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In this module we answer a few fundamental questions about server-side programming — "What is it?", "How does it differ from client-side programming?", and "Why is it so useful?". We then provide an overview of some of the most popular server-side web frameworks, along with guidance on how to select the most suitable framework for creating your first site. Finally, we provide a high-level introductory article about web server security.
Before starting this module, you don't need to have any knowledge of server-side website programming, or indeed any other type of programming.
However, you do need to understand how the web works. We recommend that you first read the following topics:
- What is a web server?
- What software do I need to build a website?
- How do you upload files to a web server?
With that basic understanding, you'll be ready to work your way through the modules in this section.
- Introduction to the server side
- Welcome to the MDN beginner's server-side programming course! In this first article, we look at server-side programming from a high level, answering questions such as "What is it?", "How does it differ from client-side programming?", and "Why it is so useful?". After reading this article, you'll understand the additional power available to websites through server-side coding.
- Client-Server overview
- Now that you know the purpose and potential benefits of server-side programming, we're going to examine in detail what happens when a server receives a "dynamic request" from a browser. As most websites' server-side code handles requests and responses in a similar way, this will help you understand what you need to do when writing your own code.
- Server-side web frameworks
- The last article showed you what a server-side web application needs to do in order to respond to requests from a web browser. Now we show how web frameworks can simplify these tasks, and help you choose the right framework for your first server-side web application.
- Website security
- Website security requires vigilance in all aspects of website design and usage. This introductory article won't make you a website security guru, but it will help you understand the first important steps you can take to protect your web application against the most common threats.
This "first steps" module doesn't have any assessment because we haven't yet shown you any code. We do hope that at this point you have a good understanding of what sorts of functionality you can deliver using server-side programming, and that you have made a decision about what server-side web framework you will use to create your first website.