Want to Learn Web Programming? Where You Should Start?

In Web Designing Skills, Webmaster Skills
Learn Web Programming Languages

HTML is the core of all web pages. It is impossible to create a website without having the essential skill of HTML. Fortunately, HTML is also straightforward to learn. HTML is not a web programming language, but it’s a Markup Language (ML). But if you want to learn web programming, the first thing you need to master HTML coding. So, you do not need to have a basic programming skill or any algorithm knowledge. The only capability you need is to know and familiar enough with how to use a web browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

After HTML, Where to Go?

If you have mastered HTML, you can continue to learn between CSS or PHP, or both of them would be much better. If you are interested in web designing, you can continue to focus on learning CSS. CSS is also not a web programming language, but also a Markup Language. If you want to create web applications such as form processing, save data to the database, create reports, etc. you can continue to learn PHP. PHP is a server-side scripting language.

Just like HTML, CSS also does not require any programming-related skill. Neither CSS nor HTML is actually a ‘programming language’. Both are structural languages that consist of simple commands (although CSS may be slightly more complicated than HTML).

Web Programming with PHP

Furthermore, after learning HTML and CSS, you can continue to learn PHP. Unlike HTML and CSS, PHP is real computer programming language. It’s also one of the most popular web programming languages.

PHP is used to create the actual program of a website. Starting from arranging the logic flow, HTML form results processing, and to communicate with databases such as MySQL. If you are creating a modern internet site, you will spend roughly 80% of your web developing time in creating PHP code, especially in building a feature-rich website like an information system, online exam, news portal, etc. To be able to learn PHP, you should have the basics of programming.

Saving Data in MySQL Database

When creating a website with PHP, sometimes we need to store data such as user registration, sales reports, calculations, etc. This storage medium is known as a database.

There are a variety of database applications. Currently, the most popular database application for web programming is MySQL. You can learn MySQL at the same time with PHP or focus on PHP, then go to MySQL.

If you follow the latest developments in web programming, now there’s a new database application: MariaDB. MariaDB is a cloning of MySQL. All commands in MySQL still run on MariaDB. Therefore, you do not have to worry to start learning MySQL (although later you will use MariaDB).

Animation with JavaScript

The last web programming skill that you need to learn is JavaScript. Just like PHP, JavaScript is a real programming language too.

You need JavaScript if you want to create interactive website pages, such as what will happen when a button is clicked, displays an error message if someone fills it, creating web animations and web-based online games.

You can directly learn JavaScript after learning HTML, but I suggest to go into JavaScript after advancing your PHP skill, especially if you have never studied computer programming language before.

JavaScript uses the concept of object-based programming or OPP (Object Oriented Programming). OOP concept is quite difficult for beginners (especially if you have never studied OOP). However, with the appropriate JavaScript materials and guides, learning JavaScript is fun. The features and final results of JavaScript web coding works are fascinating, such as animations, interactive content, etc.

HTML + CSS + PHP + MySQL + JavaScript – How Long to Master All of Those Languages?

The answer: It depends!

There are several factors to consider. Firstly, the word of ‘mastering’ in web programming skill is relative.

To simply ‘know’ the function of each of these ‘languages,’ you can spend about one week (the first day learning HTML, the second day learning CSS, etc.). But again, this is just to ‘know.’

The studies for each of those ‘languages’ is overwhelming. If you are looking web programming books at amazon.com, some books even have up to 1000 pages, even more. Then again, it’s only about one part of material like HTML, PHP, or JavaScript only. The official PHP and MySQL manuals can even reach 2000 pages.

So, maybe the question can be reversed, i.e. how much extend you want to understand? Assuming that every day you spend about 5 to 6 hours to learn a web programming language. Then, in 1 month you could do one material (+ a few weeks for program code practices). So, the total would be six months to master HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript. But take note that you should have easy-to-understand reading sources such as textbooks, e-books, and online tutorials.

Okay, I have enough understanding HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, and JavaScript. So, is it done?”

Again, this depends on various factors. If you intend to learn web programming languages as a hobby or passion, or just for fill your spare time, understanding the five web-based languages above is enough. But for those of you who intend to seriously plunge into the world of web programming or web development, or even want to have a career as a web programmer, that’s what we call as “the early gate .”

In the field of computer science, especially web programming is growing very fast. Every month (sometimes every day), new technology is born that can be used to create a website more “WOW” than ever. The technology could come in the form of libraries, plugins, frameworks, CMS, or even a new programming language.

For example, in the PHP programming language, it’s indispensable to understand the framework. A framework is a collection of program codes with certain rules that can be used to generate websites quickly. Some popular PHP frameworks are Laravel, Code Igniter, Yii Framework, and Zend Framework.

In term of web design (CSS), there are the frameworks such as Bootstrap and Zurb Foundation. Also, there are also CSS preprocessor technologies such as Less and Sass.

For JavaScript, there are available various library technologies such as jQuery, AngularJS framework, and Node.js. Specifically for jQuery, if you want to learn how to use it, you must already mastered HTML and JavaScript skills.

Considering so many technologies, you need to learn, at this point, you have to choose which one of them to focus. If the focus is to be a web designer (also known as front-end developer), you need to master in-depth the HTML + CSS + JavaScript and its frameworks. If you want to focus on becoming a web programmer (also known as back-end developer), concentrate on exploring the PHP skills and its various frameworks.

To proof for the need for a framework, you can search the web programmer job vacancy. Almost all require the ability that knows what to do with a framework like Code Igniter, Laravel, or jQuery.


Again, how fast to learn a web programming language depends on the purpose of learning it. If you need a web programming skill for an educational purpose such as thesis writing, focus on solving it and using web programming as the media to achieve its goal.

But if you seriously want a career as a programmer, learning every web technology will be great. Briefly, “No day without coding!”.

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