Strip Down: Naked CSS Day

Artis the Spoonman is now an international legend, but I knew him for years as a street performer in downtown Seattle. One of my favorite songs was “You’re Naked Underneath Your Clothes”. It was based upon a story they’d read about a convent where the nuns only bathe once a year, and then only in their undergarments because it was wrong to be naked in front of God.

The Spoonman and his fellow musicians found a major flaw in this belief. If the nuns could not change clothes inside of a stone building, behind shuttered windows for fear of being naked in front of God, do you think a little cotton would stop His prying eyes?

The lyrics, if I remember them right, for the song about this convent were:

You’re naked underneath your clothes.
You’re naked underneath your clothes.
And it’s ugly.
But oh, so, beautiful.

In reality, other than a few sags and bags and lifestyle influences, we’re all pretty much the same underneath our clothes so why all the fuss?

Web pages are also beautiful underneath their clothes. Have you taken a peek lately?

In 2006, Dustin Diaz declared April 5 to be the annual CSS Naked Day, a chance for the web world to be reminded of the benefits of CSS web page design. By removing the stylesheet for the day, the world would see naked web pages. They would also have a little more appreciation for the skills of web page designers.

Diaz created the Naked Day PHP Function script to add to PHP driven blogs and sites like WordPress. Kafkaesqui Oseo turned this into the CSS Naked Day WordPress Plugin to automatically disable your stylesheet on your WordPress Theme every April 5th.

If you have access to your server files, you can manually rename your stylesheet for the day and then change it back at the end of the day. I recommend that you leave a note or blog post that explains what you are doing. You don’t want to scare people and get a lot of comments and email telling your blog is broken. A naked blog will definitely get some attention, so expect a lot of comments.

If your web page isn’t beautiful under its clothes, then you better get busy and fix that. Search engines have a “thing” for beautiful naked web pages.

Web page design isn’t easy. Sure, anyone can tweak with a WordPress Theme, but building a web page design from scratch takes skill. It takes expertise. It takes a lot of learning and a lot of trial and error to make every web page design work with every web browser out there. It takes planning, testing, coding, code validation, error testing and fixing, designing for accessibility standards, incorporating javascript, PHP, XHTML, and more. It’s about not only understanding what the Box Model is but knowing how to manipulate it to make it become a web page design.

Show your support for web page designers and turn off your stylesheets on your blog next Thursday. Show the world what search engines see when they visit your blog. Let them see what many visually impaired viewers “see” on your blog. CSS gives web page designers the ability to take a naked page of text and turn it into a work of art, so honor their art by turning it off for the day.

Let’s support CSS Naked Day this April 5 and show the world your blog is beautiful underneath its clothes.

Lorelle VanFossen blogs about blogging and WordPress on .


  1. says

    CSS less for one day? Sounds a tough decision to me. Still, I gotta check how does my current wordpress theme look like in a browser that doesn’t support CSS.


  1. […] Qualcuno si spinge anche in dissertazioni sul significato della giornata: Phil su Unintentionally Blank sottolinea come senza grafica un testo non sia necessariamente illeggibile. J dalle pagine del suo blog fa presente come l’occasione sia ideale per valutare l’accessibilità della propria homepage, mentre Lorelle VanFossen su The Blog Herald ricorda come la programmazione e la scrittura di pagine PHP o HTML di qualità sia attività che richiede adeguata preparazione e non vada sottovalutata. […]

  2. […] CSS Naked Day – April 5: April 5th is CSS Naked Day, a day honoring web page design around the world by turning off your stylesheet for the day. There’s a Naked Day WordPress Plugin which will automatically disable your WordPress Theme’s stylesheet on April 5th, and turn it back on April 6th so you don’t have to. There is also the 48 Hour Naked Day Plugin. Unfortunately, bloggers will not be able to participate, as they have no access to their WordPress Themes. So the rest of the WordPress Community must make up for their lack of participating. Join the web world in celebrating web page designs and designers by letting your blog go naked! […]

  3. […] Many of this week’s posts got a lot of attention. Lorelle is Naked was about my blog’s participation in the CSS Naked Day, an annual event where websites and blogs strip down to their underlying architecture, revealing that pretty is in the CSS, not necessarily in the beholder. It is a shock to see a web design worked on for so long suddenly gone, but the view of the underlying architecture is all search engines and some visually impaired and handicapped readers ever see. It’s good to know that we are beautiful under our clothes – er – CSS. […]