[Pro] 600 Page brochure site

Hi All

I am about to embark on a new project to build a brochure site which features 600 products. Each product must have it’s own page and the site is to be fully responsive.

My initial thoughts are to create a master template page and make all the product pages the same so each one just has a different image and product description. Not a difficualt task in itself but very time consuming (not to mention a little mind-numbing!) and a lot of content placement!

Is there any way to ‘automate’ this task with say, PHP, to cut down the build time and retain a bit of sanity?

Each image will be the same size (roughly) and the client has agreed to do the image resizing. There is no eCommerce facility.

Any suggestions would be welcome

Many thanks

Mark


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You do intend to use a CMS for this, don’t you?

Todd
https://xiiro.com
CREATiv {space}
(coming soon)

I am about to embark on a new project to build a brochure site which features 600 products. Each product must have it’s own page and the site is to be fully responsive.


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No, I am going to build it in Freeway. The products are not updated that often (the client is a distributor) and they currently have a wordpress site which they have got into a real mess over. They want me to handle everything from now on - including populating the pages.

On 5 Jun 2015, 7:50 pm, Todd wrote:

You do intend to use a CMS for this, don’t you?


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I am going to build it in Freeway.

Then a template system is the way to go however unless you use a CMS or integrate a database then I cant see any other way than copy/paste etc.

I think I would be cautious about having that many pages in a single FW doc though.

David


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I don’t see any practical reason or benefit of building a 600+ page static site. Having built one myself in the 700+ range I think you’re making your job a lot more difficult than it needs to be by not using a CMS, but that’s me.

Todd
https://xiiro.com
CREATiv (coming soon)

No, I am going to build it in Freeway. The products are not updated that often (the client is a distributor) and they currently have a wordpress site which they have got into a real mess over. They want me to handle everything from now on - including populating the pages.


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Please make your life easy and use a CMS of some sort. I’ve build a Freeway website that ended up in 100+ pages and managing it was bit of a nightmare. Do they have their current list of products in a database of some sort? Many businesses do, and this can be a great start for a CMS. Even if you aren’t code-savvy enough to do it yourself, it should be well worth the investment to hire a developer who can.


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Thanks guys, that’s good advice. I guess my thinking was that if I am doing all the content loading I may as well use Freeway as I am familiar with it.

Having said that, I do see the logic of using a CMS, the only problem (or challenge) for me is that I am only used to Pulse and I know that is probably not good enough for the job in hand (?)

I have learnt that the current site (wordpress) is around 6-7gb and is PAINFULLY slow! They don’t have a product database as such although they are preparing a list of the products in Excel. Does anyone have any recommendations for a good (reasonably easy-to-use) CMS which may be up to the job?

I have heard good things about Perch for instance but any recommendations would be gratefully recieved.

Many thanks


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Perch, or rather for 600+ page “Perch Runway” would be OK. It does assume you are OK with front end development and PHP though. Perch provide the tools and you have to workout what to do with them. But if you expect site like these are your future for you it’s well worth plotting a course on this route.

David Owen

http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk
http://www.davidowendesign.com

On 6 Jun 2015, at 09:08, MarkSmith email@hidden wrote:

I have heard good things about Perch for instance but any recommendations would be gratefully recieved.


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This is all good advice and I have been looking at learning Perch for a while now but too busy to actually do it. This maybe the time to do so!

However, this project is time sensitive and I can’t afford the extra learning time involved right now.

As I see it, I have 2 choices:

  1. Build the static site in Freeway - is there any technical reasons why this is not good or is it just a logistical thing? Would Freeway actually cope with such a site?

  2. Hire somebody to do it (does anybody know anyone?)

Thanks

Mark


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There’s another option you might try, which is http://inlay.io. This is a paid service (full disclosure, it’s my paid service which I designed and built) that can turn any static Web site (especially Freeway) into a dynamic site. The result is a site that looks and acts like static HTML, but has a database and Ruby on Rails behind it managing the content. The benefits of this are that you don’t need to do any coding to create a template, and you can have as many pages as you like based on a single template. The downside of it at the moment is that it is very seriously minimal so far, and there is no built-in image management. If you can manage your images separately, then it will do a fine job for you.

The largest site I ever built in Freeway was back in the version 3 days, and it was around 300 pages. The document took forever to open and save, and publishing could take a long time (and sometimes never finish). Freeway 7 is a much different beast, and those limits are largely nonexistent today from what I have heard, but I haven’t used Freeway for anything that large ever again. (Not out of fear, just sloth – CMSs are much easier for me these days.

Walter

On Jun 6, 2015, at 6:49 AM, MarkSmith email@hidden wrote:

This is all good advice and I have been looking at learning Perch for a while now but too busy to actually do it. This maybe the time to do so!

However, this project is time sensitive and I can’t afford the extra learning time involved right now.

As I see it, I have 2 choices:

  1. Build the static site in Freeway - is there any technical reasons why this is not good or is it just a logistical thing? Would Freeway actually cope with such a site?

  2. Hire somebody to do it (does anybody know anyone?)

Thanks

Mark


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On 6 Jun 2015, 11:36 am, waltd wrote:

The largest site I ever built in Freeway was back in the version 3 days, and it was around 300 pages. The document took forever to open and save, and publishing could take a long time (and sometimes never finish). Freeway 7 is a much different beast, and those limits are largely nonexistent today from what I have heard, but I haven’t used Freeway for anything that large ever again. (Not out of fear, just sloth – CMSs are much easier for me these days.

