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The Web Design

The Web DesignThe web design represents an arranged collaboration of web pages, which in turn make up a website or application. There are millions of web designers scattered around the world, and all of them have their own design preferences, but the end goal is always the same.

Web design, although associated with graphics design in some quarters, is primarily concerned with three objectives:

Information value : The quality of information stored across the website.Website visibility : The ease with which a user can locate a website from the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN)Appearances and presentation : The manner in which each page is presented.
These three factors make up the essential components of a web page, and a good web designer will score highly in each area.

Web design caters for several technologies in order to aid the production of web based material. Most pages are made up of HTML (or XHTML), CSS, images and further multimedia content. HTML is the underlying foundation for most of these pages, but web technology is constantly improving and just as we usher in XHTML as the new design standard, several other technologies are expanding their horizons and further dividing the web community.

You can compare a web design to a book in many ways. A successful book usually stands out from the others, whether it's through a snappy effective title, or an appealing front cover. An author will spend a great deal of time targeting their title and display information to gain the attention of potential readers. This works in the same way that a web designer may use SEO and keywords. A book has to stand out in a library, in the same fashion that a website has to stand out in a network of other sites.

Then you have the actual value of the content. A fancy front cover or an attractive title isn't usually enough to guarantee the user's satisfaction. The book has to have valuable content, or a good story. A website has to have relevant information stored on its sub pages.

Finally, a book needs to be easy to read and presented in a user friendly manner, with images where appropriate to aid the reading experience. The same can be said for a website, which can be improved dramatically by the inclusion of multimedia content or relevant images. Just as a book has readability specifications, a website has usability and accessibility guidelines. These are designated by the w3 Consortium.

As we mention the w3 Consortium, it's important to understand the influence that the w3 community has over the web. Every web technology needs to have a fixed set of standards drawn up and approved, due to the nature of most open source web languages. The w3 Consortium handles this task and sets out strict web regulations which we're all obliged to follow if we wish to comply with the accepted industry standards. For commercial websites, this is essential.

Before your web design can be accessed by other users, you need to make sure that you have several items available. These are listed below.
  • Editing software
  • A web server
  • An upload client

Looking at the first requirement, editing software can be as simple or as advanced as you'd like it to be. For example, an HTML page can be coded in Notepad and saved with the .HTML extension. But if you're working with complex languages, you can also purchase a copy of Adobe Dreamweaver (Formerly owned by Macromedia) or Microsoft FrontPage. These development suites allow for a much more automated coding experience, with the use of WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors. Indeed, it's possible to create HTML pages without the knowledge of a single tag!

A web server is required to host your content on the World Wide Web. Servers are usually maintained by professional businesses, so it's quite possible to sign up for hosting on a number of websites and use their own resources. This is usually the case when you find a website offering to store your content. There are free hosting services on the Internet, but they'll usually come with advertisements included in the package.

Finally, you need an FTP upload client, or a web based upload environment, so that you can send your content to be published on the web. SmartFTP and Cute FTP are both great tools for this purpose.

If you have all three of the items above, you're ready to get involved with the production of a web design.

Every web design is initiated when a user accesses the INDEX page of your website. This will be named with a further extension, determined by the language that you've used for the page. If you're using PHP, it might be INDEX.PHP. If you're using ColdFusion, it might be INDEX.CFM.

Your index page should be the portal to the rest of your website. A good design starts on the very first page, and it's important to make this particular page the most informative on your site.

Web design doesn't have to be restricted to the basics of HTML and CSS. We can use what's known as server-side scripting and client-side scripting to make a site dynamic and more interactive.

Server-side production usually consists of one of the following programming languages:
  • ASP
  • JSP
  • PHP
  • ColdFusion
  • Python
Client-side scripting is mainly restricted to the use of JavaScript. You will shortly discover the benefits of these advanced languages, but rest assured that web design was once as simple as plain HTML and it still can be!

With good planning foundations and a solid grasp of HTML, we can produce some excellent websites and web applications. The learning curve is ongoing, and you'll find that your web design can always be improved. Don't be put off by the idea. Even the greatest websites were once imaginary tags in a designer's imagination!--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Technology Site, part of Localwin Network.
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