Web Development for Dummies: Pt.1 - Client vs. Server Coding

Lawline Staff | September 17, 2010

With a web-based product, our real estate is our space on the internet - www.lawline.com. But with the web, we replace traditional bricks and mortar with code and programming language. It's important for us all to understand what's behind Lawline.com page - so here are some of the basics in the language that builds our website and communicate our service to the end user.

I'm learning a great deal working with Vas and the Development team and want to share as I go along and continue to read:

Client vs Server Coding

Say you pull open a web page and a welcome message appears. This is an example of client side coding, as it required no requests from the server in order for that box to appear.

Now say, however, that one of the pages you request within that website is a listing of all bankruptcy courses in Colorado. This is an example of server side coding because the list is retrieved from the server.

In short, coding covering aspects such as the layout and design, and server side covers the website's functionality and back end systems.

Here's a little further look in relation to our Lawline.com website.

Server Side Coding

Programs that are run on a web server are defined as server side programs, because they

are on the side of the Internet that the web server is on. This includes such things as

building web pages customized for specific web browsers.

Our site's primary coding language for the server side is PHP, an open source code that enables dynamic pages to be produced fairly rapidly. It's a powerful scripting language in which the end user will come to our page, see specific content, such as pictures and content, and hide other information, such as calculations, which is all translated into HTML and sent to the visitor's browser.

Some of the primary features of PHP:

  • Customizable
  • Rapid creation
  • Many tools
  • Key for creation of shopping carts

Client Side Coding

Client side programming is used because the browser is separate from the server. Putting code into the web page itself allows features to be added to the page without having to send information to the server each time. Such aspects of the Client Side coding include special text formatting, page navigation controls, and ads, amongst other things.

Coding languages on the Client Side include: JavaScript, HTML are examples of client-side markup.jax along with  Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

READER BEWARE: This was written without prior review from Vas.

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