Walter

This seems to be true for Freeway 7 Pro. My website is about 340 pages and it’s quite fast opening, saving, creating or editing pages, and uploading.


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OK, thanks Walter, this looks interesting!

So, does that mean that all static pages reside on my normal hosting server and the dynamic pages that inlay creates are hosted on yours?

Also, do you have an ‘example’ I could play with so I am a little more familiar with it before I meet with my client. Going forward, this may be better for me in general than Pulse.

Finally, when you say there is no built-in image management, does that mean just resizing? I have no prblem resizing images before uploading so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. Are uploaded images responsive (or can they be)?

Many thanks

There’s another option you might try, which is http://inlay.io.


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Yes, Perch Runway along with a lot of other CMS might be valid options, but you really need to consider the immediate project requirements carefully, as well as the possible near-future ones, too. Clearly it’s a big project so if you don’t pick an appropriate CMS it’s not as if you can quickly swap it for another.

Be sure to do your homework and ask yourself and your client a lot of questions.

Todd
https://xiiro.com
CREATiv {space}
(coming soon)

I have heard good things about Perch for instance but any recommendations would be gratefully recieved.


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On Jun 6, 2015, at 8:41 AM, MarkSmith email@hidden wrote:

OK, thanks Walter, this looks interesting!

So, does that mean that all static pages reside on my normal hosting server and the dynamic pages that inlay creates are hosted on yours?

Yes, but they are redirected through a proxy application on your server, so everything comes out of the same domain and the URLs look and act exactly like the real thing. The database on my server cluster contains the virtual pages.

Also, do you have an ‘example’ I could play with so I am a little more familiar with it before I meet with my client. Going forward, this may be better for me in general than Pulse.

I don’t have that set up anywhere, I figure it’s $5 to try it for real, versus the incredible time-sink that would be me keeping the trolls out of a public demo. I am also notoriously generous with the refunds for those who find it’s not working for them.

Finally, when you say there is no built-in image management, does that mean just resizing? I have no prblem resizing images before uploading so I don’t think that’ll be a problem. Are uploaded images responsive (or can they be)?

I mean that in the Inlay control panel, you cannot upload photos for your virtual pages or otherwise deal with images, except by using the Inlay editing tools to insert images hosted elsewhere into your virtual pages. Both the Markdown and HTML5 editors in Inlay support inserting images, but the Inlay system does not host them for you. So if you resize your images, name them intelligently, and upload them to your server (or use a system like Flickr or similar to do the same thing) then you can use those images in your Inlay pages quite easily.

Walter

Many thanks

There’s another option you might try, which is http://inlay.io.


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I notice nobody has mentioned WebYep. Is this not up to the job or doesn’t anybody use it anymore because there are no tutorials to be found?

Kevin


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WebYep works perfectly and the new to be released version is even better.

But in my opinion, for a 600 page website with CMS requirements, Freeway wouldn’t be my first choice…


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Could WY (and FW) be used? Sure. But WebYep doesn’t have the features/tools that would help make the development and management of 600+ pages easier.

While FW could be used to create the templates for CMS, I would not use FW exclusively to build/manage a site that big.

Todd

I notice nobody has mentioned WebYep.


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Why not think totally different? A 600 page responsive site will be a monster on a small phone anyway.

This site was made in minutes. Replace our flipfolder with your 600 page broschure and you will have a totally responsive presentation of products which is fast and easy accessed on mobile and computers.

Coming changes in the content is done by changing a pdf file.

The site is just one of many domains we use to host digital publications…

www.digitalavis.no


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Great, you’ll save time, but could your Flipfolder do…

Give out URL’s for a particular product page?
Make it Searchable?
It is accessible - could screen reader read a page.
Would it have to download all 600 pages to make it work?
Would you have to scroll through 600 pages one by one? Where’s a CMS could make categories etc.

I’d be worried you’re creating a site in a format that goes against all the good work that has been fought for regarding accessibility. It’s like going back to flash sites. As you say a “presentation” but not a website.

David Owen

http://www.printlineadvertising.co.uk
http://www.davidowendesign.co.uk

On 10 Jun 2015, at 18:11, Per-Arne Sollien email@hidden wrote:

This site was made in minutes. Replace our flipfolder with your 600 page broschure and you will have a totally responsive presentation of products which is fast and easy accessed on mobile and computers.


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Very interesting talk here, so I’d like to throw my hat in the ring.

####I’ve never had a client with such a high page quantity - I wonder why?

Let’s start by my request for proposal (only the HTML part):

The index page (including Menu)

479€

Each following HTML page

79€

Wich will make:

479€ + (79€ x 599) = 47.800 €

Cool - so far. Let’s add Inventory, Research and writing the Outline:

9.900€

And Design, Fonts, Colors

1900€

=========

####€59.600

Makin’ this responsive?

Hmmm - well - I think I do this Free of Charge.

####Believe it or not!

I could even make another ROP - one which could suite much better the client’s needs. But I’m honest - it has to do with a 10-15 pages website, proper SEO and a nice and clever PDF catalogue.

Cheers

Thomas

PS:

Yes - I read Mike Monteiro’s “Design is a Job” and saw several talks of him.


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