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Thread: Please help a newbie

  1. #1
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    Smile Please help a newbie

    I'm in the process of updating a site of over 100 pages. Please send any advice and links that will help me streamline this effort.

    My first priority is to clean up the navigation bar. It is currently 15 items long with pop-outs of 2-6 items. The client would like to change the items more often. Is there a way to have one place to edit and hold all the navigation items? So I don't have to edit each page. Is the answer to use PHP?

    I am in the process of moving from tables to CSS. I have found a lot of information but will always look at anything the experts can point me to.

    I am also looking into CMS. Your suggestions in the forums have been very enlightening. Any more suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for your advice. These forums have been an incredible help.

  2. #2
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    For easy navigation I would use "server side includes" Same for a footer if you are using that ...
    you can use includes in php as well but that will require page structure changes....

    Reading Material :http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/sitema.../includes.html
    Last edited by AndrewT; 10-03-2007 at 02:20 AM. Reason: Fixed link
    Cheers,

    Gary
    (This space for rent)

  3. #3
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    I couldn't get Grundfield's link to work, but you can go to the "source" for information using include files under PHP. See the W3C's tutorials at http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_includes.asp first for an overview, and then Google away.

    I use them for footers and headers on my site. I create a "header.html" file and then include it in each page using code like this:

    Code:
    <?php include('header.html'); ?>
    When I make a change to the "header.html" file, it is automatically included in every page on the site. Getting from here to there is some work, but once you have it set, its pretty easy.

    There are some other tips that will help you ... look at the php date function; where you have a copyright for a page in a footer, you can use:

    Code:
    &copy; 2002 - <?php echo date('Y'); ?>
    That will read out " 2002 - 2007" this year, and will automatically update the year each year.

    I recently did an update where hundreds of links had to be updated ... and it would have taken a very long time. I searched until I found a freeware program that would search and replace any string within all files in a directory, and my links were updated in a couple of minutes. There were dozens of little utilities out there for $30 to do the same thing, but free is a better price!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Hagan View Post
    I couldn't get Grundfield's link to work,
    Seems to be some an extra http:// in the link try here

    Either Server Side Includes or PHP will enable you to "include" a file, therefore allowing you to have just one file to edit for the menu

    If you are going to implement some sort of CMS, the CMS should handle all of the menu functionality

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elite View Post
    Seems to be some an extra http:// in the link try here

    Either Server Side Includes or PHP will enable you to "include" a file, therefore allowing you to have just one file to edit for the menu

    If you are going to implement some sort of CMS, the CMS should handle all of the menu functionality
    The problem I have found with any CMS, gallery script or forum software is that they are targets for hackers, and so you have to keep them updated regularly. Depending on how you've customized them, that can take from an hour to all day. But a "roll your own" site using PHP or similar options is unlikely to attract the hackers (you can Google for a version of phpBB, for instance, and find all the ones that haven't been updated).

    Speaking of phpBB, I'm switching all my sites and customer sites with forums to SMF now. Very similar functionality, and updating is very easy. It is usually just a click in the Admin panel and the program updates itself. I've yet to have a SMF forum hacked (knock on wood)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Hagan View Post
    The problem I have found with any CMS, gallery script or forum software is that they are targets for hackers, and so you have to keep them updated regularly. Depending on how you've customized them, that can take from an hour to all day. But a "roll your own" site using PHP or similar options is unlikely to attract the hackers (you can Google for a version of phpBB, for instance, and find all the ones that haven't been updated).

    Speaking of phpBB, I'm switching all my sites and customer sites with forums to SMF now. Very similar functionality, and updating is very easy. It is usually just a click in the Admin panel and the program updates itself. I've yet to have a SMF forum hacked (knock on wood)
    Yep, when installing anything on a public server you will need to stay up to date with security patches

    How customisation is handled by the software is important when upgrading, I've noticed several software developers are moving away from hacking scripts for customisation to using a notification/plugin system to handle these problems more gracefully - IIRC Zen cart has a nice tutorial on implementing something similar

  7. #7
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    If you are looking for a CMS, give MODx a try. If you're a total newbie then it might not be for you, but it's a great CMS.
    --
    ** DEVTRENCH **
    --
    James Ehly

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by paradiselost View Post
    If you are looking for a CMS, give MODx a try. If you're a total newbie then it might not be for you, but it's a great CMS.
    Or you could try MODx's parent CMS, Etomite. I have used both and have found Etomite to be virtually identical but easier to use.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the help. I'm still checking out all these suggestions. I'll check back in with more questions.

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