Knowing The Basics
To answer the question “what is web design?”, in its most simple explanation refers to the creation of a web page. This involves every step of the process starting from a blank web page and creating a fully customisable dynamic page with text, pictures, links, and many more features.
Every web site that you have ever visited has been designed from scratch, and is now being visually supported by something called a ‘theme’. There are literally millions of themes available for all types of websites.
However, simply picking a ready-made theme and applying it to your web page is not considered web design, simply because it does not refer to the process of creation, but is rather simply applying an already completed web design element.
HTML and CSS
There are two sides to every web page that are seen by visitors to a website. The first is the visual aspect of the page as it appears in a browser/ web applications. This image is a product of actual web design, which refers to the second side of a web page – the many different codes that it is made up of.
These codes look nothing like the finished web page product, but are rather are a very detailed set of signs and symbols that tell a server what to show in a visitor’s web browser.
This set of codes is referred to as the language of the internet, and is called HTML (HyperText Markup Language). This language forms the base of any web page and is also capable of giving it various visual options.
However, for an even greater number of visual tweaks, another language exists called CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). While HTML is responsible for the basic outline and a few other tweaks, CSS gives a web page a very admirable visual style and is almost infinitely customisable.
Web design is not something that can be learned easily, and it is also a very slow process to work with. It takes years to perfect the art of web design, as well as a university degree in the field. The list of codes is almost endless and with unlimited possibilities where even a single wrong symbol can cause the entire web page to fail.
Depending on the complexity of the web design, it can take about two months to complete a very good design, which often includes over 20,000 symbols, all perfectly aligned to give the website the perfect look.
Although novices in web design can learn simple codes for things like adding images to posts and changing fonts and colour, more complex achievements usually require the help of a professional web design company.
As excellent as web design is, it is certainly not flawless. When you build a web page, the way it looks changes depending on the browser used, the operating system, as well as the overall configuration of the user’s computer. If any of these elements are less advanced than they are required to be for a web page, it will end up looking sloppy and very weird.
This is why it takes such a long time to create the perfect web page that will not be flawed by outside influences. This also includes different monitor sizes, which is something that cannot possibly be controlled by the web designer as they cannot know which monitor each visitor to the website is using.
Web pages were very simple constructions in the past. However, with the introduction of Flash and the advancement of both computers and the Internet, there is nothing that cannot be done on a web page today. An excellent example is the thousands of online shops that have become popular in the last decade. This was thought practically impossible in the past, but with the help of HTML and CSS, online shopping is not more popular than regular shopping.