Category Archives: Web Development

An Opinion

After years of designing websites I have reached a conclusion, at least one for the time being.

Having been self-taught in HTML from 1995 I have tried Joomla, ModX and a variety of other CMSs ┬ábefore settling on WordPress. It’s pretty good now, having started as a clunky web-blog like all its contemporaries.

However, having gone through dozens of themes and plugins over the last few years, WP does have its drawbacks. Anything related to the blog aspect it is unsurpassed but to web pages, it still holds no candle to HTML code. I cannot count the times I have tried to customise some aspect of a web page using WP and come away – hours later in some cases – completely frustrated. Frustrated because what I wanted to do would have been accomplished in a few minutes with a straight HTML site.

I have taught HTML to a number of students over the years and some have gone on to take up web design as a career. Their environments have dictated other software such as Dreamweaver. To a man, they have all reverted to driving the code with straight HTML even though it may have eventually imported into Dreamweaver.

I think that more effects are possible through standard jQuery plugins than through WP plugins. To implement an effect using one takes a few minutes and to customize it takes a few more. A WP plugin can also be implemented quickly – though not as quickly – but to customize one means CSS mining at best. At worst, the customization may not be possible, at the end of struggling for a couple of hours. It is no wonder that jQuery plugin authors design for jQuery first and then – maybe – for WP.

Further, HTML sites have one tenth the code of WP sites and load very much more quickly and their content therefore is far more visible to search engines.

So, I would say that for websites that do not need updating frequently, use HTML. If the client wants a blog then tack one on.

A New Website – African Vision Trust

avisionThey seem to take longer and longer. This one, a development time of about six months.

This is a simple 5-pager for what used to be the KZN Eye Care Coalition, now called Africa Vision and at avision.org.za.

The client offers free removal of cataracts and so, with the assumption that those who read it might be sufferers, the font is large Lato. I can recommend Lato if you’re using a font-face kit. I liked it when it first arrived. It’s easy to read, bold is a real bold and it has around a dozen flavours.

The only problem I’ve seen is with Chrome that doesn’t render certain sizes of Lato properly and makes ‘t’s the same size as ‘a’s and truncates some descenders.

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