best practice for designing navigation interfaces

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Simon, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. Simon

    Simon Guest

    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of designing my first website in a few years, and am
    thinking about how to design the navigation for the website.

    There is a list of links to all the pages that I want to put into a main
    "navigation bar". My first inclination is to put these into a separate
    frame (i.e. each page would have a content frame and a navigation frame,
    with links from the navigation frame loading pages into the content frame),
    because then any changes in the structure of the website (changes to the
    navigation bar) could be entered into the navigation frame and be
    automatically changed for all pages.

    However, what makes me question this approach is that there seems to be a
    move away from page "hacking" e.g. using frames, towards using more
    "elegant" methods (namely, CSS). After creating the website using CSS and
    *no* frames, the problem of changing the navigation bar on one page and then
    having to similiarly manually edit that same navigation bar on all pages
    appeared. How do you deal with this problem? I suspect web design software
    like Macromedia's Dreamweaver or Microsoft's Frontpage would make this
    change automatically (if you changed the master / template page?).

    Let me know what you think. And thank you for your time.

    Merry Christmas to all!

    Regards

    Simon
     
    Simon, Dec 25, 2004
    #1
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  2. Simon

    Oli Filth Guest

    As many will tell you, stay away from frames for (relatively) simple
    things like navigation (see links at
    http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?Problems_with_using_frames for why).

    Are you using server-side scripting, like PHP or ASP? In which case,
    it's easy to include() a standard HTML template before it's sent to the
    browser; this is what I do. Same goes for SSI (server-side includes).
    Does your web-host support any of these?

    If not, you're a bit stuck. You could use JavaScript or whatever to
    document.write() when the client loads your page, but this is unreliable
    at best.

    Oli

    Simon wrote:
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I'm in the process of designing my first website in a few years, and am
    > thinking about how to design the navigation for the website.
    >
    > There is a list of links to all the pages that I want to put into a main
    > "navigation bar". My first inclination is to put these into a separate
    > frame (i.e. each page would have a content frame and a navigation frame,
    > with links from the navigation frame loading pages into the content frame),
    > because then any changes in the structure of the website (changes to the
    > navigation bar) could be entered into the navigation frame and be
    > automatically changed for all pages.
    >
    > However, what makes me question this approach is that there seems to be a
    > move away from page "hacking" e.g. using frames, towards using more
    > "elegant" methods (namely, CSS). After creating the website using CSS and
    > *no* frames, the problem of changing the navigation bar on one page and then
    > having to similiarly manually edit that same navigation bar on all pages
    > appeared. How do you deal with this problem? I suspect web design software
    > like Macromedia's Dreamweaver or Microsoft's Frontpage would make this
    > change automatically (if you changed the master / template page?).
    >
    > Let me know what you think. And thank you for your time.
    >
    > Merry Christmas to all!
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Simon
    >
    >
     
    Oli Filth, Dec 25, 2004
    #2
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  3. In article <Pdhzd.6870$>,
    says...
    > I'm in the process of designing my first website in a few years, and am
    > thinking about how to design the navigation for the website.


    You are of the mind set of most,that you do not want to repeat the code
    for the menu every time. So the obvious solution (to someone new) is
    frames.

    For a better solution search google for "HTML page in a page" you will
    be rewarded with a ton of code samples to overcome the problem you
    mention.
    --
    -=*Tn*=-
     
    Travis Newbury, Dec 25, 2004
    #3
  4. Simon

    Sid Ismail Guest

    On Sat, 25 Dec 2004 17:14:23 GMT, "Simon"
    <> wrote:

    : However, what makes me question this approach is that there seems to be a
    : move away from page "hacking" e.g. using frames, towards using more
    : "elegant" methods (namely, CSS). After creating the website using CSS and
    : *no* frames, the problem of changing the navigation bar on one page and then
    : having to similiarly manually edit that same navigation bar on all pages
    : appeared. How do you deal with this problem?


    A knowledge of CSS is necessary to make the links "elegant":
    http://www.westciv.com/style_master/academy/hands_on_tutorial/

    Then you need some SSI's to "include" code in various pages:
    http://bignosebird.com/ssi.shtml

    Welcome to the 21st century! :)

    Sid
     
    Sid Ismail, Dec 25, 2004
    #4
  5. Simon

    Neal Guest

    Travis Newbury
    > Simon
    >> I'm in the process of designing my first website in a few years, and am
    >> thinking about how to design the navigation for the website.

    > ... search google for "HTML page in a page" you will
    > be rewarded with a ton of code samples to overcome the problem you
    > mention.


    Iframes are in most ways as bad as frames. Avoid that.

    Best way I've found to add repetitive sections like navigation to pages is
    PHP. You can even write it so the link to the current page is not a link
    anymore.
     
    Neal, Dec 26, 2004
    #5
  6. Simon wrote:
    > After creating the website using CSS and *no* frames, the problem of
    > changing the navigation bar on one page and then having to similiarly
    > manually edit that same navigation bar on all pages appeared.


    http://allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?Include_one_file_in_another
     
    Leif K-Brooks, Dec 26, 2004
    #6
  7. > Travis Newbury
    > > Simon
    > >> I'm in the process of designing my first website in a few years, and am
    > >> thinking about how to design the navigation for the website.

