Context: The company I work for has partnered with another smaller company. This smaller company has only ever offered static HTML websites. We, on the other hand, offer much more complex CMS driven solutions.
Recently, we were a little overloaded with work and decided to send out one of our projects to our new friends to slice and markup. We would then take the HTML/CSS/Js and integrate it into one of the many CMSs we're using.
Result: Complete disaster.
They're not incompetent or anything; they do good work. Except that doesn't mean it translates well into what we do. Example, they had a different id on the BODY tag and a completely separate CSS file for every page. The images also had their own separate folder according to location. A bunch of other things that simply wouldn't work for a template style system.
I would like to create a document that will help explain how to HTML for a CMS (not a specific one, just in general). I've been searching for guide lines/best practices but haven't been able to location any such information.
Does anyone have anything on the subject? Can we make some sort of guide? Where to start?
...they had a different id on the BODY tag and a completely separate CSS file for every page. The images also had their own separate folder according to location. A bunch of other things...
This doesn't necessarily sound like differences between structuring static sites vs CMSs. But rather differences in structuring websites generally. So maybe it's a case for having a general style guide for how your company does it? For instance, it's quite possible to have a CMS that uses multiple image folders based on content location (in fact I wrote a CMS like this myself a few years ago). A separate (external?) CSS file for every page sounds a bit harsh for any kind of site! - I assume this is in addition to a master stylesheet and only page specific styles are included in their own stylesheet? Otherwise it defeats the object of stylesheets! Page specific styles, that occur on no other pages, should perhaps be included directly in the page itself in order to avoid the additional HTTP request to an external stylesheet and avoid bloating the master stylesheet. But again, this is irrespective of whether it's a static site or a CMS.
Your 'company style guide' could also include naming conventions, programming structure, what libraries are permitted, etc...
You are correct, the class on the body tag is a terrible example. It was early and I was struggling to come up with good examples which is partially part of the problem.
You are also correct in assuming; general.css + section_specific.css
Rereading my original post, I donít make a lot of sense. I guess what Iím looking for is a list of dos & doníts and it makes sense that something like that doesnít exist. It should be company specific / project specific / cms specific.
Your best approach would be by example. Take the lead of Wordpress; what do most W.P. developers do? Take a theme and modify the CSS, using the internally generated classes, etc. as handles to fit the design. Send them a sample set of templates.