Web development has made significant strides since its inception in the early 90s. Today, it stands as a highly sought-after and high-paying job. But, staying at the top of your game is key.
With a plethora of programming languages and frameworks available, it can be overwhelming to determine which one to focus on. That’s why we have curated a list of the 22 best programming languages that will remain in trend in 2023.
Table of Content
- What is a Programming Language
- Types of Programming Languages
- Why do Some Programming Languages Work Better than Others
- 22 Best Programming languages for Web Development in 2023
- 5 Tips to Find the Best Web Development Languages to Learn
What is a Programming Language
Any language is, in general, a means for communication. Programming language is a computer language, which is used for communicating with computers. It is a set of instructions (or code) that’s written to perform specific actions. Through the programming language, developers are giving the computer instructions in a way the machines can understand and follow. All programming languages have their own syntax, structure, and rules that must be followed in order to execute the codes without errors.
Programming Languages V/S Coding Languages
1. Programming Languages
The vocabulary and grammar used to produce code is defined by programming languages. They give computers a set of instructions and commands that they can understand and carry out. The majority of the time, programming languages are more complicated and include a wider range of ideas and functions.
2. Coding Languages
The act of writing or producing code in a programming language is called “coding” in the industry. In this sense, “code languages” and “programming languages” are interchangeable terms.
Yet, in other circumstances, the term “coding languages” can also apply to easier, lighter dialects or markup languages used for particular tasks like formatting papers or building web pages. HTML, CSS, and Markdown are a few examples of these languages. Instead of offering a wide range of programming constructs, these languages concentrate on particular tasks.
Programming Language Categories
1. Procedural Programming Languages
- Examples: C, Pascal
- Focus on sequences of instructions executed in a specific order.
- Emphasize on procedures, functions, and subroutines.
2. Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) Languages
- Examples: Java, C++, Python
- Organize code around objects that encapsulate data and behaviour.
- Support concepts like inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation.
3. Functional Programming Languages
- Examples: Haskell, Lisp, Scala
- Emphasize the evaluation of mathematical functions and immutable data.
- Promote concepts like pure functions, higher-order functions, and recursion.
4. Scripting Languages
- Designed for scripting or automation tasks.
- Provide dynamic typing, easy syntax, and rapid development capabilities.
5. Markup Languages
- Examples: HTML, XML, Markdown
- Used for structuring and presenting data.
- Define the structure and presentation of content.
6. Domain-Specific Languages (DSLs)
- Examples: SQL, MATLAB, R
- Tailored for specific domains or industries.
- Provide specialised syntax and features for specific tasks or problem domains.
7. Compiled Languages
- Examples: C, C++, Go
- Code is compiled into machine code before execution.
- Generally offer better performance but requires a compilation step.
8. Interpreted Languages
- Code is executed directly without a separate compilation step.
- Often easier to develop and provide greater flexibility.
Types of programming languages based on different aspects of web development
Now that you’ve decided to pursue web development, let’s begin by discussing its various aspects. In web development, there are three possible career options that you can choose: Front-end development, Back-end development, and Fullstack development.
1. Front-end Development
As a front-end developer, you may either receive designs from web designers or be required to create them on your own.
2. Back-end Development:
Back-end development involves creating the website’s logistics; basically, things that happen behind the scenes.
For example, if you are running a restaurant the dining area is your front end and the kitchen is your back end. You don’t want everyone to see what’s going on in the kitchen.
Nodejs, Python, PHP, etc. are some of the main programming languages that are used to create the back end of your website.
3. Full-stack Development
As full-stack developers, you are required to create both the front end and back end of the website. To be a full stack developer you need to master programming, database handling, API management, and security management.
Why do Some Programming Languages Work Better than Others
You may have noticed that not every programming language works the same way. Some tend to be faster than others. The reason behind this is associated with the level of abstraction of each language. Essentially, it defines things that the language takes care of automatically and things that need to be done manually. Some of the factors are:
- Automatic memory management can cause languages to be slower than the ones that do not enforce it.
- If a language has to be compiled, it will take more time as the source code has to be translated into machine code.
- The efficiency of the compiler impacts the speed.
- Languages that use an interpreter to translate can cause the software to be slow as it executes the program line by line. It also needs start-up time.
22 Best Programming languages for Web Development in 2023
Now that we have gone through the basics of programming languages, let’s take a look at the 22 best programming languages for web development in 2023.
