History of web designing dates back to just few decades, but within this short span of time, it has undergone significant amount of changes. Websites are no more designed with the principles that were used a decade ago. Moreover, the static HTML has been transformed to a language that can make websites dynamic. Today, web designing has become so vast and vivid that people just can’t imagine the web world without fancy texts, animated graphics and background music.
Evolution of web designing is an interesting story, and there is a marked difference between yesteryears’ designing and today’s designing. We’ll take a glance at this interesting evolution and see how it has transformed in the last few decades.
The Early Web Pages
In the history of web designing, the first website was published around August, 1991, almost 20 years ago. Though evolution of Internet started in early sixties, it took time before people could actually grasp this technology. It was Tim Berners-Lee who published the first website which consisted of text-based page with a few links. The pages that followed it were almost similar to it.
These sites came to be referred as the first generation websites and consisted of lots of text, limited graphics with limited colors and were accompanied with a linear layout. The sole purpose of their creation was functional communication and not entertainment of users. They were static and lacked the dynamicity that today’s websites have. The first website [Internal linking: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html] still exists in the Internet, and it still serves the basic purpose of telling people about the World Wide Web.
Evolution of Web Designing with HTML
The term ‘hypertext’ was first given by Ted Nelson in 1963, but it came in practical use long after that. In yesteryears, Hypertext Markup Language was the heart of websites. It was used by Tim Berners-Lee to build the first website. After the formation of World Wide Web in 1994, HTML was the only coding language for web design at that time. However, there wasn’t much freedom in designing with it.
Websites in that era had much similarity between them as they were entirely text-based, had a single-column design along with inline links. HTML enabled designers to go for the most basic content structure that consisted of headings (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) and paragraphs (<p). It restricted the web designers to create and use simple layouts, tables, text tables with little or almost no graphics.
One can consider it to be the Bronze Age of web design. Although, designing did not prevail in that age, designers were continually trying to make their sites visually more appealing with graphics. However, as its evolution proceeded, elements like images (<img>) and tables (<table>) was added to the language.
The second generation of HTML came after the advent of Netscape. Its evolution period started around 1994 and continued till the end of 1997. During this period, the developers started adding their own chunks of HTML codes. Till that time, the Internet became faster, and this gave more HTML capabilities. In order to avoid confusion of the HTML 1 tags, HTML 2 came into being. With the arrival of HTML 2, coding became a bit complicated and the graphics started being used more frequently.
January 2007 marked the starting of third generation of HTML. This version was developed and published exclusively by the W3C. With it, designers got the option to use style sheets. Designers got more freedom in terms of customization and could beautify their sites with colorful or patterned backgrounds.
By the time HTML completed its fourth generation, Internet moved way forward and Flash also arrived at the scene. This pushed designing way ahead and websites went on to become dynamic from static. Also, Internet Explorer brought a fresh breathe of air with itself.
The latest trends in web designing
Arrival of new technologies led to further modifications in HTML. At the end of 1997, W3C came with HTML 4.0. As W3C kept modifying this language and as PHP and Microsoft provided designers with new tools, web designing took a whole new turn. Functional communication was now no more the sole motive of web designers.
It developed into a whole new discipline. Designing a website was no more confined to texts and static images. Flash gave more power to designers as it allowed them to embed audio and video files to websites. Further empowerment came to the web designers in May 2011, when HTML5 arrived on the scene. Today’s websites are considered to belong to the fourth generation.
There is no doubt in it that web designing has come a long way. Currently, it’s mobile web design and responsive web design that are trending. The flexibility of web designing in the mobile devices actually shows the huge leap that it has taken within two decades.