RE: This Page is Designed to Last

I stumbled over the Article on preserving content on the web from Jeff and found it very interesting:

Bookmark after bookmark led to dead link after dead link. Vanished are amazing pieces of writing on kuro5hin about tech culture, and a collection of mathematical puzzles and their associated discussion by academics that my father introduced me to; gone are Woodman’s Reverse Engineering tutorials from my high school years, where I first tasted the feeling of dominance over software; even my most recent bookmark, a series of posts on Google+ exposing usb-c chargers’ non-compliance with the specification, disappeared.

This Page is Designed to Last: A Manifesto for Preserving Content on the Web

He dives into how we can make the web better (and simpler). As I’m currently facing the rear end of support on what my small website has been built on I’m putting in some thought on how I want to build a new website. Simplicity is a huge part here but also the curiosity to try something new. So it does not come to a surprise that I’m playing around with Gatsby so in the end, I won’t have to deal with upgrades and deprecations all too often as it just ends up being a static site – deployed by a simple build task attached to my version control repository.

But Jeff goes even further and lists 7 steps of preserving content:

  1. Return to vanilla HTML/CSS
  2. Don’t minimize that HTML
  3. Prefer one page over several
  4. End all forms of hotlinking
  5. Stick with the 13 web safe fonts +2
  6. Obsessively compress your images
  7. Eliminate the broken URL risk

An interesting list of approaches which all make perfect sense. Lately during a discussion with a friend we discussed the history we had over the time on twitter and one brought up “Do you remember the time where we couldn’t add images to tweets and those images have all been lost because the services were dying at some point”. And this is the exact same issue. This is also why I try to host my content myself and practising Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere (POSSE) whenever possible.

Of course, this does not hold true to a lot of “web application” sites but over the past, I worked on a few Web Performance projects for big websites and “simplifying things” lead also mostly to making a site more performant and more sustainable in the long run. And I think part of the strategies in Jeffs Blogpost apply to a much broader set of sites than we might think in the first place.