I am trying to re-do my portfolio website since its a pain to maintain it. Everytime I have to add a new item to it, it just takes forever and kills me. I'd like to redesign in a way that makes the workflow of adding new items smooth. I am not looking for fancy effects, just a simple website which makes it easy to people browse through my stuff.

All of the pages are standalone html files. Each page has a common header and footer for navigation between pages. Right now, whenever I have to modify the content, I try to dig in which table row it is and then add content to it. (yes, I use notepad).

Can someone please recommend me what would be the best way to go about it ?

(PS: Please let me know if I missed out anything).

  • I removed your link so this question wouldn't be closed as too localized
    – John Conde
    Mar 25, 2011 at 11:56

4 Answers 4


There are probably 1000 ways to do this which vary in cost, control and complexity.

If you go to PHP or even just SSI, you can move the common parts to separate files and include them where needed, so that each page mostly consists of what is different.

You can use a template system where an application like Dreamweaver maintains templates for you can each time you modify it, it will prompt you to update your other files. You have to then synchronize the changes.

You can also build or buy a content management system where generates webpages for you. You fill the content in some complex entry forms, sometimes using a WYSIWYG editor, and the platform picks up changes automatically. This is an oversimplified version of what Wordpress does.

  • I should've mentioned this. I don't have dynamic content on my pages. So, good ole html works for me. I host it over github, which turns out to be free and only supports html. Also, since its a personal portfolio and all I want to make is a simple website, I didn't want to spend a lot of money in purchasing CMS. Is there a free/open source option ? Mar 25, 2011 at 2:45
  • There are free/open source template system. Many people recommend Django. They will generate whatever you want (so HTML) and you can then host those anywhere.
    – Itai
    Mar 25, 2011 at 2:57

You can download the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. It lets you browse through many popular web apps and install them. A free open source CMS that I found to be pretty helpful is Orchard CMS, which you can also download through the Microsoft Web Platform Installer. You can use it to quickly create a simple website and, also, making updates and modifications is rather easy.


Your can use simple PHP code to make your site a little bit dynamic, e.g.

First, you need to have to change your .html extension to .php (if your hosting on linux server that support PHP).

Second, create a page called header.php, and put in it your HTML code (which you want to be in every page you have), the head and menu code for example.

Then put this php code in your files


and put that code in every page you have instead of:

<!-- Sample menu elements -->
<div id="nav">
<li><a href="http://example.com/">home</a></li>
<li><a href="http://example.com/about.php">about</a></li>
<li><a href="http://example.com/contact.php">contact</a></li>
<!-- End of sample menu elements -->

So, when you have to change any menu element you don't have to update every single page. You just update the header.php file.

By the way, I suggest you to quit using tables and go towards DIVs or even HTML5, especially if you are designing your portfolio (it will reflect your work quality).

Check this post: Why not use tables for layout in HTML


Use XSLT to generate your X/HTML output - it's supported by popular browsers and it is ideal for applying a single template to multiple documents without any server-side processing.

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