It took me 8 years to launch this site
To be clear, I didn‘t put 8 years of effort into it, but I started and stopped too many times. I was distracted by design ideas, passing fads, trends, and new ways to use the latest tech to deliver an interesting experience. I switched CMSs. I went to no CMS. I got stuck chasing ideas. I was trying to make this website perfect. And we all should know:
Perfection is the enemy of done
– Someone smart who presumably finished things
So why did I stop/start here?
I decided to do a non-design, or rather, to leverage HTML and a minimal amount of CSS to concentrate on the content. HTML gives us great power without much work — isn’t it better to use for what it does best?
What did I get without much effort?
- Semantic meaning from well-formed and thoughtful markup
- Small file sizes and quick downloads (when we keep things simple)
- Progressive enhancement & backwards compatibility
What did I avoid?
- No CSS reset
- No CSS or HTML framework
- No jQuery or any JS library
- No browser-specific hacks
- No web fonts
- Only 3.5kb of CSS
- Zero lines of JS
- Static HTML built with Jekyll
- HTML-agnostic content created with mostly Markdown (via kramdown)
A web for Everyone
My corner of the web is a minuscule part of a vast universe, but it is still mine and I still care about the people that might find it. By keeping the footprint of this site small, I hope the content will load quick in situations where connections are less than ideal, I hope the accessibility of HTML can shine because I am using best practices for semantic markup, and I hope that the reader feels the power to make my content appear in the manner that they prefer. I make very few assumptions for aesthetics that can’t be overridden by someone who needs bigger type or more contrast.
Plans for the Future
I don’t plan to be design agnostic forever. Instead, I plan to experiment and have fun with CSS and JS on a case-by-case basis. The blog will start simple, but when I feel that an article deserves some special attention, I will design it as a one off. No hard-and-fast system, but instead a chance to design to the content.
I’m excited about it.
Thanks to the following authors/sites:
- The Rise of Green UX, where the idea is to reduce global data/energy consumption by creating and facilitating lighter web pages that consume fewer CPU clock ticks and less bandwidth
- The Bullshit Web, where the author gripes about the bloat of the web, and how wider roads doesn’t mean less traffic
- This is a Motherf***ing Website, where the simplicity of HTML is celebrated with profanity