Building a text-heavy site, what resources should I look at for prototyping?
February 16, 2012 7:09 PM   Subscribe

I'm hoping to put together a relatively simple website on which to put various stories and essays my friends and I are writing. I'm aiming at imitating old journals and newspapers (like this), fairly simple, mostly text. Do you guys know any great examples of this type of layout online that I could scope out, and if I wanted to start prototyping it myself relying as much as possible on CSS and javascript, what would be some resources I should consider?

I should add, I am not a web developer and don't intend to build the whole thing myself. I just want to play around with various options, layouts, and such myself before going to a pro.

Hoping to do:

-multi-page stories without going to another URL
-more or less dynamic text columns (fixed width but 2 or 3 depending on browser width)
-simple navigation and animation; fades and some elements being pushed around, but nothing fancy.
-no clue what the backend will be

I realize I can google things as well, but there's so much nonsense out there relating to building web pages and apps that I thought it would be better to ask the hivemind first and then apply myself.
posted by BlackLeotardFront to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You'll want to use CSS3 columns for the newspaper layout, with maybe a fallback to a JQuery plugin for IE9 or lower. (Apologies for the self-link in the first case, but it's what I had closest to hand). You'd also need a little JQuery or similar to scroll the page for navigation.

As for examples - a recent Metafilter post, ironically enough, linked through to this modern online newspaper, which, from your description, is almost exactly what you're after.

I hope this helps!
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:50 PM on February 16, 2012

Something like Arts & Letters Daily?
posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:06 AM on February 17, 2012

I bet you could do all of this in Wordpress with Weaver (donationware); perhaps the Pro version. Built 3 sites using it so far; I like it because it gives you a huge number of places to insert CSS and HTML, and extensive styling control using the back end GUI.
posted by omnidrew at 7:22 AM on February 17, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks guys. I'll check some of this stuff out. There's no ready-made solution obviously, I'll need to poke around.

I really don't plan to deviate from that image I put up - I expect to refresh the text on the page without any scrolling, via fade. Not nearly as content-heavy as Arts and Letters daily, a little more staid. But anyway. Thanks.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:08 PM on February 17, 2012

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