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Website Design & Development

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Website Design and Development

The immense growth of information and technology within a short time has prompted many to utilize it as a medium of communication. This idea has now been put into pragmatic usage by means of internet. It is not a single network but a globally interconnected series of networks which provides free exchange of information. Through this internet you can convey your message to a large network of people. The main purpose of web design and development is to put forward your data through your own site to millions of people around the world.

 

In this era of internet, from education to business, every transaction can take place on the net. The main aspects of web design development includes client/server programming, database development, graphical design, and search engine optimization. Web design and development provides you with the best way for your e-commerce needs. For Web development we need a browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape and a text editing software (NotePad under Windows) for HTML and JavaScript tutorials and The SQL. Web Development includes HTML and XML, JavaScript, CGI and Perl, CSS and DHTML, ASP and PHP, Java, graphical designing, etc.

 

Html- the basic building blocks of web design are documents developed using html.

 

Html has become the development language for network based information. It is used to define and describe the layout of a web page and to specify web page elements like a table, heading, paragraph, bulleted list etc.

 

XML is the markup language. It is used to describe the structure of data, so anywhere the data is input/output, stored, or transmitted from one place to another is a potential use for Xml’s capabilities. Perhaps the most well-known applications are web related. Xml is just a way of describing the structure of data.

 

Css enables users to decide the attributes of the web page elements. Scripting languages aid in manipulating web page elements so that the style assigned to elements can change in response to the end user's input. Dhtml permits the web page to react to the user without depending on the server or an embedded program.

 

Script-java is a technology that helps in building distributed applications, which are programs that can be executed across all platforms. Java programs can be embedded into web design and development by turning static pages into dynamic applications. The scripting language required for developing the web document uses many languages of which JavaScript is one.

Cgi and Perl

 

The common gateway interface was one of the first practical techniques for creating dynamic content. With CGI a web server passes certain requests to an external program. The output of this program is then sent to the client in place of static file. This helps to implement all sorts of new functionality in web page for design and development. Even though CGI program can be written in almost any language, the perl programming language has become the predominant choice.

 

Search engine optimization is another good technique used in the web design and development process. For it, you use specific words or phrases in your page so that your page gets accordingly recognized on the server. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technique which helps to make the ranking of a website in search engine listing.

 

It is very helpful as people (newcomers) put their new websites' advertisement into established sites. Examples of dramatic transformation in communication and commerce led by web development include e-commerce. Online auction sites such as E-bay have changed the way consumers consume and purchase goods and services. Online resellers such as Amazon.com and Buy.com (among many, many others) have transformed the shopping and bargain hunting experience for many consumers.

 

Another good example of transformative communication led by web development is the blog. Web applications such as WordPress and b2evolution have created easily implemented blog environments for individual websites. Also, collaborative web spaces and online communities such as MySpace and open source content systems such as Xoops, Joomla, and Drupal have extended web development into new modes of interaction and communication.

 

Web Development as an Industry.

 

Web development is a broad term that incorporates all areas of developing a website for the World Wide Web. This can include graphical web design, actual coding of pages, backend programming, and web server configuration. However, among web professionals, web development usually refers only to the non-design aspects of building websites, e.g. writing markup and coding. For larger businesses and organizations, web development teams can consist of hundreds of people, while smaller organizations may only require a single webmaster.

 

Since the mid-1990's, web development has been one of the fastest growing industries in the world. In 1995 there were less than 1,000 web development firms, but by 2005 there were over 30,000. The web development industry is expected to grow over 22% by 2010. The growth of this industry is being pushed by large businesses wishing to sell products and services to their customers and to automate business workflow. In addition, the cost of website development and hosting has dropped during these years. Instead of costing tens of thousands of dollars, as was the case only five or six years ago, you can now develop a simple website with only a few hundred dollars. As far as web development tools and platforms are concerned, there are many systems available to the public for free to aid in development. A popular example is the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), which is usually distributed free of charge. This fact alone accounts for why so many people around the globe are setting up new websites daily and thus contributing to the great increase in web development.

 

Another contributing factor has been the rise of easy to use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web development software, most prominently Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver. Using such software, virtually anyone can develop a webpage in a matter of minutes. The next generation of web development tools will be the strong growth in LAMP and Microsoft .NET technologies to provide the web with an application platform. Web developers now assist in delivering applications such as web services which were traditionally only available as local applications. So instead of running executable code on a local computer, users are interacting with online applications to create new content modalities.

 

This has created new paradigms in communication and created many opportunities for decentralized information and media distribution. Users are now able to interact with applications from many locations, instead of being tied to a specific workstation for their application environment. A good site is an easily and intuitively navigable site. The user has to know where is he going when he selects a link and should know how to find where to go in order to reach the desired info.

 

A general rule for a good site map is that it should have the layout of a balanced tree as much as possible. Of course it will depend on your site’s specific content and areas, but that’s a general rule to follow. Another major area of your site design is what is related to graphic design itself.

 

In today’s world, appearances tell a lot and are very important, and your site is no exception to that rule. There are innumerable cases of sites that had exactly the same content, same features, same performance but one site had excellent graphic design and the other not. Guess who is now up and running and who is not?

 

So, a basic recommendation, if you are thinking of creating a website, is “get a graphic designer”. Which one you choose will depend on your site’s size, if for personal or very small business sites budget is short (or null), but if you have minimum budget to get a good graphic designer working on your site, then do it, you won’t regret.

 

Graphic design of a website has several areas too, you have to think about site colors, site style, site themes.

 

 

Creating a website is becoming a very common task in every aspect of modern life from personal blogs to full featured companies websites where users have a wide variety of services.

 

Also, as with everything in software development, there are certain guidelines and best practices that should be followed in order to create a successful site. Those guidelines, tips, and best practices are both product of academic research and real life application so it is good to know what others have done before.

 

Any website can be viewed as the junction or aggregation of two main areas, website design and website functionality.

 

Web design refers to the site look and feel, usability, eye catching features, polished graphics, navigation, etc.

 

Web functionality is the service provided by a site, how useful it is, how complex the service provided is, the performance, the reliability, etc.

 

We will give a quick overview to both aspects of websites, design and functionalities.

 

As mentioned before, web design is what has to do with how the site looks, how intuitive it is for the user, how clear the info it contains is shown.

 

There are a set of steps that should be followed when designing a website in order to be sure to cover all the needed areas of the site, and for every step there are certain things to consider.

 

The first step you should take is to research about the content the site will have. In real life, you do not develop a site and then add content. What you really have is some content you want to publish (either it’s personal information or massive products and services for a big company).

 

You have to clearly identify the content you will publish, what kind of content it is, if it is mainly text content, or if it is mainly image content, videos, audios, or links.

 

Each content type has it’s own best way to be shown, so understanding and knowing which content you are to publish is the first step you should take prior to starting your website development.

 

Once you have clearly identified the content your site will have, you should create a sitemap in order to have a big picture of how it will be organized.

 

The best way to create a sitemap is to use a flow chart style diagram where every page is represented by a single rectangle. A brief description of the page content is written for every page, then the links between the pages are created using arrows.

 

That will give you a clear overview of the complete site layout and will allow you to accommodate it as per your needs.

 

A key thing you have to consider while creating the sitemap is making site navigation easy.

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