That Blue Square Thing

The Tech Bits:

Hello world code image This site was written in strict xhtml using nothing more complex than a text editor and some image editing software. The styling is done the proper way using external stylesheets with hand made CSS. The few odd bits of JavaScript which are used are generally stored externally as well, because that's the proper way to do it.

I've been through a stage of tweaking and rewiting using Dreamweaver, but have gone back to a basic text editor and hand coding nowadays. I recommend being able to code by hand as it lets you do so much more than an editor such as Dreamweaver will.

I write code in TextWranglerExternal link these days - a free text editor for Macs with some nice features to make hand coding a little easier. It's a free tool, although only available for Macs.


The html markup on this site has been checked using the W3C validator. This means it should work properly and be solid, reliable code which behaves itself. You can visit the W3C validator yourselfExternal link.

Valid CSSLets you know that the Style Sheets (CSS) have also been checked by the W3C validator. Again, you can run any style sheet through the validator yourself to check itExternal link.

I've gone to CSS Level 3 nowadays, mainly to get the cool curved corners on the edge of the page. If you're not seeing them it's probably because you're using IE on an XP machine...

Browser Compatability:

Page suitable for any browserA Web Browser is the piece of software you use to view the internet in. Not every web user uses the latest version of Internet Explorer running on a Windows PC with a widescreen monitor so it's important to make sure that websites can be viewed sensibly on any reasonable machine using any browser.

A few of the bits and pieces here rely on more up to date browsers. Google Analytics tells me no one's using IE 6 anymore so I've more or less dropped support for that and you won't see cool curved borders on the pages in IE8 or below. But stuff should still work fine.

The site's tested using Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera and IE 8+ on Macs, PCs and at least one flavour of Linux. It should work on 1024 pixel wide monitors because at one point it needed to. It should also work using iOS and Android systems on phones and tablets. Any feedback is gratefully received, especially about other platforms.


Accessible to W3C AA StandardThis site tries it's best to meet Accessibility StandardsExternal link to at least AA standards. This should be a basic standard for any web design.

There may be some aspects of the image galleries and the drag and drop stuff on the weather pages that cause minor accessibility issues, but most things should be fine. If you come across anything on That Blue Square Thing which you think fails accessibility standards then please let me know about it.


I've moved towards using Google fontsExternal link for the main sections of the site. The main body font is Oxygen at 300 weight; the navigation font is Raleway at its default weight.

There's no reason why this shouldn't work just fine. Feedback, as always, is welcome.

Other Geeky Stuff:

The Visibone Colour ChartExternal link is an excellent resource which makes choosing a colour scheme so much easier.

The site is hosted using CS New MediaExternal link (now taken over by VidaHost), which seems utterly reliable and very reasonable. I push content to it using FileZillaExternal link, a free FTP tool.

There's a pile more geeky stuff over at the Cool IT Stuff page.