TMLSource: unsplash.com

Web development — maybe it’s time to back to the roots?

I’ve published my first live website in 2004 so almost 13 years ago. I know that this is not so long time ago but for me 13 years is nearly half of my age. In early 2000’s I definitely wouldn’t say that I’m a developer but since that moment creating a websites becomes something more that an hobby — my daily work. I know that in 2004 world wide web really advanced but for me this was same beginning — I’ve learned basic HTML and CSS and know how to copy/paste ready JavaScript code into my first masterpiece. My website was simple static HTML, no extra features apart from <marquee> tag which allows me to create first news highlighter and of course I’ve used <table> for entire layout (everyone did it that way that time!) so it was basically Excel with some CSS…

Oldie but goldie

What I really missed from that period is simplicity — I’ve got one file (sic!), which represent entire service. I’ve got copies of everything in my CD-ROM’s, don’t need to worry about performance, SEO and all that stuff from long checklist that you review every time you publish a website. It was a pure joy of having this what we today call tech blog.

Today if you want to start a simple Hello World website most of the tutorials will force you to use super advanced IDE, npm, learn command line tools, use Gulp, Grunt of Webpack, lint your code, use CSS pre-processor and some latest JavaScript library which will be outdated the next day. Really, this is basic set-up and you need from at least several hours to output on your browser

<h1>Hello World</h1>

It also depends how good you are at copy/pasting commands you probably even don’t understand. Current web development stack looks quite like on this discussion about JavaScript frameworks:

Source: https://www.devrant.io

Make it simpler

In most areas tools that we use today are far more user friendly that few years ago. Just look at text editors, we’ve replace Microsoft Word by iA Writer, we’ve got minimalistic To-Do list apps instead of Excel, and use emojis exactly in the same way like hieroglyphs in ancient Egypt 4000 years ago. What is really interesting it really looks that this revolution missed web development tools…

Luckily there is light at the end of tunnel and it is called Publii.

Publii welcome screen

Publii

Publii is an open source static CMS. Ok but what means static here? In short words this super nice tool generates static HTML pages like in old good times and publish them live with just one-click.

Some basics will never change — you still need a web server but that’s all. Publii is packed with bunch of nice templates and user-friendly interface which allows you to focus on publishing. So just open editor and write, then click Sync your website and preview your live article.

This is also great example that simplicity don’t have to mean lack of functionality. You can adjust layout, keep SEO on the highest possible level, add share buttons and all that stuff that modern websites needs.

Publii theme configuration

If you’ve ever struggled to optimize your webiste and fight for green badges from Google now you can forget about it. This is static HTML — super safe and super fast. What is more you can generate Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and CSS and JS files are compressed out of the box.


Less is more

Publii is still in beta version but you can try it here https://getpublii.com/. Works with Windows and macOS as well. As I’ve mentioned it is Open Source software so free of charge and really allows you to get back to web development basics. It is still your website, still have your very own element and you don’t need to spend hours to make every single small change. You just double click on the Publii icon and it’s ready — ready for your ideas and content that you want to share with other people.