It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since the first dot-com domain name was registered. With 668,000 dot-com sites registered each month and an estimated 80 million dot-com names in use today, it's a complete understatement to say that the Web has come a long way in the last quarter century.
Generally speaking, the raw technology that allows us to develop and serve Web pages hasn't changed dramatically in the last 10 years. What's changed is the way users interact with sites and how much easier it's become to publish content and communicate in near real-time.
Content, once static, became dynamic and now social integrated. Web sites need to be functional but at the same time interactive and engaging. In fact, content-driven Web sites receive 73 percent more traffic than transactional sites.
As Web development has evolved, it's become easier for ordinary people to run their own content-driven sites. As recently as 2001, there were few if any easy-to-use free tools available to run your own content-driven site. In fact, anyone doing development at that time (like myself) undoubtedly had to write their own or pay huge sums of money for products like Interwoven or Vignette.
As with so many technology areas, tools for CMS have been commoditized, primarily by open source and have seen substantial increases in adoption. One of the tools leading the charge is an open-source technology called Drupal, which I previously wrote about as an area of job growth for IT folk.
The demand for crisp, content-driven sites is what fuels the need for easy-to-use Web content management systems, according to John Faber, who is heading up the marketing efforts for DrupalCon, a conference next month around the Drupal content management system.
As the Web continues to evolve, there will continue to be evolutionary changes to how Web sites look and feel, including the upcoming HTML 5, which introduces new semantics and functional elements to make web pages more interactive.
With tools such as Wordpress and Drupal, a little bit of CSS knowledge goes a long way towards letting businesses focus on the content and not on the underlying code.