Website design was a simple endeavor when the first websites started to show up on the Internet. The webmaster only needed to understand how to write a few lines of code that the browsers could pick up and read in order to get their message out to readers. The biggest challenge was trying to decide how to write the code for different browsers. It seems outdated now, but the browser wars of the 1990s made it hard to write a website for both browsers.
One browser could read advanced text attributes, which made for colorful designs, and the other browser could not see the font changes at all. This was frustrating and unnecessary, but until the programmers at Microsoft and the programmers at Macintosh stopped fighting, the designers had to use very limited code.
Once a truce was called in the browser wars, those with programming knowledge began to cooperate with one another to determine a universal language for all web design and code. Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) went through several revisions and updates until it was recognized by all the browsers that were on the market.
In cyberspace, time travels quickly, and it was not long before other types of coding and graphics were introduced in websites. Not all the changes were good, but people wanted more graphics, movies, design options and 3D formats. These things were complex and consumed a lot of bandwidth. While a small number of people were on either DSL or cable, most of the people were still struggling with dialup Internet. This meant that many websites were rendered useless due to the inability to load on slower machines with spotty service.
Like those days, the change in the way that people view websites has drastically changed. There are now tablets and cellphones that are designed to view pages of websites. Not all sites are optimized for these smaller screens.
If someone wants to get into the field of web design and graphics, they need to consider a digital media degree that will get them hands-on experience in the current technology. While the technology will continue to change rapidly, someone with a degree will also have the ability to catch up rather quickly because they will have the foundation to anticipate changes and work towards staying ahead of those changes.
The Web will continue to grow as technology develops. There will always be a need for someone who understands how to grow with it.