I am redesigning a public school site (www.ccboe.com ) and am looking for advice on how I should go about the planning stages. We are redesigning the look and structure of the entire site.
When I was hired for this position I was given this site to maintain, but I did not design it and I find it difficult to work with, especially when updating. I want our new site to be much cleaner, more professional looking and I would like to use more current technology. I am plowing through my Styling with CSS book and have decided to use a lot of CSS, but what else should I be looking at?
We have a lot of old database software (Filemaker 4.0!!!) and basically things just are not working right now. What database software should I be looking at? Keep in mind, we're a public school system. So when I say we have no money, we really have no money.
I am the only person on the website and I do not work with IT on a daily basis (I'm in the communications office). I'm just looking for some advice, techniques, good practices before I tackle this project. I am a very good designer, but being the only person in this position also requires me to think a lot about the server side of the web which I am not that good at.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
Yes, you should definitely use CSS.
What kind of server are you using?
I recommend using PHP and MySQL if you can get it installed on your server (if it's not already installed). Both are free.
I agree with Kravvitz on the database choice. Also CSS from everything I hear.
A suggestion: Develop a good menu system so that users can navigate the site easily.
Thanks from . . . Matt @ Launchnet
I check layouts on two 15" monitors, one set at 800 X 600 and the other at 1024X768. It sure is nice to use two monitors at the same time. Copy and paste from one screen to the other from two different pages.
Since you're running on a Windows stack, including IIS/6 and ASP.NET I'd recommend you look into SQL Server Express assuming you have light database needs. I don't know off hand what its limits are but they should be fine for a single school. Note, this isn't what I'd normally use but it's a "go with the flow" recommendation as your IT guys will probably resist the other free alternatives.
"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it." Brian W. Kernighan
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