Lynn Siprelle describes the project:
TNH went together in record time; I had a prototype up for review within two weeks of concept. As I constructed the site, I used Frontier to build a strong framework. It's made so that my markup and maintenance times are cut to a bare minimum without sacrificing quality, and without having to shoehorn my habitual ways of marking up pages and planning sites into someone else's format.
For instance: I have a prejudice against putting search engines on websites, primarily because people automatically turn to them instead of using more reliable tools such as an index (and also because people make typos and don't realize it). And also my web provider doesn't offer Frontier serving, so running Frontier's own customizable search engine isn't an option for me. (I do use several perl scripts, including Selena Sol's Database Manager for flatfile database serving, Webverts for handling advertising, and Discus Pro for the discussion group area.) The traditional problem with indicies is that they're labor intensive, which is why us lazy web folks usually slap up a search box. Not with Frontier! A suite called siteTools by Mike Mell automatically assembles an up-to-the-minute A to Z Index every time I render the site. I don't have to lift a finger.
A number of custom macros build tables of contents for the entire site and by section, decide which cgi scripts to put on which pages, build "what's new" menus, update the home page, create custom subnavigation bars, and a lot more. It's just about fine-tuned to the point where all I have to worry about is content; site maintenance is nearly (but not quite) automatic. I am not a programmer by nature, but I wrote many of the custom macros myself. I also use Phil Suh's most excellent yahooPaths macro at the bottom of every page so that people know exactly where in the site they are, and Jeb Bateman'sEnhanced Image Ref macro to generate very complete image tags with very little typing.
So far, TNH has been very well received, with good notices from both Yahoo! Picks and Project Cool, fan mail from homemakers, and an average of 2,500 page views a day even though it's only been "on the air" since March 1, 1999. The neat thing is, this site is for stay-at-home parents/caregivers of the elderly. Were it not for Frontier, I wouldn't be able to do this site because it would take far too much time away from my family--not to mention my other clients.
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