Setting the base – Making a minimal website

In this tutorial series, we’re going to build a minimal website for a fictional football club. The things which the website will have are

Each will be covered in a separate tutorial. The site will have a single page navigation (Like another website I built and wrote about) and will use no jQuery or any other Javascript library.

You can even subscribe through email to get email updates as soon as I publish the next tutorial in the series!

In this tutorial, we’re going to set up a base for the minimal website using HTML5 and CSS3. As of now, there will be no interactivity.

Establishing the Core

The website, again, will have it’s focus on typography. I recommend a good serif for the body, and a condensed sans-serif to complement it.

For the serif, I chose Buenard, and the complementary sans-serif was Abel

I set the line-height to 1.5, and changed headers correspondingly.

The whole site is to be in a wrapper measuring 90%.

For the background, I chose a simple cross tile…

Setting the Base - Making a Minimal Website

…which I made at 15px*15px, and saved it at 4% opacity, PNG.

I also added a transition of .5s to everything, using the wildcard symbol, as this site would be loaded with transitions.

* {
  -webkit-transition:all .5s ease;
  -moz-transition:all .5s ease;
  -ms-transition:all .5s ease;
  -o-transition:all .5s ease;
  transition:all .5s ease;

Here’s what you get when you finish this tutorial, and the ones following it. Furious Nerds—Football Club

Building the header

When I started the process of building the header, I thought of the name. I finalized the name as Furious Nerds. I quickly created a logo in Photoshop (which I should’ve done in Illustrator) and made


Seems good?

I wanted the full header to have the logo, in a circle, on the left, and the menu on the right. Here’s what I came up with –

Building the Header - Making a Minimal Website

The header was enclosed in a class called branding which had overflow:hidden to clear floats

For the logo, I didn’t do anything else—the circle was made using CSS! A clever combination of border-radius and borders resulted in this. Here’s what my logo’s CSS looked like.

.logo {
border:5px solid #ccc;

.logo img {

.logo img:hover {

.logo:hover {
  border:5px solid #339900;

As you can see, I also added :hover pseudo class to both the logo, and it’s shell.

The menu was floated to the right, and I changed it’s font to Abel. On hover, the color changed to #339900, a beautiful green (which I’m using at other places too)

The menu items linked to corresponding pages, using internal links. Here’s it’s HTML

<header class="branding">
<div class="logo">
<img src="images/logo.png" alt="Furious Nerds" title="Furious Nerds">
</div><!--LOGO -->
<nav class="main-menu">
    <li><a href="#home">Home</a>
    <li><a href="#about">About</a>
    <li><a href="#news">News</a>
    <li><a href="#contact">Contact</a>
</nav><!-- NAV -->
</header><!-- HEADER -->

Defining the content

Again, like Clas, this was to be divided into articles. This time, it was divided into 4 articles. Home, About, News, and Contact.

I filled Home with a stock image I found from Stock.XCHNG, as there was going to be a image slider/carousel there later on. The image was in grayscale, but on hover, changed to color. I’ll explain how I achieved this later.

About and News were filled with filler text I got from slipsum [NSFW]

I put a form in contact.

Each article started with an h2 tag, corresponding to the name of the section. In the CSS, I made each heading tag’s color to the previous green (#390) and their font-weight to inherit.

Turning images from grayscale to color

The idea was simple. In the default state, the image was to be in grayscale. On hover, it would change to color with a transition.

Webkit browsers, and IE, have filters already. Sadly, on Firefox, I couldn’t find a proper, working way to turn image to grayscale (using an SVG resulted in glitches and bugs)

To use those filters, I put the following styles in the slider’s img tag.

#slider img {

  -webkit-filter: grayscale(1);
  -webkit-filter: grayscale(100%);
  -moz-filter: grayscale(100%);
  -o-filter: grayscale(100%);
  -ms-filter: grayscale(100%);
  filter: grayscale(100%);

  -webkit-transition:all 1s ease-in-out .5s;
  -moz-transition:all 1s ease-in-out .5s;
  -ms-transition:all 1s ease-in-out .5s;
  -o-transition:all 1s ease-in-out .5s;
  transition:all 1s ease-in-out .5s;

The width was 100% it doesn’t overflow it’s parent.

The different filters were needed for different browsers.

In the end, I changed the transition to 1 second, and added a delay of .5s, as it would lag on smooth scroll otherwise.

Now, to change the image to color on hover, I used the following code –

#slider img:hover {
  -webkit-filter: grayscale(0);
  -moz-filter: grayscale(0);
  -o-filter: grayscale(0);
  -ms-filter: grayscale(0);
  filter: grayscale(0);

Simple, right?


So here’s a simple and minimal website, made using HTML5 and CSS3. In the following posts of this series, I’ll teach you to make smooth scroll, and add a image slider to the site.

Let me know what more you’d like to see.

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