Around 130 pubs, clubs and restaurants are reviewed in the
Eating & Drinking Guide at madenhead.net. Such
a large amount of information benefits from being stored in
a database/template system.
database in question is a simple flat file database, based
on an Excel spreadsheet. Changes are made to the data, which
includes a review, photograph, date of last update, address
and telephone, and the data is uploaded to the site. Then
a Perl script is executed which runs through the data and
creates the web pages using templates. The script also produces
the main index page for the guide and sub index pages listing
the establishments by type.
Part of the script produces coded links to a mapping site
based on the pub/restaurant's postcode. This gives visitors
a useful extra feature - being able to pinpoint the establishment
on a map.
Extra pages are easily added, simply by adding another record
to the database. And if the layout of the pages in the guide
has to be changed, only one file (the template file) needs
to be altered - not hundreds of them.
This all makes for a very quick and easy way of updating
an information-intensive area of a site.