A few years ago, I stumbled on a web site which was just one static image. The web site was for a small ramen restaurant in Zürich, and the image was just a simple poster with the basic information: address, opening hours, phone number.
If you look at it academically, this is the worst type of web-site, it completely sidesteps the idea of the web, breaks accessibility, web-site indexing and makes things like copy-pasting information impossible. Still, given the state of the web, this might be a reasonable approach to web-design for the following reasons:
- Better privacy – if the image is downloaded directly from the web server, no third party is involved, no cookies are set.
- Better security – if only one static resource is loaded, the attack surface is greatly reduced.
- Graphically stable – the web site will have the same layout regardless of installed font, web browser, etc.
- Portable – the image will display fine on any web browser that supports PNG.
- Sharable – the content of the web site can be saved on any device, forwarded by instant messaging without having to worry that the web-site will be turned down, blocking your particular address or anything like that.
I suppose the logical continuation of that idea would be to use a web server that can only serve static resources, maybe even link the image inside the binary, so there is just one, read-only binary running in isolation on the server.
To be clear, I don’t think this is the right approach, but given the state of the web these days, I don’t think it is that wrong either…
Modified outlines so the document looks like it’s ripped in half. Intended to look like a “broken document”, similar to what web browsers show if a downloaded image is corrupted. The image was cropped to have less blank space. Image licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 2.5.