Once upon a time (in 1958 to be precise) a man named President Eisenhower gave his researchers the money to create the ARPAnet communications system and the very first version of the Internet was born.
Over the next thirty or so years, lots of new technologies were developed and eventually Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web. By the mid 1990s, lots of little businesses were starting to advertise themselves by having a website. They thought it was great (as did all the budding Website Designers), but unless they told someone where they were, it was very difficult to find them.
Then, in 1998, enter Google, with its pioneering ranking system, uncluttered search page and speedy results. At this point the realisation began to dawn that websites had to be ‘tweaked’ to even get a look in on Google and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) suddenly became a very important phrase to Website Designers.
From then on, everything became a bit of a blur; the Internet became a dynamic entity and it certainly wasn’t enough just to be ‘on it’. Today, the challenges involved for Website Designers in getting a website high in the search engine rankings can be very daunting.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to assimilate all of the ‘advice’ on offer to Website Designers to produce a website that is ‘ready’ for launch. For all of those little businesses out there it is mind-numbing. With all the jargon floating around: black hat, spamification, organic search and bots etc. etc., where do they start?
There are two options for Website Designers, the first one is to hand all that stuff over to an SEO expert, but for those intent on the DIY option, they need to see beyond the jargon and break down the concepts into easy to digest chunks.
Aside from the aesthetic appearance of the website, which is after all a personal thing there are a number of essential things which Website Designers need to include in both the HTML coding and the page content itself. There are also numerous ways to make the website known to the world without paying for advertising.
It is important for Website Designers to be aware of 2011 trends such as CSS3 and HTML5 which enable browsing of a full website via mobile devices. Incidentally, these devices are expected to outsell PCs this year and it is no longer enough to offer a watered down dedicated mobile site.
Along the same lines, designing for touch screens is another essential. Features which are designed for mouse use, such as hovering and drop-down menus, for example, are useless on a touch screen.
Since Google’s introduction of thumbnail browsing, which enables searchers to preview your website without clicking through, there is even more need to make your page content not only enticing, but able to present in suitable formats. Flash-based designs will not display on the thumbnails.
These are just a few of the many things you need to know. There is definitely too much information to put into one article; it could easily fill a book! Reading lots of different information, from lots of different sources is the best way to learn. To keep right up to date, read lots of industry-specific blogs which often include downloadable guides, e-books and infographics.