Fix the underlying issues you've noticed!

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  • #662825
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Michelle M.
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Experience Level: Intermediate
Estimated Job duration: 1 - 2 weeks
Page templates

Problem: Each page on the site is generated by a template file that holds all the HTML, the actual structure of the page. So there’s a file for the homepage, one for the logged in homepage, one for item pages, one for a user’s barters page, etc etc. Currently every single one of these has the code for the site header, footer and sidebar inside it.

What this means is if we want to add, say, a link to a new file in the page header (often happens when adding new features or updating existing ones), or make a minor change to the HTML somewhere, that change will currently have to be made in about 40 different files. Probably more. in fact, I lost count at that point. Margin for error and time spent on every change. . . increased dramatically.

Better solution: This is the way basically every site on the internet works. Have one header file, one footer file and one sidebar file and include those in each page template. Now to make any of the above changes, we make them once in one file and that’s it. No worries.

Image reordering code

Problem: When you reorder images right now, after every drag and drop, the code physically looks in the image directory on your server and renames them in the new numerical order. So it’ll take 1.jpg and rename it to 3.jpg, or whatever.

I haven’t yet run into the issue with images being deleted that you mentioned in your last message, but I suspect it’s related to this renaming system as this requires a connection to at least 3 folders and the ability to read and rename each file inside those folders, every single time you drag and drop. I suspect on occasion something times out or can’t be accessed properly or just plain doesn’t happen fast enough if you’re an efficient drag-and-dropper, and that causes the delete issue.

As well as all that, naming images with nonsensical names like 1.jpg is terrible for SEO.

Better solution: Leave the poor files as they are on upload, and just save the display order in the database. Done.

Email code

Problem: There’s no centralised bit of the code responsible for sending emails, as such. If the same email is sent on condition X and condition Y, the subject and to address and which email template to use etc will be specified in both areas of the code. If we want to change the wording of the subject, that’s two places to change it. If we want to test it’s working properly, it’s twice as complicated. A lot of the time, X and Y are handling the data in a totally different format. There’s a lot of this going on, and X and Y probably aren’t even in the same file which doesn’t help the situation.

Better solution: Get this organised properly, so in future when we’re changing emails and adding new ones it can be done in about 30 seconds without hunting out repeated chunks of code across multiple files. Very much worth doing especially as you’ve seen how many email problems come from not doing this.

I think those are the big three. There are other bits and pieces that I’d fix as part of this too, but they’re more often individual chunks of code rather than entire systematic problems.

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