Welcome to Softclean Webpage

That's a prototype from what I can still recall of my first ever public homepage

See it in fullscreen (and feel free to check the annotated source code!)

Inauguration and purpose

Building webpages is a fun art! It's a good way to express your ideas and share your opinion or expertise to a wider public. At circa 2006 the website featured original texts related to software and computer threaths (viruses, hackers and so on).

Design

The design choosen was trendy at that time. Centered layout, floating sheet, Verdana font, animated page elements/banners and customized link colors. Base techniques (and now gracefully ancient) used were primarily tabular design and flash objects. You can also notice the glossy effect on the banner: a design style in high demand generally speaking (userbars were another example where glossy design and scan lines were the defacto standard).

Website technology and backend infrastructure

The website was designed using Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 (part of CS2 suite). It was pure HTML and CSS without server-side support. Initial design was created by Adobe Photoshop CS2 allowing to export directly to Dreamweaver. For instance, the header of the webapge consists of 4 sliced images, aligned with table cells. Speaking of cells, some of the design decisions were based on Dreamweaver code generation - namely the tabular design. CSS was also tipically generated through graphical wizards, by ticking checkboxes and clicking buttons.

Website infrastructure wasn't too exciting either. A plain old FTP connection allowed me to upload the HTML and related files to an Apache powered webserver for static content. All the server infrastructure was provided by my ISP (Internet Server Provider) at the time. The website was located at http://asilva.sc.web.simplesnet.pt (now defunct).

Website features and visitors

I have no clue how many visitors the website had at a time since I did not actively monitorized these statistics. Although there were several free image based counters on the website (basically an HTML snippet you put in your website and then an image is displayed with the total visits count), I did not use one for this website.

Regarding website funciontalities, I tried to create a newsletter. The subscription method was quite rudimentary: a single webpage with an e-mail link (mailto:) were people could send me an e-mail with their intent to subscribe. In about two or three weeks I had a subscriber (someone how seemed to enjoy my articles) and then I suddenly dropped the newsletter without ever releasing the first edition. It was primarily by lack of planning on how to write it. No other interesting features existed mainly due abesence of a server-side support language.

What "Softclean" stands for?

That was my nickname at the time. It was a short form of software cleanup, a category of software that was very interesting for me, along with antiviruses.

Why bringing this back to the webs?

I'm a big fan of digital preservation. While this prototype will not teach anything new, it is a live proof of yesterday's web behaviour and design.

Credits

Thank you to Wayback Machine project (from Archive.org) to allow me searching through old websites at the time. Unfortunately mine was not there (and sincerely I would be surprised if it did given the low traffic it had back at the time), but a lot of relevant links, companies and information from that epoch was decisive to asssist me creating this prototype.