6 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2006 10:32 AM by Newsgroup_User

    To Template or not to Template

    medeepthinker
      I've been asked to create a Web site for a local High School and am looking for guidance as to whether using templates is the way to go or not. The MX2004 manual seems to leave me the impression that templates can be somewhat limiting.
      Going forward I'm looking to start off fairly simple and I like the idea that template can provide a consisten look to all many/all pages within the Web site, but I eventually intend to get into more sophisticated elements such as user surveys, allowing the High School Band Director to dynamically update a program calendar, etc.
      As a result, I would like to start off on the correct path.
      Any comments?
      Pros or Cons?
      Thanks.
        • 1. Re: To Template or not to Template
          Level 7
          On Tue, 3 Oct 2006 03:30:41 +0000 (UTC), "medeepthinker"
          <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote:

          >I've been asked to create a Web site for a local High School and am looking for
          >guidance as to whether using templates is the way to go or not. The MX2004
          >manual seems to leave me the impression that templates can be somewhat limiting.
          > Going forward I'm looking to start off fairly simple and I like the idea that
          >template can provide a consisten look to all many/all pages within the Web
          >site, but I eventually intend to get into more sophisticated elements such as
          >user surveys, allowing the High School Band Director to dynamically update a
          >program calendar, etc.
          > As a result, I would like to start off on the correct path.
          > Any comments?
          > Pros or Cons?
          > Thanks.

          A DW template is just one way to manage a site to give it that
          consistent look and feel throughout. The design used in the template
          is limited only by your imagination, and possibly your coding ability.

          Since you know that in all probability your site is going to contain
          those additional features in the future, think about them now as you
          lay out the design, that's all. If you know you want a calendar, for
          example, think about including an area on the page to hold a miniature
          version of it that links to the full version. You can "turn off" this
          area till you need it, if you want, but build it in from the start.

          Same with the surveys.

          Sounds like you'd probably want a design with two or three columns:

          * the left column, probably, for navigation, since vertical navigation
          is easier to add to later than horizontal

          * the right column for content, which is actually two columns with one
          of them hidden:

          * the main (now centre) column for the content
          * the far right sidebar for the mini calendar, survey, etc.

          Make sense?

          Win
          --
          Win Day, Wild Rose Websites
          http://www.wildrosewebsites.com
          winday@NOSPAMwildrosewebsites.com
          Skype winifredday
          • 2. Re: To Template or not to Template
            medeepthinker Level 1
            Thanks Win,

            I'm almost embarassed to say I've always hand coded until now, but from what I've seen of DW so far it looks like it will save me a lot of time, so my coding ability is okay.
            I understand your points and will consider them.
            Thanks mainly for aleviating my concerns that templates in DW would be constraining my creativity.

            Regards,
            me

            • 3. Re: To Template or not to Template
              Level 7
              medeepthinker wrote:
              > Thanks Win,
              >
              > I'm almost embarassed to say I've always hand coded until now, but from what
              > I've seen of DW so far it looks like it will save me a lot of time, so my
              > coding ability is okay.
              > I understand your points and will consider them.
              > Thanks mainly for aleviating my concerns that templates in DW would be
              > constraining my creativity.
              >
              > Regards,
              > me
              >
              >
              >
              And to add to what Win has said, as your site gets larger, templates
              become more cumbersome: yes, you can update all the child pages at
              once, but you have to then upload ALL of them once they are changed. I
              would say, once you have a template you are happy with, convert the
              noneditable regions to server side includes. Also, if the site will
              keep growing, think of incorporating a site map or breadcrumbs to help
              visitors keep track of where they are.

              --
              Bonnie
              in California
              8 ^ )
              • 4. Re: To Template or not to Template
                Level 7
                On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 07:36:04 -0700, Bonnie
                <kroko@pixel[occam]plum.com> wrote:

                >medeepthinker wrote:
                >> Thanks Win,
                >>
                >> I'm almost embarassed to say I've always hand coded until now, but from what
                >> I've seen of DW so far it looks like it will save me a lot of time, so my
                >> coding ability is okay.
                >> I understand your points and will consider them.
                >> Thanks mainly for aleviating my concerns that templates in DW would be
                >> constraining my creativity.
                >>
                >> Regards,
                >> me
                >>
                >>
                >>
                >And to add to what Win has said, as your site gets larger, templates
                >become more cumbersome: yes, you can update all the child pages at
                >once, but you have to then upload ALL of them once they are changed. I
                >would say, once you have a template you are happy with, convert the
                >noneditable regions to server side includes. Also, if the site will
                >keep growing, think of incorporating a site map or breadcrumbs to help
                >visitors keep track of where they are.

