June 20, 2021
Most folks know I used to be a web developer and graphics designer. I taught myself all the elements necessary to build websites and design the graphics. I did this because I needed something I could make money from so I could stay home to caregive for Jerry when he first became disabled. My work with web-related technology was one of my two favorite jobs. My number one favorite job was working in a garden center for several years.
I definitely did not make a ton of money, but the bills got paid and we had food. One year, I did happen to make enough to buy a run-down crooked little house that needed a lot of work so we could stop renting for a number of years. For all its flaws, we loved that house. The older grandkids (Andrew, Madison, Kara) practically grew up in the house… they were there nearly every weekend. When you buy a house for less than $20,000, you gotta know there needs to be a lot of work done. We couldn’t afford all the work it needed, but we’ve never needed perfection to be happy.
Let me reiterate… we loved that house!
The house was on a dead-end street, so there was no traffic except for neighbors. To this day, we still call it “the crick house” because it was five houses from a creek that ran through the center of town. I rode my bicycle on the bike/walking path of the creek every day that was warm enough to do so. Jerry sat on the bank many a time to fish with Andrew or a neighbor. I stood at the end of our street at the creek and took hundreds of sunset photos. We filled nearly the entire backyard with veggie and flower gardens (even neighbors did not go hungry). So many great memories in a run-down crooked little house. Plenty of heartache and hard times, also, of course.
I absolutely bawled my head off when we left to move back to our hometown to be closer to the kids and grandkids.
While spending my time building websites in the “crick house,” I learned about the standardized “best practices” one must take into account while doing that type of work: recommendations published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); standards published by ECMA International; and standards published by the International Organization for Standardization. If you like techy stuff, just use any of those in your search. I recommend DuckDuckGo. They do not track you and they give you all the search results that Google and all the others do not!
I adhered to these standards in everything I did while building websites and making graphics. If I didn’t undertsand something, or needed help in how to implement a standard, I always went to their forums and asked questions.
I filled my head with some pretty cool technology and enjoyed every minute!
And along the way, I’ve come across some badly made websites. There are still hundreds of thousands of those horrible things sitting everywhere on the internet and still in use. Many are downright ghastly.
One culprit that perpetuates the problem is…. Blogger.
Yep. It’s hard to believe in this day and age that they continue to offer bloggers and businesses some awful choices in making websites. From abominably coded templates to bad navigation to fonts and colors, Google isn’t doing anyone (including their business) any favors by keeping these annoying things going. And sadly, many who use Blogger have no idea how dreadful their websites look and work.
Many people have sight problems – myself included – and website standardization has been a big help for us! However, the problems persist and most people don’t even know they are losing readers because of it.
My top frustrations and annoyances, in no particular order, are:
• Using all caps in every sentence or title – it implies shouting and is hard to read.
• Using colored fonts, especially too light or neon colors. Black type is easy to read, looks professional and clean. Did you know colored fonts excite spam filters? Yep, they sure do.
• Using a too-small font size. Example: Can you read this without zooming in?
• On that same note, I hate when people use the colored background on their fonts. That’s a double-whammy hit.
• Colored backgrounds in the content (post) area. White makes everything so much easier to see and read.
• Colored backgrounds in the content (post) area while using wildly-colored fonts that are also background colored. *cough* Triple-whammy hit to the eyes.
• Using URL shorteners (such as TinyURL). Eventually they all break.
• Not checking for broken links.
Any of those will keep me from returning to your website. It’s just too blame hard to read a psychedelic page that you have to zoom in on to even know what a person wrote!
As one famous web developer once said, “It ain’t that hard to make a good-looking web page when all the easy choices are right there in front of you!”
We who deal with sight problems beg you…. make it easy for us to read your blog and we’ll come back again and again!!