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Old 03-17-2012, 07:11 PM   #1
rm_-rf_windows
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Wanted: Excellent, Up-to-date, "Best Practice" Web Design Templates and Examples


Hello all,

This question is for experienced, up-to-date Web programmers and designers.

I have several years of college 'experience' (if you can call it that!) as a programmer, but all we ever did was theoretical and the profs were never real programmers. Too much theory not enough practice.

I'm looking for very good, complete website templates, fairly advanced, including folder and file organisation as well as example sites. I'm fluent in php, html, css, sql, etc., but I just don't know how to best organise my work, what the best way is to factor out code, etc. in the context of good website design. I'd like to start off with excellent habits, be W3C valid, use typical naming, file and folder conventions, etc.

I know there is a lot of info on the Net, but the problem is just that: There is so much info on Web design that I don't know where to start, which sites are up-to-date, which illustrate "best practice", which are mediocre... I would appreciate your dialogue and input.

Beyond the above question, I would also like to know:
  • How to organise multilingual sites
  • Is it wise to organise content in a "strings" file (for easy editing / translation by non-programmers)?
  • xhtml 1.0 strict? HTML5?
  • div's, classes, menus, sidebars, panels and css
I'm sure other questions will crop up as I get working...

I'm really eager to get working now that my college days are over and I can finally start doing some real programming! I'm trying to prepare myself for the job scene (the real world) as well.

Thanks in advance,

rm

P.S. - It would be a plus if these templates were free and free to use in a professional context.

Last edited by rm_-rf_windows; 03-17-2012 at 08:18 PM.
 
Old 03-17-2012, 08:45 PM   #2
frankbell
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If you want dynamic content, I would suggest taking a look at WordPress.

There are approximately 1500 themes at the WordPress site and numerous others available across the web.

I would counsel caution with themes from third-party sources, though; they are not always well-behaved; some have been reported to have hidden code designed to increase the authors' google-juice behind the scenes.
 
Old 03-18-2012, 02:35 AM   #3
rm_-rf_windows
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Thank you frankbell for your post.

I downloaded wordpress and had a look at some of the code. It seems to be a good tool to make websites without doing all of the actual design and coding. Very useful, I might try it out or use it if I need to make a website fast. The actual code is very difficult to decipher, I mean, it would take quite a bit of time to figure out what makes the thing tick.

It's not exactly what I'm looking. I'm looking for a basic structure to make websites from scratch. Well, almost from scratch, all I want is folder and file structure, empty index and configuration files, perhaps example login, database connection, sign up, etc. files, i.e. accompanied by simple examples so that I know how to "fill in the blanks". The idea isn't to make websites fast, it's to become a competent web developer.

Many thanks though, I will have a closer look at wordpress at some point.

rm
 
Old 03-18-2012, 10:13 AM   #4
graemef
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I think that it is good to know how to do it from scratch but sometimes it can be better by learning how others have done it.

Two projects that I would recommend that you look at are the zend framework and agavi
 
Old 03-18-2012, 10:24 AM   #5
graemef
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On your multilingual question. I would certainly encourage a single file for the translation strings, however how you generate that file is the key. For a small app you can get away with doing it yourself and assigning the strings variable names and using those names in the code. However as the app gets larger this becomes more unwieldy then is the time to look at a translate function along the lines of gettext() for an overview of how it is done in C look here. For more details of translation file formats look here, many have walked this path before you
 
Old 03-18-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rm_-rf_windows View Post
It's not exactly what I'm looking. I'm looking for a basic structure to make websites from scratch. Well, almost from scratch, all I want is folder and file structure, empty index and configuration files, perhaps example login, database connection, sign up, etc. files, i.e. accompanied by simple examples so that I know how to "fill in the blanks". The idea isn't to make websites fast, it's to become a competent web developer.
You want a framework. Some have been suggested already, but I would recommend at least considering something that isn't PHP.

It also sounds like you would want a lean framework that you can study as example code rather than, well, actually using.

There are at least two "micro-frameworks" for Python: Flask and CherryPy. On the PHP side, CodeIgniter is considered to be smaller and lighter than its competitors. There's also Sinatra, for Ruby.

One of the whole points of using a framework is to have these decisions (file and folder structure, etc) made for you. For actual coding, therefore, you might consider a more full-featured framework that does more for you. These would include Django, Ruby on Rails, and most of the other PHP frameworks. A lot of these also handle the multilingual side for you (I know Django does).

I will also point out that if a job calls for something like Wordpress, a competent web developer would not hesitate to just install Wordpress, instead of just recreating Wordpress from scratch.

Quote:
Is it wise to organise content in a "strings" file (for easy editing / translation by non-programmers)?
For web development, this is not at all a common pattern.

Quote:
xhtml 1.0 strict? HTML5?
I currently see no reason not to code and validate against the HTML5 doctype.

Quote:
div's, classes, menus, sidebars, panels and css
The current buzzword relating to these is "semantic HTML". Here are some links:

Last edited by dugan; 03-18-2012 at 11:20 AM.
 
Old 03-18-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
theNbomr
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It does sound like you probably want a framework, and dugan has named a few which are less full-featured than a couple of the standards: Ruby-On-Rails & Django. You may also consider a different category of web-site builders: content management systems (CMS). These are somewhat similar to frameworks, but are a bit higher level, and focus more on content than function. The aforementioned WordPress is a sort of special case of CMS. The Wikipedia page List of content management systems is a good jumping-off point for further research on CMSs.

--- rod.
 
Old 03-18-2012, 06:59 PM   #8
rm_-rf_windows
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Many thanks for all of your response. You've given me a lot of great starting points. I am extremely motivated!

I'll post back when I've checked some or all of these ideas out!

rm
 
Old 03-18-2012, 07:00 PM   #9
frankbell
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If what you are looking for is HTML templates, as opposed to dynamic content such as database-based systems give you, you might want to take a look at Wix. http://www.wix.com/create/website
 
Old 03-18-2012, 07:07 PM   #10
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
If what you are looking for is HTML templates, as opposed to dynamic content such as database-based systems give you, you might want to take a look at Wix. http://www.wix.com/create/website
Or:

http://www.oswd.org/
 
Old 03-21-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
dugan
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I think this is relevant: a talk by the creators of Web2Py, about the design decisions behind the framework:

http://pyvideo.org/video/714/web2py-...d-ideas-we-had
 
  


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