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> Website Overhaul advice sought.
Lensmeister
post Nov 13 2013, 02:56 AM
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Hello everyone,

OK this is quite a large task and I hope to make my explanation easy to follow.

I took over a website from someone last year, and until recently it's flowing nicely. Yes there are a few issues that need sorting.

Problems are:
  • The Site has been up for 15 years and has never had much structure.
  • There are literally hundreds of pages that are used.
  • The site is constructed using tables to display the layout
  • The css code is good but I cannot always get the right look using the current items.
  • The pages are made with a mix of html and php includes.

So the task I am faced with now is not changing the current look but completly changing the backend to make it smooth running. so I have a number of questions.
  1. How can I remove the tables for layout and use divs and still maintain the look of the site?
  2. Do you think it would be best to completely redesign a whole new look rather than mess with tables to div layout?
  3. As it is a football site I can transfer all the results, players and match reports into tables on a database How can I get the best out of the DB to populate the pages?
  4. Is it possible to use php variables to retain info in a variables file and make pages more dymanic etc.?

Everyone loves the current design and we don't want the look to change.

I have got a lot of positive feedback on here so I'm hopng you guys can help.

Thanks in advance.
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Christian J
post Nov 13 2013, 08:46 AM
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QUOTE(Lensmeister @ Nov 13 2013, 08:56 AM) *

How can I remove the tables for layout and use divs and still maintain the look of the site?

Depends on the table layout. DIVs can usually be used with more or less simple CSS. "display: table-cell" and related properties might be used, but old browsers don't support it.

Also consider what (if anything) you want to do with small screen browsers.

QUOTE
How can I get the best out of the DB to populate the pages?

No idea. It may help if you post the URL...

QUOTE
Is it possible to use php variables to retain info in a variables file and make pages more dymanic etc.?

What kind of variables and what kind of dynamics? Often such things are stored in user account preferences, cookies or as querystring parameters.

QUOTE
Everyone loves the current design and we don't want the look to change.

Then it makes sense not to change it, or just do small changes at the time over many months. Let sites like Yahoo Groups be a warning example: they've recently gone crazy with Ajax bloat and all the users hate it. tongue.gif

Keep in mind that DB-generated sites use different URLs than static ones. To avoid breaking existing external links, bookmarks etc, consider using some kind of URL rewrite to (ideally invisibly?) map existing URLs to the URL querystrings a DB usually reads from.


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Lensmeister
post Nov 13 2013, 08:53 AM
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Hi Christian I've sent you a message.

All advice is good advice. smile.gif
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Christian J
post Nov 13 2013, 09:36 AM
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You'll get more replies if you post the URL here. Use tinyurl or similar redirect if you don't want this thread to be found in future web searches for your site.
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Lensmeister
post Nov 13 2013, 09:48 AM
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Thanks Christian

TheSite

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Brian Chandler
post Nov 13 2013, 12:47 PM
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QUOTE

Keep in mind that DB-generated sites use different URLs than static ones. To avoid breaking existing external links, bookmarks etc, consider using some kind of URL rewrite to (ideally invisibly?) map existing URLs to the URL querystrings a DB usually reads from.


That's not true: DB generated pages can perfectly happily generate exactly the same URLs. In fact I think it's a very bad idea to change them.

In general to generate different output you are necessarily producing different (new) URLs, but if you merely make the original content more customisable, you can add query strings (GET params) to the existing URLs. No page on my website has ever moved (in 14 years).
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Christian J
post Nov 13 2013, 01:42 PM
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QUOTE(Brian Chandler @ Nov 13 2013, 06:47 PM) *

DB generated pages can perfectly happily generate exactly the same URLs. In fact I think it's a very bad idea to change them.

Agreed. The OP still needs to translate lots of the existing static URLs (that may not have been named in any consistent fashion) into database queries. Any ideas on that (associative arrays, switch statements)?
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Christian J
post Nov 13 2013, 01:51 PM
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QUOTE(Lensmeister @ Nov 13 2013, 03:48 PM) *

Most of the pages I looked at seem to use a two-column layout (one for the nav menu, one for content), with a header on top and a footer at the bottom. Shouldn't be too hard to do with CSS.

The content on some individual pages (like "Fixtures...") seems to be tabular in nature. In such cases you should keep those data tables.
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Lensmeister
post Nov 13 2013, 02:15 PM
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QUOTE(Christian J @ Nov 13 2013, 06:51 PM) *


Most of the pages I looked at seem to use a two-column layout (one for the nav menu, one for content), with a header on top and a footer at the bottom. Shouldn't be too hard to do with CSS.

The content on some individual pages (like "Fixtures...") seems to be tabular in nature. In such cases you should keep those data tables.


The top and menu are in one php include and the footer in another.

It's a great looking site so I don't want to ruin it.

The images are the hardest bit to fathom out.
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Christian J
post Nov 13 2013, 04:30 PM
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QUOTE(Lensmeister @ Nov 13 2013, 08:15 PM) *

The images are the hardest bit to fathom out.

The stripes? Currently it seems to be made with a combination of inline images and tiling backgrounds. Something like that should be possible with a CSS layout too, but it depends on the HTML structure.

With CSS3 border images it might be even easier, but browser support is still lacking: http://caniuse.com/#feat=border-image


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Lensmeister
post Nov 14 2013, 02:46 AM
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QUOTE(Christian J @ Nov 13 2013, 09:30 PM) *

QUOTE(Lensmeister @ Nov 13 2013, 08:15 PM) *

The images are the hardest bit to fathom out.

The stripes? Currently it seems to be made with a combination of inline images and tiling backgrounds. Something like that should be possible with a CSS layout too, but it depends on the HTML structure.

With CSS3 border images it might be even easier, but browser support is still lacking: http://caniuse.com/#feat=border-image



Yeah the stripes down the side and across the top.

I have Dreamweaver 5, can I use that for HTML5 and CSS3 ?
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Christian J
post Nov 14 2013, 08:24 AM
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No idea, I always use a text editor.
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Frederiek
post Nov 15 2013, 05:39 AM
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Me too, but apparently you should be able to. Google for "dreamweaver 5.0 and html5". Some results will talk about CSS3 too.
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