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Repairing and old site - a nightmare


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I have to "repair" an old website: ww w.lah t.com and it's been a nightmare to me.


The site is completely built with tables...not divs, no css... so it is specially cumbersome and painful to change anything.


Also, the site uses asp, I use php... imagine


But I have some few specific questions:


a) The client wants every page of this site indexed by Google analytics. I inserted the code on a include file, common to every page on the site. I did that 24 hours ago, and still nothing. I double checked to see if the code was the same as the one provided by Google, still nothing. Any ideas?


B) I noticed that if you type: www. laht. com or www. laht. com/Index.asp (notice the capital I), and www. laht. com/index.asp or even www. laht .com/INDEX.asp it works every time. How is this possible? I thought the index name had to be always in lower case. Is there a code I am missing somewhere? Maybe this: makes that possible? I'm completely lost.

Actually the client wants me to ?merge? the ww w.laht.com/index.asp page and the

ww w.laht.com page?Why does he think there are two different ?index? pages? How do I answer that?


I hope I will never have to work on an already built web site again, especially if my job consists in finding and fixing other people's bugs





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One thing to consider is that ASP is usually/often operating on a Windows box, which does not respect the case sensitivity that an Apache server does.


Also, if it is working in IE, and not working in FF, there is an issue with the html as per your 600 errors.


Personally, I would think that you need to design an entirely new template that validates and then drop your ASP code into it. Fighting a table based layout AND asp at the same time will be a monstrous challenge. Forget about what is there and start fresh. Use dummy data for the Template and don't worry about content until the Template is validated, then add the dynamic asp code to it.

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Thanks for the advice,


I think I'll conctact the owner of the Journal and tell him his site is a complete mess. That site is enormous, and I don't know any asp, so, to bad for him, I won't rebuild the whole site. At least I was able to put the Google adsense banners.


I just need to know what I could do to fix those margins in firefox. Especially here:


http://ww'>http://ww'>http://ww'>http://ww'>http://ww w.laht.com/help.asp


http://ww w.laht.com/Contacts.asp


http://ww w.laht.com/whoswho.asp?ArticleId=201583&CategoryId=13973



And I don't really understand why it works here:


http://ww w.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=133399&CategoryId=10734




http://w ww.laht.com/index.asp



What is the difference with the not working sections?



Edited by edoplaza
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I really tried - OMG, what a mess. I never did figure it out - but I did come to the conclusion that it's caused by the containing table vertical-aligning the contained tables. Just never found where I could change that alignment before I got frustrated and quit looking.


And what's those randomly inserted links to stylesheets smack in the middle of the tables????


Best of Luck with this!!

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Hello Thelma,


Yes, what a mess. I talked to the director of the site, and he told my the code is 5 years old. ("it's been clunky for 5 years") That explains everything. I also told him to consider a new "refreshment" on the code. Divs instead of tables, etc. etc. The thing is that the whole site is huge, it's one of the most important journals in Latinamerica, completely written in English. You can check the director's cv...


Well, finally he told me he was very happy with my job, for his site is already earning some bucks with the adsense I added. But I told him I wouldn't touch the code anymore, I don't want to risk a major disaster...

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You mentioned that it uses asp. Does this site use header/footer? CMS?


My recommendation is that the client really need to catch up with the times or else he is going to be left with even a bigger headache in the future.


My suggestion is to find a good CMS program for windows server (if that's what he prefer) and install it as a development site and start building the necessary design for it.


Thereafter, either you, a data entry person or the client can move each of the 600 pages over to the new CMS. This will take some time but the client will not have to rush it to get it all done because it's being done on the development site. My estimate is that it will take about 70-90 hours to complete the work in it's entirety.


I have done something like this for a client (about 220 pages) and they were very iffy about at first but once the site got tranferred to the new CMS, the client was tremendously happy with the results. She especially like the facts that she can completely redesign the site without touching the content as well making her own updates (mostly) and adding new contents.


Keep in mind that the time I estimated is based on my experience in making the transformation. You will also have to keep in mind the complexity of each page. Some pages may have tables for data, some may have mulitple images, etc.

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Thanks for the answers. Actually my job is pretty much done, I was in charge to put the ad banners, and to fix some issues with Google Analytics. So, the new site will be not my problem.


The only issue I need to solve is the Firefox extra margin.


Look at this pages:




http://ww'>http://ww w.laht.com/Contacts.asp


http://ww w.laht.com/help.asp



In IE they look ok, in firefox (and chrome), there is a top margin. Why?


Please, any help will be appreciated





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