Web Site Organization and Maintenance: Hints, Tips and Tricks

Images

Reduce the number of images!

  • Images that you no longer use can clutter up your website folders.
  • Re-use images whenever possible. Why have your banner in every folder of your site? Store it in one place and insert it into your pages from there.
  • Avoid unnecessary images (such as rounded corners for tables, like these: top left corner top right corner bottom left corner bottom right corner) that contribute little to the clarity of the pages, unless you really need them. The unnecessary use of little images like these can add, over time, dozens or even hundreds of images to a site.

Only one image directory

  • Some sites have images sub-directories scattered everywhere. It can become very hard to stay organized or to find a missing image when this happens.
  • Use subdirectories to keep the images organized.
  • Avoid "stray" images like the plague!
    • Images outside your images directory are easy to lose.
    • Keeping images in their place reduces the chance that you'll forget to upload something.

Files and Folders

Use the Dreamweaver Files Panel for all movements of pages, images, etc.

  • Simply drag-and-drop within the Files Panel to move files from one directory of your site to another.
  • Dreamweaver automatically updates links and images when the changes are made within the Files Panel.
  • Changes made in Windows Explorer will result in missing images and broken links.

Javascript and Dynamic HTML

Use special effects sparingly

  • Javascript/DHTML are more work to update than "regular" pages, so use them only when needed.

Javascript/DHTML are less work than Flash!

  • Slideshows, for example, are fairly easy to modify and update when created with javascript from Dynamic Drive, compared with a Flash slideshow, which must be completely re-edited in order to change the pictures.

Javascript -- as a general rule -- doesn't copy-and-paste well

  • It isn't the javascript itself, it's that there is often javascript code in multiple places.
  • Pop-up menus are the best -- or worst -- examples of this.

Consider frames

  • If you "need" a pop-up menu to be available on multiple pages, consider using frames. This means that the menu is on only one page, but that page is made available via the frames.
  • Careful planning and testing is needed to make sure that this works, but it's easier than placing the menu in multiple pages and trying to keep it updated.