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Simplicity of Site Design

July 10, 2018


This website is very visually plain. This is, for the most part, on purpose. I will be the first to admit that I am not an artist or professional web designer (distinct from a professional web developer, which I am), so complex, fancy graphical pages are mostly out of my reach. However, I am also a proponent of minimalist websites, that is, sites that care at least as much about the size of their pages as they do about their content or presentation. This is the same kind of minimalism that drives, say, the Suckless.org project rather than the so-called "minimalism" of bloated sites that put visuals first. To that end, I attempt to make my personal sites (this site, and FOSSGN.com) small and quick to load, and as free of scripts as is practical.


I have made a number of websites, both for myself and for clients. When I make a website for a client, I usually use a CMS such as Wordpress to speed the process of creating an advanced website, as well as to compensate for my lack of artistic abilites. However, when I make my own web pages, I edit raw HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with Vim. This is a more intensive process, but results in much smaller web pages, as well as more fine control. I can quickly make changes to a website just by editing a few characters in this way, rather than having to go through a management page or something. I look at my websites as constant work-in-progress projects anyway, and I can always find something to improve about them.


I am also developing some tools to speed the process along on my terms, especially with regards to FOSSGN.com. Anyone who has visited that site can see that (as of July, 2018), it is currently mostly devoid of content. I have not officially launched the site yet, and it is currently only in the framework stage. I intend to make a simple tool to help me add articles to the site, and it will have an archive of old and/or hard to find FOSS games, as well as a BBS forum and some additional site pages. It will take some time to get this all online, but I intend to stick to the principle of small, simple web pages throughout the project.


Hopefully this post gives you some idea of why my websites look the way they do. I am fond of small websites, and I feel like sites like this can be much easier to look at and navigate than a super-responsive AngularJS site or the like. Here's to designing websites like it is 1996!