- Objective C
- Ruby Rails
HTML or HyperText Markup Language is the foundation of web development that every developer needs to be familiar with. A popular skill for web developers, it is the 2nd most commonly used language in 2020, according to a survey by Stack Overflow. Although it is not a full-fledged programming language, it is the standard language used to create web pages.
- HTML provides the structure for the web pages and is responsible for the proper formatting of text and images.
- It allows the use of templates so designing a webpage can be done easily.
- It is lightweight and fast.
- Quite easy to learn and implement.
- Supported by every browser.
- Free and accessible.
- Static language, so not possible to create dynamic pages.
- Need to write a lot of code for developing a simple web page.
Like HTML, CSS is another basic language that every developer must know. CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and is often used with HTML to govern the style of a webpage. The combination of HTML and CSS is called the mother of all programming languages. The size, color, and positions of all elements in a web page are determined by CSS.
- It has a cascading style, meaning throughout a webpage, an applied style will cascade down from parent to child.
- It supports responsive web design.
- CSS upholds consistency due to its cascading nature.
- Simple and beginner-friendly.
- Improves page loading speed.
- Simplifies customization of web pages.
- Possibility of cross-browser issues.
- Confusion due to multiple levels like CSS, CSS2, and CSS3.
- It is a lightweight programming language.
- The syntax is simple and easy to learn.
- Besides web development, it can be used for developing mobile apps, games, and web servers.
- Easy to integrate with other languages.
- It is simple and versatile.
- No multiple inheritance support.
- Less secure compared to other languages.
An open-source language that is easy to learn and use, Python is one of the most popular languages used for web development. For beginners as well as experienced programmers, Python is an ideal choice. It is used for backend development, data science, web app development, and automation. It has a huge collection of standard libraries, which makes programming using Python easier for developers.
- It has dynamic typing capabilities which makes it easy for developers to create complex websites that need constant content changes.
- It is an efficient backend web development language and integrates with other programming languages like C, C#, and Java.
- It can be associated with popular web development frameworks like Django and Flask to create web-based applications.
- OOP characteristics simplify programming.
- Extensively scalable.
- Emphasizes code readability.
- Interpreted programming language, hence slow.
- Not suitable for developing mobile applications.
In 1990, Sun Microsystems developed Java to add features to the C++ language. It was built on the Write Once Run Anywhere principle. Today, it is owned by Oracle and is one of the most widely used backend languages for web development. It follows the OOP concepts, has open-source feature-rich libraries, and is a good language to learn due to its moderate learning curve and high productivity.
- Java supports multithreading so multiple threads can be executed concurrently implying maximum CPU utilization.
- It supports vertical and horizontal scaling with only slight code changes.
- It can handle massive amounts of data and is highly secure.
- Easy to learn, write, and debug
- It is portable
- It is robust and versatile
- It consumes more memory
- Slow compared to languages like C or C++
- Has several inbuilt debugging tools that make development simple
- It is a type-safe language, hence type-related errors are reduced
- Supported by Visual Studio Code, Microsoft’s free code editor.
- Cross-platform and cross browser compatibility
- Supports OOP concepts
- Increased code readability
7. Objective C
Objective C or C is a simple and general-purpose language that was developed in 1972. It is a popular language and often one of the first choices of programmers who are beginning to step into the development domain. Objective C is majorly used to code for the iOS operating system.
- Supports dynamic typing and therefore has excellent flexibility
- Used with Cocoa or Cocoa Touch framework
- Supports dynamic memory allocation
- Super easy to learn
- Fast, powerful, and flexible
- Can perform complex calculations
- Error detection is difficult
- Does not support OOP concepts
An extension of Objective C, C++ is a middle-level programming language that was developed in 1980. It is a simple language and is quite useful and easy for beginners to handle. In addition to what Objective C offers, C++ supports features like object-oriented programming, exception handling, and type checking.
- Supports OOP concepts like abstraction, inheritance, and encapsulation.
- Has a robust standard library
- Quick and efficient compiling mechanism
- Simple and portable
- Highly scalable
- Large community support
- No automatic garbage collection
- Complexities associated with pointers
SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a standard database language that is used in combination with another programming language. As a database query language, it is used to manipulate databases. It comes third in the list of most used programming languages by Stack Overflow, with more than 50% of developers using SQL for programming.
- It is used to create, read, update and delete records in databases.
- It is widely used in business intelligence tools.
- SQL has a simple syntax.
- It is easily accessible.
- It is highly functional.
- It is portable.
- It works well only with small databases.
- Scaling is expensive and time-consuming.
