Web Framework is a collaboration of several servers, various programs and a custom developed software which is designed to automatically compile a web page, based on various elements stored on the server: in a database, web-application's cache memory, files, etc. Multiple pages under the same domain name are compiled to work together, which is safe to say, that the Web Framework is a system that automatically, dynamically and interactively generates the entire web site.
The 4 main reasons for using the framework are the following:
- You don't have to dig into HTML and alter files when you need to make a change on your website.
- If you need to build a website with more than one page, then our framework will save you time, by doing the repetitive tasks of web development, creating the page you need.
- Since the Framework presents the page in a manner that enhances search engine visibility, it maks your web site Search Engine Optimized.
- The Framework gives you easy access to various website components and web page gadgets without any programming or technical skills, such as photo gallery, flash allery, graph and pie charts, knowledge base system, blogs, forums, product catalog, exact shipping rates (calculation via UPS), E-commerce functionality, a shopping cart, Virtual Receipt, Universal Checkout Form to accept payment via PayPal, as well as direct credit card gateways, via Authorize.net, CyberSource and Sage Gateway.
Dynamically Generated Pages
In order to build a web page dynamically, the page layout should be designed appropriately. There are several rules, which you must follow, otherwise the framework would not be able to compile the page properly. Technically speaking, the frame work doesn't care how your layout is designed and it will build whatever it can, but if the layout has not been designed properly, then the end result may not look the way it was designed.
Before going through the list of requirements, you need to understand clearly, what the framework can do for your website and how it manage your information.
The concept behind of building a framework-based page is very simple. Most of the time web pages under the same domain look very similar. It is always good designing manners to have the consistency between different pages under the same website, so that the user would feel comfortable navigating through the site. And of course the navigation should be clearly visible and easy accessible. The best way to design a website, is by having all links to all pages on every page at all times. If a website is going to have no more than 10-15 pages, then that rule could be easily accomplished. It is always recommended to stay away from drop-down or expandable links. Why would you want to hide a link from a user, unless he or she would click somewhere or move the mouse over something? That would only make sense if you are going to have 30 or more pages, and there's simply no room for all those links on every page. Otherwise, don't hide the links. Show them! But if you must use drop-down or roll-over or expandable buttons, links or menus, then the framework has tools to help you with that as well.
Web Page Layout
As established earlier, it is good practice to keep the similar look of different pages under the same domain name. In order to do that, you need to have a single web page using your favorite tools. Whether it is a DreamWeaver, FrontPage, Microsoft Word or even a notepad, we don't care, since the end result should be an HTML page as a text file.
Then we need to identify the location of the body of the page. To do that, we need to split a page onto several parts, and we figured that the minimum number of pieces that any page could be split on, is number 3. It doesn't matter how sophisticated your design is. Almost any page on the internet could be split onto 3 parts. The body, which is typically keep changing from page to page would make the piece number 2. Everything on the left side or above that is number 1, and everything on the right side or below the body is number 3.
Now we have identified the content of our page as The Header - piece #1, The Body - piece #2, and The Footer - piece #3.
The next step would be to fill in appropriate fields of the framework with the HTML content of those 3 pieces and that's almost it. Now if we will replace the body with another content, then by compiling that new content with the same header and the footer we will get another page which suppose to look similar as the previous one. That's the basic idea behind generating web pages by our framework.
Building Dynamic Navigation
A part of our framework is designed in such way, so that the web site owner or anyone else who is not suppose to know HTML should be able to modify some content of web pages, create new pages, modify menu, buttons and other navigation elements.
In order to accomplish that, the framework has to be able to build the navigation buttons or menu items - dynamically. To solve this task we have created The Interactive Menu Builder.
We did not wanted to go through the hassle of generating images, so the easiest way to do that is by using textual only links. With the help of CSS these days, you can dress up any link beyond recognition and create very attractive buttons. You can have actual image of a button on the background and display the caption of that button as a plain text. There's lots of way you can create buttons but still using plain text as the button title. We need to use this method, so that the text can be easily changed if necessary. Plus if those buttons are designed appropriately, then it may be possible to add new button or remove existing one. It's just a matter of designing them in such way, so that the layout of the page around those buttons would allow the content to be changed without creating an empty spots or overloading reserved space.
Of course, if there are certain number of pages that will never be changed, then you can use regular image buttons to point there, and just forget about the interactive menu builder, but if you want to preserve the ability to add more pages and add or modify links on all pages, then you should create textual links or buttons or menus, using the rules of Interactive Menu Builder.