Byte Me! Festival - Digital Content Festival, Australia Dec 2007
Getting Started
Designing Your Site
Building Your Site
Uploading Your Site
Testing Your Site
Promoting Your Site

Sitemap or Table of Contents

"LESS IS MORE" - Ludwig Mies van der Rohe


The purpose of this site is to help people to make their own website at minimal cost - a website that WORKS.

If you'd rather just have one made, you can pay me to do that at retrokat.com. This site is for people who are willing to put in the time and effort to do it themself, but need a little help with sorting through the whole process.

Depending on your experience and interest, you might want to read through the whole site in a linear way (like a book), or you can use the navigation to the left or the sitemap to find particular sections that interest you.

You may have noticed - no bells & whistles here. Low-tech has always been my motto for websites, long before the Web Usability movement sprung into being. Although I studied Multimedia, for reasons of access and equity I've always avoided anything requiring a Plug-in, specific browser or anything else that limited use of my sites. I happily plugged away making simple, usable websites while the whole "Kazam!" style of web development boomed for a few years. Then, people started to notice - fancy sites didn't rank. They didn't even work properly for a lot of people. They were difficult and expensive to update.

Pioneers like Steve Krug pointed to the success of sites like amazon.com, google.com, yahoo.com and ebay.com and increased the awareness of web usability. Low-tech sites that ranked well and worked on any browser/operating system became popular. Clients awareness of such issues led to a backlash against fancy sites and the demand for simple sites, sites that just WORK has boomed.

Who this ISN'T for: Big companies, or businesses who will be selling a large variety of stock online. Large, corporate sites need to be dynamic. That is, they need a database backend and they need to be updatable easily and automatically. This can be achieved either with CSS (a type of code where the content is separated from the layout) or a Content Managment System. I don't do either of those, so they're not covered in this site. They are specialised areas that companies can afford to pay for.

Who this IS for: small businesses and individuals who want to build and maintain their own simple, small site. I'll show you how to make a fixed HTML-based site using tables. You'll be able to update it yourself, to easily and quickly change pictures and text. If you want to redesign it, to give it a different look, then that will pretty much involve starting again - so plan it well.

I'll also cover the basics of making sites for others, subhosting them and thus spreading the 'No Fancy Stuff' ethos. Site administration using cPanel is fairly simple and straightforward, so if you're fairly web-savvy you shouldn't have too much trouble running sites for both yourself and others.

I'm no Graphic Designer, but I'll also give some tips about making a site that also looks 'quite nice'. My dyslexic partner finds the extreme text-based Usability sites very difficult to use - so I try to find a balance between simplicity and... well, being easy on the eye.

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Created text-only June 1999, reborn 2001, overhauled January 2004
last updated 16 October 2005 - aimed completion end of 2005

NOTE: This site is currently in the process of being rebuilt. I do this for free, so give me a break!

About Me : Site Info : Sitemap

retrokat.com - quite nice sites

Another Quite Nice Site by retrokat.com