PHP or Hypertext Preprocessor is an open-source scripting language used for back-end development. It is mostly used for developing dynamic, data-heavy websites and is an interpreted language. It is one of the most popular web page languages, and frameworks like Drupal and WordPress make use of PHP.
- It is supported by many third-party extensions like .NET, MySQL, and Apache.
- It can output images, PDF, text, animations, and HTML.
- It is compatible with cloud services.
- Easy to learn and use.
- Can be used on all major operating systems.
- Has great community support.
- Error handling features are not excellent.
- Development using PHP only can be slow.
C# (C Sharp) is an object-oriented programming language developed by Microsoft. It was originally developed for the .NET framework to build Windows applications. Today it is extensively used in backend development, game development, and mobile app development. It can be used not just on Windows, but also on Android, Linux, and iOS platforms-making it one of the best website coding languages in 2023.
- It has a strong memory backup facility and avoids memory leaks
- It is equipped with a rich set of libraries enabling faster development
- It is the only language used by Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
- Ideal for all types of web development
- Complete integration with .NET library
- Compilation and execution is fast
- Difficult to handle multi-thread applications
- Less flexible
Angular is one of the most used front-end languages that have MVC architecture and allows dynamic modeling. It is an important programming language that supports the development of complicated applications. For UI development, Angular makes use of HTML, so it is easy to understand. With Angular, you can develop projects with extensive functionality and appealing design most efficiently.
- It utilizes templates to make development quick and easy.
- It uses extensions like Snippet and Angular Command Line Interface to simplify the development.
- Using Angular Filters, data is filtered before reaching the view.
- Minimum coding is required.
- Supports two-way data binding.
- Better functionality and improved performance.
- Steep learning curve.
13. Ruby Rails
Ruby is a popular backend web development language that supports procedural, functional, and object-oriented programming. It is one of the most recommended languages for beginners to learn. Combined with the Ruby on Rails framework, the language is used for web development extensively.
- It supports various Graphical User Interface (GUI) tools
- Favors all major platforms like Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Has prominent features like automatic garbage collection, centralized package management, custom dispatch behavior, etc.
- Has many helpful tools and libraries
- Large and active community support
- Has strong adherence to web standards
- Codes written in Ruby are difficult to debug
- It is comparatively slow
Golang or Go is an open-source programming language developed at Google in 2007. It is similar to C in syntax and allows for the development of efficient and secure web applications. Go is ideal for network programming, developing data pipelines, and machine learning packages.
- It is equipped with inbuilt testing tools
- Supports multithreading and can execute several processes concurrently
- It has excellent memory safety features like garbage collection for automatic memory management
- Quite easy to learn
- Has a powerful standard library
- Offers high performance
- Inefficient error handling capabilities
- Lack of flexibility
Scala is grouped in the Java family and is one of the latest additions to it. It has all the features of Java plus some additions which help to overcome some of the cons of Java. Scala is a great choice for developing data analytics solutions.
- Supports concurrent programming and execution of procedures in parallel
- Has great IDE support
- Highly functional programming with better code quality
- Easy to learn
- Concise code
- Greatly scalable
- The built-in compiler is slow
- Limited community support
A software development company called JetBrains created the contemporary programming language Kotlin, which was made public in 2011. It can operate on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and integrate without any issues with already-existing Java codebases thanks to Kotlin’s full interoperability with Java.
- It offers a short and expressive syntax that eliminates boilerplate code, making the code easier to read and maintain.
- By separating nullable and non-nullable types at the language level, Kotlin’s built-in null safety measures help prevent null pointer exceptions.
- Kotlin and Java are entirely compatible, enabling programmers to smoothly use the libraries, frameworks, and other resources already available in Java.
- It offers type inference, which enables the compiler to determine a variable’s type automatically, eliminating the need for explicit type declarations.
- Extension functions in Kotlin help developers organise and reuse their code by enabling them to add new functions to existing classes without changing the source code.
- Kotlin has built-in support for coroutines, which are lightweight concurrency primitives used for asynchronous programming and managing lengthy activities.
- It offers features that support functional programming, including higher-order functions, lambda expressions, and immutable data structures, allowing for a more functional programming approach.
- The clear syntax and contemporary features of Kotlin can greatly boost developer output and cut down on verbose code.
- Its ability to effortlessly interact with Java code makes it simple to use in already-existing Java projects and speeds up the migration process.
- Its null safety features aids in the compile-time detection of null pointer exceptions, lowering the likelihood of crashes brought on by null values.
