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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    31943
    I work at a research organization and we publish a lot of large-ish documents, usually organized in sections. What I want to know is how best to present these multi-section documents on our website.
    Presently, what I do is load the entire document as a single page, with each section as its own div. Then I show and hide divs as needed via a table of contents and "next" and "prev" buttons.
    The advantages to this are mainly: 1) that you can move between sections very quickly, 2) it produces consistent analytics (when a page is loaded, I know a report is being read).
    The disadvantages, however, are real:
    • Readers can't take advantage of browser back/forward buttons to move between sections.
    • It's complicated to create direct links to individual sections (I can do it with javascript but it's not easy for other people to grab and share).
    • For long reports, you have to wait for the full report to load before you can move around (and that can include hordes of images and charts).

    Do other people have thoughts on better ways to organize this? Here's an example of the current system: http://massbudget.org/825

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    South Carolina Coast
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    770 times
    Wow, took a long time to load on my iPhone

    They way I handled something similar for a client that had some tech docs they wanted online... And one of their criteria was be able to send the link to the exact section the user was currently viewing...

    Each section was its own content ( I was pulling HTML files not DB records )... I set variables for each section, sec=1 , sec=2 etc..... On the main page, when the page was opened ... The script called all the include files... In order... Then using a similar drop down menu... If the user selected a particular section... I'd send that variable as a string... Page.php?sec=6 .... If a single variable was sent... Only load that include...

    If a visitor uses the "send link" option from the browser, or copies and paste the URL string... The person receiving it will get the variable for the current section... So when they open the link... That section wil be loaded for them.

    Yes, it causes a page refresh... So this might not be what you're looking for.

    If the data is in a DB it could be done with a simple script... But only of all the sections are individual records... Would be a pain to parse that into sections and do this...

    It's doable, just depends on what you're working with determines if it's an easy fix or not.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    South Carolina Coast
    Posts
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    27709
    Liked
    770 times
    Btw... If SEO is a concern, I would use "descriptive" words for your variables instead of numbers... Since there is so much content... I'd use those variables to rewrite the meta keywords and meta description for each variable as well...

    If SEO is not a concern, I wouldn't bother.


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