Website design is a term that is actually a little bit misleading, since technically it is more building than designing. Although the term web building is used, it is done so much less frequently and yet is a better representation of what an internet page actually does. There is design involved; however, it takes more of a second seat to web architecture most of the time as without architecture, it would be impossible to achieve design. In any case, whether building or designing, it all needs to be properly appreciated so that the right architecture can be created in order to achieve the desired look and function.
First and foremost, the purpose of a website must be understood as well as the intended audience in order to know how it must function. With books and magazines, the answer to that question is fairly simple - pages carry the content and design is the artistic treatment by which the pages are delivered. There are certain standards of web layout with regards to the programs used, reproduction methods, and other means of making visual ideas come to life. As long as there are pages that can be turned that hold the required information, a design is complete. The final product is the same, regardless of how the artist got there or by which method.
On the internet, design is very different. Although the appearance of a website is just as important as with a book or magazine, internet pages are built to be highly functional in many different ways. Just like the building of a house comes before the paint, wallpaper and carpet, the same goes for internet sites. The basis of all content and its required function must come before any concern about the appeal of a design.
In web design, there are also a few different coding languages - HTML, XML, CSS1 and CSS2 - all of which are continually updated, the most recent versions being the main standards of web page construction. HTML and XML are used to actually construct a page and direct its functionality, while CSS controls formatting. HTML can exist without CSS, but not vice versa; therefore, HTML is the backbone of an internet site which needs to happen first.
SEO and Marketing
Understanding all of this is naturally helpful when it comes to planning and creating a website as well as understanding how to more positively affect SEO and other marketing efforts. Designing for SEO compliance starts at the base level, so knowing how to implement that is also important. Knowing how to get the best visibility from internet browsers through page architecture is critical to SEO, as there are only certain ways that it works well. Supporting SEO with an artistic look usually provides the best results.
The importance in knowing all of this, especially for those who have a business internet site that needs its message efficiently spread, is in understanding how websites are constructed to achieve a designated purpose. Web creators can better satisfy client's needs when limitations are realized and certain elements are affected more than just a website's appearance. There is a certain psychological aspect to the way internet pages are interpreted and functionality increased, so understanding website design is essential to bring everything together in the best possible way!
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