Well move over 2.0 because the next generation of websites is here; and, yes, it's literally a revolution.
I've had some recent experiences that I might share in a future blog; but, for now suffice it to say I've gotten down and dirty with these new technologies and I can tell you I'm excited.
Ok, so I get pretty excited about technology; it doesn't take much to get us geeks jumping up and down, but this is serious stuff. Let's look at both of these major changes in a bit more detail.
Some websites have always looked good - great color scheme, great placement of text and graphics, but they were always constrained by the technology that, quite frankly, required very clunky processes to make things appear where you wanted them. Much of that was the language in which websites were written: HTML. While not a real programming language like, say "C" or Java or even, (ugh) Visual Basic, there were some similarities. But the technology was very limiting.
The beauty of these languages is that you don't need a degree in Astro Physics to start coding web pages. And while there is a learning curve I predict that you will see these languages being taught in high school, and perhaps even earlier, they are that easy to learn and start using.
This new way to construct websites has led to a rebirth and explosion in the importance of design. And, by the way, if you don't think design is important, just take a look at Apple Computer and see the premium they get for their products compared to DELL, HP, Lenovo and all the other ho-hum computer makers.
But we're going one step further with this whole design thing! Websites are now smart enough to tell what kind of device is connecting to it: smartphone, tablet, computer, television set (well, it will be television sets as soon as Apple comes out with their TV - and write this down - you heard it here first - when Apple releases their TV, they will set the world on FIRE!) You will know, by the way, when the Apple TV is about to be released, because Samsung will be GIVING AWAY their TV. But I digress...
"Responsive Design" is the new buzz word in websites today. While many websites have accommodated a variety of devices, RD was the first that created an "on the fly" accommodation. The Boston Globe newspaper is currently being credited as the latest and best example of this concept. You can read more about that here. You can see the Boston Globe site here. If you go to the Boston Globe site, grab the corner of our web browser window and change the size of your window. Notice how the website reconfigures itself as the size of the browser window changes. As your browser window narrows, you go from a multicolumn to a single column layout. If you connect to the site with an iPhone, you'll get a single column; an iPad gives you two columns and a laptop will give you three. Also notice how there is no black space, like on this web page. If you widen your browser window while looking at this page, nothing happens. There is still only one column and it doesn't resize unless you zoom in with (on a Mac using Safari) Command "+". (Maybe Weebly will change this in a future iteration of their software.)
I was going to discuss the second phase of what I call the Website Revolution, but this post has gone on long enough. I'll continue this discussion in the next post were we discuss Flexibility - that is, how to create a very professional looking website with bells and whistles we could only dream about a just a couple of years ago. We'll also talk about how easy and inexpensive it is to create an online presence that gives you the opportunity to advocate, pontificate, debate, and sell to a potential audience of two and a half billion (yes, that's a "B") people.
Next time on The Website Revolution - Part 2