You’ve probably heard the term web 2.0, which refers to more interactive websites (although no single definition exists). Rather than just browsing static webpages, users interact with and even change them; this is good for the site owner, because not only are interactive websites more likely to keep users coming back, users can actually add value to the site.
A number of tools have been developed that are particularly useful for building web 2.0 sites; today we’ll take a brief look at a few of them.
Flash, of course, is still very popular in spite of not being supposed on the iPad. Many flash applications are now written using Adobe Flex. Flash is frequently used to add animation, video, and interactivity (particularly advertisements and games) to websites.
Blogs, of course, are a big part of the more interactive web; we covered WordPress last week, but there are a number of other options as well. Social networking (e.g., Facebook) is huge, and users also want new ways to consume your content (e.g., RSS). PHP has long been used for coding interactive sites, particularly in combination with MySQL databases. CSS, of course, allows you to customize the look of your content without having to do any extra work on the content itself; see the Zen Garden for a nice example of what CSS can do.
In the future, we’ll be providing a more in-depth look at each of these technologies, as well as talking a bit about when you might want to use them.