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Thread: editing content in a template

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    editing content in a template

    My company has several websites and we are implementing PHP to create dynamic pages and simplify mass changes/updates. HTML templates are created with a {CONTENT} placeholder, and a separate content file is inserted there.

    We are using Dreamweaver to create/edit content, and the challenge is to be able to edit the content files within the template, so that all the styles are applied. (It is NOT a dwt template--and we do not want to use that method). This is almost like having an include on a DW page. The content shows up correctly styled. However, you can't edit an include in the layout.

    The bottom line then is editing content in a WYSIWYG manner, but keeping the layout and content files separate.

    Is there a way to do this? Or perhaps is there a CMS package that is Dreamweaver friendly that will allow this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    If I am reading this correctly, you may be doing it the opposite way that you need to. How I would do it is create a file for each of the header, menu, and footer areas. Use includes for those files along with using an external link to your CSS file. When you create a new page, bring in all of your includes/external lfiles, and then just add the content where it needs to be within the page.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Well, that's kind of how we do it now. But while it works better than truly parsed, flat HTML, it isn't as practical as you'd think.

    Like I said, we have a couple dozen sites. Some have hundreds of pages of content. The editors, as is their wont, often want to change the layout or whatever. As there are several sections of a site, it become a HUGE pain to make changes, even with includes.

    In addition, because we are so short staffed, we would like the editors to be able to write and post their own copy rather than send docs to the web team to HTML-ize. But, we don't trust them enough to give them a full HTML page to edit, because some table cell will invariably get out of whack and then we have to fix the damage. It sounds harsh, but it's true.

    So--we want to use a template system. We create a template that is the wrap. Inside goes the actual content. So the contact_us.html file is really only a some text with basic css markup. The editors can futz with this to their heart's content, with no chance of mucking up the page.

    Also, at the drop of a hat, we can completely change the website look and feel with a simple template change. That's powerful stuff, and I hope you see the advantage over having to touch every page, even those with includes, because if the design changes in some fundamental way, the includes can become irrelevant.

    Anyway, the challenge is getting Dreamweaver (or some other editor... GoLive?) to work in this environment--seeing the copy within the wrap, with the styles applied, but not editing the wrap. If anyone has any advice in this area, please let me know.

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