The Progress of Web Design: From Tim Berners-Lee to Mobile Website Design

Evolution of Web Design

In the early 1990s, websites were text-based. The use of images and graphics were not yet main stream at the time. The first web design was made of a single column and text-based pages in Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML). Website pages were a collection of text documents connected to each other by internal links. Through research and development, significant advancements were made. The first website was published in 1991 by the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee. He is also the current director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) founded in 1994, which oversees the web development and its standards.

In the mid 1990s, table-based websites were introduced. Now web designers were able to organize their web pages within cells of a table. It became possible to create multiple column websites, which in return allowed better web content organization and navigation layout. Table-based websites also enabled customization of each element within the table. Web designers could now insert background images within cells of a table; however, good design principles were not really important. Website designers and clients were interested by the hottest, latest and most advanced web design technology available. As things started to evolve, frames, animated texts and visual hit counters became part of web design. Frames were used to clearly separate the body of a website from the sidebar navigation. Animated texts and GIF images were used to capture the website user’s attention, while visual hit counters became a good way to measure the popularity of a webpage. In 1994, Macromedia introduced Flash, which is essentially a software used to produce Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to create animations and stream videos.

In the late 1990s, Flash became more popular. Most websites became a combination of table-based design and flash elements, with flash animations including the company’s logo, a flash-based navigation and flash-based image galleries. The major Web Design innovation of the late 1990s was the introduction of Personal Home Page (PHP) which according to Wikipedia, is a server-side scripting language designed for web development. PHP gained a lot of popularity because it is free and compatible with leading operating systems and web servers which make it deployment easy across different platforms.

The 21st century brought a lot of innovation to web design with the introduction of CSS. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used to format an HTML webpage. Now web designers could separate the content of a page (HTML) from its styling or design (layout, colors, fonts, etc.). In the early 2000s, Microsoft Internet Explorer became the first web browser to fully support the CSS structure. In stride, the concept of intelligent web was introduced with the advent of JavaScript. Now designers could animate content without flash and perform a complex computation of data. The use of drop-down menus and forms also became very popular. These forms allowed internet users to generate content online, create personal profiles and upload pictures.

In the mid 2000s, the semantic web was born. This movement primary allows machines and computers to understand website pages as well as human do. This was made possible by inserting computer readable Meta tags about pages and their relation to one another through technologies such as XML, TURTLE and N-TRIPLES.

The last decade was marked by the advent of web 2.0 with some major updates. The web became more and more interactive, and web applications began to expand. Now web content can refresh itself without having the entire page reloaded. The attention is now geared toward web content (articles, Press Releases, graphics and videos) instead of just selling products online. And HTML 5 was introduced as an alternative to Flash and graphics.

Mobile Web The New Trend

A recent study showed that by 2014, mobile device sales will exceed desktop sales. More and more web designers are converting their website to a responsive version for users on the go. The new standard is gearing towards tall and skinny websites, rather than short and wide lay-outs. The navigation menu is significantly reduced to the most important links. Nowadays, mobile sites are used for various purposes, such as location detection, GPS tracking, etc. and the data is offer services, such mobile coupons, local restaurant reviews, etc. Another recent study stated that two-thirds of cell phone users say they access the web/email from their device.

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Who Can You Trust to Help Build Your Online Business?

Whether you are experienced with managing traditional brick and mortar companies or if you are entirely new to the online and tech start up industry it is important to look into finding professional guidance to help getting any business model off of the ground. Building an online business with a mentor by your side is a way to move forward with plans you have in place with confidence and excitement.Determine Your NeedsBefore seeking out an expert online mentor it is imperative to consider the needs you have with running your business and what you most require help with during day-to-day management tasks. Understanding the type of assistance you require is a way to scope out mentors who have experience in similar industries and specialize in the areas you need help focusing on more professionally while running your business.Create a Business Plan and OutlineCreate a business plan and outline to review in-depth the overall methods of reaching consumers, the demographics and how you plan to offer your content, products or services to those who are genuinely interested in following your brand and company. Having a business plan ready when seeking out a business mentor that is right for you is a way to ensure you are selecting the right professional to come on board to provide additional guidance throughout your journey.Having a business plan thoroughly complete can help to expedite the process once you begin comparing online mentors who specialize in businesses and assisting entrepreneurs, ultimately allowing you to save time when implementing new strategies.Things to Look for in an Online Business MentorWhen you have made the decision to hire an online mentor that specializes in business it is important to review various things to look for in an online business mentor that is right for you and the future growth of your company.Review the experience any online mentors have that is relevant to the type of industry or market you are currently working in. Finding a business mentor with more experience in your market and industry gives you the competitive edge when developing strategies and continuously building the audience and demographic you are targeting.It is also important to review past experience, education and credentials of the business mentors you are working with online. Reviewing portfolios and past positions gives you more options when you have multiple choices while searching for a business mentor who specializes in building, managing and growing online businesses.Talking to an online mentor who specializes in business is also recommended when you want to work with someone who meshes well with your own personal attitude and approach to managing your business. Although mentors are likely to provide advice and help with decisions it is ideal to work with a professional who shares similar goals and visions for your company to work well with one another.Check Official Websites, Portfolios and Professional Communities Once you have found an online mentor you believe in who understands and want to help your business it is also highly advisable to search for more information about the professional prior to making a decision. Check official websites, portfolios and even professional communities to verify the experience and credibility the mentor claims to have before making a decision.Asking for referrals from those who have worked with the mentor in business online is another way to feel confident and reassured when moving forward in creating new plans, strategies and marketing campaigns for your online company or eCommerce store.Working with the right expert online mentor is a method of gaining insight into how to properly manage and grow your business while also learning about various aspects of handling all decisions for your company in the future. Understanding the benefits of working with an online business mentor is ideal when you are determined to outperform competitors and become a true leader of your own destiny.

