Web design has come a long way in the last 20 years. It used to be, if you wanted to build a web page, then you had one option – HTML. Hypertext Markup Language is the basic language of the Web. Today, if you are building a website of any kind, chances are you are going to incorporate HTML into your programming even if you use other languages.
But HTML is not the only language you need, by far. If you expect your web site to have some interactive features, then you’ll need more – much more – than HTML.
CSS, or cascading style sheets, is a language devised to help Web programmers build websites where design elements can be defined in a single document across multiple pages. Then you can use HTML for your content on each individual page.
PHP allows Web site designers the ability to add interactive design features into their web pages without jacking up the HTML.
Microsoft has joined the web design game as well with its own programming languages and Web application framework. ASP is the basic Web language of Microsoft. ASP.NET allows you to build more dynamic web pages on a Windows server.
Other application frameworks have entered the market as well. One popular one in recent years is the open source Ruby on Rails, which is based on the Ruby programming language. Twitter, and a few other popular websites, was built on Ruby on Rails.
So, to answer the question, how many Web languages do you need for Web design? You really only need one. But if you want to build dynamic web pages that are interactive and keep visitors coming back for more, sometimes you need to incorporate several languages into a single web design.