                True, but don't abandon templates entirely for larger sites. In my
                experience, the combination of templates + server side includes offers
                the most efficient way to manage a large site.

                Build a sample page for your design.

                Yank out the site-wide bits and pieces - usually masthead, footer,
                navigation - into server side includes.

                Turn the resulting very clean, very empty looking file into a DW
                template.

                Now the only time you'll have to adjust the template is if the
                physical structure of the page needs to change - and if you built
                those provisional areas in from the start, you'd put them into
                template conditional regions that can be turned on or off as needed.

                A change to the masthead graphic or the copyright date in the footer,
                or the addition of another nav item, requires only changing and
                uploading that particular include file.

                DW's template functionality makes it extremely easy to spawn a new
                child page without being in danger of overwriting your master or
                sample page.

                Win
                --
                Win Day, Wild Rose Websites
                http://www.wildrosewebsites.com
                winday@NOSPAMwildrosewebsites.com
                Skype winifredday
                • 5. Re: To Template or not to Template
                  Level 7
                  Yep = that's my mantra, too.

                  --
                  Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                  Adobe Community Expert
                  (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
                  ==================
                  http://www.dreamweavermx-templates.com - Template Triage!
                  http://www.projectseven.com/go - DW FAQs, Tutorials & Resources
                  http://www.dwfaq.com - DW FAQs, Tutorials & Resources
                  http://www.macromedia.com/support/search/ - Macromedia (MM) Technotes
                  ==================


                  "Win Day" <winday@NOSPAMwildrosewebsites.com> wrote in message
                  news:d315i2d7m9ftohp4sao10ncstotqkf57oi@4ax.com...
                  > On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 07:36:04 -0700, Bonnie
                  > <kroko@pixel[occam]plum.com> wrote:
                  >
                  >>medeepthinker wrote:
                  >>> Thanks Win,
                  >>>
                  >>> I'm almost embarassed to say I've always hand coded until now, but from
                  >>> what
                  >>> I've seen of DW so far it looks like it will save me a lot of time, so
                  >>> my
                  >>> coding ability is okay.
                  >>> I understand your points and will consider them.
                  >>> Thanks mainly for aleviating my concerns that templates in DW would be
                  >>> constraining my creativity.
                  >>>
                  >>> Regards,
                  >>> me
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>>
                  >>And to add to what Win has said, as your site gets larger, templates
                  >>become more cumbersome: yes, you can update all the child pages at
                  >>once, but you have to then upload ALL of them once they are changed. I
                  >>would say, once you have a template you are happy with, convert the
                  >>noneditable regions to server side includes. Also, if the site will
                  >>keep growing, think of incorporating a site map or breadcrumbs to help
                  >>visitors keep track of where they are.
                  >
                  > True, but don't abandon templates entirely for larger sites. In my
                  > experience, the combination of templates + server side includes offers
                  > the most efficient way to manage a large site.
                  >
                  > Build a sample page for your design.
                  >
                  > Yank out the site-wide bits and pieces - usually masthead, footer,
                  > navigation - into server side includes.
                  >
                  > Turn the resulting very clean, very empty looking file into a DW
                  > template.
                  >
                  > Now the only time you'll have to adjust the template is if the
                  > physical structure of the page needs to change - and if you built
                  > those provisional areas in from the start, you'd put them into
                  > template conditional regions that can be turned on or off as needed.
                  >
                  > A change to the masthead graphic or the copyright date in the footer,
                  > or the addition of another nav item, requires only changing and
                  > uploading that particular include file.
                  >
                  > DW's template functionality makes it extremely easy to spawn a new
                  > child page without being in danger of overwriting your master or
                  > sample page.
                  >
                  > Win
                  > --
                  > Win Day, Wild Rose Websites
                  > http://www.wildrosewebsites.com
                  > winday@NOSPAMwildrosewebsites.com
                  > Skype winifredday


                  • 6. Re: To Template or not to Template
                    Level 7
                    On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 09:45:31 -0600, Win Day
                    <winday@NOSPAMwildrosewebsites.com> wrote:

                    >True, but don't abandon templates entirely for larger sites. In my
                    >experience, the combination of templates + server side includes offers
                    >the most efficient way to manage a large site.


                    My approach as well. My typical template has an include in the <head> of
                    the document for stuff that goes into the <head> on all pages, then
                    normally four includes in the body for masthead, breadcrumbs, navigation
                    and footer.

                    Gary