Additional browser features

Progressive enhancement

is a strategy in web design that puts emphasis on web content first, allowing everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a web page, whilst users with additional browser features or faster Internet access receive the enhanced version instead.

In practice, this means serving content through HTML and applying styling and animation through CSS to the technically possible extent, then applying further enhancements through JavaScript. Pages’ text is loaded immediately through the HTML source code rather than having to wait for JavaScript to initiate and load the content subsequently, which allows content to be readable with minimum loading time and bandwidth, and through text-based browsers, and maximizes backwards compatibility.

As an example, MediaWiki-based sites including Wikipedia use progressive enhancement, as they remain usable while JavaScript and even CSS is deactivated, as pages’ content is included in the page’s HTML source code, whereas counter-example Everipedia relies on JavaScript to load pages’ content subsequently; a blank page appears with JavaScript deactivated.

Responsive web design

is a newer approach, based on CSS3, and a deeper level of per-device specification within the page’s style sheet through an enhanced use of the CSS @media rule. In March 2018 Google announced they would be rolling out mobile-first indexing. Sites using responsive design are well placed to ensure they meet this new approach.

  • Web designers may choose to limit the variety of website typefaces to only a few which are of a similar style, instead of using a wide range of typefaces or type styles. Most browsers recognize a specific number of safe fonts, which designers mainly use in order to avoid complications.
  • Font downloading was later included in the CSS3 fonts module and has since been implemented in Safari 3.1, Opera 10 and Mozilla Firefox 3.5. This has subsequently increased interest in web typography, as well as the usage of font downloading.
  • Motion graphics that are not initiated by the site visitor can produce accessibility issues. The World Wide Web consortium accessibility standards require that site visitors be able to disable the animations.

A static website stores a unique file for every page of a static website. Each time that page is requested, the same content is returned. This content is created once, during the design of the website. It is usually manually authored, although some sites use an automated creation process, similar to a dynamic website, whose results are stored long-term as completed pages. These automatically created static sites became more popular around 2015, with generators such as Jekyll and Adobe Muse.

The benefits of a static website

are that they were simpler to host, as their server only needed to serve static content, not execute server-side scripts. This required less server administration and had less chance of exposing security holes. They could also serve pages more quickly, on low-cost server hardware. These advantage became less important as cheap web hosting expanded to also offer dynamic features, and virtual servers offered high performance for short intervals at low cost.

Almost all websites have some static content, as supporting assets such as images and style sheets are usually static, even on a website with highly dynamic pages.