Since the concept of websites first came into being in the early 1990’s, web designers have continually shaped and reshaped the way websites look. During the first few years, websites were entirely text-based, with scarcely any images and very little layout except perhaps for an occasional heading or paragraph. However, as the web design industry advanced, we began to see table-based designs, Flash, and finally CSS-based designs. To those who may not know how this all started, a gentleman by the name of Tim Berners-Lee published the first website in August 1991, but it was nothing more than a simple, text-based page with a couple of links. A web page from 1992 had a dozen or so links, and its objective was to simply let everyone know what the World Wide Web was all about. All web pages looked almost alike, and they were all entirely text-based with a single-column design and inline links.
Interestingly, the first versions of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) enabled only basic content structure: headings (<h1>, <h2>, etc.), a few paragraphs (<p>), and a few links (<a>). The later versions of HTML however included images (<img>) on pages, and eventually supported tables (<table>) as well.
During 1994, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) was formed, and this consortium set HTML as the standard for marking up web pages. This almost prevented any individual organization from building a proprietary browser and programming language.
Since its inception in the mid-1990s, web design and development have been one of the most rapidly growing industries in the world. In fact, during 1995 there were fewer than 1,000 web development companies in the United States. A decade hence there were over 30,000 such companies, just in the U.S. alone.
Web development is today a broad term and can range anywhere from developing the simplest static single page containing plain text to the most complicated web-based internet applications, e-businesses, social networking sites, etc. One of the foremost reasons influencing this growth of the web design industry is the decline of costs for creating and managing a website.
Today’s Internet has become an effective tool for interaction, communication and even business growth. Website development has ceased to be costly, and there are a large number of small web developers who offer their services at very affordable rates. The growth of the web design industry was fuelled by companies using the web as a business tool to sell their goods or services. The emergence of electronic commerce (e-commerce) has contributed a spurt in the growth of the Web design industry. E-commerce sites have dramatically altered the way people buy or sell goods, making trading much easier and convenient than ever before.
Another classic example of transformation led by web development is blogs. Open source content management systems (CMS) such as Joomla!, Drupal, XOOPS, and TYPO3, along with enterprise content management systems such as Alfresco, have carried web development into totally new spheres of interactive communication.
Social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter offer users a platform they can communicate freely with one another, and this is also changing e-commerce through the number of hits and online advertisements.
Advertising on the web is also developing into a multi-million dollar industry, as advertisements in one form or another are invariably available on every page of a website.
Today, many web development companies have well-trained and skilled professionals who offer excellent services and have earned exceptional reputations around the world. With competition getting fiercer every the day, and with there being a proliferation of websites, effective SEO practices are also becoming necessary. It is a fact that online businesses and their unique web designs are the KEY to commanding a lot of attention and respect from today’s Internet visitors.
Kevin is a Content editor Specialist of Visit keydifference. He is in charge of market research. He’s a content writter and blogger.