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Key Web Developer Skills and Common Tasks To Look For

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Web developers play a crucial role in creating a functional and visually appealing website. They are responsible for turning design concepts into interactive web pages that provide an excellent user experience.

To meet the demands of the ever-evolving digital landscape, web developers must possess a diverse set of skills and stay updated with the latest industry trends. If you’re considering a career in web development or looking to hire a web developer, it’s essential to understand the critical web developer skills required in this field. This blog post will give you valuable insights into the skill requirements and the expected tasks of a web developer.

Common Web Developer Tasks

A professional developer in front of three computers. | ADMS
Web developer tasks vary depending on their expertise and the complexity of the project. They can specialize in front-end, back-end, or full-stack development. 

Front-end developers focus on the visual and interactive elements of the web. In contrast, back-end developers handle the server and database operations. Full-stack developers, on the other hand, are skilled in both front-end and back-end development.

Despite these differences, web developers share everyday duties in creating and maintaining websites. These web developer tasks include:

1. Developing and Writing Efficient Code

At the core of their work, web developers are masters of coding. They are fluent in various programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. These languages serve as the building blocks of a website, and developers use them to create its structure, design, and functionality.

When hiring a web developer, you should look for solid web developer skills in coding and the ability to write clean, efficient code. This is because codes significantly impact the website’s performance.

2. Collaborating with Web Designers

While most web developer skills focus on the technical aspects of a website, they often collaborate with web designers to bring a vision to life. Designers create the layout, color schemes, and overall look and feel of the site, and developers use their technical expertise to translate these designs into functional web pages.

Most web developer tasks require effective communication and a deep understanding of design principles and user experience. So, when hiring a web developer, look for those with web developer skills in understanding and implementing design concepts.

They should be able to work hand-in-hand with designers to deliver a website that not only looks great but also functions seamlessly.

3. Ensuring Cross-Browser Compatibility

In the vast digital landscape, people use different web browsers to surf the internet – Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and the list goes on. Here’s the catch: Each of these browsers has its way of interpreting and displaying a website’s code.

Which is why one of the web developer required skills and tasks is ensuring cross-browser compatibility.

Web developers should have the skills required to test and make necessary adjustments so that the website looks and works as intended across all major browsers.

4. Conducting Website Testing and Debugging

A programmer debugging a Javascript Code. | ADMS
Imagine visiting a website, and instead of the information you’re looking for, you encounter broken links, error messages, and a whole lot of confusion. It can be frustrating. This is why conducting thorough testing and debugging is one of the most crucial web developer tasks.

Web developers should have eagle-eyed attention to detail to identify and fix any technical issues that may arise. Some web developer tasks involve performing different types of testing, like functionality testing to ensure all website features work correctly and usability testing to guarantee a seamless user experience.

5. Optimizing Website Performance

In today’s fast-paced digital era, website speed is everything. People expect websites to load quickly; otherwise, they’ll hit that dreaded back button and move on to the next option. This is why optimizing website performance is one of the daily tasks of a web developer.

Web developers should have the technical web developer skills to optimize the site’s performance, making it as fast and efficient as possible. They do this by minimizing file sizes, optimizing images, and using caching techniques to deliver content swiftly.

A developer who can create a lightning-fast website provides users with a seamless browsing experience.

6. Integrating Third-Party Plugins and APIs

In some cases, websites need extra functionality, like contact forms, social media feeds, and payment gateways, which is why web developer tasks involve integrating third-party plugins and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

Web developers should have the skills required to integrate these plugins and APIs into the website effectively. The developer’s goal is to enhance the website’s functionality while ensuring a smooth and secure user experience.

7. Deploying and Maintaining Websites

When the website is fully polished and ready to go, the seventh duty of a web developer begins – deployment. They take the necessary steps to make the site live and accessible to the world. This process requires technical web developer skills in working with web servers and domain management.

Websites are like digital creatures that need care and attention to thrive. This leads us to the next web developer tasks: maintaining and updating the website. Developers should regularly update and secure the site, keeping it in tip-top shape and protected from any digital threats.

Required Web Developer Skills To Look For

Web developer skills are the building blocks that enable professionals in this field to create functional and visually appealing websites. These skills required for web developer encompass various technical proficiencies, programming languages, and design aesthetics. Here are the essential web developer skills you should look for when hiring:

1. Proficiency in Programming Languages

An open laptop with CSS codes | ADMS
One of the most important web developer required skills is writing code to create websites, so a strong command of programming languages is a fundamental skill for web developers. The most common languages used in web development are:

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – This is the standard language for creating web pages and the backbone of every website.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – CSS is used to control the presentation and layout of web pages, giving them style, color, and aesthetic appeal.
  • JavaScript – This language adds interactivity and dynamic features to websites, allowing for user engagement and responsive design.
  • PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) – PHP is a server-side scripting language used for web development, enabling the creation of dynamic web content and interactions.
  • Python – Known for its simplicity and readability, Python is often used in web development for tasks such as server configuration and data management.
  • Ruby – Ruby, together with the Ruby on Rails framework, is popular for its efficiency in building secure and robust web applications.
  • Java – Although primarily used for software development, Java is also utilized in web development for large-scale enterprise projects.

