Miscellaneous Topics: Part 2

Definition of a 4th generation web site

4th generation web sites have all the elements of a 3rd generation web site along with the following:

  1. The proper use of markup (HTML): only structural tags in the HTML, use of CSS, proper use of structural tags in the layout (<h> tag order in a document for example).
  2. Respect to usability in web site design: using proven layouts
  3. Search engine-aware web pages and web site.
  4. Well structured – easily updateable.
  5. Automatically printable with CSS media type linked CSS files.
  6. In a nutshell: a web standards compliant website.

Hardware you need to start designing web sites

You don’t need any special hardware to create web pages. Just a standard computer and an Internet connection so that you can put (upload) your website onto the web – this is assuming you want to get your website on the web.

Fortunately, web design is not like 3D animation where you need the latest and most powerful PC’s to be competitive. These days home computers are so fast that even three or four-year-old PC’s are more than enough to handle all your web design needs. If you’re not convinced and you still want to spend a couple of thousand on a new PC, give me a call! ๐Ÿ™‚

Before you go out and spend your cash consider these points:

HTML pages are just simple text documents

Web design is more or less about creating HTML pages. Html pages are just simple text documents that use special ‘key-words’ called tags. To make a long story short, simple text documents are so easy to create and manipulate that hand-held devices can easily view them! Oh, and just in case it’s not clear, even the most powerful handheld PDA’s (personal digital assistant) only have a small fraction of the power/speed of the slowest of desktop computers or laptops.

Ok, some of you are crying that web pages are not just about text and HTML. There are images that have to be created and inserted into your pages, and we all know that image manipulation can really take a lot of juice (computer power). This is true in print work (where images have to be much heavier) but it doesn’t apply to web design because images used in web pages (Gif’s, Jpeg’s and PNG’s) have to be made really light so that they don’t take forever to download. In a nutshell, what this all means is that images only need a lot of juice if they are heavy images.

For those graphic designers out there who know print, images used in web pages (and all screen graphics by the way) need to be reduced to a PPI (DPI) of 72 to 76, a big contrast to the usual 300 DPI when working in the print world!