Web Coding, Explained

In addition to HTML, CSS, JavaScript and AJAX, Berto’s Web specializes in the LAMP environment: Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.  We also work with Flash, CURL, Photoshop and more to create websites that feature client-editable content, storefronts, and other dynamic properties.


HTML, the HyperText Markup Language, provides the basic structure of nearly all web pages.  By means of tags contained within angle brackets, HTML can tell your web browser what to do with the content on the page.

A simple example:

<i>This text would appear in italics.</i>


This text would appear in italics.

But the real magic of HTML is its ability to link from any page to any other page on the web. This link-ability precipitates the web’s popularity and growth.

Cascading style sheets (CSS)

For those of us developers who have struggled with tables or transparent gif images to make web sites look as they should, CSS rode in on its white horse to the rescue.  CSS provides a way to style and position elements exactly as they belong on the page, and provide designers with visual effects.

With CSS, a developer can specify positioning, font styles, and mouseover effects. By using tag styles, “class” and “id” attributes, CSS can be defined in a separate style sheet and made to apply to named elements on an HTML page. One web page can dramatically change its appearance in a number of ways, simply by specifying a different style sheet.  See www.csszengarden.com for an example of what I mean – same page, different CSS styles.

JavaScript and AJAX

JavaScript performs some of the web’s best “tricks:” mouseover effects, moving objects, slideshows and much more.  It runs within the browser, so it can change elements on a page without a refresh.

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is a collection of web languages that further enhances JavaScript by communicating back-and-forth with the server, without having to reload a page.


Linux, or some version of Unix, is the operating system installed on the majority of web servers.  Although it is possible to host a web site on a Mac or a PC, the versatility, power and open-source nature of the Linux enviroment makes it the industry leader.


All a computer needs to become a server is a way to connect to the web, and a way to control which files are to be made available on the web.  Apache is the leading program used to perform these tasks.


SQL refers to Structured Query Language, and MySQL is the open-source database platform most often used to deliver dynamic content on the web. A database is no more than information structured by rows and columns, like an Ecxel spreadsheet, for instance. With the appropriate password and code, the database’s content can be changed at will. This makes all kinds of dynamic websites possible, like content management systems, e-commerce and blogs, for instance.

PHP: the hypertext preprocessor

PHP allows for customization of a web page before it is sent to the browser.  Among the many programming languages designed for this purpose, PHP remains the industry leader for its versatility and elegance.

PHP can be used in a wide variety of applications, including storefronts, content management and database lookups. PHP coupled with MySQL provides a powerful scripting platform for dynamic websites.

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