- IntelliJ IDEA (also created by JetBrains), which offers potent capabilities for code refactoring, auto-completion, and debugging. It provides strong tooling and IDE support for Kotlin.
- Its community is expanding quickly, which means that more libraries, frameworks, and tools are becoming accessible to help Kotlin development.
- Kotlin has a mild learning curve for Java developers, but this doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t become familiar with its syntax, features, and best practices.
- Compared to Java, Kotlin’s standard library contributes some extra size to the built binaries, which could lead to significantly bigger build sizes.
- In some circumstances, Kotlin may not be officially supported by legacy systems or frameworks, or it may have insufficient documentation and community resource.
Swift is a modern programming language developed by Apple for iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS app development.
- Concise syntax and type inference.
- Optionals and strong type safety for enhanced stability.
- Built-in error handling.
- Automatic memory management using Automatic Reference Counting (ARC).
- Swift Playgrounds for interactive experimentation and learning.
- Generics and powerful pattern matching.
- Easy to learn and read with a simple syntax.
- Faster and more efficient performance compared to Objective-C.
- Seamless interoperability with existing Objective-C codebases.
- Robust error handling and safety features.
- Active and supportive community.
- Limited use outside of the Apple ecosystem.
- Frequent updates and changes may require developers to adapt.
- Smaller community and fewer third-party libraries compared to more established languages.
R is a programming language and environment primarily used for statistical computing and data analysis.
- Extensive collection of statistical and graphical methods.
- Rich ecosystem of packages and libraries for various data analysis tasks.
- Interactive and dynamic environment for data exploration and modelling.
- Support for data manipulation and transformation.
- Reproducibility through scripts and notebooks.
- Integration with other programming languages like C++, Python, and Java.
- Powerful statistical capabilities and comprehensive statistical libraries.
- Active and vibrant community for support and collaboration.
- Free and open-source software.
- Excellent data visualization capabilities.
- Flexibility in handling diverse types of data and analysis techniques.
- Steep learning curve for beginners, especially those without programming experience.
- Performance limitations for large datasets and computationally intensive tasks.
- Lack of strict type checking can lead to potential errors.
- Relatively slower execution speed compared to compiled languages.
- Less suitable for building large-scale production systems.
MATLAB is a high-level programming language and environment primarily used for numerical computing and scientific visualization.
- Extensive library of mathematical functions and toolboxes for various scientific and engineering applications.
- Interactive environment with a command-line interface and a graphical user interface (GUI).
- Advanced data visualization and plotting capabilities.
- Simulink for modeling, simulating, and analysing dynamic systems.
- Easy integration with C/C++, Java, Python, and other languages.
- MATLAB Compiler for creating standalone applications.
- Powerful and comprehensive mathematical and numerical computing capabilities.
- Rich set of built-in functions and toolboxes for various domains.
- Strong support for matrix operations and linear algebra computations.
- Excellent visualization and plotting features for data exploration.
- Widely used in academia and industry, with a large user base.
- Proprietary software with licence fees, making it less accessible to some users.
- Limited performance for computationally intensive tasks compared to compiled languages.
- Steep learning curve for beginners without prior programming experience.
- Lack of flexibility for general-purpose programming outside of numerical computing.
- Dependency on MathWorks for updates and new features.
NoSQL, short for “Not Only SQL,” is a category of database management systems that diverges from the traditional relational database model.
- Flexible data model that allows for dynamic and schema-less data structures.
- Scalability and distributed architecture to handle large volumes of data and high traffic loads.
- High availability and fault tolerance with built-in replication and sharding.
- Support for unstructured and semi-structured data types, such as JSON, XML, and key-value pairs.
- Designed for horizontal scaling, enabling easy addition of new nodes to the database cluster.
- NoSQL databases are well-suited for handling big data and scaling horizontally across multiple nodes.
- NoSQL databases offer high read and write performance due to their optimized data models and distributed nature.
- NoSQL allows for agile development and easier data schema changes compared to rigid relational databases.
- NoSQL databases often run on commodity hardware and can be more cost-effective in terms of hardware and licensing.
- NoSQL databases provide built-in replication and fault-tolerant features for high availability.
- NoSQL databases may have limited support for complex queries compared to SQL in relational databases.
- NoSQL databases come in various types (e.g., document, key-value, column-family) with different APIs, resulting in a lack of standardization.
- Some NoSQL databases prioritize availability and partition tolerance over strict consistency, leading to potential data consistency trade-offs.
Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, concurrency, and performance.
- Memory safety without garbage collection through ownership and borrowing systems.
- Strong static typing and type inference for catching errors at compile-time.
- Zero-cost abstractions for high-level programming with low-level control.
- Concurrency primitives for writing efficient and safe concurrent code.
- Built-in package manager (Cargo) and extensive library ecosystem.
- Cross-platform support for various operating systems and hardware architectures.
- Memory safety and the absence of data races.
- High performance and efficiency.
- Concurrency and parallelism support.
- Expressive syntax and a strong type system.
- Productive tooling and package management.
- Active and supportive community.
- Steep learning curve.
- Strict and complex borrow checker.
- Limited ecosystem compared to more established languages.
- Longer development cycles.
- Interfacing with C/C++ can be challenging.
Perl is a high-level scripting language that emphasizes practicality and flexibility in text processing and system administration tasks.
- Powerful regular expression support for pattern matching and text manipulation.
- Extensive built-in functions and modules for diverse tasks.
- Flexible and dynamic syntax allowing for expressive and concise code.
- Cross-platform compatibility with support for various operating systems.
- Perl community’s “There’s more than one way to do it” philosophy promotes code flexibility.
- Excellent text processing capabilities and support for string manipulation.
- Broad range of modules and libraries available through CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network).
- Proven track record and widespread use for system administration and web development tasks.
- Rich set of built-in functions and practical features for quick scripting.
- Supportive community and active development.
- Complex syntax and steep learning curve for beginners.
- Lack of modern language features and stricter programming paradigms compared to newer languages.
- Slower execution speed compared to languages like Python or Ruby.
- Limited adoption and declining popularity in recent years.
Whether you are beginning your programming career or looking to enhance it, these 22 web development languages will prove to be of immense help. With programming languages, a key aspect is that even when web development trends emerge and fade away, the languages remain pertinent. So whichever language you choose to master in 2023, will stay relevant for many years to come and aid your programming career. So, choose a language that piques your interest and have fun learning!
5 Tips to Find the Best Web Development Languages to Learn
After reading about the 22 programming languages you can learn in 2023, are you feeling a little confused about which ones to choose? All the languages we discussed in the previous section are notable. But to help narrow down your choice, we have prepared five questions for you to contemplate. By the end of it, you will have an idea about the best web development languages for you.
1. What are your goals?
What is your goal behind learning programming languages? Do you want to learn because you enjoy coding or do you want to become a web developer? If your objectives are non-career related, you can choose any! But, if you intend to become a web developer, you need to be more explicit and ask yourself what exactly you want to do.
Think about whether you want to get into front-end development or backend development. Do you want to build mobile apps? Are you interested in data visualization, automation, or anything particular? Is IoT your area of interest? Whatever it is, be specific about your goals and choose what’s appropriate for the same.
2. What is the learning curve?
Are you willing to dedicate much of your time and effort to learning or do you have only finite time and resources? If you want to learn a language quickly and easily, you should choose the simple ones that you can master with average effort. On the other hand, if you have the time and resources to learn the comparatively harder languages, you can go ahead with it.
If you are a beginner in the programming world, we suggest you get started with simple languages like HTML, Python, C++, or Java. Once you learn these, you will get a strong base on which you can develop your skills further.
3. What are the popular web development languages?
And the benefit of learning popular languages is that they will stay in demand in the upcoming future as well. Programming languages don’t go out of trend rapidly, so it will be a good investment.
4. Which are the highest salaried languages?
Income is one of the main aspects of choosing a career. If you want to make a high income from your career as a developer, understanding the most paying programming languages can help you choose the ones for you. The highest-paid programming languages for 2023 are Rust, Go, Scala, and Python. Although these languages may have a steep learning curve, we can assure you that it will be worth the effort!
5. What are the developers saying?
If you are still not a hundred percent sure and want more inspiration, go online and search what the developers are saying. There are several active developer communities on the internet from where you can get hands-on information. Take a look at what the developers are talking about – which languages do they find most appealing, what pros and cons do they observe with different languages, which ones are going obsolete – read them all. Knowing these will help you gain more clarity as you will be listening to the words of experts.
Do you have a better idea about what to choose now? Great! Remember, always start with one language. That does not mean you should only learn one, you can learn as many languages as you want. But, when you are getting started on the journey, it’s important to not overwhelm yourself. So, start with a single programming language, and when you have a solid foundation and feel confident about exploring more, continue adding more languages to your list!
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