3 questions that are probably simple for you all

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by jelloshotsrule, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    i'm making a site for someone and they've requested a couple functionalities that i'm not totally sure how to implement.

    1. site search function - i'm not sure how hard it'd be to do this from scratch, but right now i'm looking at just using a service like google's site search thing for free. does that seem to be the way to go? does anyone have experience with one particular service or the other?

    2. resume database - they want potential job applicants to be able to upload their resume and have it go into a database. i would assume the applicant would fill out a form (name, contact info) and then upload the resume, and that would go into a database for easier reference later when hiring. i really have no database development experience, so if this is above my head, i will just tell them to keep using email as the method. how hard would this be and what all would be involved?

    and finally, general help on a design issue:

    3. hiding and showing content - i want to have basically a 2 column table. the left column will be a set of links to different sections, and the right column will be each sections' content. basically i want clicking the link to show the links' content, which will be text, maybe an image or two, and perhaps a link. nothing too intense... i've read a little bit about the <div> stuff in html, but wasn't sure if that's the way to go, or how to go about doing it... i don't have much of a mind for coding so my head nearly exploded trying to understand it!

    any help would be awesome. thanks! :)
  2. frankblundt macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2005
    South of the border
    I had a go at implementing my own search, but in the end it was all just too hard (this was a few years back tho when things were in a bit more primitive state, my skills included) and I ended up using Atomz. They're alright, I've never used anyone else to compare them with tho. They have free accounts for -500 pages I believe.

    If you don't want to get into coding then i'd suggest databases may not be the thing for you. There are a lot of open-source projects out there, but most I've used end up requiring enough knowledge of coding to be able to tweak them into doing exactly what you want. It's not that tricky tho. Larry Ullman's books are really good. If you got his PHP & MySQL one, I don't think you'd actually find it that hard to build yourself a nice little PHP form interface that fed a MySQL database. Go on. Give it a crack. Might be fun...

    3. I don't know.. sounds like something a DHTML menu would do, although perhaps not quite what you're asking for i think. There are millions of them out there. I use OpenCube, which although I've never used it in quite that way, I'm reasonably confident it can bent into doing something similar.
  3. janitorC7 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2006
    North Hollywood, CA
    1. many sites will give you the code to do this with your account (What host are you using?)

    2. SQL is good, if your host allows it, you can configure it web-based and then through Dreamweaver

    3. Use macromedia fireworks, its pretty easy to use and you can download a free trial version of it wit full functionality from Adobe/Macromedia's website.
  4. inlimbo macrumors 6502

    Jan 29, 2005
    Sydney, Australia
  5. ChicoWeb macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2004
    Those are semi-advanced functionality upgrades. I wouldn't recommend getting into them unless you absolutely know what you are doing. I would look to outsource something like this.

    There are many "free" search utilities that you can install and configure on your site but it depends on what you want it to search. Most of the free ones will spider static pages, not dynamic. Some of the free ones you can get to spider databases, but w/ some hacking.

    Resume upload more then likely means you have to provide them with an interface to read and retrieve the resumes, and also list the jobs right? I can show you an example we just completed for a client with both you are asking for.


    If you'd like to see the administrative area where they can view the resumes, coverletters, and creat jobs, and it might be something you are insterested in, PM me and I'll give you access to the development site.
  6. svenr macrumors regular

    May 6, 2003
    1. If you don't want to get into coding, you should definitely go with a free solution. I personally really like Ask.com:
      They have a lot of features that Google doesn't (e.g. the binocular preview is pretty nifty) and less ads. On the other side, I think their search box searches the entire web by default as of now, so you may have to code to add "site:yoursite.com" to every search.

      To code this from scratch is not trivial. Do you know how to index pages? How to program a fast search algorithm? How to present the results in a nice list?

    2. Again, without major database and coding skills this is probably too ambitious. I was looking for jobs recently and I noticed that many firms seem to use the same handfull of third-party solutions for their recruiting. One I came across often was Brassring: http://brassring.com/ I don't know if they are good or bad, just saw it used often. There are other providers too. Why reeinvent the wheel? I'd look into using such a third-party solution.

    3. If it's really just a few pages, you can always put something together in Dreamweaver (or another HTML editor), basically code it by hand. But it will become a pain in the behind if the content changes often and you have to keep track of all links on all pages etc. An example of a handcoded page like you're looking for might be:
      Look at the code, you can see how it's done. This works OK for that site because it's only a few static pages. If it gets more complicated than that, I'd look into a content management system (CMS). Drupal is very nice and free: http://www.drupal.org/
    Hope it helps!
  7. jelloshotsrule thread starter macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    thanks everyone for the comments and advice... i should probably clarify that i'm basically doing this all on a one time basis and for the most part everything will be static.

    1. i decided i'll probably go with google's site search just having a little bar at the bottom of the page. assuming the client is ok with that of course. ;)

    2. i think the database could be simpler than i implied. this is a small company that would have probably only a handful of applicants, etc. i think it could be as simple as them giving name/contact and uploading a file, and then if the client could search by last name on their end, and just find the corresponding file...? maybe that's more complicated than i think. hm

    3. once again i don't think i was clear on the simplicity level.. imagine a 2 columned table, where the left column had a chapter listing, and each time you clicked (not moused over) a chapter, that chapter's text would appear in the right column (not a whole new page)... i suppose fireworks could be used for this (right now i'm just using it for some rollovers), but i'd also heard <div> method suggested, which seemed over my head.

    anyways, sorry for being dense. feel free to ignore me now. hah

    thanks again all!
  8. Coolnat2004 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    I could reply to the other 2 questions, but it looks like other people already answered them well.

    3. This is how I would do it (Example):

    title>Example Dynamic Link Menu</title>

    script type="text/javascript">

    // getQueryVariable() by Pete Freitag
    function getQueryVariable(variable) {
    query window.location.search.substring(1);
    vars query.split("&");
      for (var 
    i=0;i<vars.length;i++) {
    pair vars[i].split("=");
        if (
    pair[0] == variable) {

    links = new Array();
    links['Category1'] = "<h1>Category1\</h1><br /><a href=\"http://blah.com/index.html\">Blah Dot Com\</a><br /><a href=\"http://blah2.com/index.html\">Blah2 Dot Com\</a>";

    links['Category2'] = "<h1>Category2\</h1><br /><a href=\"http://blah.com/index.html\">Blah Dot Com\</a><br /><a href=\"http://blah2.com/index.html\">Blah2 Dot Com\</a>";

    changeLinks(cat) {
    newHTML links[cat];
        if (
    newHTML.length>0) {
    document.getElementById('linksArea').innerHTML newHTML;
        } else {
    document.getElementById('linksArea').innerHTML 'Please select a category on the left.';

    <body onload="changeLinks(getQueryVariable('category'));">

    <div style="float:left; width:50%;" id="categoryMenu">
    <a href="#" onclick="changeLinks('Category1');">Category1</a><br /><br />

    <a href="#" onclick="changeLinks('Category2');">Category2</a>

    <div style="float:left; width:50%;" id="linksArea">
    Please select a category on the left.

    It's a bit crude, but it works. BTW this also allows you to append a ?category=Category1 to the end of the URL to automatically show a certain category.

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