Blast from the HTML 4.0 Past

A long long time ago – over 15 years from the point of writing this post – before Font Awesome and CSS Animations and Mobile screens – I was already developing what we would now see as primitive websites. Back then, all you really needed to build something good was a decent WYSIWYG editor, good image software, and a little time and desire. If you wanted to go above and beyond, you learned a little bit of Flash to add to it as well.

Of course, now, you would look back at this personal website through the Wayback machine and it doesn’t match its mid-2000’s glory at all. The image of which has been edited since part of the site had a Flash animation displaying the site address on the page with animated radio waves appearing from the “r” logo moving to the right, and since Flash is at the end of its life cycle, cannot be shown. Several other graphics – which hold section names that can now be made by including web-based fonts in a <div> tag instead of the need to embed them in an image – are missing.

But if you look at the navigation – almost everything still works! Not only that – the colour scheme, the layout, some of the images – they still show off what worked back then. Even if the whole layout is table-based and used small transparent square images to hold spacing together the way it was supposed to be. There’s even a sidebar on the right side of the layout which held ads served up by Google Adsense – I still have around $12 USD in my account with them that the site created back then. Other iterations of this site included a section where I posted the class notes I typed up on my laptop in class so anyone who was sick or had to miss class was able to catch up easily, using a script that automatically displayed every file in my class notes directory on the site.

I forget how many versions of my personal site I built before I built this one. I still consider it my best design from those times. Even though back then I considered myself more of a designer than a developer, since was the place I got almost all my simple Javascripts and allowed for guestbooks and polls and such, it was things like this that I truly enjoyed doing, and eventually knew I had to get back into doing.

Forgive this post for being more of a personal nature. It’s here for several reasons:

  • Yes – I’ve been building sites for a very long time – over 15 years now!
  • Follow your passions, for you may regret later on that you hadn’t, and take the challenge to learn to do something the right way.
  • Learn to do it well. What won’t kill you will make you stronger in the end.

View more project posts in the Throwback category.