A Brief History of Web Design

first website hosted on the ‘NeXT’ computer at CERN...
first website hosted on the ‘NeXT’ computer at CERN...

Did you know that the world’s first website was hosted on the NeXT computer at the lab of CERN in the Swiss Alps?

There in the lab, they defined what the World Wide Web (WWW) Project could do, how to access it, what features to use, and how to develop it, among many other things.

The first website was designed or rather programmed by Tim Berners-Lee – the inventor of the World Wide Web, or www.

Berners-Lee came up with a concept of using a system of interlinked “hypertext protocols,” or HTTP to transfer a user from one document to another, making it possible to navigate the Internet.

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He and his team of developers built the original “HTTP protocol” and HTML – the language in which web documents could be written.

Did you know that the world’s first website was hosted on the NeXT computer at the lab of CERN in the Swiss Alps?

In addition, they developed the first browser, which is a small program that is capable of reading HTML and browse through documents.

As time went by, the web design started to evolve through numerous experiments of many bright minds.

First, it began simple, with basic colors and layout. In fact, Berners-Lee’s WWW site did not have anything more than text and a few links.

Most other sites did follow his footsteps and kept their simple as well until it went overboard with images, effects, music, videos, and slow bandwidth.

Things turned ugly when Adobe Flash hit the scene.

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Although it made websites interactive and interesting, however, it used excessive bandwidth and consumed a lot of user’s time.

Soon, Google changed all of that when it started to index sites having good old text and simple design.

Suddenly, it became crucial for a site to have text and information rather than fancy intros and menus to rank higher in search results.

That is when new languages such as PHP, MySQL, jQuery, Ajax, and others came along to keep up with the demand for dynamic text-based sites and databases.

Despite fast internet availability throughout the world and according to the guidelines set by Google, the currently established style of sites is ‘minimalist.’

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That means information has to be quickly and easily accessible without too much clutter.

Images, on the other hand, need to speak their proverbial 1000 words.

Words and text have to be concise and engaging.

Adobe Flash is rarely used.

While links are good for SEO perspective, it is surprising to know that more and more sites are returning to the basic one-page website design that only requires scrolling.

This is probably because more and more sites are increasingly used on phones and tablets. Tapping links could be frustrating while scrolling can be done with a simple flick of the finger.

As far as web design is concerned, the future looks simple!

The designer has to find the ‘perfect’ balance between designs and information for a site to make it user-friendly.

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Although articles and text still count for indexing and ranking, but the most visual the site is the better the result. For example, videos and charts also help show a visitor what they are looking for.

That is the most crucial point!

In the end, it all comes down to what the visitor is looking for. So when you are designing a website in the future, keep them in mind as well.

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