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There’s a lot of factors which make it difficult to stay on the cutting edge of any technology. But one of the most significant comes from the fact that technologies change and adapt to different platforms. It’s easy for someone to remain on the cutting edge of development in one area, but lose ground in another. In the world of web design, one of the areas where this can most plainly be seen is the realm of mobile development.

pdaFor a long time, web pages were almost exclusively the realm of desktop computing. Laptops might also load up a site, but they were almost the same as desktop systems. The screen might be somewhat smaller, but the basic hardware was still the same. The same browsers and the same processor types powered both laptops and desktop systems. There were minor blips of difference. For example, Windows CE could run a mobile version of Internet Explorer on a PDA. But for the most part, handheld systems simply weren’t a concern for web designers.

All of this changed when Apple created the iPhone. The world was suddenly presented with a strange new world of web design. The iPhone had a very small screen compared to even the most cramped laptop. It ran on a very different processor than laptop and desktop systems. And a huge difference came in the form of Flash. Developers had taken the Flash plugin for granted. Almost every desktop and laptop could run Flash based content. However, Apple was adamant that their phones would never support Flash. But on the other hand, Apple’s mobile browser used the exact same codebase as on the desktop. And this codebase was also at home on Windows and Linux based computers. Eventually Android based phones would also make use of it.

flashThis left web designers in need of a new way to look at the world. Instead of making a page that ran with assumptions about screen sizes, a site would need to scale. Instead of depending on Flash to handle advanced video and stylistic techniques, a native approach would have to be found. And that’s led to the modern era of development. Surprisingly, many people are still using the old approach to web design. This has led them to create sites, which simply don’t look very good on various devices. Where people on the cutting edge are using something known as responsive web design to create sites which look great almost anywhere. A great example of this is with the free website builder form Dynadot. create beautiful websites within just a few clicks that are mobile and user friendly!