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Visual History of Web Page Design


Web Design: Past, Present, & Future

Web design has constantly been growing over the past two decades. Here, we will look at how what started as a database of somewhere around 600 or so websites has grown to be a place to access over 240 million websites, which is used by over 2 billion people every year, and growing. We will also look at how people have been designing webpages since the beginning of the internet.


The first web coding language to be introduced was known as HTML. In 1991, a man by the name of Tim Berners-Lee was the first to use this mark-up language to program his own webpage. Just one year later, tables had been introduced to webpage coding, and dominated the internet for a while. Only around 10 million or so people used the internet by this time. 1994 saw the establishment of the W3C, (World Wide Web Consortium) the group responsible for setting goals and standards for web development and design. The mid 1990s saw the introduction of both Java and Flash languages, as well as CSS. By this time, 74 million users were online, and could access over 650,000 webpages. Frames began showing-up in websites as design elements. In the late 1990s, PHP 3 was born. CSS was improved upon to become CSS 3.


Around the early 2000s, social media on websites such as Facebook, Myspace, and others led the web 2.0 revolution. More than 38 million websites were being accessed by around 728 million web users. Open Source began truly sharing knowledge with people in 2008. Smartphones, in the same year, introduced the ability to truly access the web, in all its many forms, while on the go. More people begin to use phones than their computers, even, to get online.

Today and Beyond

By 2010, the internet exploded to be used by over 2 billion people worldwide. Not only is that true, but the internet itself has grown to over 240 million websites. HTML 5 was also introduced in 2010, and has paved the way for a language that is readily understood by both human programmers and machines. In the future, it is hoped that average users can easily design and build webpages themselves using software that allows them to simply click, drag, and drop elements of a webpage into their design. Only time will tell how many more webpages this will put online in the future.

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