This was my first website in about 2006 on left. I was able to find it using the Wayback Machine which lets you see what sites used to look like. It was based on a free website template which I found on the web. I was a table-based layout which I converted to CSS (more on that later). It used pictures for navigation because I liked the cool looking font. I later found out that was a variation of Ondine and I still like it. I think it has an old Middle Eastern hand-drawn feel without being garish (see Papyrus). I later learned that using pictures for navigation links is a no-no as visually disabled users or people who browse with pictures turned-off may not be able to find their way around your site.
I also learned after this that people usually put their navigation links in an unordered list (ul in HTML). I understand that this is the commonly used convention but I still am unsure about it. A page is a list of ordered paragraphs – does that mean they need to go in an ordered list (ol in html)? I continue to use lists for navigation because it is helpful wrapping the CSS around your navigation but I think you can go crazy with the “semantics”. I think it should be used where semanticly meaningful and functionally useful.
I changed the site when someone who knew what he was doing looked at it and said, “It is a Web 1.0 website”. Web 2.0 describes the transition from web sites being static to more interactive. It also had a distinctive look. Ben Hunt’s Web Design From Scratch describes the components of the “Web 2.0” appearance as simplicity, central layout, fewer columns, separate top section, solid areas of screen real estate, simple navigation, bold logos, bigger text, bold text introductions, strong colors, rich surfaces, gradients, reflections, cute icons, and star flashes. I tried to update the look of the current Sue Horowitz Modern Jewish Music site into a more Web 2.0 website on right and am happy with the current look for now but I am open to any suggestions.