Enabling the Do-It-Yourself Blogger

There was a time on the Web when sites were built by a select few people who understood HTML and JavaScript. Then came graphics programs that would generate some of the code for you web page design for you – but you still needed to know how to design. Then came WordPress and other open source blog platforms – arguably as important a technological innovation as Gutenberg’s press, because these platforms have enabled the “masses” to communicate.

More recently, there’ve been a number of JavaScript code libraries – such as Script.aculo.us or jQuery – that have enabled many non-programmers to add advanced user interfaces to their sites. In a similar vein, CSS grid frameworks are enabling non-designers to jazz up their sites with quickly-prototyped, slicker layouts.

To wit, here’s a snapshot, below, of a homepage template I’m working on, designed for freelancers to promote themselves. There’s a “gallery” of projects, and a sidebar that uses an “accordion” menu. Of course, since I’m not a trained designer, this template is very minimalist and lacks much “style”, but for me it’s sufficient. What’s more, I put it together in relatively little time using a Blueprint CSS grid and jQuery interactions.

True, there are few presentation glitches to be ironed out, but had I coded the necessary HTML and CSS from scratch, it would have taken far too long and not been worth my time – especially due to cross-browser technical problems that have already been resolved with these libraries and frameworks.

Granted, the average non-coding, non-designing blogger will not be embracing JavaScript code libraries or CSS grid frameworks any time soon. However, these options are there for you if you need/ want them.

4 thoughts on “Enabling the Do-It-Yourself Blogger

  1. Raj, I know 🙂 I just picked the most obvious ‘Do it Yourself’ tool to provoke a little bit. The serious aspect is that using pre-formed standards like the grid frameworks are giving a solid vbase for web development. Those tools are pretty professional and can/may lead to much better solutions than the average webmaster could dream about a couple of years ago.

    The same is true for WP even if I prefer Blogger if looking for a really simple ‘Do it Yourself’ tool 🙂

  2. Markus: Ah but you mistake me. This post isn’t about WordPress. It’s about “enabling” tools. That you consider a blog “spam” because it’s set up on WP shows your bias. The fact that I mentioned WP (and not a big long list of other platforms) shows mine But again, it’s not about WP here.

  3. Well, in the typical provocative manner I want to mention that every new WP blog (new to me!) will fall in the spam drawer at a first glance while other more sophisticated CMS also used for blogging will be glanced at more seriously by me. At least somebody didn’t jump on the ‘millions of flies can’t lie’ train.

    WP resides in the Blogger part of the web for me.

    Written with a grain of milled chili, well, but…

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