Strip Down: Naked CSS Day

Filed as News on March 30, 2007 4:33 pm

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 .

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  1. Are You Going Naked This April 5th? | The J SpotMarch 30, 2007 at 11:09 pm
  2. By Avinash posted on March 31, 2007 at 12:33 pm
    Want an avatar? Get a gravatar! • You can link to this comment

    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.

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