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Most Popular Programming Languages for Web Development

Daisy Waithereo Wambua - March 09, 2022

Web development is an umbrella term that includes roles like front end web development, UX design, database administration, and backend development. By learning the best programming languages for web development, you can secure a lucrative career in tech. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developers earn an average annual salary of $77,200 .

To find out what the best programming languages to learn for web development are, it is important to research the most popular programming languages for web development. In this guide, we discuss what programming languages web developers use and why you should learn them to jumpstart your career in the tech industry.

What Is Web Development?

Web development is the process of designing, building, and maintaining dynamic websites. Web developers can also be classed as front end and backend developers and are responsible for web designing, web publishing, and database management. These experts use a wide range of programming languages to create complex websites.

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To get specific on the difference between the two types of web development, front end development is referred to as the “client-side” of the application or website, and is what the users physically interact with. On the other hand, backend development is referred to as the “server-side” of the application or website, where data is stored and arranged.

What Are Programming Languages?

Programming languages are a set of instructions developers use to communicate with computers. They are commonly used in application development, artificial intelligence development, game development, database development, and script development. Most developers have a preferred language, and learning one can often make learning a second easier.

What Programming Languages Do Web Developers Use?

Web developers typically use programming languages like JavaScript and Python. Some others that are not mentioned in this article are CSS, HTML, Java, and Node.js. Below is a brief list of the best programming languages to learn for web development, followed by a detailed description of each.

Best Programming Languages to Learn for Web Development

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • PHP
  • C#
  • Ruby

Which Programming Language Is Best for Web Development?


JavaScript is a high-level language and a popular choice for scripting purposes by developers. When used in conjunction with HTML, the programming language enhances the interactivity of a web page. Many web browsers and databases use the scripting language for web development and it has an active community behind it.

The high-level programming language is excellent for web development. Developers rely on it for client-side validation, creating drop-down menus, displaying times or dates, and building dialog boxes. The built-in environments and lightweight features make it a popular programming language amongst developers and beginners.


Python is a general-purpose, object-oriented language and an ideal language for web development, software development, and scripting. The programming language supports object-oriented and functional programming languages. Python is known for its straightforward syntax, code readability, compatibility with multiple platforms, and procedural function.

Web developers rely on the object-oriented programming language for creating web apps, workflows, and connecting database systems. It acts as a general-purpose programming language perfect for handling big data and rapid prototyping. Python is a popular backend programming language because it can be easily integrated with other modern programming languages like C, C++, and Java.


PHP is an open-source language that is widely used in web development. The recursive acronym “PHP” stands for Hypertext Preprocessor, and it’s a powerful programming language that runs social networks and blogging systems. It’s one of the most popular backend languages because it is highly reliable in executing various functions. PHP scripts are usually executed on a server.

One of the top functions of PHP is generating page content. PHP developers use it in creating, opening, and closing files on a server. It is also quite useful in sending and retrieving cookies. You can use this backend web development language to add and modify data in your database and control user access. If you want to protect your data, you can rely on PHP for encryption.


The popular language known as C# is a general-purpose language. Learning C# allows developers to develop unique and complex applications running on the .NET framework. Given its long history, there is a huge collection of C# educational resources and helpful tools available. C# is highly compatible with C, C++, Java, and JavaScript.

C# has excellent error handling, automatic garbage collection, lambda expressions, and asynchronous operations, which makes it popular amongst developers. In addition, the coding language supports the dynamic allocation and generic methods and provides iterators that help in implementing client code.

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Ruby is another modern programming language. Developers use Ruby to develop mobile applications and video games. Its popularity is owed to its excellent features. It has simple syntax similar to C++ and Perl. Ruby is highly scalable and supports GUI tools, GTK, OpenGL, and TCL. Ruby is easily maintainable and can be embedded into HTML.

One of the major uses of the scripting language is building desktop apps. Developers also use it for building static websites, automation tools, and data processing services. From object-oriented programming, functional programming, and procedural programming, Ruby can support all the paradigms.

Which Programming Language Should I Learn First?

