I haven't done a lot of web development. I mostly fix things for people who do, but have hit an html/css bump. It's pretty simple really. I look at what they've got and what they want, and either fix it or suggest another approach. No hoohoo.

I've got a client right now who's making me crazy. I'm developing his site from the ground up. No, he's not giving me the usual guff. He's OK with me not being a graphics wizard, and knows anything involving more than primitive graphic design will cost extra. Too, there's been no feature creep. We've pretty well settled on what goes in now and what may or may not follow.

I've done due diligence (I think) in determining present and future needs, and have allowed for scalability in the architecture of the site. Usability and accessibility should be at a high level. Global and sectional navigation plans have been dealt with 'til we're both satisfied. Wireframes, crude but sufficient, have been developed for the site's over-all architecture, the top level page, the sub-site top pages, and the content pages.

I've registered his domains and gotten hosting set up. I've even set up Amazon for a little shot at monetizing the site.

So, what's the problem? We've got thirty some odd pages to code, and the #$%&(@# won't give me any content. I've got bupkis.

So much for the rant. I feel better now. Besides, I have to put on my client hat and start composing some content so we can take down the under construction signs. Cheers.

The 'no content' dilemma can

The 'no content' dilemma can be a right royal pita, it's not always possible to shove dummy text in when the nature of the content will dictate the approach we take and choices in semantic structure, leaving lot's of blank pages with "Content Required" headings becomes irksome.

Content

Final content is always the most difficult and last thing you will get from the client. Usually it's not that they don't want to give it to you it's just that before they can it needs to go through many iterations of revisions and approvals.

Putting in dummy content is just not good enough. It takes extra work on your part and when the final content comes will require different styling.

When you have a strict timeline, make sure you agree to start once you have received final content and that content changes will be charged for on top of the original agreement. I also add a clause that gives me the option to call a project finished if no new content or changes have been received after the deadline of the project. That way I can request final payment, which usually takes a while, hopefully not as long as the content does.

Alas

Well, I'm no O. Henry. My attempt at irony must have been overly subtle or ….

Ya see, my sorry client is me.

My previous site, was like Topsy:

In Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe wrote:

"Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy?"

The child looked bewildered, but grinned as usual.

"Do you know who made you?"

"Nobody, as I knows on," said the child, with a short laugh.

The idea appeared to amuse her considerably; for her eyes twinkled, and she added,

"I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me."
This time I'm trying to do better as a developer, but the client me is a PITA. Smile

cheers, and merry whatever you celebrate this time of year,

gary

Oh well, at least good to

Oh well, at least good to see you got your old pages back up again. Wink

oh ironknee, far too subtle

Smile oh ironknee, far too subtle Gary, specially on a subject such as that which would touch a raw nerve with many of us, still as Tyssen says good to see your pages back up even if the landing page is a little odd

separate content from styling

CSSCreator threads say it all the time "separate content from styling". But here on this thread the experts say you can't style without the actual content.

Does this mean when the client rejigs the content, the styling has to be tweaked? But they are supposed to be separate! Since content is different on every page, does that mean I have to examine each of my 800 pages to ensure that this weeks database content is styled correctly? ... and next week, when the database changes?

Please explain; I know little of this CSS game.

This probably belongs in a

This probably belongs in a thread of its own, but I'll try to answer what I perceive to be root issues.

jinoturistica wrote:
CSSCreator threads say it all the time "separate content from styling". But here on this thread the experts say you can't style without the actual content.

What I said was that I couldn't code (mark up) the pages without content. If there's no content, what do I mark up?

Quote:
Does this mean when the client rejigs the content, the styling has to be tweaked?

Possibly. The point of developing an architectural design of the site is to define just what pages are where, and what do they hold. We know the structure the page will have. We know what each area of the page will contain. What we don't know yet, is the actual content. Look at http://gtwebdev.com/workshop/. I know about the top banner, the global nav menu, the TOC and the content block. The top of the page is pretty well fixed (though my graphic designer may have some ideas—she hasn't been brought in yet). The TOC will constantly change, as new pages are added or removed, and the main text area could well have completely different um, text. No matter. The structure is defined, and all that is needed is content.

Quote:
But they are supposed to be separate! Since content is different on every page, does that mean I have to examine each of my 800 pages to ensure that this weeks database content is styled correctly? ... and next week, when the database changes?

Again, looking at the referenced page, its the structure that is defined. The content within the page is free to be changed. In fact the styles could change, too, with no big hoohoo.

In a small brochure site, it is simple enough to create the pages with static content one at a time. You can show the client a wireframe of each page. But you can't actually code anything, including the layout css without content; even if only dummy (lorem ipsum) content.

In a nontrivial, database driven site, you still need content—a database populated with at least some typical data, in order to develop your queries and templates (the structure).

When we ask a poster to give us marked up content, it's because empty elements effectively don't exist (except in IE, which gets it wrong). In my own case, I've worked out potential css variations with existing or dummy content. My graphics person may want something different, but that's not a problem, because structure is orthogonal to presentation, and she'll see the changes applied to the content.

My lament in this post was that I had done the planning, the architecture of the site, the sub-sites and the individual pages. I only needed content so I could put it into its assigned place, and I could not get myself to get the lead out and produce it.