What is the ideal way to build a site with over 400 pages?

  • nicole2009
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have a site with over 400 pages which I built in html without the use of a template (using NVu and dreamweaver). Each page is made up of an area that changes on each page and an area that remains constant but I would like to change occasionally. Ideally, I would like to have about 5 different templates which can automatically update all of the pages.

Today, making the slightest change to all pages is obviously very time consuming.

I recently made a template using dreamweaver and started moving my pages to the template but I am having trouble with this (for some reason the template stopped linking to the css sheet even though the link appears).

I have spent hours trying to solve this problem but I am not even sure that this is the right way to go.
Could someone please let me know if I should keep trying to get the template to work using dreamweaver or if there is a better way to do it?
Is there maybe even a program that will automatically add my files to templates (all pages are identical or can be identical except a defined area).

If I am already redoing the whole site I would like to do it properly this time.

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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • UPSGuy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

First off, you've made a great decision. Most any time you see code repeated more than 2 or 3 times (websites, applications, whatever), it's always a good idea to stop, step back, and figure out why the redundancy is occurring. With such a large number of pages, you should definitely take advantage of a template system with a little cache to help lighten the server load. Have you considered something like the Smarty template system? I've used this myself and found it very easy to pick up and learn, yet beneficial to my projects.

Such a system would allow you to extract the 'same' part of each page to just a few files which you then include into your individual pages (the 'how' varies across toolsets). But in the end, using something like Smarty allows you make changes in one place that show up on every page (think headers, footers, etc).

Unfortunately, you've put a lot of time into 400+ individual html files, but with a site so large-scale, I would avoid WYSIWYG editors (such as Dreamweaver) at all costs. IMHO, they add incredible amounts of extraneous code and typically just make a mess of things. However, DW suits some people just fine, and I'm sure someone will argue me on it.

The point I want to make above all else - something certainly needs to be changed. Do some research, find a good templating system that works for you, and invest some time into doing it right. We can certainly help you out along the way as needed.
  • nicole2009
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Thanks for your reply.

What are the disadvantages of extraneous code? Is this related to optimization at all?

I am just asking this to get a better understanding of the damage I have caused....

I will read up on Smarty to see if it is something I can understand. I am still quite new at this.

Thanks again,

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