Stephan Wehner wrote:
> Thanks a lot for your reply.
> We want to be able to offer a lot of branding options to make the pages look
> similar to a clients own home page, for exampe,
> In this sense we want to "show the world the power of CSS" as well.
> So I thought it would make sense to follow the same path as
> csszengarden.com and add extra code.
> You say "You can do the same". But I am not sure how to do that: what
> extra code is good to add. I thought maybe someone else went through
> the same.
Hi Stephan, we do something very similar. We build all of our sites
using a single HTML skeleton, with the styling done entirely in CSS. And
just like the Zen Garden, we put several empty <div> tags at the bottom
of our HTML skeleton and manipulate them with absolute positioning.
As long as you start with a solid and well-planned HTML skeleton with a
*lot* of class tags, you'll have plenty of artistic flexibility. We have
a lot of different site styles in our portfolio, and I doubt anyone
would guess that they all use the same HTML at the core.
However, depending on the complexity of your designs, you may find that
there are times when the empty divs at the bottom aren't enough.
Sometimes it's just too difficult to use absolute positioning with an
element and have the rest of the site behave like you want it to, and of
course if you need to write some content into the <div> (a Flash
component for example), it can be cumbersome to do it entirely in
If you find yourself running into this situation, and if you're using a
scripting language to generate the HTML (i.e. you're not using static
HTML pages), then you might consider doing what we do: In various places
in the code, we provide for "hooks" that pick up additional HTML content
from files. For example, suppose a lot of your sites need to need to
insert some custom code right after the opening body tag. In this case,
the code that the HTML might look for a file called body-open, and if it
finds it, then it pulls the content of that file and inserts it into the
HTML. I suppose this breaks our "single HTML skeleton" ideal a little,
but those are the demands the real world places on us :-)
Of course, if your designs don't require anything as complicated as
these hooks, then by all means avoid them. The simpler you keep your
code, the easier maintenance is going to be.
A fresh approach: affordable, attractive websites that you control -
content and design! No skills needed: http://karmasites.com/
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