PHPBuilder - Template Framework For Static Sites

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Template Framework For Static Sites

by: Matthew Kendall
November 21, 2000

Templates can bring order and structure to a web site. In this article I describe how templates can be used to control the page layout for a site that is currently composed of many pages of static HTML, using a popular template class and a new feature of PHP4.
But first, let's set the scene. There are two distinct motivations for introducing templates:
  • to separate functionality (PHP) from layout (HTML)
  • to avoid duplication of repeated elements

Separating Functionality from Layout

The first motivation is the most-often discussed. Here the situation is that a group of programmers produce PHP scripts to generate the content of a page, whilst a group of graphic designers produce HTML and images to control the appearance of the finished page. The idea is to allow both groups to work on independent sets of files. The programmers can work on files that contain only PHP, without concerning themselves with producing nicely presented HTML, whilst the graphic designers can work on the layout of the page using their favourite visual editor, without worrying about breaking any embedded code.

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