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Artisanal, Handcrafted HTML
or: Why does my website look like shit?

Simple: This site is a collection of handwritten HTML files. Here's why:

I'm lazy

I can't be bothered to figure out static site generators, too fed up with PHP to setup WordPress, let alone maintain it, and not such devoid of my dignity that I'm considering setting up a Medium.com account.

Still doesn't explain the utter lack of CSS: That's not just laziness, but also my lack of interest in spending ages bikeshedding an elaborate design, only for it to be badly accessible or ugly anyways. To me, the defaults are just good enough (well, nearly: I do limit the page width and margins to something sensible).

I'm nostalgic

I remember simpler times. Times, when we created the most 31337 websites with notepad.exe—real, raw, HTML—that never lived anywhere but our own hard drives. Most of us probably remember our first website; was yours also hosted on a now-defunct freehoster and you never made a backup?

Well, I've moved on from notepad to vi(m), but at least I'm still uploading files through FTP.

I'm a cynic

No way around it: I'm deeply dissatisfied with the current state and direction of the World Wide Web. The most popular User Agent is developed by an advertising company. Standards now include DRM shaped holes. Browser engines are so complicated, even MICROS~1 can't keep up.

Making sure my website renders acceptably on anything from lynx, to dillo, to netsurf or with javascript disabled (which you should totally do) is my little protest against this.

It's fun

Sometimes a page just needs a little special case. And you cant really do that with for example Markdown (unless you're writing HTML again). I'm really fond of description lists and the details element, and it's fun (ab)using <xmp> or <legend>, or going all out like on my VT220 article.

I'm pragmatic

For me, the point of a (this) website is sharing my projects and shenanigans with whomever might find them interesting. I don't care about analytics or SEO, but I do want to get my point across; and that this website achieves that.

This is not advice

This page describes why and how I do WWW, and not an attempt to persuade anyone to do the same. But I have one piece of advice to give you: Get yourself a domain name.

Once you "own" one, you can take it with you wherever you go, and links won't have to die when you eventually switch hosting providers (as long as you keep local backups in case your provider vanishes). Hosting providers and social networks, just like any part of The Cloud, are just other peoples' computers, and they can, have and will decide on a whim to kill your account or the whole platform—and your online identity with it.

Further Reading

In no particular order, some relevant articles I'm generally agreeing with that I've collected over the years.