    > > ... search google for "HTML page in a page" you will
    > > be rewarded with a ton of code samples to overcome the problem you
    > > mention.

    > Iframes are in most ways as bad as frames. Avoid that.


    Absolutely!

    > Best way I've found to add repetitive sections like navigation to pages is
    > PHP. You can even write it so the link to the current page is not a link
    > anymore.


    PHP (or any other server script) is made just foe this type of thing.

    Is anyone aware of a host that does not provide some flavor of server
    side scripting with all their hosting packages?
    --
    -=*Tn*=-
     
    Travis Newbury, Dec 26, 2004
    #7
  8. Per Travis Newbury:
    >
    >Is anyone aware of a host that does not provide some flavor of server
    >side scripting with all their hosting packages?


    Affordable-Host on their freebie ("X") accounts.
    --
    PeteCresswell
     
    (Pete Cresswell), Dec 26, 2004
    #8
  9. Simon

    Duende Guest

    While sitting in a puddle Travis Newbury scribbled in the mud:

    > Is anyone aware of a host that does not provide some flavor of server
    > side scripting with all their hosting packages?


    http://affordablehost.com/cpanel.shtml FREE

    --
    D?
    If it ain't broken fix it anyway.
     
    Duende, Dec 26, 2004
    #9
  10. In article <Xns95CB7B04E6CF5usenetwipkipbiz@130.133.1.4>,
    says...
    > While sitting in a puddle Travis Newbury scribbled in the mud:
    >
    > > Is anyone aware of a host that does not provide some flavor of server
    > > side scripting with all their hosting packages?

    >
    > http://affordablehost.com/cpanel.shtml FREE


    I should have said, other than free...
    --
    -=*Tn*=-
     
    Travis Newbury, Dec 26, 2004
    #10
  11. Simon

    Simon Guest

    "Travis Newbury" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > > Travis Newbury
    > > > Simon
    > > >> I'm in the process of designing my first website in a few years, and

    am
    > > >> thinking about how to design the navigation for the website.
    > > > ... search google for "HTML page in a page" you will
    > > > be rewarded with a ton of code samples to overcome the problem you
    > > > mention.

    > > Iframes are in most ways as bad as frames. Avoid that.

    >
    > Absolutely!
    >
    > > Best way I've found to add repetitive sections like navigation to pages

    is
    > > PHP. You can even write it so the link to the current page is not a link
    > > anymore.

    >
    > PHP (or any other server script) is made just foe this type of thing.


    Thanks all for your replies, and I'll check what server side scripting is
    available once uni restarts in the new year.

    If the hosting available at my university (has to be hosted on their
    servers) doesn't allow such scripting, can anyone recommend an alternative
    method? I know Oli has mentioned that alternatives are a bit thin on the
    ground.. how about recommended programs that can update the nav bar across
    all pages? (using a template?)

    but thanks all anyway for your help, you've been fantastic! have a great
    new year!

    Simon
     
    Simon, Dec 27, 2004
    #11
  12. Simon

    kchayka Guest

    Simon wrote:
    >
    > If the hosting available at my university (has to be hosted on their
    > servers) doesn't allow such scripting, can anyone recommend an alternative
    > method?


    <URL:http://allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?Include_one_file_in_another>

    Look at pre-processors

    --
    Reply email address is a bottomless spam bucket.
    Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
     
    kchayka, Dec 27, 2004
    #12
  13. kchayka wrote:

    > Simon wrote:


    >> If the hosting available at my university (has to be hosted on their
    >> servers) doesn't allow such scripting, can anyone recommend an alternative
    >> method?


    ><URL:http://allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?Include_one_file_in_another>


    > Look at pre-processors


    I used to use this one. One of the guys who hangs/hung out in here
    wrote it. It's a perl script.

    http://dorward.me.uk/software/dolt/

    --
    Blinky Linux Registered User 297263
     
    Blinky the Shark, Dec 28, 2004
    #13
  14. Simon

    Duende Guest

    While sitting in a puddle Blinky the Shark scribbled in the mud:

    > One of the guys who hangs/hung out in here
    >


    So what you're saying is he is hung? How do you know about such things.
    That's best left to brucie.

    --
    D?
    If it ain't broken fix it anyway.
     
    Duende, Dec 28, 2004
    #14
  15. Simon

    Isofarro Guest

    Oli Filth wrote:

    > Are you using server-side scripting, like PHP or ASP? In which case,
    > it's easy to include() a standard HTML template before it's sent to the
    > browser; this is what I do. Same goes for SSI (server-side includes).
    > Does your web-host support any of these?
    >
    > If not, you're a bit stuck.


    Use an HTML preprocessor.

    --
    Isofarro.
    FAQ: http://www.html-faq.com/
    Recommended Hosting: http://www.affordablehost.com/
    isolani: http://www.isolani.co.uk/blog/
     
    Isofarro, Jan 2, 2005
    #15
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