August 17, 2017

Building a PHP Website From a Template

While I prefer to build websites from scratch, building a website from a template has it’s merits.

The main advantage of building a website from a template is, you get to see what your website will look like before we get started.

This saves some development time because we do not have to go through the entire design process.

Keep in mind the template will look different from the finished product based on the changes made.

In order to meet your needs, I have to rework the template, given what the template designer created.

Recently, a client of mine picked a template on which to base his website. I took the template and reworked it from the ground up. The finished product is 40% template and 60% new creation.

To make a website easy to maintain and modify, I like to break it into sections, or multiple files. The top of the website or the header, the menu, content, and the footer are all created in separate files. When the web page is requested, the web server puts all those files together and the visitor cannot tell the difference. This approach does not effect the look of the website, it makes managing your website easier.

For example, lets say your website consists of 20 pages and you want to add page 21. If the menu is static in every page, that would require 20 pages to be modified. The way I do it, only one file has to be edited, the menu file. Want to change your copyright notice? No problem, just edit the footer file.

There are more advantages than disadvantages to building a website from a template. By using a template you will save time and money. You may see your website on the Internet faster.

When deciding to refresh or create a new website, weigh your options. From scratch or a website built from a template?