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terribose
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Adding a Side Bar to an Existing Website

May 14, 2013 5:43 PM

I'm working on a huge website that was not originally created in dreamweaver. Want to add a side bar for navigation. Do I have to edit CSS file? How do I do it?

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 14, 2013 5:59 PM   in reply to terribose

    Depends on how the site is coded.

     

    Best if you upload a typical page and post a link here so we can view it in our browsers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2013 6:38 AM   in reply to terribose

    You'll need to edit both the css and html to add another side bar with navigation.

     

    It looks like you have a lot of errors as well in the html (170+), which isn't going to make matters easier. Before you start updating the site, design wise, it would be best to clear up the errors first by visiting the validator here: http://validator.w3.org/

     

    Unless the site uses include files which would be writing in the common html elements from a file on the server, this might end up being a very large job.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2013 7:17 AM   in reply to terribose

    Yes, you have to edit the CSS file as well as your HTML.

     

    But I have a question: Why is your navigation not functioning? When you develop a website, you need to think about the user's experience with your design. And there are coding issues that Jon mentioned as well as usability issues. Additionally there are items that are hard to find on your web store here.

     

    When you are developing a website, you need to ascertain how someone is going to use it.  Whomever developed this, gave scant consideration to the issue of usability.

     

    And the first tell-tale is the sitemap page. If you need a sitemap to find stuff on a website, there's a problem. And it's with navigation.

     

    Let's separate the crafts into categories and have those categories in your navigation with the individual crafts accessible through a drop-down menu. So if someone is looking for scrapbooking stuff, they can find each of your individual items from any page. So if I'm looking at scouting stuff, I can get to the scrapbooking stuff from there.

     

    Here is how I would approach your website:

     

    First, from Dreamweaver, I would choose file>New, choose Blank Page, HTML and then pick a format from one of Dreamweaver's built-in samples. That's right, a complete redesign.

     

    You seem set on doing a vertical menu. I've done one of those and used a plugin to do it. Here's the example I would like for you to look at. You will note that this menu expands when you click on something with sub-menus. Now, this is what the client asked for and so I produced that. But I do not think this is the best option.

     

    Here's why: You cannot see the entire menu in 90% of web browsers without scrolling.

     

    And this is why many web designers are doing drop-down menus that are horizontal and go across the top of the page. The entire menu structure is always accessible from any page without scrolling.

     

    I would do a plugin, like one of the ones that Project VII sells, because updates are easy to do and you know the code will work every time. I am suggesting that you spend money here because the website you are re-creating makes money You don't have tons of time to waste here. The payback will be worth the expense and the plugins make things as easy as picking a design from Dreamweaver.

     

    Then I would finish the design of the page, upload it to your server, verify that it is W3C compliant by using the validator Jon mentioned and then make that initial page into a template, because you want to crank out dozens of these pages for each set of products.

     

    Then start cranking.

     

    I would organize the website into folders and sub-folders so that I can keep track of where everything is. You're looking at a fair number of man-hours of work, but the payback will be good, as you can keep the old site up while you're building out the new site.  When it's done, launch it and you'll find that visitors will buy more because they can find more—without needing to look at your site map to discover stuff.

     

    -Mark

     
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