In 2006, the First Annual CSS Naked Day was held, a tribute to honor web designers, the painters of our websites. I celebrate the holiday most years on this site. Every year on April 9, web developers, designers, and those honoring web design and programming celebrate by removing the styles on our sites for 24 hours.
By turning off the CSS, the design styles of my website, it is stripped down to the HTML architecture. It will look similar to what websites resembled in the earliest days of the web, bare bones architecture holding the content and little else.
The second year, 2007, mine and thousands of other sites disrobed to honor CSS Naked Day. By 2008, there were hundreds of thousands of sites participating.
In 2008, this site went naked and I explained:
I honor the web designers who “walk the walk” and volunteer their time to ensure those standards grow with the web not against. I honor web browser developers who understand the need for standards and thus work with them, also not against them, for our web browsing pleasure, helping designers design well and avoid all the hacks and customizations on a per-browser basis.
I honor the founders of the web, the great minds who looked into the future and said, “Everyone must have access to this.” They meant everyone. Every person on any computer using any method to access the web. In their minds, they wanted to have people on different computer operating systems be able to share data. Today, this has stretched to include access for the blind and visually impaired, disabled, deaf, Mac user, Windows user, Linus user, cell phone, web TV, big screen, little screen, all the various methods the web is accessed so the data can flow both ways with ease.
I also honor those who give so much of their creativity to the WordPress Community, while setting a standard in web design around the world. Thank you to all who understand that a free WordPress Theme is a resume. A business card. A portfolio of your work. By giving, you are showing the world what you are capable of. It’s a way to give back to the WordPress Community which gives so much of its time to volunteering to support WordPress through their work on WordPress Plugins, donating and writing articles for the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress Users, and volunteering their time in the WordPress.com Forums and WordPress Support Forums to help others.
For those who make a living off of the free WordPress blogging platform, I honor you for giving back to that which helps you pay your rent or mortgage. The WordPress Community is a fantastic free school of education for coders, programmers, designers, writers, and hackers. Thank you for volunteering your time and skills towards the improvement of WordPress and WordPress development.
My causes at the time was to break down one of the last barriers on the web: language. That is still a rousing cry of mine, but we are closer than every to being able to sit in our homes or offices in our language and read the words of others written in their language and translated instantly into ours.
Google Chrome has translation built into their browser. There are Firefox extensions that provide similar translation options, but it requires manual action rather than an integrated, seamless experience.
In addition to honoring the designers who make our sites look beautiful and those behind web standards and laws that ensure the web remains open and accessible to all, in spite of narrow-minded governments, politicians, and corporations determined to control such access and transparency, let’s make the web truly open and accessible to all through browser-activated translation.
How to Go Naked on CSS Naked Day April 9
If you would like to join me naked on the web, here are the instructions.
First, write and publish a post warning people that you are changing your WordPress Theme to go naked for CSS Naked Day. The web is important to all of us, and the design of the web and our website is critical to our needs as well as the needs of our readers and visitors, helping to visually direct them to the most critical content on the site. Take a stand and tell the world why you think it is important to stand naked for 24 hours to remind us how important access to the web is, and how important this cause is to you.
Please include a link to the original post by Dustin Diaz and this and any other explanations of the annual event. Jens Oliver Meiert sppears to have taken over the reigns from Dustin to keep the annual event alive. There is also a CSS Naked Day Google Group you can join to stay updated.
- WordPress.com Not Premium: Unfortunately, unless you have purchased the Premium package for Custom CSS, your option is to switch to a minimalist WordPress Theme and not customize it in any way, just strip it down to the barest essentials. Be sure to remove the header art and set it to just text for the site title, and remove all background color or set it to white. I recommend the following WordPress Themes from the WordPress.com Free Themes Directory. They are still styled, and a bit minimalist, but could be a dramatic change from your current Theme:
- WordPress.com Premium: If you have the CSS Extra as part of the Premium services on WordPress.com, do the following, taking notes on everything you do as you go:
- Go to WP-Admin > Themes > Customization > CSS
- Select all and copy or cut the CSS instructions
- Paste them into a TEXT EDITOR and save the file where you can find it within 24 hours or so
- Delete all of the styles in the CSS form and hit SAVE AND PUBLISH, and your site should be stripped bare of custom styles set by the CSS
- Go to the Header, Colors, Background, and other Theme settings and set them to the default or blank, taking notes on the changes you’ve made, and hit SAVE AND PUBLISH. This should reset your Theme back to the basics if the CSS styles didn’t.
- 24 hours later, follow your notes and restore the header, background, colors, etc., and the CSS file, and hit SAVE AND PUBLISH. Your site should be restored. No widgets and content customization should be impacted.
- Self-hosted or Managed WordPress: There is a CSS Naked Day WordPress Plugin by Aja Lapus and other manual techniques, including the basics:
- Go to the CSS file for your active WordPress Theme through WordPress. Copy and save the CSS instructions and delete them from the file so it is empty, and save it.
- Or access your site through FTP and rename your stylesheet for the active Theme from
styles.bak. If you are using a Child Theme, do the same with the parent Theme if the styles are not cleanly removed from the site. Rename them back when the event is over.
- Or use one of the blank WordPress Themes created just for the event.
Consider joining me to honor the power of Cascading Style Sheets and the visual illusion of the web, as well as the tremendous work web designers and developers do to make our web experience easier.