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.