Why Are Online Businesses Booming?

Without doubt the internet has changed the way that we live our lives. This has been particularly apparent with recent sales figures for many retailers including Next showing a slump in high street shop sales and a growth within online shopping sales proving that the internet is now the preferred method of shopping for many of us. Sadly this has resulted in the closure of many high street stores, especially electrical retailers, as they battle stiff competition from online retailers.During the past ten years the growth of the internet has resulted in many individual success stories and has also strengthened sales for many established businesses as they also use websites to generate extra revenue. Experts predict that by 2020 90% of transactions will take place online or will be influenced by the internet.With this in mind there has never been a better time to start an internet online business. Statistics show that the demand and audience is huge so what better way to capitalise on this demand than by starting an online business.Internet businesses involve less risk, cost and effort and most can be started straight away. To create a successful home online business you will need to take the following into consideration:Look For A Product That Doesn’t Have A Market LeaderIf you want to become a successful entrepreneur you will need to find a niche that is quite unique without massive competition. One such example was a lady who found a gap in the market for providing baby products and accessories in your own home. She thought of the idea after having a baby of her own. She has now formed a very successful business providing this service.Having a passion for what you are selling is also crucial to your success. This was the case for twelve year old Louis Barnett who created a successful confectionary company selling chocolates to top retailers. He left school with severe dyslexia and dyspraxia but his desire to be able to spell the word chocolate inspired him to set up his own company selling chocolate. He scored the highest score ever for his pitch with one retailer which even at twelve years old was full of passion fuelled by his belief in his product.Write Up A Good Business Plan To Get Funding For Your BusinessPresenting a good business plan will help you to get the necessary funds to start your on line business. Make sure that you ask for adequate funds at the beginning to ensure the success of your business. Asking for too little funds is a mistake often made but will only result in your business struggling in the short term.Register Your CompanyIf you anticipate that your sales will exceed the current threshold of £73k you will need to register your company for VAT.On line traders also need to ensure that they comply with data protection legislation when storing information on customers.Create A Good WebsiteWith any internet business it is crucial to create a powerful website to attract customers to your business. Your website acts as a shop window for your business and will determine how successful your business will become.Whilst it is cheaper to install your own website it is better, if financially possible, to outsource this task as this can be the difference between making sales or not.You will need to ensure that your website is appealing as people will buy if they like what they see. Make sure that the website is easy to navigate especially on the ordering page as people will tend to leave if the sales process is too difficult.Test your website with potential customers, friends and family before launching your website to make sure that it has the necessary appeal.Marketing Your BusinessFor an online business, marketing is vital to its success. Effective marketing will ensure that people are drawn to your website over your competitors.There are several ways in which you can market your online business. You can advertise organically by writing articles or blogs or you can pay for advertising using Google ad words or by paying for SEO. The type of advertising you choose will be largely governed by the type of online business that you have and by the budget that you have available.Offline advertising such as direct mail can also be very effective in promoting your online business and increasing sales.Don’t Give Up Your Day JobDon’t make the mistake of giving up your day job too soon. Most online businesses only require you to work part time from home to begin with allowing you to work around your current employment and still enjoying the security of earning income while your business gets off the ground.All in all your internet business will thrive provided that you offer people what they want to buy at a price that they can afford and that you make them aware that you have what they need.With the ever growing popularity of the internet there has never been a better time to start an internet business. There are many online business ideas, all you need to do is carry out some research to find the best online business for you.