Kind of want to teach a class in downscaling a web site. 99% of web sites don't need 99% of today's common infrastructure. (And 100% of things that are Facebook pages should be their own web sites.)

I'm wondering if the popularity of this toot is from:

a) People who want to cast off the crufty BS of current web engineering practice, or

b) People who simply want less Facebook.

@readsteven I'd love this. I'm using a Hugo theme for my website that I like okay, but it could probably be much leaner. Hugo itself feels like overkill, but that's almost a different issue.

@eamon Hugo *is* a bit overkill, but the thoughts behind it are solid. Static sites are good! Having posts in plain text (or markdown/commonmark)is better than spreading them across 11 database tables!

I'm seeing people talk about spinning up clusters (because every startup's fear is being overrun by traffic and so every project is architected like a stadium) just to serve a few pages to a few people and I want to find our way back from that.

@readsteven I recently re-built a business' site. Before, it was this Wix monstrosity loading 15 JS files, now it's a simple, static site. I went with @benjaminhollon's readable.css framework.

@nantucketebooks @benjaminhollon Wix is just another form of lock-in, regrettably.

I hope you timed how long the site loaded before and after. 😁

@readsteven @nantucketebooks @benjaminhollon Wix is the worst - it's entirely done in JS to stop you moving your site elsewhere and, as a result, breaks on most web browsers older than a year...

@dheadshot @readsteven @nantucketebooks Oh, I’ve tried wix; I know it’s awful.

I’m supposed to make a site with wix for a class this semester, so I’m gonna ask if I can just code it myself.

@benjaminhollon @readsteven @nantucketebooks Surely if it's for a class, they'd choose a free (gratis) provider or one widely available like WordPress?

@nantucketebooks @readsteven @benjaminhollon I would love to learn more about readable.css but my search skills are failing me.

@benjaminhollon @freedomtowrite
Cool, followed! I want to trim some of the bloat from my current Hugo theme. readable.css looks like a great tool to build a site around.

@eamon Yeah, I considered making a Hugo theme based on readable.css but haven't gotten around to it (partly because I don't use Hugo). But the code is under The Unlicense, so you're very welcome to do whatever you want with it! If you come up with a neat Hugo theme, let me know. :)

@nantucketebooks @readsteven @benjaminhollon I have encountered a bunch of these Wix sites recently. I know because they try to push some app on me with a huge banner. Really horrible stuff even as a visitor.

I am actually tempted to offer those people I know to make a simple static website. But then again, most regular people I know seem to want some sort of WYSIWYG CMS and I also really don't want to do content updates for them.

Do you think people would pay to learn how to build and run their own simple website with no proprietary dependencies? I would like to think so, but I suspect platforms like FB and Wix (and WP for that matter) thrive precisely because people want to make thinking about their web presence someone else's problem.

@strypey Who said anything about "pay"?

As for "people don't want to run their own servers" I think this comment from @mhoye covers my thoughts better than I could express. People are running them so effortlessly they don't even know.

Not charging would probably increase the uptake, but maybe also make it less sustainable for you to do?

@strypey I’m being liberal with my use of “teach”. I likely mean producing materials so people can learn.

All of this was just a random thought. But the number of shares and likes here are making me think a bit more seriously about what it would look like.

@bugbear @strypey Sorry, 100% forgot to paste the link to the comment. Yeah, that’s the one.

@strypey @readsteven what happened to Wordpress? Everyone is complaining about it on fedi and I don't get why? I haven't used it for like 10 years, but it wasn't too bad when I used it. Not really for me, but I did a few websites in it and it was fine.

@bugbear @strypey It us bloated *a lot* in the last decade. There was a time when it was rife with security problems, though it appears to have gotten a handle on that.

Everyone’s hate is a bit different I find. Personally I left it after a good decade+ of use because an update left my site in an unusable and nearly unrecoverable state. Over the years it had mangled my data enough that I couldn’t even export posts successfully. Had to manually edit and rebuild every single post since 2008.

@readsteven @strypey oh my, that's quite a shame :/ but the bloat doesn't surprise me...

@bugbear I was commenting on, the hosting service. As for WP the software, see the reply by @readsteven . However it compares with other CMS and frameworks, none of them can ever be as lightweight and low maintenance as html/css static sites. As Steven said in the OP, the vast majority of sites don't need more than this (and a self-renewing SSL cert).


@readsteven I occasionally think about compiling a 'How to make a web application with zero lines of CSS and JavaScript code' material.

@readsteven could you? please? and also teach them that 95% of the visitors to your museum or library website just want to see your opening hours and prices, or whether your museum card is accepted?
That those 95% don't want to spend time and energy to watch little videos of expected exhibitions in 2024? or wade through recommendations of other visitors?


@readsteven a short time ago, I dropped a project for a customer's homepage - they wanted it done on WordPress with a building block theme. It was impossible, since the design had individually styled pages. I suggested static HTML, maybe with Hugo. They didn't want that. 🤷

@fiee I have done ridiculous and unspeakable things because a client was determined to use Wordpress. I should have gone with your ultimate solution.

@readsteven I'd be interested in that class. I mean I know how to make static pages with HTML and CSS, but I don't really know how to set up hosting, nor how to provide any kind of interaction for visitors, so I'm likely to end up with off-the-shelf packages which are very bloated

@readsteven speaking for myself, it's point A. That's also because I deleted my Facebook long ago.

@readsteven Dealing with Facebook problems took up 60% of my workday today.

@nantucketebooks I'm not going to click on the ⭐️ because it's not a favorite, but … *sigh* yeah. The things we do to eat and live indoors.


An organization I was with faced an unacceptable increase in its Wordpress hosting costs, so I ran an export/import tool to bring the site into a static site generator. Needed tidying up but it served well enough until someone else came along to replace it.

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