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Read this article if you are new to web development and the technologies, practices and strategies involved for deploying well built products.

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Understanding Web Development

Part 1

The Basics of a Web Site

Anyone can create a web page, if you able to read and write the English language then creating a basic web page is a straightforward process, it is the way many of us created web pages back in the early 1990’s when the technology and the internet were born. There are 2 key elements for building any web page, with all other complexities aside one can create basic pages using HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).

HTML & HTML5

This is what the web and browser displays are built on, HTML is a mark-up, not a programming language, it is a means to tell the browser what elements exist on the page and the "stacking order" for the elements. This is the reflow order by which the elements sit in the Document Object Model.

The standards and specification for HTML are governed by the Web Wide Web Consortium, also known as W3C.

If one views the source of any web page at the top on modern web pages using HTML 5 you would see.

A HTML code editor preview

Thus immediately it can be seen that HTML "tags" are wrapped in < > greater than or less than symbols, this is standard and unchangeable for all HTML tags within the W3C standards specifications.

A decade ago the semantics of HTML were not being used to their full effect, the purpose of HTML tag naming convention is to allow a document to be structured with tags representing the type of content being displayed.

Examples would be Headings, Paragraphs, Tables, Forms and Images, these are the most common elements that may be found on any web page. It was a mistaken practice in the past to use the <table> tag for layout out a pages content, semantically this was incorrect yet many web developers adopted it for the simplicity the tag offered in laying out columns and areas of the website. This was eventually frowned up and developers moved correctly to the <div> tag for arranging layouts. This became one of the fundamental tags used right through until the end of HTML 4 lifecycle.

HTML 5 Introduced better semantic naming and additional tags to help create Atomic Layouts which include header, footer, section, article and better support for audio and video playback. It also introduced the canvas tag and the canvas scripting API which allows animation and graphics to be drawn within the browser. This new feature is one of the primary reasons plugins such as the Flash Player and Silverlight became obsolete when considering rich interactive browser content.

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