Simple and Boring

… is the title of a an article by Chris Coyer about managing complexity on websites and why simple & boring might get the job done where “fancy” might not.

Head over to the article, it is well worth reading, and don’t forget to follow the links in the article:
Simple & Boring by Chris Coyier — March 2019

6 comments Write a comment

  1. I hope this philosophy catches on – especially with large corporations and service providers! When I used to manage a few web sites, I had a couple of pretty professional-looking, decent sites that I produced almost-entirely (or entirely) in static HTML. Obviously I had images, and the odd video or whatever, embedded in some sort of suitable standards-compliant way. But it was all lean and looked beautiful both in a browser and in a text-editor. Hardly anyone noticed that they didn’t have too many animated fancy bells and whistles. They did, however, notice the page load speeds. A typical page was perhaps a few hundred KB, unless one was viewing something like a photograph or video. Nowadays I notice that the average individual web page displaying seemingly-static content is several MB. When I first started browsing the web, that was larger than many entire sites! Back then, such a web page would have have not only taken at least 5-10 minutes to load (let alone render)… it would have also maxed-out a PC’s RAM, causing it to page to disk! I just don’t understand how so many web sites now are so bloated when they could achieve the exact same visual appearance with a few KB of static code and a few tens or hundreds of KB of images.

    • Jepp, I know that situation. Back at the days when old Opera was still a thing, I had a Geocities page with complete help for Opera which was only marginal bigger in size than the text content ( https://web.archive.org/web/20060202043155/http://de.geocities.com/quhno/opera_7/mail.html No, I wouldn’t use those colors anymore 😀 ), even the big image is mere 8,5kB and all of the pages together weighed less than 1 MB. This was necessary, because a typical Geocities account had only 15 MB in total and I wanted to put my private stuff there too 😀

      Sometimes I wonder if today’s “webmasters” can even put one page into this small amount of space …

    • That’s a really good article. The big issue that bothers me with this is there’s not really any way to enact change just by talking about it. This, and other articles suggest leading by example. But when your efficient example doesn’t look as flashy as the bloated one, who (amongst prospective web designers) is going to take notice?

      • The motherfuckingwebsite was created to show that pure HTML without CSS and JS works and is extremely responsive out of the box and (malybe apart from the language) it fulfills it purpose.

        Flashy was tried too in e.g.
        http://www.csszengarden.com/
        and some books were written about it, but nobody really followed the techniques and had no real public impact.
        People simply did not understand that CSS is Touring complete 😉

        btw: Did you know that that the DDG, Google, etc. search result pages are lightning fast and <100 kB (including images) if you switch JS/ES off?

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