Personal Website structure/organizing dilemma

Hi everybody! first post :smiley:

I have a rather “simple” (?) question on website structure/organization that I cannot figure exacly out, and I’d like to get some suggestion from all of you:

If you would like to assemble a personal website, your personal website, a site where you publish articles about things you do, not just videos or photo galleries, neither a blog or news, but just plain content that is stored is single directories on the server and, then assemble a simple homepage that basically indexes and links all the content; with no database involved, neither a fully CMS oriented design.

How would you organize the content? what’s your reaction? (no way?)

Bacause I already failed twice doing that (I have 2 personal website rusting away): after I hit the 200th circa article/page, things felt out of control, got problem in replicating changes to pages, got problems in tracking my content, re-editing it, failure in properly structuring, wild pages and so on :frowning:

What is a good checklist when thinking about a website? the first I can think of is a different directory for every different article. But then (naming convenction, pages order, file location, etc etc)?

I’m stopping here, I have some ideas in my mind, but, before being wrong just in one big post, I’d like to hear if I was able to hit the point in explaining my design problem. :rolleyes:

tnx!

(first website was done when I was ““young””, all in html, pages grew out of control and I got sick in replicating changes across the whole beast; the second was full php powered, pages were just a mix of includes and hard coded info, but the lack of a naming convenction, lack of plans and added-as-needed-code made it impossible to maintain and keep a clear vision of the whole again!)

Hi NothingSoStrange, welcome to SitePoint! :slight_smile:

Why aren’t you considering a CMS here? It seems a perfect fit.

I’d have to agree, a CMS seems like the way to go.

I asked a similar question awhile back:

Website structure/organization does not seem to be discussed much. I would be interested to hear your ideas.

Answering to the people above, I don’t like the idea of a CMS, I’d like to keep my pages, content and info always accessible in a notepad style edit, plain text, plain html/css written into files; I don’t like the idea of a db or any other structure or extra TAGS that CMSs make you to insert into webpages.

There’s no problem in inserting/writing php code to script the website, but I’d like to keep complete control over and find a nice balance between static files and automation.

Taking some parts from your posts:

[B]"I built a site for a non-profit a couple of years ago, maintain & update it, and as time goes by I realize I did not plan well for growth. I do small monthly updates and a major annual update. Each annual update I am retaining the previous years info for historical reference.

My directories, files, & file names are not as well organized as I would like. I am wondering if there are conventions, tips, advice on setting up a site available somewhere."

“As far as naming files go I have been inconsistent…”

“…Are there any guidelines somewhere that help you think ahead when designing a site to plan so that as the site ages the old stuff is still available but not cluttering up the most current info?..”[/B]

That’s the point, amazing! it’s the heart of my questions/doubts :slight_smile:

Naming convenction, directory structure, tags/categories, txt config, indexing, convenction for building some php code to glue all togheter without going crazy 2 months later and page layout batch editing!

Where do we start discussing over?

The one CMS I agree to use is… one file CMS :slight_smile:

I’ve tryed some CMS around, from the hosted solutions like CushyCMS, to pulseCMS and some others - I ruled out anything that needed a db :expressionless:

The true point is: I want to assemble my website in a manner that it could be “portable”, I mean, the articles, the stuff I put it on should be “self-surviving” (apart from php code embedded) and it should run right away of a webserver supporting little to no php (single file opening).

First thing I’m puzzled is: where do I write the content of an article? directly inside php pages or (somewhat) included into php pages?

The first way I would have a page with my things (html tags, text, images, links) written inside and the php extension would comes handy when inserting script to automate some aspect of the page (server side, like indexes, tags, links, and so on).

The second way, instead, I would have a “shell” .php page with certain standard DIVs and a lot of (maybe just one! the page content) include code. The content would be gathered from another file in the same directory of the article (like a plain html page stripped of headers); this way I could keep the page content living on itself, detached.

From what I see, the first method has failed on me, the website grew too big (I’m talking of 200 pages), at first it was phun, then I had to propagate some minor changes, lack of naming convenction and general structure… not to exclude a spaghetti style css :eek:

The second looks appealing, but it need a solid structuring, planning and naming/style convenction. At the very end, I could assemble a single shell page for content to be replicated along all the website, SO if a change something a could blind copy it all over (except for filename - but some php code could take care of). [I said “include”, but first thing I’ll go reading over what php has to offer, if anything changed]

Hope to have explained myself, I’m tend to lost myself with words :x