The markup language utilized to create and design the websites is called HTML (hyper text markup language). The simple definition of a markup language would be a system of predefined tags used for organizing, indexing, and linking the text files. The HTML tags are read by Browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox, which are used to display the web page. Formerly, the website and web design was basic and had few features, only allowing links by utilizing hypertext. The development of technology allowed usage of graphics and complex information tools to be used in an Internet site. For the user it made the virtual world more beautiful and friendly.
The guiding factor of web design is similar to conventional form of publishing in print. Websites represent a new form of communication as the user can browse through the information by following the links, and access material on different pages. Here loads of data need not be stored in a hard drive or other storage device, since all information information can be available 24 x 7 on a website. These websites also have the advantage of being accessible from anywhere in the world with the aid of Internet connectivity. The current form of web design offers its users the ability to go straight to the intended piece of information without browsing endless pages.
Web design essentially means the physical make of the web page on display for a given company or information site. Web design is about placing the matter in a proper logical sequence and with adequate aesthetic appeal. The design results in pages of the website being either static or dynamic in nature. The web designing of any site may have all or of some of the following contents:
· Markup Languages for coding text typically the HTML, XHTML, and XML
· Style sheet languages for the layout of the page such as CSS and XSL
· Server-side scripting for writing at the server end, example, PHP or ASP
· Database technology which is exemplified by MySQL and ProstgreSQL
· Multimedia technologies such as flash and Silverlight
In terms of the content of the site, the web design should conform to certain standard of accessibility. These principles of accessibility are known as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and these days the content can be managed without having the knowledge of the programming language through Content Management System. For any given website the web design would dictate its success and a typical design for a website would encompass the following:
· Content: Should be appropriate, relevant and tuned to the target group.
· Utility: Convenient to use, easy to navigate and a dependable interface.
· Visual Appeal: Consistent style of text and graphics, appealing appearance with a professional touch and relevant styling.
· Optimized: visible to most search engines and online advertising media.
Further, the format most used for representing data on the website was the table-based layout due to the dominance of Netscape Navigator 4, however a CSS (Cascading Style sheet) lay out is also available. The CSS suffered for many years since the Netscape Navigator 4 browser did not display the pages properly. With the browser war off the boil, CSS is being used in greater frequency. Finally, web design should bring out the best of text and images with the aid of technology making it visually appealing, user-friendly and easy to locate on the web. This would determine the effectiveness of the design.