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June 16, 2004

Westciv site revamp

westciv has had a site redesign in the works for some time now. Yesterday, after a lot of hard work, Maxine's masterpiece was launched.

The design is xhtml 1.1 strict and CSS. A lot of effort has gone into making it as WAI WCAG compliant as possible (I'm sure Maxine will have a post at her blog shortly letting you know about that process, as well as the design process overall).

We eat our own dogfood here at westciv. We use Style master for all our web jobs, and then we fix the things that annoy us, and add the features that would make life easier.

We practice what we preach too. I think that Image replacement techniques like the FIR are inaccessible and not in the spirit of web standards, so we don't use them. Which is why, too, we went for xhtml 1.1 strict, because you can hardly espouse web standards and best practice on the one hand, and then not use them on the other. This is why I am so hard on those who talk the talk of web standards but then go back to the bad old ways when it gets too hard. You can't cherry pick.

Yes, their are some validation problems. There are thousands of pages at westciv.com, some dating back several years, so fixing them all will take a little time. But to keep ourselves honest you'll find a link to the W3C HTML and CSS validators on each page, so you can validate those pages.

As sites like wired, blogger and The Sydney Morning Herald show, this can be done. Westciv has been doing this web thing for a while. Let me tell you, although this is without the most significant overhaul of the site ever, it was not the most work. The beauty of web standards and best practices in action.

Stay tuned for Maxine's epic on the scale of Beowoulf as she recounts her epic journey.


June 16, 2004 | Permalink


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Excellent job Maxine and John. :)

I was hoping you were working on a redesign for Westciv, because in all honesty, while I thought the previous design was unique, it was easy to get lost in. In other words, my eyes found it difficult to scan for pertinent information.

This new design is clean, easy on the eyes and conveys itself brilliantly. Great job to the both of you.

On a related note, I've been interested in your software and when I get approval from my wife, I might be purchasing Stylemaster in the near future!

I was playing with the trial version at work the other day and found it to be not only intuitive, but innovative in the way it works.

Anything to make my day that much more productive.

Posted by: kartooner | Jun 16, 2004 12:51:59 PM


I really like it. It's a huge improvement (no offense to the old designer). It's far less confusing for the eye, and looks crisp and clean.


Posted by: Will | Jun 17, 2004 4:24:18 AM

Very nice. I love to see developers practice what they preach.

(btw, it's xhtml 1.0 strict, not 1.1... at least that's what the site said)

Posted by: gb | Jun 18, 2004 11:59:29 AM

I too like the design, although I find it hard to keep find the links. I do a lot of surfing on my Apple Powerbook G4 Titanium, and occasionally I don't have the LCD at the proper angle. Anyway... kudos!

Web Maestro Clay

Posted by: Web Maestro Clay | Jun 19, 2004 8:29:34 AM

I've found that TypePad's individual pages resist coding in XHTML 1.1. Does anyone know of a workaround for the Individual Index pages template?

Posted by: Jeremy | Aug 13, 2004 8:46:18 PM


does Typepad add non standard XHTML of is own? If so, which aspects?


Posted by: John Allsopp | Aug 14, 2004 11:36:14 AM