Having a blog is good, writing on it is better

Last Sunday, curious, I looked at the other sites listed on the 512kb club, checking out their designs, their authors, and what they were about.

While I was browsing, I stumbled upon the post Do You Need That CSS?, written by a blogger named Marc. He writes:

I stripped out all CSS leaving just the raw default style sheet presented by the browser. What should have followed was shock at how ugly the unformatted page was but instead it looked…fine?

Going back to basics it became clear how redundant CSS was for most cases. It may come as a surprise but web browsers are surprisingly good at rendering pages with minimal additions. Headings and text look just fine without seamlessly scaling font sizes; paragraphs are formatted neatly without precision measured line heights; lists look fine without bespoke Unicode bullet points.

There is something vey appealing to a “raw” webpage indeed. I don’t think it looks good, but it has its own charms of authenticity, like an old house on the countryside.

While my CSS stylesheet is less than 1kb, I think I too could get rid of some of the “precision” and little details defined in it; I won’t, because I think it would worsen the overall look of my website (which I now cherish), and for what I think would be very limited gains related to size and speed. Also, I think the Jolly Teapot’s design has been “completed” for a while now, so I should not spend more time tweaking things just for the sake of tweaking things.

Speaking of tweaking my website, this first blog post about CSS brought me to read another entry from Marc, On Finishing Side Projects:

Everyone enjoys tweaking their personal projects to get each feature ‘just right’, but sometimes it pays to just declare things finished. […]

Blog posts that could have been written were scrapped in favour of redesigning over the smallest of issues. The promise of new ideas emerging while writing a post disappeared in favour of endlessly tweaking a colour slider. Building a body of work was delayed due to to-ing and fro-ing over fonts.

Like I said in a previous post, I have been guilty of this: modifying the CSS constantly, slightly adjusting colours, fine-tuning the layout for no reason… All these hours I could have been developing new ideas and writing more blog posts instead. But I didn’t. I was procrastinating, delaying what I was supposed to do by pretending other things needed to be done first.

In 2022, I will try to change that, even if I have recently spent an hour adjusting the file size of my favicon.