Web design has come a long way since the early days of markup. In those days you just had to learn a few simple html tags to build a web page. But it was very primitive.
Well, there are two things to think about in designing web pages:
- Look and Feel
Look and Feel
The look and feel is the attractiveness of the site, of course. Is it aesthetic? Are the colors clashing? Do all the elements fit together to make the web page visually appealing? Those are important things to think about, but what is more important than that is how the search engines will interact with your site through their spiders.
All the search engines like html. You can’t go wrong with it. HTML is the basic markup language of the Internet and you can’t really build a web page without it, but it is limited. There are things you can’t do with html. That’s why you need some of these other tools to help you out.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
When it comes to building a cool web site design, you can’t really go wrong with CSS. Back in the old days we used frames. That was near the very beginning when everyone was experimenting. Frames looked gawky but they allowed us to put different elements in different sections of our website. It was cool for a couple of days until we found out that search engines didn’t crawl them very well. Besides, they didn’t really improve the design of our web pages any. In many cases they actually looked worse than before.
Before frames, we were all relegated to formatting our web pages as one single document up and down or, in some cases, left and right. Most of us who were serious about web design gave up on left and right navigation right away. Then we found that up and down was a bit laborious as well. Enter frames.
When we ditched frames we thought we had found an improvement in tables. Tables allowed us to separate the elements on our web pages so that we no longer had the long, drawn out page look. We could actually color tables and shade them variously to create the look and feel we wanted but, as with frames, they were very crawlable. Search engines didn’t like them. We went back to creating single web pages without the extra elements.
Finally, someone came up with CSS. With CSS, we could separate the elements on our web pages again and create a web page that looked like it was built with tables but that search engines would crawl. We loved it! CSS has improved and with every improvement it just seems to get better. The wonderful things you can do with CSS keep it on the top of the best tools list for webmasters.