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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist Barnum's Avatar
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    Asking for Help and hopefully without too much criticism.

    I have had my website up now for over two years, and enjoy it, but I know it's pretty archaic and the layout is boring.
    I would like to change it into a two or three column site, but have never really understood how to do this. Is there an easy explanation, or is there a video that might help me in how to do this.

    http://www.stoutstandards.com/Latest.html

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Hi Barnum!

    hopefully without too much criticism
    Criticism (in the sense of nasty comments) is not allowed here, and we are determined to stamp it out, so feel confident that we won't allow it.

    In terms of changing the layout, the first thing to be considering is why you want to change the layout, and how you want to organize things. If you are having more than one column, what is the purpose of a second one? Is it a sidebar? If so, what goes in it?

    So make sure you are very clear at first about the rationals for columns. Honestly, often one column is better, simpler, and easier to understand.

    So make sure to plan this out carefully first, perhaps on paper, and draw up an exact picture of what you need. Then we can propose a simple way to do the layout.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast ankur218's Avatar
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    Create one column theme. Looks neat and organized. Or at the max two columns if situation demands you to. Don't make too many and make it look clumsy.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist Barnum's Avatar
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    Thanks Ralph for the quick reply....sorry I didn't respond sooner.

    I guess I see other sites that are so much more interesting to look at, and then I look at mine, and it's pretty dull looking. I also think that I could consolidate my space more by having a couple of columns instead of one,
    but being the old guy I am, and a real amateur, maybe I am wasting my time. I have fooled with columns in the past but for whatever reason just couldn't get the hang of them.

    You may be right in that I really don't have a good reason for wanting to change. Will plunder on and do my thing. thanks Ralph very much.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnum View Post
    I am [...] a real amateur
    Why not consider what Wordpress can do for you, then?

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist Barnum's Avatar
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    I do have a companion site on wordpress that I started just the first of this year, but to lose all the months of posts, not to mention hundreds of photos, I just can't take down my original site. Plus I find Wordpress annoying when it comes to photos, etc...

    http://stoutstandards.wordpress.com/

  7. #7
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnum View Post
    I do have a companion site on wordpress that I started just the first of this year, but to lose all the months of posts, not to mention hundreds of photos, I just can't take down my original site.
    I guess if you were dedicated enough, you could transfer them all over. But it might be a big task.

    Honestly, with a site like yours, I actually prefer a single column. I tend to ignore things in columns, especially sidebar content. So in a way, it's better for your content to be arranged in a column as you have it. I don't think it makes it boring at all.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist Barnum's Avatar
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    Thanks Ralph....appreciate it.

  9. #9
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    On reflection, one simple change that might be worth making is to give a maximum width to the column, so that the content doesn't get too wide.

    For example, you could change this:

    Code:
    body {
    margin-top: 10%;
    margin-right: 70px;
    margin-bottom: 0px;
    margin-left: 70px;
    }
    to this

    Code:
    body {
    max-width: 960px;
    margin: 10% auto 0;
    }
    Putting a width and side margins on the body itself is not always best practice, but heck, if it works OK, I wouldn't worry. Worth a try, anyhow. Some wider elements on the page might blow out a little, but overall, it might have a nicer effect.

  10. #10
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    The wordpress site is certainly a big improvement.

    If WP CMS doesn't agree with you, try alternative CMS's until you find one that suits you:

    http://drupal.org/
    http://textpattern.com/
    https://www.tumblr.com/
    http://www.concrete5.org/
    http://www.tomatocms.com/en/

    GetSimple in particular seems very encouraging:
    http://get-simple.info/
    http://get-simple.info/start/screenshots/

  11. #11
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    If WP CMS doesn't agree with you ...
    I don't think that was the issue, so much as it being daunting to move over all the content on the old site to the new one—be it WP or anything else. I was thinking that Tumblr would also be a nice fit for what Barnum is doing (same kind of single column format), but the issue is the same.

  12. #12
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    If that:

    - the cost of moving the content to a CMS by a third party versus the cost of redesign by a third party
    - the work to move the content to a CMS by himself versus the work to learn and redesign by himself

    then moving the content is always faster and cheaper.

  13. #13
    Life is not a malfunction gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    If that:

    - the cost of moving the content to a CMS by a third party versus the cost of redesign by a third party
    - the work to move the content to a CMS by himself versus the work to learn and redesign by himself

    then moving the content is always faster and cheaper.
    Probably sound reasoning. However, for a personal site, the pleasure of doing it oneself is often more important than speed or economy of effort.
    Don't be arrogant. Be kind to a koala that thinks it's a bear.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast Grumpy's Avatar
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    ~

    So how would Barnum get updates (more like upgrades by now) for TomatoCMS ?
    Newest TomatoCMS download, v2.0.8, is from August 2010.
    Included Zend Framework v1.10.0 (August 2010).
    Included jQuery Framework, v1.4.2 (September 2010).
    Forum dead. Wiki dead. Twitter dead.
    Project dead?

    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    The wordpress site is certainly a big improvement.

    If WP CMS doesn't agree with you, try alternative CMS's until you find one that suits you:

    http://drupal.org/
    http://textpattern.com/
    https://www.tumblr.com/
    http://www.concrete5.org/
    http://www.tomatocms.com/en/

    GetSimple in particular seems very encouraging:
    http://get-simple.info/
    http://get-simple.info/start/screenshots/


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