If you go deep into the Internet archives and check out the first pages there, you will see that the sites back then looked very simple, with a plain design, relying solely on text and text formatting. However, the World Wide Web is famous for its extremely rapid evolution and very soon, different websites started including pictures, audio, video files, making the web more multimedia rich
Multimedia represents various types of media content, used together. If we have a text with pictures, we have multimedia. If we add a video, we have multimedia too. The use of multimedia in websites has helped the Internet evolution a lot, since it gave web designers a job and made the web pages much more interesting for everyone. And with today’s connection speeds, we can all enjoy much better looking websites, which are also rich in media content - you can watch a video directly from the site without the need to download it, listen to a song or browse a high quality image gallery. Multimedia content is what shapes the Internet as we know it.
Video clips incorporated in a website are all the rage now. Before the YouTube revolution, video clips had to be downloaded before anyone could see them. With the advances in technology, Internet speeds got a lot faster, which allowed for live video streaming over the net, and YouTube-like sites were born. Today, embedding a video clip in a web page is more than easy, and video clips can be easily shared via your blog, forum or even a small video commercial which you can put on your online store - something, which would cost you a fortune if you had to air it on the television.
Audio is another thing, which was affected by the technology advances. And while a video clip will require much more bandwidth and server resources, audio files are much faster to process from a server’s point of view. This helped for their distribution among website creators much faster. Today, a website with a musical background is something more than normal, and on a lot of websites you can easily listen to an audio track, which is uploaded on the web server with the help of a simple player. This has also assisted many independent musicians in promoting their music and has allowed even for the creation of Internet music labels.
Images were the first type of multimedia to be ever used in a web page. They quickly became an indispensable part of the website design process. Due to the fact that images were pretty small back then, and mostly in the GIF file format, they used very little disk space and bandwidth and were ideal to illustrate every article. This gave birth to the first online news portals, which intended to replace the regular newspapers, offering last minute news without the need to purchase a separate newspaper.
Images in the websites also inspired the creation of image galleries - websites, dedicated specifically to the display of various pictures, painting or photographs. With the introduction of the thumbnails, galleries and website perfected themselves with the ability to offer a small version of the image as a thumbnail, instead of the full picture.
Images became also an important part of the layout of a web page - images could now be used for buttons, navigational menus and backgrounds. Today's images are mostly raster graphics (GIF, JPG, PNG, TIFF), with vector graphics not so widely used, mainly due to browser incompatibility.