Is it possible to have a main page, with all the usual junk placed upon it, have a pretty looking and funky effect menu, yet have the links only change the main content area without loading another page, opening a new window etc. ?

Would I be using frames... and are they acceptable or not to most browsers?
Should it be databased driven... if so, how do I connect a JS menu to the php calling functions?

any idea?

you could use frames, but it causes problems for search engines, problems with js menus, etc.

You could use an iframe but the same problems apply.

if you use a template then you solve all your problems but the page reloads every time you change page.

Is it possible to have a main page, with all the usual junk placed upon it, have a pretty looking and funky effect menu, yet have the links only change the main content area without loading another page, opening a new window etc. ?

Would I be using frames... and are they acceptable or not to most browsers?
Should it be databased driven... if so, how do I connect a JS menu to the php calling functions?

any idea?

Why is it that you don't want to load a new page, out of curiosity? I wouldn't use frames at all, ever. I guess I wonder why you are looking to complicate things with a whole big database when you can just have multiple pages of regular HTML? What's the drive behind doing it that way?

use CSS with DIV Tags. You can set a border to have a "view pane" type of div... which will be your "main screen" of the page if you will. For each new "page" however, it will require a new div. You set the CSS for the div's visibility to hidden (so you don't see the divs) all except for one. That one would be your opening page... or whatever. Then, when they click a link to "load a new page", you hide the presently visible div (or hide all divs) and show only the div that you want to be displayed. So, lets pretend that you have 3 things that you could show.... the opening page, the send me an e-mail page, and a links page to other sites. You have 3 div's, all the exact same size.... with the exact same properties. INSIDE of each div is different (it is the "page" that you are loading). When They click "mail me" or whatever.... it hides the other 2 divs (the main div, and the links page div) and shows only the contact me DIV. The page never reloads, but it has the appearance of a new page, because it hides and shows divs... making it look like a new page.

hmmm.... reason why is simple... I don't want to be the only bugger sorting the website out! If I can make it a little more easier for people to alter the contents, update things etc.... great! All they have to do is figure the content of each page..... then give it to me and I can dump it in.... rather than them telling me, then me do all the work etc.....

Another advantage is that it meanst the front end only has to load once!

As for the DIV's... not sure.... would it make a difference if the site has in excess of 30 pages? (I am thinking it would slow the page loading up just a tad! LOL)

Well, Yeah.

It would certainly make the page loading extreme. However.... with CGI or ASP, the dynamic loading of pages into the DIV's would be a breeze. I'm not 100% sure what kind of site you are trying to put together here, that would have that many pages... but with some javascript and an IFRAME with a CGI, you could dynamically load the HTML Contents that are required INSIDE the DIV, and use innerHTML to set the information in the old div.... effectively using only 1, MAYBE 2 "view pane" div's.... and then dynamically loading the requested page into the div would be a breeze.

isn't that basically the same as having the details go into a DB and having php call it.... I think you can do the same thing with JS as well ?

Is there a difference?

As to the site.... it's a martia art site for my club... basic at the mo', only about 28-30 pages.... yet going to add a members area/forum, increase the page content etc..... should be around 50 pages at the end.... with any luck!

If I can have the main content easily swappable, then it means I can let them get on with coming up with content whilst I work on being creative with the visual side of the site and maintaining it instead of updating it!

Right. Isn't that what you are after? Storing them in a DB and then pulling up the pages without refreshing??

Depending on how 'Funky' you want to get, you can try making a singular Flash Video. I know of a site... balthaser.net I think, that had three pages; one for an intro, one for the flash video (the main site content) and a page that displayed if Flash didn't work. It was pretty cool. That stuff is a bit time consuming though.

you could also consider php or server side includes if your server supports them. then you simply dump all the stuff above the content into one include, the stuff below in to another, and all the person editing a particular page sees is the stuff that's not related to your template.

there's a note somewhere about it on www.webdevfaqs.com/php.php

Great... that brings me up to the point I'm at with the Forum.... I can't getting the sodding apache/php/mysql install right on my machine... I follow the instructions... and get errors!

Oh well........ still..... if I can figure that out.... I can turn the main area into a call up section depending upon what the viewer selects, (call function)... great..... any ideas how I can do that from a folding out JS menu?

You see, this is the problem I'm having..... it seems that I have to learn just about everything to so something simple! Having C&P Code or software to generate code for you isn't going to cut it.... you have to KNOW what is being done so that you can make it all fit! Wonderful!
Oh well, I'm going to try the install again! (This time I'll ignore the instructions and do it on the fly! LOL)

I hate to complicate things further but I would just like to make you guys aware of a newer technology known as AJAX which lets interactive PHP code to be executed or elements on a page to be altered without doing full page reloads. I don't know much about it but just want to throw out that it does, indeed, exist.