Trying to give myself a nudge to complete some 1/2 written posts, and write the unwritten ones, I decided to switch out the theme (again).
I’ve gone with a very minimal theme called Susty by Jack Lenox. It’s a very interesting concept – bytes matter, not just to be the fastest loading or get the highest score on a metric, but because websites have an impact on the planet. Datacentres use a lot of power, carbon, and land. Not to mention the impact on individual users – loading time affects how long a device has to be used as well as how long the radio has to be active (and so how much power is used). Design also has an impact, with lighter colours and low contrast needing more brightness from the screen to be readable. And don’t forget those bytes – unreliable and slow connections are common (“near dial-up speeds” are still common in the U.S.A.), and it’s well known that “users hate slow sites“. Leaner is better.
So. This is Susty – well, my fork of Susty. So far I’ve made some minor aesthetic changes, some accessibility changes, and introduced support for ‘dark mode’.
In technical terms this was just a few lines of CSS using the experimental
prefers-color-scheme media query. This is still in the draft stage, but with popularity for dark modes shooting up after Mac OS 10.14 introduced them OS-wide, and support already in place in Firefox and Safari, it looks likely to stay. If your browser reports that you prefer a dark interface, the colour scheme of the site changes (basically inverts) automatically. I’m considering inverting this so dark is the default, but that’s for another day.
Plans for Susty
I have a couple of items on my todo list for Susty –
There are no guarantees – but I hope to keep some momentum and have my Susty polished to my liking over the next month.
In no particular order, these should get published over the next 3 months:
- Implementing Gov.UK Notify for sending emails from WordPress (but applicable to any PHP implementation)
- Update on Susty and the start of my IndieWeb journey (props to Calum Ryan for starting me on this)
- Programatically updating .htaccess in WordPress
- Lessons from recent mapping projects at Helpful Digital –