Many years ago it was OK to build a website with some knowledge of HTML. These days websites require much, much more to be cool. You need to be using the latest and best web technologies.
Apache drives tons of websites. It is probably one of the most successful pieces of server software ever. It is not only important that your server runs off of it, but also that you know how to configure it. People don’t like URLs that look like example.com/meta/site/home/blog/files/97876868645763473648234234.php?q=16546119846189nfdc23453540_software when that can be so much shorter. Apache lets you manage everything from the beginning.
I’ve tried PHP and ASP.Net (though not much CGI), but I have found that PHP is by far the easiest way to develop a website with some server side code. Furthermore, there are loads of open-source PHP projects that drive major blogs, wikis, websites and forums. Decent knowledge of PHP allows your users to interact with your website.
Databases are very important for web applications. MySQL has become the de facto database of choice because it works very well with PHP, and it is also very lightweight and fast. I have used MySQL in all of my web applications simply because it comes with most server packages and requires very little configuration.
HTML5 is definitely the future of the internet. It is going to allow for far cleaner websites that are easier to interact with. When standardized there will be absolutely no excuse for not using it to build websites as you can embed video, audio and graphics far more easily than ever before.
Like HTML5, CSS3 allows for much better designs for websites, introducing animations, shadows, transitions, curves and gradients. If you are going to make your website look nice then CSS3 allows you not only to do it, but to do it well. Furthermore, CSS3 makes it much easier to design websites for all platforms whether desktop or mobile.
This sort of fits in with jQuery, but AJAX is incredibly important for developing new age web applications. It means that information can be sent between the client and the server without the need to refresh the page. This can be incredibly useful in many scenarios. For instance, if a user is watching a video and they would like to comment on it they do not want the video to reload from the beginning, so it is incredibly useful that the functionality is there to help more useful interaction.
10. Social APIs
It is all very well for you to create an incredible web application, but it is more important that you promote it afterwards. Therefore it is worth adding ‘Like’ buttons to your website for some of the major social networks (I would recommend adding Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, Digg and Send via E-mail). It is worth considering that you probably ought not to use the default bars, but instead styling your own version which fits better with your design.