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Designing with future content in mind

     
6:42 am on Jan 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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In brainstorming ideas for designing pages with that top table row that goes all the way across, and designing logos to go with them on the left, I'm wondering if it's best to do the logo wide, or make the logo graphics narrow and small and leave room for standard sized ad banners.

This would be for sites that start non-commercial and are pretty much informational, but will eventually need room for either an ad feed or related affiliate programs.

I just saw a site that's one of the top 5 performers in a certain affiliate program - a shopping portal actually, and while it's got the usual directory structure with good affiliate links, well organized, they still run the banners across the top right.

So basically, the question is whether it's good to plan ahead for future content on a site when choosing the initial design, or do it without making provision, and then redesign later.

12:55 pm on Jan 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I find it easier to plan ahead when possible. On one of my sites where advertising was anticipated, I created several external document.write JavaScript inserts (I know there's other ways to do this, but my programming skills ARE limited). Anyway, when I began selling ads, I just put it in the external script. Where the script is to appear, I made sure I used A <noscript> tag which basically said "Support our advertisers. They help make this web site possible." To not make provisions and thus doing a "redesign" I think is bad planning and a waste of time especially if you do anticipate advertising or some other insert.
5:53 pm on Jan 16, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I'd create a "strategy" for the life of the website in mind. If there is a plan to add functionality, write it into the strategy.

Sometimes, we have to get a website up and running with a view to add a DB later. It means considering things like the hosting required as well as the content.

If a site needs extra functionality, consider the layout so that the additional navigation will fit in with the design, and not look like its been bolted on as an afterthought.

Additional pages are no problem as long as the navigation can cope.

Remember, when crerating additional content, you'll have planned this into the "theme" for the site so that it'll expand and strenthen the sites' target theme.