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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Louisville, KY
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    Question How can I research design options (php, css, cgi, javascript, xhtml)?

    I have been using a basic html website since I created it in '98 (see my site's history) with a few little ssi and javascript tweaks. I know a lot of people who have been using php do design their pages. I'm ready for the big challenge of redesigning, but I want to do it intelligently! From the way my site looks, what would you suggest? The elements that I am wanting in particular are:
    • Dynamic menu links that are easier to follow (notice how I have to do things at the top of the page)
    • Maybe a better frame or collapsible menu on the left
    • Easy gallery setup (I manually adjust each photo thumbnail the way that I want it to look, currently)
    • Sortable tables (see

    Those are some of the things I've been thinking about. Where is a good place to explore the different tools I can use to accomplish these goals? I don't have a great understanding of when I should use php, css, cgi, etc. Most websites and books are on just one of these topics. Is there somewhere I can go to find out a little bit about each of them and what they do?
    ~ When you can't find it on Google

  2. #2
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    in transition
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    CSS: It's client-side. Use this to style your HTML elements. You can change fonts, borders, colors, backgrounds, and even position or hide your elements using this.

    XHTML: It's the latest version of HTML. Basically HTML 4.01 was rewritten to be compatible with XML. The result is XHTML 1.0. I suggest trying to build your site in XHTML 1.0 Transitional.

    PHP/CGI/etc: That's all server-side stuff. If you need to display information from a database, do time-dependent things (i.e. show a page if it's before noon, otherwise show another page), etc. then any of those are for you. PHP has probably the lowest learning curve, so try it out.

    Finally, here are some links:

    That should get you started. Have fun!


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