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    Web Design

    Photo credit: Rafieldi

    The term 'web design' technically only means the planning of a website's appearance and functionality, but in reality, it is an umbrella term covering everything from design to implementation to renovating to maintaining websites. Other terms that have effectively become synonyms for web design include web engineering and web development. Since these tasks require lots of skill in different areas, companies or other organizations will usually have a whole web design team working on their online presence. It should be noted here that social media management, while also to do with the internet, is an entirely different job. 

    While web design tools come and go, the basic principle is the same - you have a skeleton of content on the website which you dress up with formatting and interactive behaviors for users. This paradigm of separating content, form and behavior has been in vogue for quite some time now, and often these parts are handled by separate languages - HTML/XHTML/XML for content, CSS for formatting and behavior which can be further split into user-end and back-end. The former is dealt with using programming languages like Javascript which the browser works with, while the latter requires languages designed for server-side manipulation, such as PHP and SQL (for databases). For quick jobs, there is also the option of extremely user-friendly, if often a little clunky, WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editors where a user formats almost the same as they would in Word, for example, and the editor inserts all the formatting behind the scenes. However, these editors are not nearly as robust as scripting in an actual language, though many offer that option too. They are known to insert undesired formatting too, on occasion, and typically do not facilitate the all-important flexibility that is required in today's world full of devices with their own resolutions. 

    In addition to technical and aesthetic aspects of constructing a website, a useful designer will also have knowledge of how they will market their site, so that they can design their site with specific users in mind.

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