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  1. #1
    Junior Member Vecta's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I have a rather large web related problem before me at the moment and I was hoping to find some guidance here.

    Currently, the office I work for offers different study programs for people to participate in. Our website needs to be reflective of all of these programs as well of a lot of legal information, health and safety information etc. Unfortunately, this means the website I work on has over 10,000 combined pages, pdfs, images, videos, etc. It's, quite frankly, enormous and it's not database driven.

    I've been charged with re-designing it, as the last web designer here really didn't uphold any standards. The print stylesheet doesn't work, h1h6 headers are not used (he named all the styles whatever he wanted), there was no reset stylesheet, and it just keeps getting worse from there. My job, is to apply a brand new set of styles and templates to the site, and then mobilize the content to be plopped into a database so it can manage our program pages.

    People in my office have wanted me to start applying the new styles to the current pages. However, it seems backward to apply something brand new (something that works) to something that's completely broken. I'm not sure how to approach this at all. Has anyone had experience with this? How should I approach it? Should it be a re-design, or should I start from scratch. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    I would start by first capturing the main content (or "meat") of each page,
    and putting that content of each page into their own separate text files.
    Give them names like p1.1, p1.2, p3.4, etc ... make up a naming scheme
    that makes sense to you.

    And I don't mean the whole page (all of the HTML), just the middle part,
    or the content part. You can put the HTML for that part into the text file
    along with the text or content, thus retaining your images, videos, etc.

    Once you get these 10,000 pages into files ... You can use PHP to render
    any page by using a single CSS/XHTML template. PHP can take whatever
    text file you want and "include" it into that template.

    To display any page would be a URL like: http://www.mysite.com/?p=p3.4

    So it's really not a "database" as in MySQL, but a "content directory", where
    you pull any one of the 10,000 pages at any time, and make it a web page
    dynamically (on-the-fly).

    Once this is all done ... (to go further with it in the future) ...
    The next step would be to take each of those 10,000 text files and dissect
    them further ... which would then be MySQL related, but that could happen
    in the future.

    The nice thing about PHP is that you can use a simple PHP editor to allow
    any person the ability to edit any of those 10,000 text files (online using a password).

    ========

    At the same time as putting your existing pages into text files, you could create
    a MySQL database to handle "user profiles" or "accounts". This would control which
    pages each user could view. In your case, people could be assigned "study groups",
    and perhaps one study group might only be able to access 50 of your 10,000 pages.

    With PHP, your possibilities become endless.
    It can grow and expand features forever.

    You didn't post this thread in the PHP section. But you could hire a programmer
    to get it all started for you. The hard part for you is to get your 10,000 pages
    put into some sort of text file structure.


  4. #3
    Junior Member Vecta's Avatar
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    Thank you, this is very helpful! I think I'll give this a shot.


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