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Old 01-07-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
BobRoosth
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Default Redesign Suggestions Needed

I have been asked to repair and expand http://cpvisa.com/. This is a frame-based layout that I really do not want to spend too much time working with before I re-create it. I have Dreamweaver 3 (haven't needed anything newer so far, but am willing to upgrade) and am certain I understand about 5% of what it can do.

From reading a number of threads here I see that CSS-based layouts are highly desireable. Having done a bit with CSS I understand some of its power.

What I don't quite have the hang of is this: The sites I like best have a very consistent navigation system that is virtually identical on every page. On cpvisa.com, that is done with frames. Without frames how do I keep that consistent navigatioin without duplicating code over many pages?
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:09 PM   #2
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Wow, what a dreadful site!!! Certainly this needs a makeover/re-write. If you were using a recent version of DreamWeaver I'd advise the use of a template to maintain page to page consistency for a site like this, but (thinking way back!) I don't recall templates as being a good feature of DW3. To repeat the same menu code on each page just use server side includes (SSI) of php includes if the server has php installed.

   
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Old 01-07-2006, 12:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvyn
I don't recall templates as being a good feature of DW3. To repeat the same menu code on each page just use server side includes (SSI) of php includes if the server has php installed.
Sounds like I need to update my tools. I could never understand how to work with DW templates. If it is smoother in the current version, that is a good enough reason. I don't know if PHP exists on that server, but server includes would seem to be an obvious alternative. Too bad that is not basic html.
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Old 01-07-2006, 03:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRoosth
Too bad that is not basic html.
SSI is just basic html.

   
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Old 01-07-2006, 04:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvyn
SSI is just basic html.
Basic if the web server supports it. How supported seems to depend on the server. I guess I am showing my ignorance. I have never figured out how to configure my computer (running XP Pro) to act as an active web server for developing a site. I know how to upload to a remote server and check the results there, but one never wants to do that with a live site. What piece of the puzzle am I missing?
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Old 01-08-2006, 02:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRoosth
I have never figured out how to configure my computer (running XP Pro) to act as an active web server for developing a site.
Don't use the Windows program to develop a site, but install a copy of Apache instead. I suggest XAMPP which contains Apache, PHP, MySQL and a lot of other goodies. All preconfigured to work together, and ideal for site testing. However, unless you are going to build a dynamic site there is no problem testing on a remote (live) server, just set up a testing directory on that server, and only move it to the server root when you are sure it works and looks as it should.

   
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Old 01-08-2006, 12:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvyn
However, unless you are going to build a dynamic site there is no problem testing on a remote (live) server, just set up a testing directory on that server, and only move it to the server root when you are sure it works and looks as it should.
Does this work simply by trapping .php and .shtml (and others) extensions and letting .htm and .html pass directly to the default browser?
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Old 01-08-2006, 01:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRoosth
Does this work simply by trapping .php and .shtml (and others) extensions and letting .htm and .html pass directly to the default browser?
A browser will show .php, shtml, .htm and .html pages. However, the server will parse the .shtml and .php pages looking for code to execute/interpret. If it does not find any the page is just fed on to the browser.

   
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:23 AM   #9
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Bob, it was always easy to get the Windows web server, IIS, running on Win 2000 - I haven't needed to do this on XP though, and imagine you might need the Pro version to install it but may be wrong - no time to check yet. Have a look on the MS site - e.g http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d.../iiiisin2.mspx

Once you have that running as a service, you should be able to edit the properties so it parses * files with the extension you choose: by convention, normally shtml or stm but could be htm[l]. There should be an IIS Manager in the start menu for you to do that.

* Note for lurkers: by default, plain html is sent directly to the client (browser) without any processing at the server end; if you set a file type to be parsed, the server reads and acts on any instructions before sending the processed file out. In the case of an include file, an SSI directive in the html instructs the server to replace it by the contents of another file. Similarly, in the case of a file like an ASP or PHP file, the file is processed to create plain html before sending.
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Old 01-09-2006, 05:29 AM   #10
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Default PHP Includes

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoisWakeman
Note for lurkers: by default, plain html is sent directly to the client (browser) without any processing at the server end; if you set a file type to be parsed, the server reads and acts on any instructions before sending the processed file out. In the case of an include file, an SSI directive in the html instructs the server to replace it by the contents of another file. Similarly, in the case of a file like an ASP or PHP file, the file is processed to create plain html before sending.
I am using PHP files (renamed from HTM files) to do includes of other PHP files. That works just fine, but is there a different way, implied by your note to lurkers like me?

(The production server is Linux, but that should make no difference.)
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