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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    How to handle "Summaries"?

    I expect my website to have considerably more Content than originally planned.

    As such, I have broken things up into "Sections" and "Sub-Sections".

    On my Section landing page, I have "Featured Articles" which contain a Heading, Thumbnail, and Summary.

    And on my Sub-Section landing page, I have a listing of all Articles for said Sub-Section, again showing a Heading, Thumbnail, and Summary for each Article.

    Here is my problem...

    For the Section landing page, I need a slightly smaller Thumbnail and Summary, than for the Sub-Section landing page.

    So, that leaves me with a few options...

    Option #1: I could have two fields in my Article table, and have a "Short Summary" and a "Long Summary".

    Option #2: I could write one Summary, and use PHP to truncate it accordingly.

    Option #3: I could just use the Article Body as a base, and use PHP to create a customized Summary accordingly.

    Which option do you think is best, and why?


    While more work, personally, I think Option #1 is best. The reason for this is because it allows me to "wordsmith" each Summary to fit best into the space given. (For example, eliminating widows, strange spacing, etc.)

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

  2. #2
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    Mikl's Avatar
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    Hi Debbie,

    I hope your project's going well now. I know you had some problems in the past.

    Regarding your question about summaries, I would definitely go for Option 1. My main reason is that the summary is very much a selling tool. It has to be written in a way that will arouse the reader's interest and encourage him to click through to the main article. I don't believe any automated system can be effective in writing such material. You need to apply your skill and knowledge to write the most effective summary you can in each case.

    I'm not sure I follow your point about making it fit in the space. The web page is a pretty flexible way of displaying variable-length text. You also mentioned widows, which don't really apply in a web page either (unless you are worried about how the text will look in a hard-copy printout).

    But, yes, definitely go for the first option (which is how I do it myself on most of my sites). You will find it worth the extra effort involved.

    Mike

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikl View Post
    Hi Debbie,

    I hope your project's going well now. I know you had some problems in the past.
    Hi there! Yes, I am slowly-but-surely making progress. And THANKS for remembering me, and thinking about me!!


    Regarding your question about summaries, I would definitely go for Option 1. My main reason is that the summary is very much a selling tool. It has to be written in a way that will arouse the reader's interest and encourage him to click through to the main article. I don't believe any automated system can be effective in writing such material. You need to apply your skill and knowledge to write the most effective summary you can in each case.
    Okay, sounds good.


    I'm not sure I follow your point about making it fit in the space. The web page is a pretty flexible way of displaying variable-length text. You also mentioned widows, which don't really apply in a web page either (unless you are worried about how the text will look in a hard-copy printout).
    Yes, I guess I am being OBTUSE on that comment. (Sometimes I get locked into "What Debbie sees is what everyone sees" mode?!)

    Yet still, in some cases, I might want to "wordsmith" things slightly to make things fit the best in most situations. (Sometimes the choice of words just doesn't display right for most situations, if you follow me?)

    Sincerely,


    Debbie


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