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Minimal Web Design

24 Apr 2019

Today I have opted to convert my personal site and blog into a purely static website. This is quite a dramatic change, and definitely a departure from the previous Wordpress site. My choice in making this change is a result of my growing awareness of minimal web design.

Over the past few months I have identified that some of the most useful and pleasant websites on the internet are simultaneously the most simple. Sites like Hacker News and Zen Habits are fast and offer a fantastic reading experience. Up until very recently Reddit was similar in this way. Recognising this has lead to my disillutionment with the idea that large initial JavaScript payloads should be the status quo in the web development community.

The modern web is slow. The truth is that most websites are far larger and far more complex than they need to be. My previous Wordpress site was by no means sluggish, but it had unnecessary dependencies in terms of external fonts and the use of JavaScript for analytics. This goes beyond my requriements in a personal website, and is only to the detriment of anyone visiting my site.

The new design of the site is heavily influenced by the personal site of Chris Were, who has made a number of YouTube videos on the topic of the bloated nature of the modern web.

The gains the internet makes in increased bandwidth and browser improvements are offset by larger page sizes, unnecessary dependencies and increasingly inefficient programming practises. This is not to say that developments in the web cannot be positive, I just believe that websites should be fit for purpose.