New site design features

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Subject:New site design features
Summary:If you could change anything in the site, what would that be?
Author:Manuel Lemos
Date:2008-07-30 07:45:58
Update:2014-02-10 00:30:18
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  21. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
thin - 2008-09-04 05:38:15 - In reply to message 19 from Manuel Lemos
I think the most important thing to do is to leave the code changes for after you've picked a final design. You should focus your efforts on recruiting designers to enter the competition or simply hiring a designer to work directly with you to come up with something good.

I could give an essay's worth of ideas in text form but only fit 1/3 of them into a nice looking design. You could take my words and start coding and then when you see the images you realize that some of the things in the image are significantly different from how I described them. Or even if they're not, the act of 'seeing' it could influence you to want to re-code something.

Hopefully you've kept a list of people over the years who've offered to give you a redesign.

  22. Editor Issues   Reply   Report abuse  
thin - 2008-09-04 05:36:36 - In reply to message 1 from Manuel Lemos
Default site navigation bar markup is horrible. Give us one with everything as a plain <ul id="sitenav"><li id="anID"><a>Link Text<a></li> ...ect....
Whatever logic you have involved in the creation of the navigation should be at least somewhat separate from the html output right. So you can make this change right?

Give us a way to get rid of the default css styles in the <head>

Network bar doesn't render if you put it at the bottom of the file
Actually most of your tags don't render when I do this.

I want the first search engines see in the markup is the page title and contents. Everything else at the end of the markup and use css to position things to appear at the top of the page.

Since you define a background color in your default css you can get rid of the bgcolor attribute on <body>

  23. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
thin - 2008-09-04 05:37:02 - In reply to message 1 from Manuel Lemos
Nevermind about the default css bit. I see now.
Need a link to go back and forth between editing the template file and editing the css file.

  24. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
Manuel Lemos - 2008-09-04 21:42:41 - In reply to message 20 from Patrick Smallwood
Patrick, sorry, maybe I did not express clearly. When I suggested that people should make constructive criticisms, I was referring to the site design editor. I was not suggesting that you did not make constructive criticisms in other occasions.

As for the design be editable in every pixel, that is not quite feasible. For instance, changing certain aspects of the design have direct impact in the site advertising revenue, which is necessary to keep the site financially viable.

You need to understand that the current site design editor is a work in progress. There are millions of things that could be done to improve it, but doing every thing that people may want will take a long time.

Therefore I need to focus on the 20/80 rule, i.e. provide something that takes 20% of the time and effort to provide 80% of the flexibility people need.

That is why the current editor only lets you change the main page template and CSS styles. Changing things there will affect every site page. That should be 80% of the site design. When editing is these page aspects is done, then we may move on to allowing to change the templates and styles of specific pages. Until we reach that point, you need to be patient.

So for now, lets just focus on the main page template and styles. Maybe you would like to change specific stuff that currently you can't. I need to know exactly what that is so I can work on it.

  25. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
Manuel Lemos - 2008-09-04 21:54:56 - In reply to message 21 from thin
The styles that define the navigation bar are defined in the main CSS file. When you edit the main CSS file there is a tab that explains the meaning of each style. These styles affect all navigation bars in the site.

The main template file is actually two templates in one: before the {body} is the header template and after the {body} is the footer template. Since certain things like the network bar are not meant in the footer, if you put it after the body tag, it is not replace by the network bar.

The network bar used to be a requirement to make part of the PHP Developer Network. Now I noticed that most sites in the network do not have that bar. So I guess I can remove it as well like others did. I will probably replace it by nothing. So for now you may leave it at the top.

The reason why the body tag has a background color definition is because when the CSS file takes time to load, the page is already set to the background color. But I guess it would not be a big deal to remove the bgcolor tag.

  26. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
Manuel Lemos - 2008-09-04 22:29:57 - In reply to message 22 from thin
Thin, I am not sure how that link should work to be intuitive.

Anyway, what you can do for now is to open the edit link for each of the files in different browser tabs.

  27. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
Manuel Lemos - 2008-09-04 23:30:56 - In reply to message 23 from thin
Thin, as I mentioned before, if I were to hire a designer, there would be no need to make a contest.

The idea is that real users of the site with good sense of design can contribute with suggestions that allow designing the site presentation the way they think it would be.

If the current design editor does not allow you to achieve something that you think, just let me know and I will evaluate what can be done to overcome the limitations.

  28. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
Manuel Lemos - 2008-09-08 05:42:28 - In reply to message 21 from thin
OK, I just removed the network bar as it seems that other PHP Developer Network sites are no longer using it.

I also removed the bgcolor attribute from the body tag. However, I still need to know what is the background color to use in newsletters. It seems that most Web mail services ignore external CSS and string inline style definitions. Therefore the background color of the original message is not respected.

The current solution is to use a DIV with a style tag defining the background color and text color for the whole newsletter. But in that case I need to get the color values from somewhere. Maybe I need to parse the BODY class definition from the main theme CSS file, and use that in the newsletters DIV.

Meanwhile I added a few radio buttons to the preview tab to let designers see the preview page showing several types of pages.

For now it supports the default blank page, the site home page, the browse categories page and a sample package page. Just let me know if you would like to see other important pages in the preview of the main page HTML template.

  29. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
Rosen - 2009-01-25 19:24:37 - In reply to message 1 from Manuel Lemos
I recently joined I found that it's a really great site, with a lot of features and cool users, but the one thing that isn't alright is the design. The design looks like as if it was last modified 1989 :D. Give 5 bucks to some designer to design you a new, modern-age desig, that fits the great content!

  30. Re: New site design features   Reply   Report abuse  
Manuel Lemos - 2009-01-29 08:06:44 - In reply to message 29 from Rosen
As you may read here, there is an editor that lets anybody propose alternative design themes. It is not yet completed but once it is done there will be a contest of new theme proposals. The winner will get prizes. ...

If you have more specific changes that may not be addressed by the theme editor and contest, just let me know.

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