I am the webmaster of an almost 100 page website that I maintain for my church. The site started as 5 pages about 6 or 7 years ago and has evolved (mutated?) to mamoth proportions. I'm not even sure some of those pages even still exist but it's getting under control!
My pastor is one who does everything with excellence and he tries to instill that quality in all of us. That means two things to me: 1. the blob (insert shrieks and cheap scary B-movie music here) that exists can not remain and 2. I have to make it easy to adapt to new directions the ministry takes. Actually adaptability demands a clean site so the cleanup was born of necessity instead of some obsessive compulsion for order I may have (NOT!).
It took time but here are the things I did to make this happen:
First I looked at the overall site and decided the groups things belonged in such as:
When I had my classifications decided upon, I renamed all my pages filenames to reflect that. Beliefs.htm became Gen_Beliefs.htm and Pastors became Ldrs_Pastors. This was the first and most important step in organizing the site. The only thing left unclassified was index.htm.
The next thing I did was to create classification "main pages". I created a Gen_index.htm and Ldrs_index.htm, etc. This gave me a chance to tell visitors about the overall category so they knew why they were at that page and so did I. It also gives a good way to link to all the sub pages without putting links on the homepage.
Too many links on the homepage is confusing and, as I understand it, hurts ranking in some search engines. Too many times I have created a homepage that looked like a site index - remember KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid. A bit offensive but very true when speaking of my complicated web sites sometimes.
Anyway, I have all my images in a folder named "images" but if it got too confusing I could sub-categorize that folder to have images/General/xxx.jpg or images/Leeaders/pastorspic.png. Do not put images in folders with your web page code. It makes it terribly confusing and hard to manage... especially if you use the same image from several classifications.
Since I was using Dreamweaver and the template feature in it, all my navigation and title bars are separated from the unique page info by comments "Begin Template" and "End Template". This made the next part easier but it is not necessary to start with a DW template. To get to the part about "easy to maintain" I read all I could here at web hosting by Total Choice Hosting about PHP includes. Check it out in the PHP sections of this forum! Using the PHP include functionality I moved all of my header info (a strip of photos) into PicStrip.html and my navbar into Nav.html. I then created the template file for every page that looks like this (a few things removed for simplicity's sake):
<html> <head> <title>Covenant Word Church - Key West, Florida</title> </head> <body background="/images/Backgrounds/fadebg1.jpg"> <div id="MainFrame"> <div id="Header"> <?php include $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/inc/PicStrip.html"; ?> </div> <div id="Navbar" class="Header3" align="center"> <?php include $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/inc/Nav.html"; ?> </div> <div id="MainBody"> <?php include $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT']."/Content/Min_Computers.html"; ?> </div> </div> </body> </html>
This lets me use CSS-P and the div's for placing these pieces of info in the right spots. It also lets me change only the contents of the main part of the window by changing the /Content/Min_Computers.html file and not having to touch any of the nav bar or header bar stuff. Additionally, using CSS Placement, I can change so many things about the site to keep it fresh with minimal effort. If I want the navbar on the right instead of the left it's just a CSS file change. The same for moving the picture strip to the bottom or changing backgrounds or fonts. This stuff is great for future maintenance.
I don't know if you noticed or not, but the framing code listed above is in my main directory and the real page info (the guts of it) is in a /Content subfolder. I could break the main and Content folder up to the different classifications, but for now the naming convention is good enough to keep it straight.
We'll see how well it works out - in the next few months my pastor will be traveling to London, England as well as Ghanna and the Ivory Coast of Africa and we'll have a special guest speaker in the meantime so I'm sure he'll be emailing us photos "from the field" to put up on the website.
If you have any questions about any of this or how it is working out for me please do not hesitate to email me at Jim-AT-jimscomputing.com or use the webmaster link from the site at Covenant Word Church, Key West
I hope it helps, inspires or at least humors your web design experience and want to end this by saying a big thanks to TCH for being such a great host and to all the Fam for being so great! You guys all rock!