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Web 1.1 (2022-05-26)

A Call for Reduction

brook > dive > Web 1.1

"I prefer hand-written <table>ed early HTML sites full of content and <3 to ghost town wordpress installs with one "i should blog more" post." @nate_smith

(This article was originally written in September 2013.)

With the introduction of Cybernetic Demise and its simplistic design, I call upon online creators everywhere to experiment with trimming excess.

The purpose of a website is to quickly spread information and ideas. I feel as if that concept has been eschewed, if not forgotten, in favor of caking our pages with fluff and glitz. Let's scrape it off.

If you have a website of your own, I implore you to hand-code its next iteration. See how close to the bone you can manage to reduce your pages, and surprise yourself with how much crap could be shed. You may not even notice, let alone regret, some of the absences.

If only to see what it's like, pretend every byte is significant. What do you really NEED, to get your point across? What could you accomplish while using as few resources as possible? Tidy up your presentation by kicking out the fancy images, JavaScripts, and widgets that are just there because they were on a checklist you thought you had to follow.

A theme may help you in doing this. Mine is a fusion of the aesthetics of MS-DOS and 1997 homepages. There are other good excuses for dressing down your site lurking in the depths of your mind; just find one you like. Let the lines and edges show, so a story can be told which gloss and polish would conceal. If not for efficiency's sake, let's reduce superfluousness in sympathy with those plagued by slow connections and bandwith caps.

What does it mean to revert to Web 1.1? It means pasting the corners back on. It means dropping easy ways out, like not having enough time, or not knowing how. Make the time, and try, until it's great. Let it be imperfect; the alternative is uniformity. Put in the hard work, so it can mean more to you than a low-effort production. Basically, throw your site in a time machine, send it back to 2000, and watch what steps back out. That's one way I think the Web could be a better place: Reintroduce heart and personality.

Further Handcrafted Hypertext Perfection The 10 MB Manifesto Every Fucking Website Be Like The story of "My Corner of the Internet" Reducing Your Website's Bandwith Usage The Soul-Destroying Pestilence of Social Media Buttons The Horrifying Implications of AT&T's Bandwidth Caps Maybe we could tone down the JavaScript? My Problem With The Modern Web [Making] Your Own Website
If these motherfuckers can do it, so can you: This Is A Motherfucking Website A Better MFin Website A Secure Motherfucking Website An Even Better MFin Website The Best Motherfucking Website The BEST Motherfucking Website The Bestest Motherfucking Website The Ultimate Motherfucking Website A Perfect Motherfucking Website The Perfect Website
But you don't have to take my word for it! Basic HTML Competency Is the New Punk Folk Explosion The DOGME 95,000 Vow of Chastity How to Make a Website, and Why Curation *is* Creation Keep the Internet weird! The Impersonal Web RainMirage: Web 1.1 My Website is a Personal Museum Plain Old Webpages Still Matter The Web is the Future
Some more manifesto/linkdumps for your enjoyment: Finding the Old Web Sadgrl's Full Internet Manifesto FlamedFury's Web Manifesto AuzzieJay's Goodbye to the Corporate Web The Yesterweb Manifesto Collection About Baldora Station Why is [delovely] like this? Death of the Original Cyberspace
Digital Warlock Bytemoth is a fucking webmaster!

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