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European ASP.NET MVC 3 Hosting :: Nested Layout Pages with Razor

clock July 20, 2011 05:16 by author Scott

Razor Layout pages are the equivalent to MasterPages in ASP.NET Web Forms and the Web Forms View Engine within ASP.NET MVC. Just as it is possible to nest MasterPages, it is also possible to nest Razor Layout pages. This article explores the process required to achieve nesting of Layout pages using the Razor View Engine in MVC 3, or WebMatrix Web Pages sites.

You would consider using nested layout pages if you were building a corporate site for a global company, for instance, which is comprised on many divisions, each having their own look and feel. There may be a common look and feel for the header and footer of the site, but the navigation and content changes in both structure and appearance depending on which division of the company is being featured. The imaginary company that the sample site relates to has a number of divisions, one of which is Automation and another for Electronics. Each of them has their own branding which needs ot be catered for. For simplicity's sake the following walkthrough illustrates the use of Razor in a Web Pages site built using WebMatrix, but the principals are exactly the same if you are using ASP.NET MVC 3.

Step 1

Create a new site using the Empty Site template and name this Nested Layouts. Add two folders to the site – one called Content and the other called Shared. Add a new CSS file to Content and leave it with the default file name of StyleSheet.css. Add the following code to it:

body {
    font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    font-size: 80%;
    padding: 0;
    margin: 0;
}

h1{
    color: #0093c0;
}

#wrapper{
    background-color: #c1dfde;
    padding: 10px;
    width: 800px;
    margin: auto;
    min-height: 600px;
}

#electronics, #automation{
    min-height: 400px;
}

#electronics{
    background-color: #8ec1da;
    width: 650px;
    float: left;
}

#automation{
    background-color: #ffe8d3;
}

#electronicsnav{
    background-color: #fff;
    min-height: 400px;
    width: 150px;
    float: left;
}

#automationnav{
    background-color: #dedede;
}

#automation h3{
    color: #997d63;
}

Step 2

Add a CSHTML file to the Shared folder and name it _MainLayout.cshtml.  Change the existing code so that it looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>@Page.Title</title>
        <link href="@Href("~/Content/StyleSheet.css")" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
    </head>
    <body>
        <div id="wrapper">
            <div id="header"><h1>Global Enterprises</h1></div>
            <div id="nav">
                <a href="Home">Home</a> |
                <a href="About">About</a> |
                <a href="Engineering">Engineering</a> |
                <a href="Electronics">Electronics</a> |
                <a href="Automation">Automation</a> |
                <a href="Contact">Corporate</a> |
                <a href="Contact">Contact Us</a>
            </div>
                @RenderBody()
        </div>
    </body>
</html>

Step 3

Add another CSHTML file to the Shared folder and name this one _AutomationLayout.cshtml. Replace the existing code with this:

@{
    Layout = "~/Shared/_MainLayout.cshtml";
}
<div id="automationnav">
    <a href="Products">Products</a> |
    <a href="Services">Services</a> |
    <a href="Support">Support</a> |
    <a href="Team">The Team</a> |
</div>
<div id="automation">
    @RenderBody()
</div>
<div id="footer">The Automation Division Footer</div>

Step 4

Now add a third CSHTML file to the Shared folder. Name it _ElectronicsLayout.cshtml, delete the existing code and add the following:

@{
    Layout = "~/Shared/_MainLayout.cshtml";
}
<div id="electronicsnav">
    <a href="Products">Products</a> <br />
    <a href="Services">Services</a> <br />
    <a href="Support">Support</a> <br />
    <a href="Team">The Team</a> <br />
</div>
<div id="electronics">
    @RenderBody()
</div>
<div id="footer">The Electronics Division Footer</div>

Step 5

Add a CSHTML file to the root folder. Name this one Automation.cshtml and replace the existing code with this:

@{
    Layout = "~/Shared/_AutomationLayout.cshtml";
    Page.Title = "Automation";
}
<h3>Automation Home Page</h3>

Step 6

Finally, add another CSHTML file to the root folder and call it Electronics.cshtml. Replace the existing code with the following:

@{
    Layout = "~/Shared/_ElectronicsLayout.cshtml";
    Page.Title = "Electronics";
}
<h3>Electronics Home Page</h3>

Making sure that the Electronics page is selected in the left pane, click the Run button to launch the page in your browser. Notice that the second navigation has a white background and the main area has a blue background. Click the Automation link in the top navigation. See how the colours change? The main content is a brownish-pink colour as is the secondary navigation. The heading in the main content area changes colour too. Most obviously, the Electronics navigation is displayed vertically whereas the Automation navigation is horizontal.





What defines a Layout page is a call to the RenderBody method. In this exercise you created a layout page from _MainLayout.cshtml by placing @RenderBody() in the file, and by matching that with Layout declarations in both the _AutomationLayout.cshtml and ElectronicsLayout.cshtml files. You also added calls to RenderBody in both of those files, thus turning them into layout pages. Electronics.cshtml and Automation.cshtml each contained Layout declarations pointing to their own layout page, completing the content – layout relationship. There is no limit to the number of levels to which you can nest layout pages.

The design of the pages won’t win any awards, but this sample serves to illustrate that nesting layout pages can offer a very flexible solution to certain problems.



European WIndows Hosting :: Using Custom Fonts On Your Website With CSS

clock July 13, 2011 06:14 by author Scott

With CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) you can use custom fonts on your website. Normally your visitors can only see the fonts that are already installed on their computers. So if you use a font that is not installed on your website visitor’s computer then his or her browser will show some other font that is there on the computer. That’s why when you are defining a font for an element (such as <p>) you often specify multiple fonts so that if your preferred font is not available your CSS file should use the available alternatives.

Conventional way of using custom fonts for headings and logos etc. is creating the text in a graphic editor and then using the image file. From the perspective of SEO this is not appropriate; you must use text as much as possible.

Now there is a way around in CSS that lets you use custom fonts, downloadable fonts on your website. You can download the font of your preference, let’s say cool_font.ttf, and upload it to your remote server where your blog or website is hosted.

Then from within your CSS file (or wherever you are defining your styles) you have to refer to that custom font in the following manner:

@font-face {
      font-family: cool_font;
      src: url('cool_font.ttf');
}

After that you can use it just like a normal CSS declaration:


p.custom_font{
      font-family: cool_font; /* no .ttf */

}

This way you can use as many custom fonts as you feel like on your website.



About HostForLIFE.eu

HostForLIFE.eu is European Windows Hosting Provider which focuses on Windows Platform only. We deliver on-demand hosting solutions including Shared hosting, Reseller Hosting, Cloud Hosting, Dedicated Servers, and IT as a Service for companies of all sizes.

We have offered the latest Windows 2012 Hosting, ASP.NET 4.5 Hosting, ASP.NET MVC 5 Hosting, SQL 2014 Hosting and SQL 2014 Hosting.

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