5 Programming Languages Web Developers need

Yes, here comes another “most popular programming languages” list. By now you’ve probably seen several other lists and charts that are out there on the web, and they’ve probably been very little help for you decide which program to learn next.

The truth is that there is no universal correct answer to the question of which programs are most popular. It all depends on you; your career choice, how difficult it is for you to learn the language, and whatever other factors you might throw into the mix.

This list, as the title says, is for website developers and those in similar fields; therefore, the criteria used to create this list are as follows:

  • Difficulty of the programming language
  • Overall popularity – amount of jobs available
  • Relevance to web development.

This is an unordered list, so not a popularity contest; but by the end you should be able to decide which programming language you want to learn next. 

At the end of the day, the more you know, the better it is for you. It is also worth mentioning that this list does not contain HTML and CSS, as they are the backbone of web development, and it is assumed that you already know them to some extent. That being said, let’s look at the top five programming languages demanded most in the world of web development.


An acronym for “Structured Query Language” and identified as “SEQUEL”, this language is strictly used for interactions with a database. Why, then, is it on this list? As a web developer you will have to build a number of sites that require users to input data, and that data must be stored. Any website that requires a user to log in will need a database in which to store the user data. SQL is mandatory in these cases. 

SQL language is simple, as most of its syntax deals with interactions between the client and the database.

It makes use of universal words and phrases such as “SELECT” and “DELETE FROM” to interact with the database. The tutorial at W3schools.com aids with learning SQL specifically for web development. Knowing SQL can benefit you by providing its own career outside of web development. However, in order to thrive in the field of web development, knowing this language is a big help. TIOBE’s Community Index for September 2018 ranks SQL at number nine, a massive jump from September 2017, where it wasn’t even in the list of the top 20 most popular languages.


This is a scripting language built particularly for web development. It is said to be the most popular of its kind. What is special about PHP is that it can be embedding into your HTML code. PHP works by generating HTML from the execution of your code on the server, then sending the result to the client. The language is easy to learn. It utilises simple syntax and keywords that are easy to remember. Plus, if you need help, you can get it from websites such as w3schools.com.

“PHP is mainly used for handling data that is altered at runtime.”

This means that if you plan to include any entry field in your website, such as a search bar or a form, the easiest way to do it would be by using PHP.

If you’re seeking a job in web development, or a related field such as web hosting or website design, it is expected that you know PHP. As far as demand in the job world goes, you may not find very promising statistics related to PHP. The TIOBE index for September 2018 ranks PHP at number seven overall. But don’t let this discourage you. Remember that this list is geared toward web development, whereas, the TIOBE index focuses on a holistic list of programming languages. At the end of the day, web development is always changing and will always be around, so unless something better comes along, PHP is always a knockout choice.


JavaScript is the most popular programming language in the world. Not only is it used on its own, it is used as the base language for many frameworks that can be utilised in web development. JavaScript is used for creating components on your website that are interactive.

Jeff Atwood, founder of Stack Overflow said it best:

“Any application that can be written in JavaScript will eventually be written in JavaScript.”

Given the popularity of this language, you can safely assume there will be an abundance

of information about the language, especially tutorial and code sharing sites. Javascript.com is one of those sites. The program structure is easy to memorise, taking advantage of the English language to use simple keywords that explain exactly what that tool does.

“Much of the popularity that JavaScript has gained over the years comes as a result of the number of web-enabled devices that are being created today.”

The internet does not seem to want to stop growing, neither does the demand for new devices that allow users to connect to it. So, counting on a career in JavaScript is a safe bet. The Github Octoverse has created a list of the most popular languages used on the site in which JavaScript tops the list by more than double the number of the language in second place.


As the name suggests, TypeScript comes from the previously mentioned programming language JavaScript. TypeScript code compiles into JavaScript and is able to run on any JavaScript based system. It uses existing JavaScript codes and libraries to assist developers in building robust applications. As you can probably tell by now, TypeScript is very easy to learn. Plus, if you already know JavaScript, and If you are building an enterprise web application, TypeScript will be a helpful tool to have.

The creators of TypeScript have provided a guide to learning TypeScript called TypeScript in 5 Minutes to assist users in learning the language. Typescript places third on Stack Overflow’s Most Loved programming languages list and sixth on their Most Wanted list. You can expect TypeScript’s popularity to increase over the years as more JavaScript Developers catch wind of the language. Until then, it’s safe to get a head start.


Unlike the previously mentioned programming languages, Python is more general in its purpose. The language can be used in many aspects of computing, including web development. Python focuses on effective system integration and time efficiency in your programming.

It utilises the English language a bit more than most programming languages, making it much easier to learn. One recommendation for those who want to learn Python is Real Python.

As you become a seasoned web developer, Python will become more of a necessity, as it assists in managing many web development tools and frameworks at once.

“Because of its flexibility, Python is one of the most popular items on this list.”

The number of careers you can have with knowledge of this language is great and diverse. Statistically, Python has placed within the top five most popular languages on a number of lists in 2018. Stack Overflow’s Most Wanted list identifies Python as number one.


Web Development is a skill that may be tricky to find exclusive jobs. Still, it is a good skill to have. These languages can set you apart and give you a slight edge in the field; however, it is important to understand that no one aspect of computing is in a shell; therefore, it is important to try to learn as much as possible in order to stay on top. The other popular languages, though they may not be required for web design, include concepts that you can incorporate into building your website. Learn these languages, and you are guaranteed to be a competitor in whatever field of computing you venture into.