Why using one programming language over another matters — or does it?

In many ways, the question of which language will be chosen for the development of your web site is very important. It determines the requirements for the server where your web site will be hosted, the amount of time it’s expected to take to develop the web site (based both on how much code handling is required and the skill/comfort level of the developer doing the work), and the types of related technologies that will be used to provide all of the requested web site features. The bigger question, however, is for whom does the programming language really matter?

If you are a client or are seeking web development services, there are probably a lot of unknowns about the process, and you might feel it’s important to know the programming languages that will be used because you want the best for your web site. If you are a developer, as I am, programming language is one of the first concerns in conceptualizing how development will be done in order to provide solutions for all of the challenges posed by a web site.  It’s hard to even begin to consider what will or won’t work without knowing what assumptions you can make about the development process, but how it works is not the most important aspect of your web site. Let me say that again to help it sink in — HOW a web site works is NOT the most important aspect of your web site!

The most important aspect of your web site is results. Every site begins with an idea, a scribble here and there, a brainstorm, and a purpose. It is that purpose that has driven your web site from its first inkling of an idea to a full-blown plan, and you must remember that when all is said and done, when visitors are viewing your site and seeing what you have to offer, the only things that are going to matter are whether your site is fulfilling its purpose and does so consistently, without errors, and is accessible to the widest range of your intended audience as possible. Your visitors are not going to analyze the code, they are going to analyze whether your site provides something they need and whether it’s easy to use.

Everyone involved in the planning and development of a web site should force themselves to take a step back now and then to consider things from the visitor’s perspective. It is easy to get wrapped up in what we (the planners, the investors, the developers) think and want, but the priority must go to the visitors who will be using the site, because they will be the ones who determine the success of the web site. When your visitors get the results they need, you in turn get the results you want.

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