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  1. #1
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    need advice for a design

    I've been asked by my wife to re-design her professional organization's web site http://www.voiceteachersacademy.org/ and with my vast experience (one design) I need a little help especially in how to organize it. As this is gratis, I don't want anything elaborate or complicated. They want a list of all the members, their short bios, member publications and member activities. The current site seems, among other things, quite awkward and cumbersome. I would appreciate some suggestions.

    Thanks

    Jerry

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict BenANFA's Avatar
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    I would consider a database based design, at least for the members. A single table holding their details would allow you to write a single page to display then (in PHP). Then you could also write a page to edit the table contents so that as members left and arrived they could be added/removed from the database by someone other than yourself.

    This means you(or someone) wont have to write a new page every time a new member arrives.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenANFA
    I would consider a database based design, at least for the members. A single table holding their details would allow you to write a single page to display then (in PHP). Then you could also write a page to edit the table contents so that as members left and arrived they could be added/removed from the database by someone other than yourself.

    This means you(or someone) wont have to write a new page every time a new member arrives.
    As I said in my post, I've only done one site (also for my wife) which was a simple 2 column design. I have no experience in a database design. How does that work? Is there a tutorial somewhere? Also, I don't know PHP and don't really want to spend a lot of time on this free project. Any other suggestions?
    Jerry

  4. #4
    The knight who said ni! RockyShark's Avatar
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    Ewww... It does need a redesign, doesn't it!

    If your last effort was a 2 column design - then stick with that for now - it'll be fine. Make sure that your navigation appears on every page (unlike the current site).

    Use a flat background (lose the texture they now have) and go for a sans serif font (Arial or Verdana).

    There's a few quick beginners tips!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyShark
    Ewww... It does need a redesign, doesn't it!

    If your last effort was a 2 column design - then stick with that for now - it'll be fine. Make sure that your navigation appears on every page (unlike the current site).

    Use a flat background (lose the texture they now have) and go for a sans serif font (Arial or Verdana).

    There's a few quick beginners tips!
    My last effort www.thevoiceworkshop.com does in fact use verdana and has the nav on every page. My thought here is to have a page for each member with a bio, activites and publications. Then have a page with all the members (about 35) perhaps in tabular form or grid and links (bio, activities and publication) to their individual pages.

    Jerry

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    SitePoint Addict BenANFA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrynyc
    As I said in my post, I've only done one site (also for my wife) which was a simple 2 column design. I have no experience in a database design. How does that work? Is there a tutorial somewhere? Also, I don't know PHP and don't really want to spend a lot of time on this free project. Any other suggestions?
    I would suggest this book for beginners, it has pretty much everything you'd need to get going.

    This would be a good opotunity to learn new skills if you were interested in doing that.

    A fairly simple database structure could be used similar to this

    Code:
    Member Table {
        ID - Number
        Name - String
        ShortBio - Long String
    }
    
    Publication Table {
        ID - Number
        MemberID - Number
        Type - enum Music or Article
        Description - Long String
    }
    
    Event Table {
        ID - Number
        MemberID - Number
        Type - enum Talk/Concert/etc
        Description - Long String
    }
    The MemberID entries in the Publication and Event tables are used to link back to the members table to indicate who produced the publication is holding the event.

    You would then write a few pages that use PHP to extract the data from the database and display it in html format (i.e. the file would be mainly HTML with some bits of embedded PHP) and a few pages to allow the data in the tables to be edited.

    The book I mentioned explains how to do all of this.


    Ignoring PHP/MySql everything RockyShark says is good. In addition stop having all the links pop-up new windows. Anyone who has popups blocked may not be able to see the site and it is very annoying. If the user wants a new window they will create it otherwise show everything in the same window.

  7. #7
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    Thanks BenANFA for the info. As I have just learned html and css over the last 6 months or so, I'm not quite ready to jump into another language right away.

    Jerry

  8. #8
    The knight who said ni! RockyShark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerrynyc
    My last effort www.thevoiceworkshop.com does in fact use verdana and has the nav on every page. My thought here is to have a page for each member with a bio, activites and publications. Then have a page with all the members (about 35) perhaps in tabular form or grid and links (bio, activities and publication) to their individual pages.

    Jerry
    Hey Jerry,

    I was going to suggest a flyout menu for your members, but then noticed about 35 of them - too many.

    Try having a main navigation button/link that says something like "Members List" or "Members Bios" (Neither of those suggestions are perfect, but you get the idea) that links to a page with a bulleted list.
    Code:
    <ul>
        <li>Member name 1</li>
        <li>Member name 2</li>
        <li>Member name 3</li>
        <li>Member name 4</li>
    </ul>
    Link these to individual pages with each member's bio, as you said. This is maybe the long way around, but at this stage of your skill level it's certainly do-able for you, and the other advantage is that search engine spiders will be able to index all these pages nicely.

  9. #9
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    How about put the navigation menu on the left side of the page. Use this css template here:
    http://glish.com/css/7.asp
    You can freely copy the code at the bottom of the page.
    .
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