Becoming an in-demand web developer takes more than book knowledge. While it’s great that you made it through your first courses, experience is what it will take to succeed in the field. When you go in for an interview, you're almost guaranteed to be asked about what you’ve built outside the classroom.
Luckily, there’s no shortage of web development projects you can dive into and expand your current skill set. The more you practice what you’ve learned, the easier it will be to translate that to real-world requests from employers and clients. Below is a list of excellent web development project ideas for beginning and intermediate developers.
Why is it important for beginners to work with multiple web development projects?
Learning to build a variety of web projects helps prepare you to handle anything. It’s impossible to master every language or back-end framework. But exposing yourself to different project types and languages enables you to refine the most important skill a developer can have, problem-solving.
It pays to put in the work to grow your development muscles. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), the demand for web developers is expected to grow by 23% through 2031. The great thing about web development is that you don’t need a fancy degree to get into the field — only a commitment to improving and the drive to push through challenges.
Everything on our list below teaches you skills to apply to various other projects. You’ll better understand web design workflow and when to apply certain concepts. Use what’s here to sharpen your skills, then move on to more challenging development to continue testing your skills!
What skills are needed to become a web developer?
Web developers who excel have a good grasp of front-end and back-end languages. You’ll also need to have a good understanding of the following:
Developing web content
Working with client- and server-side scripting
Web developers are responsible for building web page layouts. Today’s websites need user-friendly designs that adapt to different screen sizes. You’ll need to understand how to troubleshoot your websites using your problem-solving skills.
Below is the fundamental knowledge you'll need to have as a web developer:
Using version control software like GitHub
Working with databases and servers
Back-end programming consists of two types of programming languages. Popular object-oriented languages include C#, Java, and Python. Functional languages widely in use by web developers include F# and Clojure.
Many web developers also know how to build mobile applications using languages like React Native, which is handy if you want to add Android development to your wheelhouse.
12 beginner web development projects to fine-tune your skills
The following project ideas will help enhance your software development skills. You can build these projects from scratch, seek tutorials that walk you through the intricacies of each application, or look for open-source projects to modify. It helps to find ways to work in other coding paradigms, like working with algorithms, data structures, and different database types like MongoDB.
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1) Build a one-page layout
Single-page layout pages contain only one HTML page. You won’t find an About page or anything other than a Home page. Many developers go with single-page layouts to make the user experience more fluid and continuous for users. They move from one spot on the page to another using navigation links or scrolling down to look at different content sections.
Building single-page layouts lets you practice basic web layout skills like setting up columns, dividing pages into sections, and working with headers and footers. You also get the chance to use some creativity using images and color pallets. How you pad and align various elements makes a big difference in the look of your page.
2) Create mock landing pages
Landing pages are where you land whenever you click on a hyperlink. These standalone pages are designed to provoke a response from a visitor. For example, an e-commerce site might have a landing page for a project with visual prompts designed to encourage you to make a purchase. Other actions you might want from visitors include:
Signing up for free product trials
Registering for webinars
The main goal of landing pages is to convert site visitors based on a company’s goals. Some think of a conversion as getting someone to provide their email address, while others strictly look at purchases. Designing mock landing pages gives you a better sense of how to help companies achieve their stated conversion goals.
3) Make a background generator
The nice thing about designing a background generator project is that it is fun and not labor-intensive. Creating something like this helps you understand the basics of manipulating the DOM and making websites look more dynamic.
Every development project you tackle doesn’t need to be complicated. A background generator project is something you can use more than once. As a full-time developer, you might be called upon to build similar applications multiple times for different clients. Once you get the logic down through practice, it becomes a core skill you can set up quickly.
4) Create a Netflix clone using React
Make the project more challenging by deploying your React Netflix clone using Firebase, a Backend-as-a-Service tool that helps developers build quality applications. Learning to work with tools like Firebase is a bonus when making the React app.
5) Build a multiplayer game of Connect Four
You get the chance to practice Python concepts like using Lists and the input() function. The challenge also comes from learning to apply your computational and creative skills to a web project. You’ll have to figure out how to structure data to make it easier to determine a winner. Other considerations include deciding which bits of logic need an individual function.
6) Create a URL-shortening tool
Building a URL-shortening tool is an excellent way to learn to work with third-party application programming interfaces (APIs). Essentially, a user enters a valid URL, then clicks a button or link requesting to shorten it. The final shortened URL should display back to the user.
The basic presentation elements of the project include the following:
A text input for the user to add their URL
A button or link that triggers the action to “shorten” the link
A display area for the shortened link for the user to copy and use as needed
7) Make a quiz/study app
Building quizzes or study apps are good ways to master a new language. You can use PHP, HTML, and CSS to develop your project. Use PHP to design the page template with a question-and-answer form for your questions and answers. You’ll need a second form to present solutions back to a user and a score.
8) Build and launch a login authenticator
Login authenticators are essential to helping businesses protect their servers and keep out unauthorized users. It’s probably one of the critical skills you’ll need if you plan to focus on business website development. Authenticators make users complete an authentication process to prove their identity. They are only allowed access once they provide the correct information.
10) Build an SEO-friendly website
Search engine optimized (SEO) websites get more visibility in organic search results. The goal is to have a website pop up when a user enters specific phrases into a search engine like Google or Bing. Getting to the top of search results draws more traffic, representing an opportunity for businesses to achieve more conversions through their websites.
Developers typically focus on the look of a site and its functionality. While you don’t have to become a full-blown marketing guru, it pays to have a basic grasp of SEO and how to apply it to websites. Use this project to practice setting up user-friendly URLs, integrate responsive design, and include technical SEO elements to help strengthen a brand’s online presence.
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11) Create a “two-truth and a lie” game with Slackbot
Building a Slackbot project offers a nice change of pace from standard website development. You can program Slackbots, or Slack chatbots, to handle queries from people, including the two truths and a lie game you will be building.
Send notifications when a new user joins a channel.
Prompt the new user to tell everyone two truths and a lie.
Ask other users to identify the lie in the new user’s statement.
Send notifications to all members about whether they had the correct guess.
12) Build a weather forecasting app using APIs
Below are the basics of what the user should be able to accomplish with your weather app:
Enter the name of a city.
Provide a specific location.
Click a button or link to generate the action.
Call a weather API and bring back results for the user.
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