112 - Lesson 6
Putting the Pieces Together
Over the last few weeks we have assembled all of the parts to
put our puzzle together. By doing this in advance, we will save
much time and you might even be amazed on how quickly everything
Finishing your template
One of the first things we did after we decided on the navigation
for the site was design a template for your pages. I won't go
over all the advantages of the template again but I want to make
one point. Try to be sure that everything is right (perfect) before
you start pasting in your content.
Don't be too despaired if you forget something or need to change
a link after you get started because we can still use global replace
and other Dreamweaver site management tools to make our changes
but that still takes time so try to get it right the first time.
If you have to do a global replace, try it first on your template
and then do it on the entire directory (folder) or site. Be careful.
Try to get enough words or characters in your replace string to
make it unique so you don't accidentally replace things that you
didn't intend to.
Before you start inserting content, be sure to test your template
on as many browsers as you can. It's always best to find any compatibility
problems before you start adding content and features. Problems
are easier to isolate before anthing else is added.
Pasting in your content
After your template is in a state of perfection, start pasting
in your content. You might find some flaws in your design or in
your navigation. If you do, now is the time to fix it before you
get all of your content pasted in. Be sure to run your spell checker
over your text.
Format as you paste
Format your content as you paste it in. After you are done, you'll
still need to go over everything one more time to be sure that
it's right but do as much as you can now. As you are pasting in
your graphics, obviously you will need to resize them and edit
it. This is a good time to compress your graphics if you plan
to do it on an individual basis.
Use conformity to your advantage
By naming the individual pages and graphics the same name as
the "item" name in the product database, I simplified
by programming and my database structure. By arranging pages into
manageable folders, you can also reap benefits in terms of simplified
programming. You might not always need to do this on every web
site but do think about it. Could you simplify your searches,
programming or life through a naming system. Sometimes a good
naming system makes things much easier to find.
Think about keywords
When you are setting up your page and directory names, think
about any keywords or keyword phrases that users might type in
to find you page. Is there any way to incorporate that into your
naming system? If possible, work your keywords into your code.
Do any programming first
If you need to write any programs or if you need to set up any
programs, do that first. If you run into problems with your template,
it's likely that it might happen with your programs. Sometimes
certain programs have limitations built in that you must work
around in your design. Also, by gettin this done first, it makes
assemblying the site go much quicker, It's always best to get
all of your content together before you assemble the final site.
Put in the muscle
Since everything is created in advance, it's really just time
at this point that's standing in your way of having a completed
web site. Just do it and get it done. Since you designed the site
with a modular design (templates), you can easily make minor design
changes later. By using tools like updatable pages and databases;
maintance, updates and design future changes are even eaiser.
You will be amazed on how quickly everything comes together when
you plan in advance. Everything from now on is easy.