How would you structure this?

I have been staring at CSS and PHP and SQL articles and tutorials for many months now and I have to concede that it is all just too much for my capacity to understand.

Still, I do want to get a user-controllable site up.

This is what I want to do. It looks old-fashioned but compared with many modern designs, I take that as an asset. This demo works now – the tags in the menu do change the essays in the right-hand pane.

But this demo is done all in HTML, with colors and positions in CSS. Now I have to come up with a semi automated site so I can have one menu, editable and addable and appearing the same in all the essay pages. I wouldn’t have a problem with carrying whole page html files (except the menu) for each menu selection unless that’s really stupid. At least I’d understand it.

If you were telling an untalented person how to lay the machine out and what methods to use to construct the menu and the "everything else"es, what would you tell them? Is this a PHP thing? Something else? What?

Not sure quite what you are asking here, but I’m assuming that you want the same left menu to appear on many pages, but only to have to edit it once. Is that right? If so, you can use something like PHP includes.

Golly, I’ve heard of PHP includes, but never found a clear explanation of what it was or what it did. Thanks for the nice link which actually does explain it in the context of what I’m trying to do. :slight_smile:

There are always mysterious things that happen (or don’t happen), though, so wish me luck… (:


Good luck! And don’t hesitate to ask more questions if you run into trouble. To be honest, I find these includes to be very reliable, but you never know. The method described in the link depends on Apache, so I once handed off a perfectly working site to a client and the site fell apart once loaded to their server, because it was a Windows server. Includes do work there, but the syntax is a bit different.