Web Site Makeover

I’ve been expanding my knowledge of Cascading Style Sheets and I recently began a project applying CSS to my web site.

Currently, I’m working on the Genealogy site which is getting a complete makeover. I’m going from a table-based layout to a three-column layout with a masthead and a footer. So far, it’s looking good. In the pages I’ve redone, I have completely eliminated tables

I think the pages look nicer and will be easier to navigate. I’ve decided to use the sidebar to pass along tidbits of genealogical information such as notes about particular ancestors, historical trivia, or an anecdote. Ruth has been asking me to include that sort of information for quite a while and this appears to be a great way to do it.

Changing the page loyouts has been relatively easy. The challenge is coming up with the Ancestor Triva content. I haven’t gotten to the photo pages yet so I’m not sure how they’re going to work with the new layout. I may need to incorporate a different layout for those pages.

I expect to have the new pages up in about a week. I’m going over the code very carefully, trying to spot errors and typos and I’m testing them on three different browsers.I’m also running them against the W3C validation to make them as standards compliant as I can.

Once I’ve accomplished the makeover, I’ll update the trees and put it all up on the site. I’ve added pictures to my genealogy softwre so it will be itneresting to see if it will place the pictures in the web-based tree it creates.

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2 Responses

  1. The makeover is taking a little longer than expected but that’s the nature of projects. Just when I think I’m almost there, I find something I can tweak, some pages that can be combined or better organized, or something else. Often a tweak or a change to the menu or the masthead has to be applied to every page, which takes time. I could probably be more efficient if I knew how to use Dreamweaver but I haven’t gotten around to that yet. I’m still cranking out the code with my old reliable text editor.

    I’m trying to resist the urge to work on it during the day. I have other things to take care of during “normal business hours.” Although I don’t have a deadline, I’m anxious to get it done and up on the server. Adam and Mandy have seen some of the pages and have made favorable comments, Adam from a technical perspective and Mandy from a visitor’s point of view.

    Barring any new idea I decide to implement, I think the new and improved site should be ready for its debut in about a week, give or take a couple of days. I think it will be worth the wait.

  2. I’m got a little behind the last couple of days because I was trying to figure out something new. Adam had suggested I use include files for content (like the banner and the main menu) that’s common to every page. That would mean if there was a change to the banner or the menu, I’d only have to update a couple files and the changes would appear on ever page. That’s better than cutting and pasting the changes to every single page (and there are a lot of pages). If something going to make my life easier, I’m all for it.

    Adam was thinking along the lines of PHP because that’s what he’s good at. I, on the other hand, haven’t ventured into the world of PHP yet. But I did find I could do the same thing with Server Side Includes. It took a couple of all-nighters to figure it out. It actually wasn’t that difficult but the way I wanted to do it was proving to be harder than the experts claim it should be.

    But anyway, I got the includes working and I’m working on the pages again. Soon, I promise. I think you’ll like the new layout.

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