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Naked Website Design

Zenful Creations Gets Naked!

It’s that time again… time to strip down and show off your < body>!

Yep, it is the 3rd annual “CSS Naked Day“, and I am participating this year. I have missed it the past two years, but even though the date changed, I made it this time.

The purpose of CSS Naked Day, which was created by Dustin Diaz in 2006, is to promote Web Standards. It shows off those who work hard enough to code our sites properly, using valid (x)html, semantic markup, a good hierarchy structure.

While this year I stripped my styles by hand, I think next year I will use Aja Lapus’s WordPress Naked Day plugin for the blog. In just one click (activate it in your plugins area) you can strip down to your markup and show your stuff!

If you missed it this year, make sure you set the date for next year, and help spread the word that Web Standards, and proper markup is the best way to build your site. Who needs pretty clothes when you have a nice < body>.

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CSS still in demand. Good.

Web Technology Penetration Report – CSS continues its rise and frames still survive in 16% of websites! by ZDNet‘s Richard MacManus — I came across an interesting report of web technology penetration rates, dated 1 April 2006, by Security Space. It’s based on a sample of 1,358,991 web sites in 2006, so it’s a pretty significant study. The following table shows the penetration rates of a variety of client side web technologies, for the years […]

CSS has a 50% penetration rate… I like to read that!

I remember the first day that I saw the CSS ZenGarden (the inspiration that drove me to perfect layout with CSS). Changing from table based layout to CSS was new and different and worth every hour I spent. I am so glad that I learned when I did – and my clients thank me now for it. I have re-aligned redesigns several times over the years 🙂

I was Zenful Creations in 1997, and took to the web as such (by actually using the URL and not a “free web host”) in March of 2003 – I will not tell a lie that being “CSS” and “Zen” “with a garden/plant” on the main page, did not fare my company well over the years. It did. CSS Rocks.

Why semantic markup is so important

I share the same feeling of relief as Mike when I get that final approval on a design and move to the markup and positioning…

There are just so many benefits to the extra work you put in to make sure your markup is as clean and semantic as possible:

  • semantic code downloads the browser faster because the markup is condensed in shorter statements
  • it will be easier to update the markup, change it in the future, or hand off a project to someone else because semantic code is easy to understand
  • people with disabilities such as vision or hearing problems benefit because the browsers they use, called screen readers, need clean markup to be able to interpret correctly for the user. This is also known as “accessible”.
  • your site will show higher in the search engines because clean, and not bloated code is easier for them to understand

Preparing XHTML in the most clean and semantic way is a challenge that I look forward to with each new design I complete. I always try to learn a new or better way to accomplish something each time I convert a design to markup, and hope that with each project I complete, I am getting a Zenful enhancement to my knowledge base and portfolio 🙂

Web Standards Links

Links for Light Reading

I have to say that one of the most useful resources in design for me is the Web Standards Group, and one of my favorite parts of being in the group is Russ Weakley’s occasional email titled “Links for Light Reading“… always very informative and interesting, and I think I have every message he has written stored in a Thunderbird folder for future reference~

Well, kudos to Russ for making those great emails available to everyone by publishing to his site (with a new look I note). Trust me that it is one for the blog roll, del.icio.us or your bookmarks!