Design Like It’s 1999

I’ve been in the POD/ebook business and online making websites for twenty years now. Website hosts come and go. Book vendors come and go, both ebook and print-on-demand. Social media rises to prominence, pushing aside more secure private email discussion lists.

What I find funny is the so-called new design method for websites and apps. New? Really? Are you sure? Let me see. Do away with heavy buttons and loud backgrounds in favor of softer graphics, which are smaller and therefore take less time to load. Narrow the layout to fix inside 800 pixels wide, which accommodates most smartphones and tablets turned landscape. Avoid sidebars and footers, where possible. Make it soft, compact, and flowing.

Wait. Give me a moment to stop and have a good laugh. This is not a new way of designing web content. It’s how we did it in 1999, designing inside a 800W x 600H (in pixels) template for display on 13″ to 15″ monitors using slow dial-up internet. As DSL came into being along with large LED flat screen monitors, websites got bigger, wider, flashier.

Then came smartphones with their tiny display screens, creating a generation of squinty-eyed users turning their phones around and around, scrolling up and down, trying to make large websites work on their small devices. Most smartphones do now have larger display screens, and there are lots of good tablets with larger screens.

Here’s where it gets really funny. The “new” optimum design model (width by height in pixels) is to accommodate current mobile devices — drum roll, please — on 800W x 600H. If you stopped a moment to laugh, join the crowd. I laughed as I typed this.

Yes, the same design specs used in the late nineties are now being used to make web content fit mobile devices. And here’s another bit of irony. Although the older HTML-4 lacks some of the portal switches that morph web content to fit a small screen, it makes websites that are crisper, cleaner, and more stable with less security issues. In fact, I still use the older HTML on small websites. For example, CLICK HERE to see my domain home page. If you are using a mobile device, turn it landscape and scroll up/down. Poke the menu buttons to navigate the site. That is a 1999 HTML-4 design template. I guess the old saying that eventually everything old becomes new again also applies to website design.

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Save the Internet

The FCC is set to vote whether or not to kill net neutrality and turn over the internet to corporate interests, which would end the internet as we now know it. Go to to find out more and how to contact your congressional representatives to KEEP NET NEUTRALITY.

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Books at Barnes & Noble

Find ebooks, hardbacks, and paperbacks by Terri Branson at Barnes & Noble! Get FREE SHIPPING when you buy $25 or more of qualifying in-stock items. CLICK HERE TO FIND LISTINGS…

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Get Discount Paperbacks at Lulu

Now get discount paperbacks on most fiction and non-fiction titles by Terri Branson at Lulu. Check back for more listings soon. This is in addition to hardbacks and EPUB ebooks. CLICK HERE to see a full list of editions by Terri Branson at Lulu…

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Watch the new PRAIRIE FIRE book trailer

Watch the new short book trailer for PRAIRIE FIRE by Terri Branson. Follow feisty Chloe to 1893 Oklahoma Territory to meet a handsome rancher, meddling relatives, nosy neighbors, dangerous outlaws, hidden foes, and a mysterious ghost called Firehorse. [Western Paranormal Romance (rated PG) by Terri Branson | Released in ebook, hardback, and paperback on the DFP Books label of Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.] WATCH VIDEO | READ MORE & FIND SALES LINKS |

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