CSS Naked Day on April 9th, 2008

Filed as Features on April 6, 2008 10:11 pm

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Are you going naked this April 9th? Not you, but your blog, that is. I’m talking about Dustin Diaz’ CSS Naked Day, which started in April of 2006.

A couple of days ago, I had this very embarassing experience. I was at a conference explaining to students the different aspects of problogging, when I showed them my site. It was devoid of any styling. I realized later on that I had left my CSS Naked Day WordPress plugin running, and it was already April 5th.

However, this year, CSS Naked day has been moved to April 9th, to ensure best exposure. No pun intended.

A lot of you may be wondering–what’s the point behind naked day? Well, basically it’s a way of celebrating Web standards. Remember the good ol’ days when sites were formatted with tables and font tags? And remember those days when just a simple change of formatting would require you to hunt for dozens (or even hundreds) of tags on dozens of pages? And I won’t even mention the tacky styles that used to be popular, such as flashing text and marquees.

Aren’t you glad the Web looks better today? Or does it?

The idea behind this event is to promote Web Standards. Plain and simple. This includes proper use of (x)html, semantic markup, a good hierarchy structure, and of course, a good ‘ol play on words. It’s time to show off your <body>.

Additionally, CSS Naked day gives you a chance to highlight the accessibility of your blog. The best designs out there are those that appear sensible even to viewers using alternative devices that may not necessarily be able to read stylesheets. These may include older smartphones, PDAs, text-based browsers (like Lynx). And of course, text-to-speech readers that visually-impaired users benefit from well-structured sites.

So before your stylesheet lays out your site, how does it look underneath? How does it look naked? Is it sexy? Is it bloated? Is it in so much disarray that you’re embarrased to show it to the world in the nude?

Again, CSS Naked Day is on April 9th this year. If you’re using WordPress, there are various plugins available such as this one by Aja Lapus. Plugins and scripts for other CMSes and platforms are also available.

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  1. By Matt Craven posted on April 6, 2008 at 10:33 pm
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    I’ve never heard of this – how many folks actually do it?

    Matt

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  2. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on April 6, 2008 at 10:45 pm
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    Many do this, honoring web designers around the world. I’ve done it since it began and Angelo took the wind out of my sails as I was going to announce here tomorrow. :D

    It’s a favorite holiday of mine since it honors those who make our sites pretty and functional, and also recognizes the standards for web construction and accessibility, showing off how our sites work under the hood.

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  3. By Matt Craven posted on April 6, 2008 at 10:59 pm
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    Interesting!

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  4. By J. Angelo Racoma posted on April 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm
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    Sorry, Lorelle. I didn’t know you were posting about it this year. I believe you wrote about it last year here, and that’s where I got the inspiration to strip (my site) naked starting April of 2007.

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  5. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on April 7, 2008 at 9:37 am
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    @J. Angelo Racoma:

    I’m not into the competition, I’m just thrilled that you are helping to spread the word on this interesting and unusual method of promoting web design. Now I have to come up with something else for Blog Herald! :( Kidding.

    Last year, the Blog Herald didn’t go naked, even though it was discussed. Will it go naked this year?

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  6. By Phil Nash posted on April 7, 2008 at 2:13 pm
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    It’s great to see the word being spread and wonderful that web standards is getting more and more exposure, if you will excuse the pun.

    I hope the Blog Herald does go naked! I really want to see its naked <body> ;)

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  7. By Kris Johnson posted on April 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm
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    I’m glad to see the return of CSS Naked Day. It didn’t look like Dustin had updated his site when April 5th was looming and I thought CSSND had gone the way of the dodo.

    My blog will definitely be going naked on Wednesday, and this will be my 3rd year participating. I think I pulled the CSS out of my Simple Machines Forum last year for CSSND. Not pretty.

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  8. By J. Angelo Racoma posted on April 7, 2008 at 7:02 pm
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    Lorelle, we would have to ask the editor if we will get naked this Wednesday.

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  9. By Dustin Diaz posted on April 7, 2008 at 7:24 pm
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    Hey guys,
    Glad to see you’ve posted an entry on it! Your support is awesome :)

    Indeed I was a bit late on the announcement, but it’s still turning out great. I’m hoping we’ll get just as many as last year.

    Reply

  10. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on April 7, 2008 at 8:42 pm
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    @J. Angelo Racoma:

    Oh, come on, boss. :D

    Reply

  11. By Tanya (aka NetChick) posted on April 9, 2008 at 9:58 am
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    Brr… Where did that draft come from? Oh right, I dropped my CSS. Wow, do I feel naked.

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  12. By cyphunk posted on April 10, 2008 at 10:06 am
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    obviously someone that designs their site with a heavy weight towards CSS is going to have a moldy layout when they take away the CSS. CSS is a tool that has it’s current function, one which is dynamic in changing, but still just a tool. But there are other tools as well. I mean, we don’t have a “let’s stop talking in english day so everyone realizes how important english is over other languages”. There is more than one way to design something just as there is more than one language. But if you want to torture your users for a day, go for it.

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  13. By Lorelle VanFossen posted on April 10, 2008 at 5:35 pm
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    @cyphunk:

    I see you are making the rounds. So again, I ask, what tools are there besides HTML-related architecture and CSS for web design? Javascript? AJAX? Flash? Flash is not web standard and AJAX is trying but still has some development to go. Javascript has always been problematic, but still, I’d love to know what the other choices are and why this bothers you so much to honor web designers – no matter what tools they use?

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  14. By oasis1984 posted on June 20, 2009 at 11:00 am
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    Great Articles…. Thank.

    Reply

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