Making index.php semantically better
index.php is semantically awkward in my opinion. The navigation should come before the posts, not after. Is there any reason why it’s been done this way? People using screenreaders and other alternative browsing devices would find it a lot easier to navigate.
If you don’t understand what I mean, just go to any wordpress weblog and turn off the CSS.
I don’t understand.
Remove the css from my page and you will first see the posts – presumably the reason you come to my blog.
I also think that posts should load first because sidebars tend to carry most of the external links, and even if – in my case – technorati or del. are down, you can still read the content. Pulling the sidebar in first undoes all that.
This incidentally is why I think people with 3 col themes must be careful as to how they load content – it only takes one slow link and people will see what they think is a broken site.
This has nothing to do with index.php or even WP. It is purely down to the developer how they’ve organised things. For example, both of my blogs, Fully Independent and If Else display the main content before the side navigations. With Fully Independent, I even provide a print.css which omits the sidebar when you’re printing.
What WP does is handles things behind the scene. The display and content is ultimately down to the developer.
amiya – almost universally web devs put the content first for reasons of accessibility. That said if you do not like it – start editing.
Don’t equate navigation and technorati/del/blogroll links. They should come at the end. I’m talking about the regular navigation such as archives, categories & meta.
It’s the same as putting the table of contents comes before the actual chapters of a book.
I know, and I feel the default index.php can be improved.
Please take a look at:
I agree they’re not all classical blogs and they don’t represent the entire universe of web devs, but all these sites do put the navigation before the content.
A theme I just worked on is partially better, and my next one will be even better in semantic terms.
amiya- I hope you do not mind me saying this – but I am going to bite a little. Many of us here have been following those links for 6 or 8 years. You are just not reading it right. hnavs before the content – possibly.
Amiya, this is a touchy issue. There are just as many out there who want want navigation after the posts, and many who want navigation before the posts. This is exactly why WordPress is highly customizable. Don’t believe me? http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Themes#Get_New_Themes No offense, but “if you do not like it – start editing.” The developers will not make this kind of change, but they have given you the ability to do so yourself.
This might get you started on understanding the issuesAccessibilty
The main reason a lot of devs like content first has to do with search engines. Semantically, there’s no better reason to put nav first than last – css allows a page to “be a page complete” no matter how you “stack” it.
Since one reason people blog (not me, but many) is for exposure, and since SEs are a huge method of obtaining same, anything people can do to help the SEs is a bonus in their schemes of things.
Content first doesn’t make any LESS sense than nav first, really. It’s mostly in the eyes of the beholder.
I’d read the “Dive into Accessibility” series when it came out. I’m not convinced about the skipping over argument. It’s only an issue when a blogroll with a hundred links is clubbed with the navigation. A short, concise hnav before the posts is worth considering.
I’d “started editing” before I made this post.
Try visiting any other wordpress blog and you’ll see wtf I mean.
Wouldn’t that give comment spam URL’s higher relevance than their precious blogroll… j/k 🙂
Not a joke entirely, amiya. That does happen – that’s a glitch in the way the SEs’ algorithms work.
However, it works the way it’s supposed to most of the time…. I understand your frustration with things laid out “content first” – it took me a while to get beyond it. I managed that by simply looking at the fact that validity is the important thing, followed by the page itself (in other words, usability) – and content first doesn’t obviate either.
As for screen readers: I have a blind writer friend, uses a screen reader as well as various voice-read software programs; it’s not been long since she told me how nice it was for her when she ran across pages where the content was “read to her” first, because that made it so much simpler to decide whether she wanted to dig further into the site.
CSS/html is very much a “different strokes for different folks” world right now. Yes, there are standards. However, even those are in a state of flux. I try not to let any of it bother me – my main function is and always will be to get the information out in front of the end-user, using whatever “standards” currently obtain….
I think that the most important part of this thread is that collectively we want to make and use the best product we can. We want to make our sites better, and therefore we want to use the best tools.
We’ll never all agree on the best way to do many things. On one hand, standards are not laws, so it’s not necessary to follow them. They are guidelines, and many people would prefer not to stifle their own creativity just so their site will pass whatever validator du jour they use.
Still, standards are in place, and while they aren’t always the easiest things to put into place, they do help to make this old internet a friendlier place.
So, let’s not get into a pissing match about who is right or wrong. Let’s just accept that we have differences and instead direct our energies to helping people sort out their design and structural and functional issues.
“Don’t make me stop this car!” 🙂
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