The first programming language you should learn for web development is JavaScript. Since JavaScript is the only programming language that supports both front end and backend web and mobile application development, it makes it superior to the others on the list. The JavaScript framework and libraries for these functions make it a multipurpose tool that every developer should have in their toolbelt.

JavaScript is the language of choice for many industry leaders. If you want to learn JavaScript from experts in the field but are unable to afford formal education to obtain a computer programming bachelor’s degree , there are cheaper and more time-efficient options available. For example, you can attend one of the best JavaScript bootcamps of 2022 .

Is It Possible to Choose the ‘Wrong’ Programming Language?

No, it is not possible to choose the ‘wrong’ programming language, as they all have their uses. However, some languages make a better choice for beginners. The best language for you will depend on your project and area of specialization.

How to Learn Web Development?

Learning web development is pretty straightforward when you know the appropriate steps to take. We have curated a step-by-step guide to help you begin your journey in tech, including four standard strategies to learn web development.

Sign Up for Online Classes

There are free online coding classes available to help you familiarize yourself with web development. Before committing to a full-blown coding program, sign up on these platforms to get an overview of the most important elements of web development. There can be a learning curve when it comes to programming, so the support of an expert instructor will be a big help.

Attend a Coding Bootcamp

Once you go through the basics of coding, you can attend one of the best web development coding bootcamps . They provide short, immersive programs that will take you through the basics and advanced concepts of web development. Some platforms also provide career support for graduates of the program. You can get a job at a top tech company as a bootcamp graduate.

Build a Project

The best way to increase your mastery of web development skills is by building a project. Start with something basic before you move on to complicated applications with interactive elements. This will also help you determine which areas you need to improve and which areas you excel in. You can also use the projects to land a job in the web development industry by including them in your portfolio.

Get Certified

Professional certification exams will help you determine your skill level. Consider acquiring certifications like the Certified Web Professional – Web Developer, Master Certified Web Professional – Designer, or Certified Software Development Professional. These are top professional certifications for web developers and software engineers.

How to Learn Web Development: Top Resources

  • W3Schools . This is one of the best platforms for you to learn web development. It features tutorials on popular web development languages. You can learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, and many more programming languages.
  • Coursera . Coursera is a pay-to-finish learning resource that provides aspiring web developers the opportunity to master coding techniques. There are also certain courses you can access for free.
  • YouTube . YouTube has thousands of coding tutorials delivered by professionals in the field. You can watch basic to advanced levels of coding tutorials, and some channels even offer full 10-hour courses.
  • freeCodeCamp . freeCodeCamp is an online bootcamp that provides free courses in coding. You can go through courses in web design, front end web development, backend web development, and machine learning.
  • Hashnode . The site Hashnode hosts a huge community that connects web developers across the globe. Developers rely on it to share ideas and ask questions. It is a great resource for networking with professionals.

Ready to Break into Tech?

Breaking into tech is easy when you are equipped with the right education and tools. Mastering a programming language will take some time, but even knowing the basics of one programming language will help you build your career in the industry. Choose one of the best programming languages for web development and start navigating your web development career today.

Best Programming Languages for Web Development FAQ

Which programming language is best for backend web development?

JavaScript, Python, and PHP are the best programming languages for backend web development.

Which programming language is best for front end web development?

Although not listed in the article, HTML and CSS are the best programming languages for front end web development projects.

Which career can I start with web development skills?

Web development skills can start your career as a web designer, backend developer, front end developer, or database administrator. These job positions are required in virtually every industry with companies that have an Internet footprint, making it an excellent career path.

Is web development worth it?

Yes, web development is worth it. A good mastery of web development languages, tools, and technologies can pave your way into tech. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for web developers is 13 percent, which is above average, meaning there is an increased need for web developers.

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Daisy Waithereo Wambua

About the author: Daisy, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is a seasoned writer with a decade of experience in writing, proofreading, and editing. She has spoken at Maseno University to help young women explore new careers and learn more about technology. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Public Relations, a Certificate in Web Development, and a Master's Degree in International Studies.

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