How We Created This Web Site
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Standards Compliant Design
As professional web site designers, we try to ensure that our work complies with all the current standards for web design, and this site is no exception.
All the pages at Out of the Trees conform to the World Wide Web Consortium's XHTML 1.1 specification for web page markup, and page presentation is controlled entirely with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Layouts Without Tables
Many web sites now use CSS to control the basic appearance of their sites, but continue to use tables for page layout. However, when we set out to design this site, we chose to eschew tables in favour of controlling the layout using CSS-Positioning. As a result, only CSS-capable browsers will display the correct layout, colours and fonts, but the site should remain usable for all visitors, no matter what device or browser they are using. We decided on this approach because CSS-controlled layouts bestow a number of benefits:
- There is much more control over page appearance;
- By editing a single CSS file, site-wide design changes can be made in seconds;
- We are able to output to multiple formats more easily;
- There is no need for messy HTML, such as font tags, spacer gifs and nested tables. This improves page load-time, especially as external CSS files are cached by browsers;
- CSS encourages proper HTML structure, which in turn improves accessibility and search engine placement.
Unlike many web designers, we do not consider accessibility to be an optional extra! Current legal thinking suggests that the minimum level of conformance is the W3C Level-A Conformance; we have tried to ensure that every page on this site meets the most-stringent criteria: Triple A-Conformance. For more information, see our article on the importance of accessible web design.