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What I want to do is do a site redesign and I am wondering if I should have someone else do it or just do it myself.
I want a new template to surround all my old content basically, and I want to be able to change/edit my old content as well as add new content to the site (including adding new links on the template).
If I make a new template will I have to cut and paste each page into the new outline (dreamweaver, I use), or can I somehow just put the new template on the old content (I have around 800 pages).
If so, is there anyone with experience in buying a template for their website and could you pm me any suggestions?
Or... should I have someone do it for me. I posted an ad on craig and have been getting some shoddy replies really.
a typical templated page can look like:
<!--#include virtual="/header.htm" -->
// your formatted content here //
<!--#include virtual="/footer.htm" -->
It's bad form to open and close tags in different include files, but in a case like yours you can probably get away with it wihtout confusion.
Personally I'm a big fan of dynamic contextual navigation menus and home-grown CMS solutions; it takes some savvy with databases and server programming, but on a large site it's worthwhile. If you don't have databases handy, there are ways to do it using PHP/ASP and an XML sitemap.
Whatever way you approach this, it's difficult to maintain a large content site with just Dreamweaver. I once inherited a large (2000+ pages) site that was stuck in FrontPage. It was painful; not only using FrontPage, but customizing the navigation in different sections of the site was really arduous as pages were being added daily. I slowly converted that to a dynamic template using the method described above. The sitemap and Page contents were all stored in a DB, and from that point on maintenance was a breeze.
Whether to hire someone or do it yourself depends on your budget, skill, and sense of adventure.
I know there are many popular open source CMS programs and I'll look into those, and start learning about CSS - do you have any advice on where to start with CSS?