You don’t have to know everything about Web Design and Development but it’s important for you to understand a little bit about the basics. This way you can do a better job of competing for new customers online in Lexington, KY and elsewhere.
Perception is Reality with Web Design
First, it's very important for you to understand that your website really is the #1 online asset for your business. For some businesses it your #1 asset, period. It is your virtual store front. It is usually the first thing people see when considering doing business with you. And, in case you live under a rock, perception is reality these days. This means, if your website is ugly, not user friendly, outdated, not mobile responsive, slow to load, boring, irrelevant, etc. then that is the first impression that your business is showing to your potential customers.
Having an unpleasant website, or no website at all is no longer acceptable in this day and age. If this is you, then it’s time to step up, and make your website perfect, in the eyes of your customers, and also in the eyes of Google!
Here’s some very simple web design and development basics that you should try to understand. You don’t have to learn it, but it is important for you to at least understand the basics.
Most web pages are made using two core languages: HTML and CSS. These languages when written correctly allow your website to display properly on the internet.
When you look at a web page, you might wonder how it is made. To display a web page, your Internet browser reads and interprets a special set of instructions. These instructions are written primarily in two languages: HTML and CSS.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines the web standards, or specifications, for these languages. It is important to understand web standards to ensure that the different web browsers display your pages accurately. Let's look at how HTML and CSS work together to make a web page.
What is HTML?
HTML Stands for: Hypertext Markup Language. It’s a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on World Wide Web pages.
Web pages display content and have an underlying structure defined by HTML. The content can include text, images, links, or even audio and video. Most HTML elements are written using opening and closing tags that tell the browser what type of content to display. The tags are written in a specific order to define the structure of the page. The example below shows three common HTML tags.
- <h1> specifies heading text, good for page titles
- <p> specifies paragraph text, good for body text
- <img> displays an image specified by a src (source file)
What is CSS?
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheet and is used by web pages to help keep information in the proper display format. CSS files can help define font, size, color, spacing, border and location of HTML information on a web page, and can also be used to create a continuous look throughout multiple pages of a website.
With HTML you've given a basic structure to your web page, but there's not much design customization to the style or layout. Eventually you want to add colors, format text and images, and reposition elements on your page. CSS is a language that works with HTML to apply this style and formatting to your web page. Use CSS to find one or more HTML elements, and then provide additional instructions for what to do with that element (such as change its color or center it on the page).
The example below shows how CSS is used to change the appearance of the three HTML elements.
• h1 The heading text is center-aligned.
• p The paragraph text is red, bold, and center-aligned.
• img The image is resized to 150px by 100px.
So why is it important for you to understand the basics of web design?
Easy, because these are the languages that Google, and Bing and Yahoo reads and looks for when considering to display your content in their search browsers. There are also 200+ other secret factors (they won’t tell us what they are) that they use to rank your website, but I can assure you that the quality of how these two languages display your website is a BIG factor to your online awareness success or lack of success that your website is having.
This web design code on your website needs to be done right, but the good news is that you don’t have to know how to write this code personally. Rather, you should have a qualified Web Design Company do it for you so that you can minimize errors and maximize results. If you ever need any help, give us a call.
Brian Evans - President