Defining the personality of a website is a bit like telling a number of people the time and date: it is always going to change depending upon which person you are telling. In addition, the perception of a website has always been difficult because the web is primarily a customer service medium, which Paul Ford outlined several years ago in his perceptive and enlightening article. I try to console clients when their new website is launched due to the initial angry wave of criticism: How dare you, I hate it, it’s ugly. Eventually things come around.
Eleven years ago, in 2003, a new type of website called a “blog” (weB LOG) had become popular. Shortly after, a blogging software called Movable Type started charging for some features, and many bloggers flocked to a free platform called WordPress. A year later, WordPress introduced Plugins, which were an easy way to add functionality to the software and make it available to others.
When I tell prospective clients that I use a bootstrap framework to produce websites, I often get a few seconds of silence, as though they are wondering why I’m bringing up shoe fashion in the conversation. After that I just use the term website framework, which tends to create some understanding, but it is still very mysterious to them. I think they envision huge warehouses full of wires and levers at the equally mysterious hosting company, serving the website to accomplish this so-called framework.