Web development is a broad term for the work involved in developing a web site for the Internet (World Wide Web) or an intranet (a private network). Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, and social network services. A more comprehensive list of tasks to which web development commonly refers, may include web design, web content development, client liaison, client-side/server-side scripting, web server and network security configuration, and e-commerce development. Among web professionals, "web development" usually refers to the main non-design aspects of building web sites: writing markup and coding. Most recently Web development has come to mean the creation of content management systems or CMS. These CMS can be made from scratch, proprietary (such as Open Text) or open source (such as Drupal). In broad terms the CMS acts as middleware between the database and the user through the browser. A principle benefit of a CMS is that it allows non-technical people to make changes to their Web site without having technical knowledge.
For larger organizations and businesses, web development teams can consist of hundreds of people (web developers) and follow standard methods like Agile methodologies while developing websites. Smaller organizations may only require a single permanent or contracting developer, or secondary assignment to related job positions such as a graphic designer and/or information systems technician. Web development may be a collaborative effort between departments rather than the domain of a designated department.
Since the commercialization of the web, web development has been a growing industry. The growth of this industry is being pushed especially by businesses wishing to sell products and services to online customers.
For tools and platforms, the public can use many open source systems to aid in web development. A popular example, the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack is available for download online free of charge. This has kept the cost of learning web development to a minimum. Another contributing factor to the growth of the industry has been the rise of easy-to-use WYSIWYG web-development software, most prominently Adobe Dreamweaver, WebDev, and Microsoft Expression Studio. Using such software, virtually anyone can relatively quickly learn to develop a very basic web page. Knowledge of HyperText Markup Language (HTML) or of programming languages is still required to use such software, but the basics can be learned and implemented quickly with the help of help files, technical books, internet tutorials, or face-to-face training.
An ever growing set of tools and technologies have helped developers build more dynamic and interactive websites. Web developers now help to deliver applications as web services which were traditionally only available as applications on a desk-based computer.
Instead of running executable code on a local computer, users can interact with online applications to create new content. This has created new methods in communication and allowed for many opportunities to decentralize information
and media distribution. Users can interact with applications from many locations, instead of being tied to a specific workstation for their application environment.