[thelist] best architecture: large static site with tons of word docs?

Theodore Serbinski tserbinski at washsq.com
Thu Oct 21 15:54:52 CDT 2004

Ok guys, I need some help. I'm in the process of completely redoing Ocean.US <http://www.ocean.us> and it's a huge mess (if not already apparent). I'm scrapping everything, the frontend/backend/architecture, nothing is setup in a logical manner. I'm moving the entire system to an Apache/PHP/MySQL backend.

But here's where I need help, how do I organize this site which is a bunch (roughly 80-200) static files with an equal amount of Word and PDF documents but at the same time allow them to update the site, like change text, or upload a file and link to it, basic maintenance stuff?

Idea 1:

Create a folder hiearchy of all content files, with simple XHTML+CSS formating, based on navigation. Create a simliar hiearchy for document files. Then have a master PHP file grab the correct file based on MOD_REWRITE and load it up and apply a header/footer/menu. For maintenance, allow them to use Macromedia Contribute or other WYSIWG editor to make changes in files, like deleting/adding text and adding links and allow them to FTP documents in for linking.

Idea 2: 

Use a CMS, such as Wordpress. Create entire site with Wordpress with all data in a database and allow them to login into the site and through their browser navigate to the page they want to edit and click "edit this" to edit the page. FTP files in and link them in this way.

Any other ideas? I haven't really built a site of this size and structure before and would like to approach this in the best possible way for maintenance on their part and ease on my part. XHTML1.0 Strict is a must so that will help considerably in seperating content/design, all I need is a solid architecture to back me up.



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