A Brief History Of Web Design


Since Tim Berners-Lee published the first ever website in 1991 there have been vast improvements in style, variety and function, but the basic premise remains the same – a display of information about a product or service, be it business or personal opinion. The original page is still available to view today, and it simply informed users as to what the World Wide Web was going to be all about.


In the beginning web pages were all text-only documents with a single column of writing. It didn’t take very long though before the technology to add images came about. The only programming language was HTML, and in its initial format this only had the capacity to produce very basic pages with headings, paragraphs and links.


The World Wide Web Consortium, known in brief as W3C, came into existence in 1994 as a standardising body for all future web design. It set HTML as the standard language for script and continues setting standards to this day as new languages are created which allow for more scope, such as CSS or JavaScript.

New Languages

In 1995 CSS and JavaScript hit the market and revolutionised the look of the World Wide Web. The new languages allowed for a whole new look to websites, with brand new layouts and the addition of images being just a couple.


Known across the media as the ‘ Boom’, businesses began looking to the internet as a new marketing tool and a whole new way of doing business. The internet offered possibilities never before imagined, such as the premises-free business, which gave thousands more people the chance to create their own fledgling companies. With start-up and running costs being significantly lower than ever before, the web revolutionised the way we do business. Suddenly a relatively small idea became a global phenomenon and people had to start to think of ways to make their own web pages stand out from the ever-growing crowd. Specialists in web design, most of whom at this stage taught themselves at home, began to proliferate.

Crash! The Birth of SEO

Of course not all of the new start-ups could succeed and as the market got more competitive many fledgling businesses found themselves floundering way out of their depth. The proliferation of web pages meant that not everyone was visible and many businesses failed through this lack of visibility. A new breed of industry was born like a phoenix from the ashes – search engine optimisation. Suddenly it wasn’t enough to have a great website, you also needed visibility through search engines, and this is what SEO promised.


After a good decade or so of web design, the market suddenly changed again as people went mobile. Suddenly web designers had to learn new languages and adapt their ideas for a brand new platform. The smaller screens and lower power of mobile devices coupled with the different needs of the mobile user meant another re-think for designers.

Attached Images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source
  •  License: Creative Commons image source

This post was provided on behalf of a, an accredited and experienced digital agency based in Bedford.

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