• Jonathan Terry

The Web Trio (and why you should learn them)

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

In today's world, almost all computing technology is connected to the internet. So naturally, as a developer, you will be creating a program or product that lives on the Internet for others to access. When it comes to web development, there are 3 common languages that you should know. These are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Almost every website or web app utilizes some form of this trio of technology.

So what are these technologies, and how do they work together to create applications? The best way to describe this is to take a look at a website. Websites typically have three major aspects. These are the content, the style, and the response.


A website's content is created using HTML, or Hypertext Markup Language. In HTML, a developer can define multiple content sections such as headers, paragraphs, links, and even interactive canvases. HTML is essentially the skeleton of the website.


CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets, is a language that interacts with HTML to define a website's style. For example, HTML code may define the wording inside of a header, or what image to insert. CSS defines where on the page the header or image goes, as well as background colors, shadow effects, and other design components. This is what gives websites their "look and feel".


While it has more applications, JavaScript is used to code responses in a website. Responses are actions that happen when the user interacts with a site feature. If your site has an login button, clicking that button will run a bit of JavaScript that takes the user to a login page. Another great way to utilize JavaScript in websites is animations. Animations provide a lot of character and interactivity to an otherwise static webpage.


Most developers do not use straight HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Most of the time web development is done in frameworks. Frameworks still utilize the trio of languages, but include additional features and extra compilation options. Some of the most popular frameworks now are React and Angular. Speaking from my experiences with React, you still write your code in the language trio, but there are more options and features in terms of page routing, animations, and styling.

Why this is important

The web language trio is important for anyone looking to build websites, even in a pre-existing builder such as WordPress. Learning HTML and CSS will allow you to understand how the websites you browse and/or build are constructed. Website builders allow you the option to customize and re-write the various HTML/CSS code used to build pages. No matter what route you go in web development, you will always be working with at least these 2 languages. JavaScript on the other hand is a very useful language for front-end technologies and web animations, but is also useful in non-web applications as well. Several developers use JavaScript for visualizing mathematical concepts, and there are special JavaScript frameworks that allow you to do this without setting up a webpage.

If you have never tried making a website, I highly encourage you to do so. New developers tend to get flustered with beginner projects because you can't really see what's going on. With web development, you can see changes you make as you develop. When I started coding my first website from scratch, I was very excited to see the code I was writing make an active change to the webpage. It was a nice break from the console printing I had spent a year doing in Java. So take the leap and start learning the web trio. It's a rewarding experience in and of itself.

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