Posted on Sun - November 13, 2005

Website hack

There is one trick that I am really proud of. It dates back to earlier versions of Technopagan Yearnings. When I spotted the effect, I knew I was doing something "wrong," but I realized I could use it for psychological effect.

Normally you want your pages to load as fast as possible because if the site isn't mostly loaded in 30 seconds, the viewer thinks about going to another site. The pre-blog versions of TPY were VERY graphics intensive and I was always trying to get around it.

I could get a table to at least partially display the text before the banner graphic could load. Now it gives an amateur, homey feeling to a site. But I was doing the typical Pagan thing with the site, "we're nothing to be scared of" and that sort of thing. So homey could work if I could tweak it just a bit more.

Then I thought of "large, friendly letters" from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and I had it. "Comic Sans MS" was the friendliest near-universal font I could find. I wrote a nice message that flashed for a second or so before the top graphic loaded, and you could still see the top part of the message in the average browser window.

For it to work, you can't preload the top graphic or specify the size. The table should have at least a BGCOLOR tag, even if you use an image background. Make sure the type color contrasts for easy viewing.

You can see the same effect at the NeoWayland NetWork page, and a version of that same message still flashes. Here is the code. Yes, I know the FONT tag has been depreciated, but I am still learning CSS and this was a copy/paste/edit from one of my old pages. I am going through and recreating the look and feel I want using CSS, but I haven't finished yet.

<center><img border=0 src=""><p><P>

<TABLE bgColor=#99ccff background="" cellPadding=12 cellSpacing=2 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD><FONT color=#184A18 face="Comic Sans MS"><center>

<h1>Hey ho and Welcome!</h1>
<font size=4>Here's where you stick some content in your table,


I'm pretty sure I am not the only one who noticed it and figured out how to tweak the effect. But as far as I know, I am the only one who designed public web pages to maximize the impact.

I wonder if I should call it the NeoEffect?

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