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Now and again, people come to us with queries about the web design process and websites in general, so we thought it might help you if we shared a few. With our answers of course!
The Web, or World Wide Web (www) is a series of linked (by hyperlinks) documents that can be accessed via the internet.
The web and internet are often confused but are actually two different things - the web is the network of documents that is hosted on the internet, which is a giant network of computers that can communicate with each other. The web as we know it came about in the late eighties, an invention of British physicist Tim Berners-Lee, then an employee of Cern in Switzerland. The first browser was made available to the public a couple of years later, allowing anyone in the world to access 'The Web'.
To access the internet, a user requires a computer, an internet connection and a program known as a browser, which allows your computer to interpret web resources. Viewing a webpage requires the user to type in a 'Domain name' or URL into a browser to go directly to any given site, or navigate to a Search engine. Search engines constantly crawl the web for any document they are able to access and record content from each of those pages, ranking them by how relevant and suitable they are to the user searching, based on what they're searching for. Originally, websites were only able to display information with limited functionality, but as the technology has grown, so has the capability of the web and websites to interact with users and to query any number of data sources, resulting in the web being the necessity in each of our lives it is today.
Could you imagine going a day without checking your social media accounts, making a purchase from one of the millions and millions of online shopping sites, or managing your daily admin via an email account or online banking? I certainly couldn't!
Wordpress is an open-source Content Management System built using php. It is probably the simplest to use, most widely-used and powerful CMS/blogging system there is available today, perfectly suited to developing websites.
There are many many websites on the web that make use of Wordpress; big corporates sites, news sites, music sites and famous people use it to manage their website (or have their 'people' manage their website). TechCrunch, The New York Times and CNN all use Wordpress.
Because of its open source nature, there are literally thousands of 'themes' (pre-built designs/layouts for websites) - some paid for and some free, and 'plug-ins' (which give your website added functionality once installed, or 'plugged-in'), again, some free and some paid for.
Because of the nature of the web, of web design and the technologies we have at our disposal nowadays there really is no necessity to physically restrict yourself to people and businesses that happen to be based around you any longer. You can choose a company based anywhere in the world and it won't be any more difficult to work with them than it would be the company next door.
150 years ago in the California gold rush, people flocked to the rivers of the Sierra Nevada in order to make their fortunes. So many people relocated in fact that it was said that it wasn't the gold prospectors who made fortunes, it was the hoteliers, and the bars and the stores selling picks and shovels and bedding that cleaned up, because of the massive influx of people. Nowadays, the 'gold rush' would more than likely be a digital one (think of the dot com bubble in the early 2000s), and those hoteliers and traders would go without because the 'prospectors' would search for 'gold' from the comfort of their own homes and offices.
If we were building a website for someone it's not uncommon to have a teleconference over the internet in the morning with three people hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, once we're all happy, we all switch off and get to work at our desks, by the end of the day some progress has been made, we jump on to a product design program like InVision where we can share screens and attach comments to a visual, we'll continue to instant message each other via Skype, have another Webex call over the net the following morning, the website will then be built, sanity checked by sharing it around our closed group on Slack, user tested via What Users Do and launched and despite being in constant contact throughout the entire process, the first time any of us meet is at the launch party!