Just when I thought v2.0 of my website was done, it looks like I have stumbled across a pretty big crisis dealing with my website and "Information Architecture"...
The problem is that I have TOO MUCH CONTENT to fit into my website's current design, and I can't seem to figure out what to do with everything!! :eek:
How to describe all of this???
When I first started working on v2.0 of my website back maybe 18-24 months ago, I wanted to make my website more "dynamic" and "interactive". Instead of just having 20 static HTML pages, I wanted to make it so Content would be a.) Easy to move around, b.) Database Driven, and c.) Easily Cross-Referenced/Cross-Linked. I also wanted to add a "Social Media" aspect to my site allowing people to create accounts and talk amongst themselves. (Sorta like SitePoint.)
After a lot of hard work - and thanks to hundreds of people on SitePoint - I think I accomplished most, if not all of these goals for v2.0
But there always seems to be a "catch"...
A week or so ago, I was preparing to take my new v2.0 website "Template" and start merging it together with all of my actual "Content".
And herein lies the dilemma that I have discovered...
[indent]Back when I started re-designing my website in the Summer of 2011, I just had a handful of "Sections" and "Topics" to cover, and as such, I hand-coded my website to match THAT 2011/2012 Content.
Well, unfortunately, my mind never stops going! And since I started re-designing my website, I have had a million new ideas, and so what originally was just a few "Sections" has exploded into over 30 Sections!!
Put another way, "I have TOO MUCH CONTENT and don't know where to put it on my website?!"[/indent]
If my website was just simple, hard-coded HTML pages, this wouldn't be that big of a deal. However, the process of making my website more "interactive" meant that I made a lot of architectural decisions that can't easily be changed as far as I know. (e.g. Apache mod_rewrites and PHP)
If I can't figure this out, then I have basically broken 18-24 months of work re-designing my website!!
And before someone starts lecturing me on, "Well, you should have thought all of this out before you started coding!!" let me stress, that Businesses and Business Models change and evolve. And to me the only thing worse than having a website that doesn't appear to handle all of this new Content, would be throwing away the additional 25-30 Section of awesome Content that I have thought up in the past two years?! (Good "Content" should always trump Website and Database Design!!)
Like nearly everything in life, I am sure there is a reasonable solution, however I am currently STUMPED and could sure use some help figuring out a workaround...
Before I stop yapping, here is a brief description of what I currently have...
My website currently has a simple horizontal Navigation Bar with 5 "Tabs", and there is room for maybe 10. (Originally this seemed like all of the room I needed to grow?!) When you click on a "Tab" (i.e. "Section"), you get a listing of Article Summaries like this screenshot...
This design works great as long as I only ever have maybe 6-8 Sections. But as I discovered this week, it crumbles when I have even just 20 Sections?! (I guess I thought my Content would grow WITHIN each Section, versus needing all of these NEW Sections...) :nono:
Because I spent a lot of time designing my Fixed-Width, Fluid-Center, Sticky-Footer, so on and so on 3-Column Layout - with lots of kudos to Paul O'Brien!! - and because I have spent even more time setting up my Apache mod_rewrites and PHP to work a certain way, I can't easily just change things like if all of my Content was static HTML pages.
Hopefully all of the SitePoint "Content Gods" have some suggestions to help me out of this crisis...
And in the mean-time, I am sitting here at the library racking my brains, trying to figure out different ways to combine/collapse all of the new Content I have into my current website framework.
Thanks in advance, and here is hoping my website can be saved... worried look
P.S. If it would help, I can post real-life examples of all of these new Sections I have dreamt up, but I figure I have posted more than enough for now.
P.P.S. Take a look at the NY Times or LA Times and all of the disparate Sections they have to deal with, and that is a good example of the same challenge that I am facing. Oh, and BTW, I think most online newspapers look very unorganized and gaudy - which as a SitePoint member - I want to avoid!!