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A Web designer's "dirty and scary" job

by • May 08, 2014

Did you know that 11% of Americans think HTML is an STD (for those of you who haven't been single in years, that's short for Sexually Transmitted Disease). Please don't tell my insurance agent or our health premiums may rise (and yes there's a bad pun in there).

No, you don't need to see your Doctor as the acronym HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. The original survey by the e-coupon firm VoucherCloud also called it a programming language however it really isn't that either. The correct definition is Markup Language since the language is composed of tags which are interpreted by a Web browser (Internet Explorer, FireFox, etc) which then establishes the structure and presentation of the Web page being viewed.
HTML was invented in the early 90's by Tim Berners-Lee and became the standard for building Web pages. By itself, HTML along with a competent Web designer can only markup or describe how text and images should be displayed. It takes other languages or programming languages like Javascript, .PHP, or ColdFusion (our Web development team's language of choice) along with a database like MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server to really make things happen.

Things have changed a lot over the years. We built our first Web site in 1996 and it was just setup using HTML and was nothing more than an on-line brochure. There were no forms, no interactivity, no nice, easy admin to make edits and certainly no e-commerce. Today we no longer store the text for a Web page in the HTML file (or in our case the ColdFusion .cfm file) itself but in a database so it's easy to pull out and edit. Forms are common for everything from Contact Us to on-line shopping. Of course other things evolved to as we now have robots and spiders (anyone ever had an arachnoleptic fit? Google it!), hackers, crackers and viruses and malware. Maybe it is a dirty job we Web designers have.

The next time you meet a Web designer though, don't be afraid to shake their hand, maybe even give them a hug. We promise, we aren't contagious.