Jan 21, 2009

Web Design for The CSS-Challenged

Though I do know how to create a passable web page, I do not consider myself by any means a Web Designer. For those who have the training and experience to utilize all of the latest tools and technologies in the advancement of this art, I can only offer my deepest admiration and profess my sincere envy.

Any investigation of my limited skills, such as they are, would reveal that beyond the use of CSS as it is utilized in this blog, further drilling into my linked and associated site, www.biblioverken.com, would reveal that it utilizes (ahem) tables. While I understand the limitations and warnings inherent in the use of these antideluvian devices, I nevertheless cannot force myself to apologize for using them. The truth is thus: I am not a full-time Web Designer. I have recently turned 50 years old. It probably took me 6-8 years to become"competent" in the design of web pages using tables, and simply put, I do not intend at this point in my life to devote additional and significant time to learning another method. Right now, I can generally achieve what I need to do, using my available capabilities and outdated technologies; or to state it another way, using my plumb-bob and 22oz. framing hammer when everyone has laser levels and nail guns. In less time than it would take me to learn something new and mysterious (to me), I could have created what I need with the old tools. Does it generate a little more code? Yes, of course--but I find not enough to make a significant difference--especially since the advent of high speed internet access. Most non-designers would not know the difference.

Being truthful, I will probably dabble in the tweaking and use of CSS at some point, only as it relates to enhancing existing blogging and CMS platforms like Blogger, Wordpress and similar tools. With the wonderful web content platforms we have available today, it hardly seems necessary to bother investing in software like Dreamweaver, or yesterday's GoLive or Frontpage (all of which I will admit to using). Many widgets are free and easy to integrate, as are connected services like Google Maps, Flickr and AdSense. Luckily, it's not so hard to muddle through.

My point is, I guess I am asserting a basic pragmatism into the equation, which is based on my overall needs, experience, age, available time and other issues--such as focusing on the creation of content and not so much on its delivery. Besides, I suppose I just like print better anyway. Understand that I am in no way saying my way is better, since I know that it is not; it is just better for me. If you are a designer for whom these issues matter, I humbly ask that you be patient with me, at least when it comes to the web.

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