I would consider using a database if it isn't a lot of extra work, but my #1 priority s getting my site up. (I can always add in database functionality if and when my business takes off.)
If you're dealing with a website with as much content as comparable to nytimes like you say, you'll want to do something other than having static HTML pages.
That is why I made this thread!
Have you looked into content management systems? Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress (though technically considered a blogging platform can be easily modified to your needs). They use databases, but have an administration panel, so it's a one time setup from then you can add articles in an easy to use WYSIWYG editor.
Thanks, but totally not interested.
All in all, if it as simple as using your templates, I would just setup a very simple database, and a back-end where you could put the text of an article into a new record. It would simplify things immensely.
Okay, but let's focus on my original question first...
What I have:
I have a template page ("layout_2col.html") that has a Header, Middle Column, Right Column, and Footer.
Any content (e.g. an article) is currently hard-coded into the HTML. So if I have 15 articles, I would need 15 pages?! :eek:
Yet, ironically, the Header, Right Column, and Footer will not change.
What I want:
When a user selects an Item (or Sub-Item) from my drop-down Top Menu, I want that middle column to populate with an appropriate article/page.
For instance, you choose Business>>Small Business from the Top Menu, then I'd like the middle column to load with my "Small Business landing page". (The Header, Right Column, and Footer remain the same.)
Then lets say you are on my "Small Business landing page", and you see a link to the article "The Entrepreneur Whiz-Kid Myth" and click on it. Then I would like the middle column to load with the business article "The Entrepreneur Whiz-Kid Myth". (Again, the Header, Right Column, and Footer remain the same.)
Next, you go back to the Top Menu (or possibly click on some other link) to read the article "Employees from Hell!!!" Again, the middle column should load the appropriate article, this time being "Employees from Hell!!!". (The Header, Right Column, and Footer always remaining the same. Thus why I call it a "template"!)
This is pretty much how any interactive website works - including SitePoint - but I just don't have a good handle of how to do that with PHP.
(If you can help me figure out how to dissect my HTML pages and do this with "includes" or whatever, then maybe as I get more comfortable, I can look into pulling information from a database.)
Am I making any sense? :-/