The history of web design is short, and yet significant changes can be seen over the years. The first introduction of a web site was around 1990, started by its creator Tim Berners Lee. It consisted only of texts and links. The status of web design and functionalities changes soon as we can analyze, within the first decade of release, the functional and design aspects of the World Wide Web (www) begins to take shape. It reflects the evolution of beliefs, fashions, and technologies over time.
The journey of web aesthetic took lots of revisions and trials before selecting CSS as the system to manipulate the HTML syntaxes. Before the introduction of CSS, the design of the websites was done with the help of tables, and some browsers even invented their design methodologies. Like the browser created by Pei-Yuan Wei, ViolaWWW implemented custom made design right into the website. Soon, these methodologies were found to be too dependent on the Html syntaxes. And because the syntaxes were not standardized and were always changing - it became practically challenging to keep updating the browsers to support new syntaxes.
HåkonWium Lie in October of 1994 proposed Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). It was a new way of giving decorating the websites.
This approach separated the design and markup aspect of web design. One of the most praised features of CSS was its cascading property. As the rules are applied - it was easier to override the previous rules. This means the inherited property could be easily adjusted if needed.
The first release of CSS was on December 17, 1996. But it was not before 2001 that the CSS implementations were coming to full spec. By this time, the CSS was mature, but no one was applying it in their web design. This soon changes as the two of the most influential websites Wired, and ESPN implements CSS by 2002 with new standards and compliances. The year is followed by writers such as Jeffrey Zeldman publishing Designing with Web Standards, which became a cult for designers wanting to develop standard-based web designs.
Soon a heave of features was introduced and gradually browsers implemented CSS standards. These days' browsers implement new features as soon as they are released.