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October 6, 2010

A growing problem with my website is that it has been growing. For every new project page I add, I also have to add a link to a number of pages. On the plus side it means less clicking for my three visitors, but it's a lot of work on my part, trying to make sure that I've added the proper link to every page, particularly in the Miniatures section.

After conducting some research, I came to the conclusion that the ideal solution would be to have all of my links on one page, and have that page added, called, or whatever the term might be, to each web page. This way I could update in one place but have it show up everywhere. At first glance this seemed to not be doable in CSS, and I was afraid that I'd have to change the whole site over to PHP. Fortunately I found out about SSI, Server Side Includes. The only changes I had to make were to switch the .html files that would display the menu to .shtml files.

About halfway through the redesign it dawned on me that EVERY page in my website had a link to minis.html. I had a few seconds of horror and then decided that my quickest fix would be to do a redirect to minis.shtml. It seems to work. I'm very uncomfortable doing it that way, though. When I originally designed the site I thought for sure that those links at the top of the page would never change. Now I'm debating changing all of the files to .shtml and just having all the menus imported. Most likely I will just go through and edit the entire file list in my free time.

After figuring out that this was possible, I wanted to make one more change. One of the features I do like about this new blog is the menu on the right hand side, and being able to minimize portions. I thought it would be perfect for the miniatures menu. I wanted to split up the dolls by material, and of course I had the sections for links, houses, and random projects. Eventually I figured out the best way to do that - through javascript - and found myself a nice little pre-written script.

So yes, I totally blew the afternoon off, but accomplished a long desired goal. Go check it out. Try to break it. I don't mind. I need to know if things work, or don't work. I will fix the minis link above right after I publish.