Monday, September 12, 2005

site design/techie question

My copy of Namo WebEditor6 finally arrived a few days ago, and I spent some time over the weekend paging through the delightfully hefty User Manual. As someone who has written a fair amount of user documentation in her day, I really appreciate a good manual. The WebEditor manual is plagued by oddly fuzzy screen capture images, but otherwise is a model of efficiency, wisely dispensing with chumminess or cute gimmicks. It tells you what it's going to tell you, and then it does, with a nice organization.

I confess, I still haven't installed the product, but I'll get around to it, and am strangely optimistic that the UI for the product will be at least as nice as the documentation implies it is. They seem to have their heads screwed on straight, there.

I also confess that I got a bit jazzed looking through all this techie stuff. The last thing I taught myself was HTML, but I need to go further than that, now, which brings me to my question.

I am redesigning FarscapeWeekly. This will be a bottom-up re-do, keeping only the main logo ("FarscapeWeekly") and probably nothing else (although I have always liked that color scheme.) There are literally hundreds of documents out there, and I plan on having a template -- top and left frames remain the same, center panel contains the changeable content.

So, here's the question: should I just do it as one page with an inline frame, or use server-side includes, or do I need to get more complicated and make this a database-dependent site? I know that's how Webseed did it, but frankly I'm not sure I need to go that route. The only thing that's changing from page to page is the actual content, so there wouldn't be any real need for a database. On the other hand, that's exactly what database-driven sites are designed to handle... but it still seems like overkill.

I have no idea how to make this decision! (hee) I will spend some more time with the manual but if anyone would like to give me a general direction to go in, I'd really appreciate it.

No comments: