERN became the world's first web server. Source: Wikipedia Credit: Coolcaesar

During 1990, Berners-Lee pleaded with the management of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research to see the full extent of the possibilities that he was proposing. By the end of the year, Berners-Lee had everything in place to make the service available to the public. From transfer protocols, server software and languages, his innovations are still at the heart of web development today.

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You’ve seen HTML, HTTP and FTP, right?

These internet-specific acronyms describe how information is able to move through networks as well as the kind of language that needs to be ‘spoken’ to make these moves happen.

This is what they stand for:

  • HTTP: means hyperText transfer protocol (the critical component for communicating data across the internet)
  • HTML: means hyperText markup language which is used to write web pages
  • FTP: means file transfer protocol which is the set of rules used to govern file transfers across the internet

If you are wondering about the constant use of the word 'protocol' when discussing the internet, it simply means that there are certain things that web developers should do and never do.

Computer protocols ensure that programmes run as they should and this is where Python for web development makes its welcome entrance.

If you are looking at how to build a website with Python, you can rest assured that using Python for web development is a match made in heaven.

Find out how to develop apps in Python.

What Python Frameworks Offer Web Developers

Human diplomats are fortunate. They get to see protocol in action. From refraining from inflammatory language to knowing when to shake hands, visit, curtsy or bow, they know what to do and when to do it.

If you are a die-hard Star Wars fan, then you might be wondering why there aren’t protocol droids like C-P30 to instruct them. Take heart! As machine learning continues it is likely that those droids are not too far into the future.

For web developers, managing protocols is not that easy. Firstly, they need to know what is going on at all times. They also have to observe and know all existing protocols. When they establish a new one, they will need to make sure that it is compatible with every existing protocol.

Imagine if there was a perfectly assembled toolbox that was curated by the best web developers that was continuously updated with new web design tools?

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That would describe the Python frameworks or Python for web development to a tee.

When you develop apps in Python, it is easy because it contains a well-stocked toolbox that is perfect for developers. These libraries contain modules of code in packages that contain everything from metadata, installation parameters and much more. In general, the PyPl is the main source of all packages, this includes Python for web development.

If you want to develop apps in Python, then Dash is the package for you. It is loaded with graphs, charts and dashboards that simply plug into your code.

If you’re mining data or writing an automated testing programme then Scrapy is the tool to use. To easily request HTTP help, or gather data from HTML pages, then Requests is the answer.

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Novice and seasoned coders like working with Python
Python is the favourite among young novice coders and experienced web developers alike. Photo credit: Onasill ~ Bill - 92 M - Views on VisualHunt.com

Want to bypass servers? Then try Amazon Web Services (AWS). Lambda takes almost all practical worries out of computing; your only concern is your code – meaning, making sure that it is Lambda-compatible.

Python even has a library that is suited for the development of serverless applications. Called Zappa, it is also retrievable from PyPl.

While these are useful libraries for web developers, you would use other Python frameworks and libraries to develop a career in robotics. Unbelievably, there are 300,000 Python frameworks to choose from, which means that finding libraries to help you develop apps in Python, or for web development is easy.

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Why Python Frameworks Are Well Adapted to Web Development

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At the dawning of the Information Age, web developers were the types who called hallowed institutions like Oxford, MIT, and of course, CERN home. Today's developers are no less serious but certainly less formal. Indeed, with such abundant access to the world wide web, some web developers will happily work on their Django project from the comfort of home.

It is not just that accessibility that continues to maintain this phenomenon but also because of the success of Python for web development.

Python is easy to use and even easier to learn. You won’t have to remember reams of syntax and code, but Python is also written in the kind of everyday language that is widely recognisable to everyone.

Python is a rich environment that permits even novice programmers admission to thousands of expertly written modules that are full of pre-written code. All a developer needs to do is search for the appropriate library and module they need to develop apps in Python. The same can be said for a Django project for if you want to build a website with Python frameworks. Simply search for the appropriate library and modules and plug them into your programmes.  Using Python for web development will not only save you typing and debugging time, but it can help to get your application to run faster.

What if it is your first Django project and you’re not quite sure what it is you’re looking for?

Fortunately, there are Pythonistas everywhere who are enthusiastic about Python and want to see it used. From web developers, to those who use Python for data science, and everything in between, coders of all levels are welcome.

It is this level of support from both the wider Python community as well as the resources in the form of documentation, tutorials and the like that make Python one of the most popular coding languages available today.

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You have to know frontend frameworks to get a job as a web developer
To work in a company that specialises in web development, you have to know about frontend frameworks. Photo credit: Chris (a.k.a. MoiVous) on VisualHunt.com

Creating a Python Web Application

To start your career as a web designer off correctly, you’ll need to learn about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), HTML and JavaScript. These are essential for web design because any website you intend completing will not work unless you have the knowledge to build a web page that will respond to mouse clicks.

Once you have mastered the fundamentals of JavaScript, be sure to familiarise yourself with DOM (Document Object Model) and jQuery which is a JavaScript library that operates in the same way that Python frameworks do – typing less code.

If you can achieve all of that, you’ll be ready to get into web design. For a career in web development, however, you’ll need to go a bit deeper than that.

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Learning about a front-end Python framework isn't essential, however, it is helpful for building single-page applications. If you want a job in a web development firm, then it is practically a requirement.

Once you understand the frontend, in other words how the page will appear and act, you can pay attention to the backend. This is where Python for web development comes in. If you are yet to open your Python manual, relax, much of the content is very similar to what you would have learned in JavaScript.

Once you have your Python fundamentals down, you’ll be ready for a Django project, Python’s advanced web framework for backend environments. It will also make setting up your domain logic or business logic easier.

Tip: understanding how to query databases will help you to create full-stack applications in no time!

Now, would you like to write a computer game in Python?

 

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.