Several professional designers reacted with horror to my homepage. They expected a splashing page from me, the internet freak. I am sorry, but this is it. And I like it.
First of all, it seems silly to me to take down webpages simply because they are 10 or 15 years old. With buildings we do no such thing, should this be different for webpages simply it is easier? For historical reasons it might be good to see 'old pages' every now and then. In the future it might be easier to say what a building or even a television show from the 20th century looks like, while we have no idea where we came from on the web.
Secondly there is a practical reason. This is the easiest thing to do for me. All the time saved from making all kinds of bells and whistles to work, I can spend on 'content'. That's what I like to do best. And remember that phrase of the late nineties 'content is king'? You miss the frames, the navigation? I don't want that on my pages. You should use your browser to do the navigation. I prefer to have content on my page and no distraction with alternative choices on the side. When you are on the frontpage you can make your choice, then stick to that. You can always return to this 'choice' page. It's never far. Just a few clicks back or use the pictoresque 'home' icon on many of my pages. There's a good side-effect of this. I limit your choice, you have to read, or at least scroll, through a page before you can get back to the index. There's no navigation frame to play with. I know what is good for you. I might perhaps lose you because you because I make it so difficult to navigate to other sections on my homepage. So be it, if I lose you in the entry you first choose, it is very unlikely that another section is of more interest. You're in control here. Only stay if you like it. Take it or leave it.
Secondly, the ideological reason. The great thing about it is that with just a computer and an internet connection you can connect to the rest of the world. While there are many computers around in the world, only a small group of percentage has this years model. The designers are in that small group of fortunate people and they tend to forget how fortunate they are. I like to offer a webpage that still loads on 1994 equipment. And be enjoyable. I feel that all the extra's being added to ever growing browsers do not fundamentally change the internet experience. The biggest revolution is to be on-line. More bells and whistles in every new browser release are never a revolution, just enhancements. The second revolution is to be on-line with a permanent connection. Only then you will really start to use the WWW intensively. For those who experienced the second revolution my page doesn't have to change. Most people don't need the latest computer. Just e-mail and homepages like I have can very well be the 80 or 90% that make a good internet experience. The rest is fun for geeks.
Once committed to this anti-design statement I started evaluating all other homepages and websites in this light. My argument still stands. Early 90s HTML and design is sufficient on the web. It is true that in some cases database driven pages are absolutely essential to make a site work, but that is under the hood, it doesn't really negate what I say. I don't believe in the marriage between internet and television or radio. My kind of internet experience is just text and some illustrations. Other media will become more internet-like, more TCP/IP based, but the internet should does not need to change much. Television or film through TCP/IP is basically the same medium, the distribution and reception (for the moment) is just different.
I realised there is more to this, I wasn't aware of at first. Read my two rules for webdesign.