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In: Web Design, Website Development

In the past, it was custom web sites all the way. You had to build everything from scratch before having a complete and functional site. You needed strong skills in HTML and CSS if you were a web designer and if you were a web programmer, you needed strong skills in server-side scripting, client-side scripting and database development. All these increased timeline for the completion of projects. As time went on, the professionals in the industry continued to develop technologies to overcome these drawbacks.

Gone are the days when you have to build web site from scratch using HTML and other tools. This is because there are now ready-made modern tools that can do 50% or even more of the job for you while you do the rest. This has made it possible to cut short the timeline for jobs and increase the efficiency of web developers. Let’s take a look at some of these tools.

1. Templates

A template contains a layout for a web site together with formatting characteristics that gives it a particular appearance through the accompanying CSS. What you need do is to modify it to suit your purpose by adding your content in the placeholders provided and adjust the relevant areas in the CSS file and your web site is ready.

2. Content Management System (CMS)

Clients now want to be able to change their web site content without having to call for the service of the developer to avoid paying service fee. There are now modern CMS packages that will enable you build a whole site with CMS facility. Examples are Joomla, WordPress and Drupal Content Management Systems. Once you can set up the tool and you have acquired the required skill to use it, you can start designing web pages without an in-depth knowledge of HTML, CSS etc. Because they are CMS, it is easy for the user to add/modify content independently. These examples are generic in nature. There are some CMS that are dedicated in nature. For example, e-commerce CMS. These modern tools would enable you create a buying and selling platform without having strong programming skills and database object development skills. Quite a number of them are available. They are osCommerce, Prestashop, Magento, Zen Cart, shopify etc

Web site development technology is highly dynamic. Better and new tools are being developed all the time and the existing ones are continuously improved upon with new versions. Better methods are continuously developed. For instance, web pages are designed nowadays not with tables to align page objects when creating page layouts. HTML tags like DIV tag and others are used instead and they make the site search-engine friendly. Also AJAX is highly utilized these days to minimize reconnections to the database in multi-tier applications.

As a web developer this means that you must always be on the lookout for current trends in the industry to remain relevant. However, in spite of the availability of these ready-made development tools, a web developer should also strive to build custom web sites because many jobs are still the customized types and ability to do those jobs successfully is a demonstration of your strength and versatility. Moreover, ability to build sites from scratch would enable you develop the skill to build templates and CMS packages of your own.

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