The Wrong DJs website

As they used to say in the early days of website copywriting, “Welcome” to the first website I ever built. It was launched back in 2004, when I still had dial-up internet.

My friend and colleague Mark and I had been DJing in several pubs and small clubs in London under the name “The Wrong DJs” (which we thought was an appropriately stupid name given our lack of skills). A website seemed like something I could go to town on to learn something new.

Doing it Wrong

I had a basic book that taught me the rudiments of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It also advised the use of tables for layout which, given the web browsers available at the time (damn you Internet Explorer), probably wasn’t bad advice.

The site was supposed to look well designed but also a pastiche of a Geocities site. So I had to use Comic-Sans for the font and have a few animated gifs to annoy people. It also had to fit on an 800px wide monitor – yes kids, people still had monitors that were 800px wide. I think it came out pretty well for a first attempt.

Doing it right

I was beginning to stretch beyond the basic book. With what I had learned I could now search the internet with more appropriate keywords and get more useful results. That’s when I discovered the idea of semantic mark-up.

I learned, to my horror, that you shouldn’t ever use tables for layout. Tables are only to be used for tabular data. It was an important lesson. I therefore scrapped the whole site and started again, all the time learning how to use divs and CSS to layout a website the proper, semantic way. And it still came out pixel perfect (after using a few Internet Explorer hacks I had found on the internet). That box model gave me headaches and sleepless nights. I still shiver when I think about it.

It still freaks me out that, even after all these years and too many new developments in web technology to count, I still come across some websites (although it’s usually ones that haven’t been updated since around 2008) that are designed using tables for layout.

Back from the dead

All our friends and colleagues loved it and thought it was very funny. Our fellow DJs thought it was great. I even got a T-Shirt made up of the frowning face which is a pastiche of the smiley face that was the symbol of acid house. I used to wear it to clubs and it always got a great reception.

Unfortunately the site is long gone and I don’t think I even have the files anymore. I must check my old memory sticks. But, when building this site, I was lucky enough to find that the Wayback Machine had archived the Wrong DJs’ Home page and all the graphics. I was so glad to have my dancing man back. I gave birth to him and he makes me laugh and want to dance every time I see him.