Learning these languages is one of the most crucial skills required for a web developer. This determines their ability to build and maintain websites effectively. When evaluating a candidate’s skills required for web developer roles, assess their knowledge of these languages and their ability to write clean and efficient code.

2. Familiarity with Web Development Frameworks

Skills required for web developers involve knowledge of frameworks. Frameworks are pre-written code libraries that expedite the website development process. They offer a structured approach to building web applications and provide ready-made components and features.

A skilled web developer should be familiar with popular frameworks such as:

  • AngularJS – Developed by Google, AngularJS simplifies front-end development and allows for the creation of dynamic, single-page applications.
  • React – React is a JavaScript library widely recognized for its efficiency in building interactive user interfaces.
  • Vue.js – Vue.js is a progressive JavaScript framework that enables developers to create sophisticated single-page applications.
  • ASP.NET – This framework, developed by Microsoft, is used for building web applications with a robust and secure architecture.
  • Django – Django is a high-level Python web framework that promotes rapid development and clean, pragmatic design.
  • Express.js – Express.js is a flexible and minimalistic framework for building web applications and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) using Node.js.
  • Ruby on Rails – Ruby on Rails, often referred to as Rails, follows the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural pattern and is renowned for its simplicity and convention over the configuration approach.

The use of these frameworks can significantly enhance the speed and efficiency of web development projects. When assessing an applicant’s web developer required skills and competency, consider their experience with relevant frameworks and their ability to select the most appropriate one for a given project.

3. Knowledge of Content Management Systems (CMS)

One of the most frequent tasks of a web developer is handling content. Content Management Systems (CMS) are software platforms that enable users to create, manage, and modify digital content on websites without extensive technical knowledge. Examples of popular CMS platforms are:

  • WordPress – WordPress is the most widely used CMS globally. It is known for its user-friendly interface and extensive plugin and theme ecosystem.
  • Joomla – Joomla offers a balance between flexibility and ease of use, making it suitable for various types of websites, from simple to complex.
  • Drupal – Drupal is a highly customizable CMS that excels in managing large volumes of content and supporting complex website architectures.
  • Magento – Magento is primarily focused on e-commerce websites, providing robust features for online store management.
  • Shopify – Shopify is a CMS specifically designed for e-commerce, offering a user-friendly interface and comprehensive e-commerce functionality.
  • Squarespace – Squarespace is a popular choice for visually appealing websites, offering a range of customizable templates.

A web developer’s familiarity with these CMS platforms is crucial, as it determines their ability to work with existing websites and implement desired changes efficiently. When evaluating a candidate, consider their experience with the relevant CMS for your business and their ability to customize and optimize websites within these systems.

4. Experience with Responsive Design

In today’s digital landscape, where mobile devices are ubiquitous, having a website that looks great and functions well across different screen sizes is essential. Which is why experience with handling responsive design is one of the most sought-after web developer required skills.

A web developer with expertise in responsive design can:

  • Ensure that websites adapt seamlessly to various devices, including desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.
  • Create fluid layouts that adjust and reorganize content based on the screen size and orientation.
  • Optimize website performance by delivering the appropriate content for each device.
  • To assess a candidate’s proficiency in responsive design, ask for examples of their previous work and how they approach optimizing websites for different devices.

5. UI/UX Design Skills

UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are two distinct but interrelated aspects of web design. UI design focuses on the visual and interactive elements of a website. In contrast, UX design prioritizes the overall user journey and experience.

While web design is a separate specialization, it can intersect with the daily tasks of a web developer. A web developer with UI/UX design skills can:

  • Create visually appealing interfaces that align with the website’s purpose and target audience.
  • Optimize user flow and navigation for seamless interaction.
  • Collaborate effectively with dedicated designers to implement design elements and maintain a cohesive user experience.
  • When evaluating a candidate’s UI/UX web developer skills, look for solid attention to detail and an understanding of how design choices can impact user engagement and conversions.

6. SEO Fundamentals

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results. While SEO is a specialized field, it’s also one of the most beneficial web developer skills. A developer with a solid understanding of SEO fundamentals can:

  • Implement technical SEO best practices, such as optimizing website speed and performance.
  • Ensure proper website indexing and crawlability for search engines.
  • Collaborate with SEO specialists to implement on-page SEO elements, such as meta tags, headings, and structured data.
  • When assessing a candidate’s web developer skills and SEO knowledge, look for familiarity with current SEO trends and their ability to implement SEO recommendations effectively.

7. Problem-solving and Debugging Abilities

One of the essential web developer skills is consistent building and maintaining websites because it involves overcoming technical challenges and fixing issues. A skilled web developer should:

  • Demonstrate strong problem-solving and debugging abilities, efficiently identifying and resolving technical issues.
  • Be proficient in using developer tools to diagnose and fix errors.
  • Have a keen attention to detail to ensure the quality and accuracy of the website.

During the evaluation process, consider incorporating technical problem-solving exercises along with basic web developer tasks to assess their skills to handle real-world challenges and development challenges.

Key Takeaway

Effective web development hinges on a blend of technical proficiency and creative design. Web developers, whether specializing in front-end, back-end, or full-stack, must excel in coding, understand user experience, and ensure website functionality across different platforms. Their role is crucial in creating responsive, visually appealing, and high-performing websites, highlighting the indispensable need for professional web developers in the digital age.

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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