Website design or web design is the process of creating pages for the internet. The first web page was created in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. While many will be aware of the term HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), other languages have been created to help the internet become more 'interactive'.
For example, many pages are created in PHP and ASP.NET to allow dynamic data to be used to help either personalise to the experience from the users' perspective. Many websites (including this one) are now 'data driven'. This means that we have built one template for the website and all of the data (like the text you are reading now) is held on a database. Using databases and accessing content through a language like PHP or ASP.NET has helped website designers like us to organise the way in which content is produced and published on the web.
Mobile website design is the new way in which users view website pages on mobile devices. Mobile websites are being produced with flexible widths to make them easier to browse on mobiles. Often mobile website design has limited content to reduce the download time on the G3 network. Find out more about mobile website design.
Websites should be built to adhere to accessibility standards. This means that people with a disability should be able to view and read content (blind users can browse the internet with a screen reader which reads the text to them). The headings on the page you are reading now are a good example of accessible web design in practice because they use an embedded font. This means that they look nicer than standard web fonts but are still accessible and are very easy to change (rather than creating titles as images with an <ALT> tag which take longer to change).
Your website should be tested in all the major browsers - Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. TAKE NOTE: Google Chrome is fast becoming a leading browser (in the last 2 years we have seen browsing traffic change from around 2% using Google Chrome to around 15%).
There are two types of server where your website can be hosted on. Dedicated servers are usually rented by a web design agency from a hosting provider. They allow full flexibility for the website designer to control and configure the server. A shared server is usually provided directly by hosting companies to customers. Shared servers usually have stricter rules on the way in which they are controlled. Often, websites start out on shared servers until they reach their limits and benefit from a dedicated server.