The Short History of Website Building

Ever wonder how the web started out way back when? Check out this amazing infographic by Diana Valeanu that was published on Designmodo.

From one single server and web page in 1991 to nearly two billion web sites this year – this infographic plots the changes and milestones in the history of the World Wide Web.

Continue reading “The Short History of Website Building”

Atom the hackable text editor

Atom: The Modern Cross-platform Text Editor

Atom is an amazing open source text editor built by the GitHub community. It is completely cross-platform and is available on macOS, Windows and Linux. It is available at

The editor is completely hackable, meaning you can configure it work exactly as you would like – either through the use of plugins or by editing it’s code yourself.

Continue reading “Atom the hackable text editor”

Explore web career path job titles & descriptions

Explore Rachel Manning’s detailed picture of the web industry in Dissecting Front-end Job Titles.

Web Designer — Probably went to school for graphic design. This role has mostly been replaced by UI design since the rise of appreciation for good user experience.

UX Designer — Often a researcher that brings the site to the stage of wireframes and prototypes.

UI Designer — Designs the look and feel of the site, often creating an advanced prototype.

Although it starts off mostly talking about Computer Science students, the discussion of design and interactivity careers is very good. It’s an important read for soon-to-be graduates interested in web careers.

Soon you will be meeting teams of people. All of them with very different responsibilities and skills. This article helps differentiate the forest from the trees.

Structuring plain text data

The internet, and the World Wide Web are based on plain text.

Everything on the web is plain text: .html, .css and .js files. (Pictures, audio and video aren’t in plain text of course – but they were added on the web much later.) To be a productive web designer, you need to be able to efficiently edit text files – and even several ones at once.

Screenshot of the very first web page hosted at CERN in Switzerland.
Screenshot of the very first web page hosted at CERN in Switzerland.

In 1989, when Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau invented HTTP and HTML, there was no “visual” world wide web. The world would have to wait until the launch of Mosaic to have a “graphical browser”.

For years, and even decades, computer networks were criss-crossed by typing commands in Terminals and using text-only tools like FTP for transferring files or various text editors (from nano to Vim and Emacs) to create and edit them.

Continue reading “Structuring plain text data”

Basic BASH Terminal commands for Web Designers

The moment you choose to get into web design and development, you choose to enter a universe of endless connections in between machines scattered across the globe.

Louise Bourgeois’s Maman spider sculpture and the web it cast in shadows at dawn. National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa, Ontario Canada. Photo ©Eric Girouard.

There is you at your computer, and then there is everything else on the internet. By definition, the rest of the internet is “remote” to you dear reader of this post.

So, once again by definition, web design is a career where all the important stuff happens on other machines – on “remote web servers” usually – and being able to connect to such a machine to create and edit files and folders as well as manage transfers of data from machine to machine is a valuable skill.

The most efficient tool for logging into any remote computer is the CLI (“command-line interface“) which you gain access to when you start an application called the Terminal.

Continue reading “Basic BASH Terminal commands for Web Designers”

Create a valid HTML 5 template using PHP Includes

This is an old video I posted many years ago to my own web site. It is – I believe – the most popular post I have ever created. At last count, the video has over twenty-five thousand hits. I had the step-by-step written tutorial on my site back then and I lost track of how many times it was the most popular thing on my web site each month.

This is a beginner’s tutorial on how to create a valid HTML 5 template that uses PHP includes (“require” actually) that assembles the code on the server. This gives designers the opportunity to build a theme (or “skin”) that can manage the look of an entire web site – large or small.

This type of coding is a stepping-stone exercise in between coding HTML by hand and having a fully dynamic database-driven site, such as WordPress, or a custom content management system (“CMS”).


Installing & Configuring the LAMP Virtualbox web server


The screenshots in this tutorial were created on both an iMac (macOS 10.13.6) and a Ubuntu 18.04 Linux machine. When you configuring your instance of Virtualbox the appearance of the interface and the location of some controls may be different. The functionality remains the same on every platform (macOS, Windows or Linux).


Please note that Linux is a case-sensitive filesystem. This means that “file.html” and “File.html” (different capitalization of the letter F) are understood by the computer as two different files!

So, in web design, please standardize your file or folder naming to:

  1. lowercase letter and/or numbers only
  2. periods reserved for use as the last character before the file name extension ex: .html, .css, etc.
  3. no spaces in file/folder names

Continue reading “Installing & Configuring the LAMP Virtualbox web server”

Kyra Claire Deita: What’s the Point of Design…

– If it Doesn’t Change You?

Broken Tiles Mosaic
© Kyra Claire Deita, 2018 – Photograph, Park Guell, Barcelona Spain.
Broken Tiles Mosaic Wall – Works by Gaudi.

My name is Kyra Claire Deita and I’m a “Think Outside the Box” – Designer. It’s the stories of the people I meet, and the places I’ve been, that become the inspirations of my work. For me, it’s not enough for design “to be pretty”; design needs to “make sense”, needs to bring value, and needs to have purpose. Design needs to do more than simply exist; it has to “Do Something”, and that is how I wield the art; that is how I find solutions.

Continue reading “Kyra Claire Deita: What’s the Point of Design…”