Technologies for your website

A list of which software you will use in order to create your web page properly:

The very basic are...

HTML is the basic language you need for a website. It will indicate the computer where your document begins, where it ends, which are the headings, which are the links, which are the paragraphs, etc.

XHTML came a few years after, and should not confuse you. It is the same as HTML, but more exact in its coding.

CSS completes this set. It allows to decide how a web page will look. It allows to decide how the website will display in different media: screen, mobile browsers, printers, etc.

I suggest doing your website in the latest version of HTML, 5, if the design is going to be simple. If you want something more elaborated, stick to HTML 4 or XHTML 1, for greater compatibility. In both cases you will use CSS for the display instructions.

Now, if you want some interactivity...

Interactivity on a website is achieved using animations, Javascript, or asynchronous technologies like Ajax.

Animations have been traditionally made under animated GIFs (a graphic format which allows animations) and Flash (a software produced by Adobe). More recently, on-line video has joined the list under FLV (Flash video files). The latest change in these technologies include embedding on-line videos without Flash, using H.264, OGG or WebM with a <video> tag on HTML5.

But interactivity can be achieved using browser-side commands under the Javascript language. Javascript is popular and usually easy to implement. To make things easier, anyway, programmers have used Javascript to build frameworks others can use. Among these frameworks, jQuery and Mootools have become quite popular.

There is other kind on interactivity on the web, asynchronous web loading. It allows the computer to check whether the web page you are seeing has changed in the server, and to download any new version available without forcing a reload of all the web page. The computer just downloads what is new, keeping the rest as it was. Ajax is the main technology for this.

If you want them to interact or pay...

The web would not be the web without user interaction. From simple web forms to complex purchasing operations, if you want your website to let people interact with you, you need web server technologies.

ActionScript helps to achieve this under a Flash animation.

ASP, ASP.NET, PHP and Perl help you both generate web pages content on the fly getting data from a server, and to store the data users input on the server. These technologies are the grounds for shopping carts, forums, and other usual Internet applications.

Moreover, you can go get one of the specialized versions of these software and implement them on your website. That way, you will save a lot of time compared to what would take independent development.


Learn + Computers and the Internet + Web development