Web Design – What is it?

Overview
Web design involves the structure of the website including the information architecture, the layout or the pages, and the conceptual design with branding.

Content

Such elements as text, forms, images (GIFs, JPEGs, Portable Network Graphics) and video can be placed on the page using HTML/XHTML/XML tags.

Typically web pages are classified as static or dynamic

* Static pages don’t change content and layout with every request unless a human (web master/programmer) manually updates the page. A simple HTML page is an example of static content.
* Dynamic pages adapt their content and/or appearance depending on end-user’s input/interaction or changes in the computing environment (user, time, database modifications, etc.) Content can be changed on the client side (end-user’s computer) by using client-side scripting languages (JavaScript, JScript, Actionscript, etc.) to alter DOM elements (DHTML). Dynamic content is often compiled on the server utilizing server-side scripting languages (Perl, PHP, ASP, JSP, ColdFusion, etc.). Both approaches are usually used in complex applications.

With growing specialization in the information technology field there is a strong tendency to distinguish between web design and web development. Web design is a kind of graphic design intended for the development and styling of objects of the Internet’s information environment to provide them with high-end consumer features and aesthetic qualities.

This definition separates web design from web programming, emphasizing the functional features of a web site, as well as positioning web design as a kind of graphic design.[1] The process of designing web pages, web sites, web applications or multimedia for the Web may utilize multiple disciplines, such as animation, authoring, communication design, corporate identity, graphic design, human-computer interaction, information architecture, interaction design, marketing, photography, search engine optimization and typography.

* Markup languages (such as HTML, XHTML and XML)
* Style sheet languages (such as CSS and XSL)
* Client-side scripting (such as JavaScript)
* Server-side scripting (such as PHP and ASP)
* Database technologies (such as MySQL and PostgreSQL)
* Multimedia technologies (such as Flash and Silverlight)

Web pages and websites can be static pages, or can be programmed to be dynamic pages that automatically adapt content or visual appearance depending on a variety of factors, such as input from the end-user, input from the webmaster or changes in the computing environment (such as the site’s associated database having been modified).

Here is the explanation from a true web designer:

A web page is a file that is normally written in a language called HTML. HTML stands for hypertext markup language. HTML is a scripting language in which you can code things on the page like b for bold, and u for underlibe. You can even use notepad to edit any one of these html files. If you want to see what HTML looks like. Open your browser, go to your favorite website, and click view source. This will show you the HTML of your webpage. In any case, your web browser read the HTML file and spit back a nice looking formatted web page. When you go to a website by typing in the URL which is basically an address to a file on a web server. An example would be:

http://www.mydomain.com/myfile.html

The server goes and grabs that files and then sends it to your browser. Your browser decodes the entire funny looking html and shows you a webpage.

What is a Website?

A collection of web pages make up a website. As an example: Suppose I have a website about my New York plumbing business. I may have a home page, a page that describes my services, and a web page to display my contact information. These individual web pages would make up my entire plumbing website. The example I provided would be for a very basic type of websites. This type of site is called a static website. There are so many different types of websites or options. The type of website you get depends a lot on the nature of your business.

Next topic will be what are the elements of a website, acronyms explained as well!

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