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Web page design refers to the creation and appropriate arrangement of web pages to optimize appearance, usability and functionality of a website. Web pages have been designed conventionally using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) which could display text, images and even hyperlinks to other websites. With the passage of time, HTML became more flexible and capable of displaying tabulated data using tables. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) have now replaced tables and are compatible on most websites.

A good webpage must be easy to read, navigate and capable of being viewed properly on all popular browsers. Conservative use of graphics and optimization of graphic image sizes is necessary to quicken loading of webpage. Use of JPEG file format for images and sparse use of flash animations are also highly recommended. Tables should be vertically broken down into smaller ones, so that the webpage loads fairly quickly.

The HTML code of the webpage should also be optimized; excess spaces, tags and comments should be deleted from the code to accomplish this (Web Reference, 1999). A bad webpage is characterized by distracting advertisements which reduces the emphasis on the original content of the website. A webpage infested with malware also spoils the credibility of the website. A good webpage must also contain appropriate code to make it easily searchable. XHTML is actually derived from XML, whereas HTML is based on SGML.

XHTML is quite similar to HTML, but has more rigid syntax requirements such explicit closure of all elements to conform to XML standards. XHTML code also reduces the stress on the browser and facilitates content on the World Wide Web to be delivered to a host of devices, other than a computer. XHTML is also easier to maintain and can be easily upgraded to work with newer technologies such as XSLT style sheet (Web Standards).

The two standards of XHTML are XHTML 1. 0 and XHTML 1.1, wherein the former is a mere reformulation of HTML 4. 01 conforming to XML standards and the latter is a reformulation of XHTML 1. 0 Strict which is free from HTML elements such as framesets, and consists of only CSS.

Reference: Web Reference. (1999). What Makes a Great Web Site? Retrieved 23 January, 2007 from <http://www. webreference. com/greatsite. html> Web Standards. (n. d. ). HTML Versus XHTML. Retrieved 23 January, 2007 from <http://www. webstandards. org/learn/articles/askw3c/oct2003/>

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