DIV! Now you might think that’s a hurtful derogatory term for a person that’s done something stupid. But in this case, we’re referring to a box – a ‘block-level’ portion of a webpage used to used to structure content. It’s used for positioning, styling with colour or to contain content.
In this case DIV is short for Division… you can’t always see them (there are loads on this page), so a great analogy for understanding them is when you made a collage as a child. You’d cut words and pictures out and arrange them inside or on top of other pieces of paper you’d cut out. You did your best to arrange these boxes in an order that made sense visually. Think of each element in your collage as a division and that’s effectively what DIVS (and their alter-egos SPAN) achieve on a webpage. They produce an arrangement of words and graphics that create what you see.
Up until 2012 our website was the tried and tested HTML rigid table-based format. In 2007 we’d introduced CSS – centralising some of the essential styling of fonts headings and backgrounds into one file – which speeds things up. But if you want to change the layout across a website that uses tables, you have to do it on each and every page. Using Divs – which are also defined in the global CSS file – meant that we could change any parameters site wide – so it gave flexibility long-term.
But the world of web development moves super-fast, and whilst we were developing this third version of our website the Smartphone and tablet revolutions were picking up pace. In truth we were already on the case and in less than a year we’d launch the fourth version of abcselfstore.co.uk – the first in our industry with a site that was mobile friendly. But you’ll have to wait for the next instalment for that story.