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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot
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    So, which is best

    Static html pages or a php cms?

    I am about to start a new site, which will have initially several dozens of content files, eventually reaching thousands of them withing a few months. My question is, should I stick to static html pages or get a good cms?

    The only downer of the html pages is that once I feel that I have to add something to the layout, or change it entirely, I'd have to edit all those pages one by one. But, I cant find a cms simple enough for what I want.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy someonewhois's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter.

  3. #3
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    Before starting my website I was in the situation. Infact I have started creating static html pages (almost 500) using template features of the Dreamweaver, so that I can control the common elements. Still if I need to change the main content I need to handcode in updating each and every page.

    Then I came across the book "Build Your Own Database Driven Website using PHP and MySQL" by Kevin Yank. It is an excellent resource and helped me a lot in building my site. I should also mention that this forum is another excellent resource which helped me on those things that the book didnot cover.

    So, if you anticipate lot of content that needs to be updated on a regular basis, I would definitely suggest CMS.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Well, the content would not be updated much, once the page is up, it will stay there as it is. The only problem would be is that if I get bored of the layout, I'd have to remake all those pages again.

    I am currently waiting for a few replies in another thread about a script that would do what I want. If I cant find the right one, I'll probably pay someone to code it (since I need it asap). I currently dont have time to learn php, but I will someday

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru rashidr's Avatar
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    Same situation is happening with me.

    I have another site not talking about the site whcih is in my signature. Initially I used cms but my ranking in search engine was not good for that pages. So I switched to static pages. But now If I have to change anything in design or link or something very small or big, I have to change in all my 100's of pages, Which is a big headache for me.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist webchalkboard's Avatar
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    Aha the trick here is to use PHP, but make it look like a static site structure, this is what i've done in a couple of the sites in my signature and although they are very new, they are doing ok. Most of my sites look like they are just HTML pages, but really just are created dynamically with PHP Keeping your urls as simple as possible is definately best for the search engines.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru rashidr's Avatar
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    Do you use mode_rewrite method. I was unable to implement this on my server due to lack of knowledge.

  8. #8
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    Can someone help me find what I need? http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=262758

    If not, I guess I'll have to pay for that to get coded :P

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist webchalkboard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rashidr
    Do you use mode_rewrite method. I was unable to implement this on my server due to lack of knowledge.
    no I use kind of a 404 redirect method. So you point all 404 errors through a 404.php script which then generates a page depending on the filename which is being requested.

    It's very easy to implement and seems to work quite well. It does mess up your stats a little, but means you can have an infinite number of apparently static pages, rather than the mod rewrite method which I believe you have to explicitly declare each one, although I find that hard to believe, but to be honest I haven't looked at myself as this method works for me.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru rashidr's Avatar
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    Using 404 redirect method for smaller site is ok. But It is not good to implement in big sites atleast i cannot recommend. I am not talking about the site which is in my signature but I have another site which is dynamic portal based on php.

  11. #11
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    Aha the trick here is to use PHP, but make it look like a static site structure, this is what i've done in a couple of the sites in my signature and although they are very new, they are doing ok. Most of my sites look like they are just HTML pages, but really just are created dynamically with PHP Keeping your urls as simple as possible is definately best for the search engines.
    Thats how I deal with my site using mod_rewrite. All those pages on my site, except very few are dynamically generated but look static.

    Do you use mode_rewrite method. I was unable to implement this on my server due to lack of knowledge.
    Thats very easy to implement. Although there are various generators available which generate the rewrite code for you, I would recommend to do by yourself, as you can control the user's input. If you are interested, post your URLs dynamic as well as the static URL structure you want to implement, in this forum. Someone will definitely assist you. Thats how I made my mod_rewrite.

    no I use kind of a 404 redirect method. So you point all 404 errors through a 404.php script which then generates a page depending on the filename which is being requested.

    It's very easy to implement and seems to work quite well. It does mess up your stats a little, but means you can have an infinite number of apparently static pages, rather than the mod rewrite method which I believe you have to explicitly declare each one, although I find that hard to believe, but to be honest I haven't looked at myself as this method works for me.
    I never even heard of it, how does the ranking of your pages be affected by this method compared to mod_rewrite.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy someonewhois's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webchalkboard
    no I use kind of a 404 redirect method. So you point all 404 errors through a 404.php script which then generates a page depending on the filename which is being requested.

    It's very easy to implement and seems to work quite well. It does mess up your stats a little, but means you can have an infinite number of apparently static pages, rather than the mod rewrite method which I believe you have to explicitly declare each one, although I find that hard to believe, but to be honest I haven't looked at myself as this method works for me.
    You can have one rewrite rule to rewrite domain.com/anything to pages.php?page=anything which catches everything. The 404 method is sloppy, and it means you can't catch real 404's as easily.

    I wouldn't be surprised if SE's ignore pages that are 404'ed as well...

  13. #13
    SitePoint Evangelist webchalkboard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by someonewhois
    You can have one rewrite rule to rewrite domain.com/anything to pages.php?page=anything which catches everything. The 404 method is sloppy, and it means you can't catch real 404's as easily.

    I wouldn't be surprised if SE's ignore pages that are 404'ed as well...
    The 404 thing might be a little bit sloppy but it does the job very well, and as far as I can tell the only negative thing is that you can't really identify real 404's but then who really cares about that anyway I don't think the search engines ignore the pages at all, i've certainly had no problems anyway and I dont think a search engine would be able to tell the difference.

    I will check out the mod rewrite method because it seems the 'correct' way of doing things. But 404 works fine.
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