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Thread: Website Layout

  1. #1
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    Hello everyone,
    I must apologize. While I am new to this particular forum, I am not new to forums in general and know the rule to search for a topic before just posting a question. Hopefully after I introduce myself and explain my current situation, you'll forgive me.

    My name is Bill Denny. I am currently serving my last few months of deployment aboard the USS Bataan. Internet is painfully slow, each page takes a handful of minutes to load, so I try to be as efficient as possible when it comes to surfing, hence not spending time searching posts for my question.

    I picked up web design as a hobby to keep my mind entertained while serving out this DET. I'm building a encyclopedia-type website with many pages while utilizing both HTML and CSS. It soon became obvious how much of a pain it is to make small changes to elements common to each page.

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

    Hopefully, that picture attached properly.

    This is the basic layout of virtually every page of the site, what I hope I can do it have sections A, B and C (the header, navigation bar and footer respectively...) remain static, and all links and page changes occur in section D, the main body of each page. Then I could add a link to the nav bar, or update the header and footer, and that change is reflected in every page, instead of going through each and every page and changing it.

    If you know how to do this, let me know, or if you know of any links, I'll try to get to them. You can help me out here, or email me at william.denny@bataan.usmc.mil, email is a much easier for me to access, but I will make an effort to check the forums from time to time.

    Thank you so much in advance

    LCpl Denny

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    OO-RAH, Devil Dog.
    What you're looking for is PHP includes. You may be better off using a CMS, like Wordpress, since it will dynamically generate your pages, but PHP includes have a smaller learning curve. Check them out here: http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_includes.asp

    Give 'em hell,
    TSgt Ron
    AlphaMare likes this.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  4. #3
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    Appreciate the timely response. This is the second time that Wordpress has been suggested to me. Makes sense, being an encyclopedia, with lots of pages having 'blog'-like content. Also, Wordpress's supposed search functions will be absolutely esential, as I need the capability to let users search for the content they want.

    I've looked at Worpress's wiki-site last week, I found out that is something that is better off waiting until I get back home with a reliable and fast internet connection to have a constant supply of resources and learn how to use it. I don't think I have the capabilty to teach myself how to use it like I have with HTML and CSS, but I will look into some PHP tutorials in the meantime.

    Also on my list, gotta look into this HTML5 deal and try to utilize it as well, but first things first, get the layout working properly so eveything else falls neatly into place.

    LCpl Denny

  5. #4
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    I have a headache. I followed your advice Ron, looked up a good tutorial on PHP includes, in theory this is exactly what I needed. I followed the tutorial to the letter. I replaced the header, navigation and footer content with php include tags, and put everything into their own respective .php files. I renamed index.html to index.php, as per the instructions, and nothing happened. Everything I replaced with an include just disapeared, it's like the include isn't recognized or something along those lines.

    I opened the .php files within Firefox and the content showed up just fine, no styling, probably because it's not being opened from the index.php file thus the CSS files isn't being applied, but at least the content is there, it's just not showing up when I load the index.php file.

    I've googled a few inquries, got a lot of different solutions, including deleting a .rdf file, (that actually made the most progress, before that, opening the .php separately did nothing, didn't even show the content...)
    But other than that, I'm at a dead end...

    LCpl Denny

  6. #5
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    Well,
    I solved my problem, at the same time I didn't.
    I found out why things are not working as they are supposed to. Apparently, PHP is run server side. I asked a guy in my shop who is pretty computer savvy and he told me that one way to get around this in my current situation is to use Apache, and my computer will pretty much act like a server so I can do all the things I want.

    Yeah, if opening a simple webpage online takes 5-10 minutes, then downloading a multiple MB download will take all week. So, until I get back, I'm stuck updating every individual page, fine, I'll deal with it for now.

    This same guy also recommended that I learn javascript, as it is essential for serious websites. This is something that I CAN teach myself, so I will do that for now, and by the time I get back, I will be fluent in javascript and will be good to go. So I think I'm on track for now...

    LCpl Denny

  7. #6
    WDF Staff AlphaMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCpl Denny, post: 227795
    Well,
    I solved my problem, at the same time I didn't.
    I found out why things are not working as they are supposed to. Apparently, PHP is run server side. I asked a guy in my shop who is pretty computer savvy and he told me that one way to get around this in my current situation is to use Apache, and my computer will pretty much act like a server so I can do all the things I want.

    Yeah, if opening a simple webpage online takes 5-10 minutes, then downloading a multiple MB download will take all week. So, until I get back, I'm stuck updating every individual page, fine, I'll deal with it for now.

    This same guy also recommended that I learn javascript, as it is essential for serious websites. This is something that I CAN teach myself, so I will do that for now, and by the time I get back, I will be fluent in javascript and will be good to go. So I think I'm on track for now...

    LCpl Denny
    Hi. If you're running Windows, look at WAMP Server. It includes Apache, MySQL and PHP, and once installed on your computer it acts as a virtual server so you can run server-side stuff like PHP on your computer, without actually having to be online.

    I use PHP includes a lot on my HTML sites, and I also do WordPress development - I use WAMP so I can get things right before I have to upload anything.mputer and
    Good design should never say "Look at me!"
    It should say "Look at this." ~ David Craib


    http://digitalinsite.ca ~ my current site . . info@digitalinsite.ca ~ my email

    If you feel that someone's post helped you fix your problem, answered your question, or just made you feel better, feel free to "Like" their post. The "Like" link is at the bottom right of each post, along side the "reply" link. And if you are being helped here, try to help someone else - pass it on!

  8. #7
    Senior Member Ronald Roe's Avatar
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    There is one other option. jQuery's .load() function.

    You'll want to download jQuery to your computer and call it that way instead of loading it from Google. It's a very small file.

    And if that doesn't work out for you, give me your address, and I'll mail you a CD with WAMP on it.
    Ron Roe
    Web Developer
    "If every app were designed using the same design template, oh wait...Bootstrap."

  9. #8
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    Ah, well, that is very generous of you Ron, but I actually managed to get WAMP to download. It took forever, but we're on the holiday routine, so there wasn't much demand for computers and I was able to let one sit around and just slowly download.

    In stark comparison, the actual install took only a couple minutes, and soon I had my site running on the localserver, all PHP works perfectly, and I can now work on one part of the site and have it reflected on every page. It's great. I thank you for all your help everyone, but I am sure you will hear from me very soon. Much more to get down before I get home and host the site.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Andrew Yurlov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LCpl Denny, post: 227793
    I have a headache. I followed your advice Ron, looked up a good tutorial on PHP includes, in theory this is exactly what I needed. I followed the tutorial to the letter. I replaced the header, navigation and footer content with php include tags, and put everything into their own respective .php files. I renamed index.html to index.php, as per the instructions, and nothing happened. Everything I replaced with an include just disapeared, it's like the include isn't recognized or something along those lines.

    I opened the .php files within Firefox and the content showed up just fine, no styling, probably because it's not being opened from the index.php file thus the CSS files isn't being applied, but at least the content is there, it's just not showing up when I load the index.php file.

    I've googled a few inquries, got a lot of different solutions, including deleting a .rdf file, (that actually made the most progress, before that, opening the .php separately did nothing, didn't even show the content...)
    But other than that, I'm at a dead end...

    LCpl Denny
    We can always help you out. Their pretty simple and easy to use.
    Artificial intelligence is nothing compared to natural stupidity -Someone

    Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks.
    But of course, if you dig deeper, itís really how it works.
    -Steve Jobs




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