Can I pull content for an article from a separate database?

My Question:
How hard would it be to pull a varying set of daily data and construct a weekly “article” based on a requested date, and is there any tutorial / resource that would explain possible approaches?

Each week on my site, I provide definitions for expressions, idioms, and technical words used in that week’s Dilbert comic strips to help my Korean friends to improve their use of English in business.

Currently the site is organized as a bunch of separate, hand-coded html pages, to which I add each week a new page with the latest definitions. So far, I’ve used separate pages for desktop and mobile browsers as originally the Dilbert site didn’t support mobile browsers (there was a separate app for mobile, but the app was really slow to load). The Dilbert site recently upgraded to a responsive design so now the comic strips can be easily viewed on any device, which is why I’m thinking of rebuilding my site. (Note: I provide a link from my site to each day’s comic strip rather than displaying the comic strip on my site as displaying the strip would infringe on the Dilbert copyright.)

My thoughts on how the site would function are:
Once a week the definitions database is updated with the latest words/expressions, the definition/explanation, the specific date for the applicable strip, and maybe a sequence number (so the definitions show up in the right order for that day’s comic strip). There are usually between 0 and 6 definitions each day.
When someone visits the site’s main page, the server would build a page listing all of the definitions for the past week, separated by day, with a link for each day to the comic strip on the Dilbert website. If there are no definitions for a specific day, the page would include a note to that effect and still include the link.
Doing it this way would save me from having to build up separate “articles” for each week (I’d still have to transfer the definitions I already have and add new ones, but that should be slightly less work).

Recommendations on ways to structure the site and where to find information on how to implement it will be appreciated.



Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
You would probably need to write a web scraper in PHP, and store your data in your own MySql database. Learn PHP and go from there :)


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
I would use Muse to build my site with a mix of pages then display a random page (or you can use a count) instead of letting the server build it... the main advantage here is speed both for you making the pages and the viewer loading them.


p.s. an iframe that points to the comic page normally gets around copyright (because it remains on the other guys site) but thats a different point.

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