Why does this Website Look so Ugly?

Apart from the trivial answer that you might have a different idea of what is looking good it might also be that this website is not displayed correctly. This particular page should look almost identical to the following picture.

Screen shot of a standard conform rendering of this site.
Figure 1: Standard conform rendering of this web page in a graphical web browser using CSS (click to enlarge).

This website strictly follows the rules of the XHTML 1.0 strict standard. This is a specification of a language used to describe the content of websites. The style is described using another language, namely CSS level 2.1. You can verify that both standards were followed strictly by clicking on the small icons at the bottom left of this page.

Those standards were introduced to allow website authors to unambiguously specify the content and layout of their sites on the one hand and visitors to use the browser of their choice on the other hand. Today many websites and most browsers follow these standards and so surfing the web and creating websites is much more relaxed now than it was some decade ago.

Unfortunately, there are still some browsers left that do not support the standards well. Some website authors include code especially designed for those browsers to ensure that their sites will look as they want it in any browser. I strongly discourage standard violations so I refuse to do so. Instead, I ask you to switch to a browser that follows the standard. At the moment (Oct. 2011), Mozilla Firefox 4.0 is the free browser known for best supporting the standards and I recommend using it for this reason.

If your browser is rendering this page correctly but you just don't like its look, you may simply turn off the markup. (Most browsers allows to do so.) This website was designed such that you will still get the logical structure of the text even if you're falling back on default markup. I also try to make sure that the website can be used as well as possible via a text-only browser.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict Valid CSS
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