A Whole Website in a Single HTML File

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Robin Rendle on

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I can’t stop thinking about this site. It looks like a pretty standard fare; a website with links to different pages. Nothing to write home about except that… the whole website is contained within a single HTML file.

What about clicking the navigation links, you ask? Each link merely shows and hides certain parts of the HTML.

<section id="home">
  <!-- home content goes here -->
</section>
<section id="about">
  <!-- about page goes here -->
</section>

Each <section> is hidden with CSS:

section { display: none; }

Each link in the main navigation points to an anchor on the page:

<a href="#home">Home</a>
<a href="#about">About</a>

And once you click a link, the <section> for that particular link is displayed via:

section:target { display: block; }

See that :target pseudo selector? That’s the magic! Sure, it’s been around for years, but this is a clever way to use it for sure. Most times, it’s used to highlight the anchor on the page once an anchor link to it has been clicked. That’s a handy way to help the user know where they’ve just jumped to.

Anyway, using :target like this is super smart stuff! It ends up looking like just a regular website when you click around:

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