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How are you using the Framework?

Thread began 8/10/2010 8:49 am by Daryl | Last modified 8/11/2010 12:46 pm by Steve | 2101 views | 17 replies |

DarylBeta Tester

How are you using the Framework?

I have read the Get Started Guide and have watched the video, but I am a little confused about where I would use the framework.

I understand that its an 'include' but am not 100% sure why its different from a normal include....

I am also not sure what the advantage of building part of a page on a second page and then including it in the page that I want to use achieves....

...can a few people give me an example of how they are using this framework in what they do as I am sure I am missing some of the functionality of this new extension (as I always seem to do with all of the webassist extensions)

Thanks in advance

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codamedia

Daryl,

One poster said it best. It is Lego for Developers. The benifits of building sites like this cannot be measured. It might seem more complex at first, but once you start using it - you will never want to go back. Maintaining a site is far easier with this method, and the site will scale much better.

The difference between a "Framework Plugin" and a normal "PHP include" is that you don't need to remove head tags, body tags, etc... from the included file. All you do is create a full page the way you normally would - then the framework includes it properly into the master page. It puts the head within the Head - and the Body at the location it needs to be.

Where would you use it? Others may use it differently, but this is what I do.

1: I create a master page - usually this would be the index.php page.
2: I create several other pages and put them in an "include" folder. These would be "header.php", "footer.php", "menu.php", etc.... (create whatever you need)
3: Insert all these elements where you want them on your main page.

If you were to create a static site from here - you would simply copy the index.php page as needed to create "contact", "about", etc... etc.... What happens when you want to change the footer? In the past you would have to update every file on the site. Well - now it is easy. Edit the footer file - and all the files automatically display the change. Same for the header and menu.

I create dynamic sites, so I don't re-create layout files. My content area is done with "dynamic plug-ins". I load the content based on a URL variable. All the sites content pages would exist in a folder such as "includes/content" and the content area will load each page based on a URL variable (?page=contactus). Of course - better yet you can get into Friendly urls but that is a completely different subject.

Essentially the main page in the site becomes more of a controller - and by separating all the elements of the site (header, footer, menu systems, ad boxes, etc...) it makes it much easier to maintain them going forward.

One final note: The includes files does not have to be static :) It can be recordsets, photo galleries, shopping carts and yes - it can even load it's own plugins - both static or dynamic. It's very - very powerful.

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anonymous

Daryl,

To take it one step further, with framework, you could even build just one forward facing page - the way Wordpress is. Then you could have your plug-ins supply the content based on a myriad of variables.

For example, your one page could just be index.php. Then all your other pages could be "triggered" based on the the URL vairable.

So "index.php?page=contact" would trigger the contact page body plug in and so on. That way you are effectively only maintaining the design and graphics on one single page and managing the content separately.

That's just one example... you could have other variables from recordsets trigger plugins as well. Any variable accessible in PHP could be the trigger.

This truly is a game changer. Now, a developer doesn't ever need to rely on Dreamweaver's clunky templates and have to worry about locked regions because this really allows you to create just one page (completely unlocked) and then decide what you feed into that page.

Best regards,

Brian

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biz295654

Please indulge another question:

Reference:
"index.php?page=contact"

How does this effect SEO? Do search engines then only "see" one page?

Thank you.

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Ray BorduinWebAssist

That used to be the case... but modern search engine algorithms take into account dynamic pages and it no longer effects SEO to use a single page with url parameters to swap content.

However it is still considered best practice to use friendly URLs for the variety of other benefits. This is commonly done with a mod rewrite in the .htaccess file, so you could use a url like: index.php/contact if your server was configured for it.

This extension would work with friendly urls even though it doesn't include functionality explicitly to create them.

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anonymous

Biz,

you have the option to force the parent page to take the "title" attribute from the child page. It also will have bindings where you can drag meta keywords and meta description into the page header.

Furthermore, most search engines crawl by following links and sitemaps - I know that Yahoo, Google, and Bing all use this method primarily - so to answer your question, yes, they would be denoted as separate pages under a typical crawl where the bot would follow the links and menus the same way as a user would.

Best regards,

Brian

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biz295654

Thank you. Very helpful.

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Mike

I think that wouldn't be a bad idea if WA were made available example videos or tutorials with more details about PHP Framework use... or is necessary to pay $50 with ticket system?

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CraigRBeta Tester

I never used ADDT, but have frequently used includes within my sites.

It looks like the framework is taking this to a whole new level.

I think some good tutorials, how-to's, issues and solutions, together with some good peer-peer involvement can make this a 'must have' extension.

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biz295654

My current work flow is this:

Create a database table (called pagecontent as an example) with metatags, page URL title, page title, page content (use html editor for this field), banner image, side image or whatever other elements the site may need on each page. Create a folder with includes for navigation, footer, affiliation logos, or whatever is used consistently but that I don't want client to edit.

Create a base page that calls up table pagecontent, with links to database. Set up nav, footer, etc. Then duplicate that set up page, changing the pagecontent table id on each page and the entire site is finished as soon as the pagecontent database is populated with information, provided by client via data assist / htmleditor in the back end.

So, based on that workflow, is there a benefit to using framework? Will it make it easier than this? It sounds very intriguing.

Thank you.

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