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Web design involves the structure of the website including the information architecture (navigation schemes and naming conventions), the layout or the pages (wireframes or page schematics are created to show consistent placement of items including functional features), and the conceptual design with branding.

All websites should begin with a clear strategy so that it is apparent what they are trying to achieve. The strategy then enables the design to fulfill defined goals.

Such elements as text, forms, images (GIFs, JPEGs, Portable Network Graphics) and video can be placed on the page using HTML/XHTML/XML tags. Older browsers may require Plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, QuickTime, Java run-time environment, etc. to display some media, which are embedded into web page by using HTML/XHTML tags.

Improvements in browsers' compliance with W3C standards prompted a widespread acceptance and usage of XHTML/XML in conjunction with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to position and manipulate web page elements and objects.
Tim Berners-Lee published what is considered to be the first website in August 1991. Berners-Lee was the first to combine Internet communication (which had been carrying email and the Usenet for decades) with hypertext (which had also been around for decades, but limited to browsing information stored on a single computer, such as interactive CD-ROM design). Websites are written in a markup language called HTML, and early versions of HTML were very basic, only giving a website's basic structure (headings and paragraphs), and the ability to link using hypertext. This was new and different from existing forms of communication - users could easily navigate to other pages by following hyperlinks from page to page.

Static pages don’t change content and layout with every request unless a human (web master/programmer) manually updates the page. A simple HTML page is an example of static content.

Dynamic pages adapt their content and/or appearance depending on end-user’s input/interaction or changes in the computing environment. Dynamic content is often compiled on the server utilizing server-side scripting languages (Perl, PHP, ASP, JSP, ColdFusion, etc.). Both approaches are usually used in complex applications.


Web design emphasizes on the functional features of a web site, as well as positioning web design as a kind of graphic design. The process of designing web pages, web sites, web applications or multimedia for the Web may utilize multiple disciplines, such as animation, authoring, communication design, corporate identity, graphic design, human-computer interaction, information architecture, interaction design, marketing, photography, search engine optimization and typography.

Markup languages (such as HTML, XHTML and XML)
Style sheet languages (such as CSS and XSL)
Client-side scripting (such as JavaScript)
Server-side scripting (such as PHP and ASP)
Database technologies (such as MySQL and PostgreSQL)
Multimedia technologies (such as Flash and Silverlight)

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