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Appies Website Creator

Appies Website Creator

 Helpful Hint...

The term "website" in this document refers to the website created using the creator, not the main website already published or any published website on the server. Actions like "delete website" will have no effect on any published website.

The Appies Website Creator is a very easy to use WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web-based website creator that use pre designed templates to create professional looking websites.  Here are some of the features of this tool:

  • fully integrated with Appies for easy access
  • saved websites makes it easy to make frequent changes to your website
  • completely change the look of your website by changing templates/styles
  • create sites up to 25 pages
  • create title and META tag information
  • publish website to local or remote websites

Creating a New Website. The website creator is in your Appies menu under "Applications". Clicking on "Website Creator" will open up the application.  Begin by clicking the  icon or the "Create New Website" link.

 Remember...

Your package may have reached its limit for saved websites.  You can see how many websites you are allowed and have many are being used on this initial screen.

If you are editing an existing website, choose the website from the pull down list.  These are the names you have assigned to the websites.  If you have not assigned a name, "New Website" is listed.

Basic Website Design / Information. A list of all the available website themes are in the pull down menu to the left of the preview button.  Each theme is made up of the general category (ex. business) and a style number 1-12.  Styles with "b" after them do not contain any images nor right side bars.  Each style is a different color scheme. You can preview each theme by selecting the theme from the menu, then clicking the preview button.  This will launch a new window with an example of that website theme.  You can then use the menu on the left of that window to browse through all 12 themes for that general category.

The website name is what is used to identify the website.  Title, description, and keywords fields are all used as inserts in the all web pages on the site.

To delete this entire website, click both checkboxes after Delete Website then click the "process" button.

 Awesome Feature...

At any time you can change the basic information on your website, including the theme, by selecting the new information then pressing the "process" button.  Your website will be recreated with the new theme!

Website Content.  This section consists of five columns.

  • Order. This reefers to the order of the pages/links in the website.  There can be no duplicate numbers in the order. To change the order enter the new order number for the pages/links and click the "change order" button at the bottom of the section.
  • Page / Link. A "page" is an HTML page that you will be creating as part of the website.  This is a local page.  A "link" will appear on the menu of your website and will be linked to any Internet URL.
  • Menu Name. This name should be 15 or fewer characters and should describe the page/link.
  • Edit. The  icon, when clicked, will open up that page or link in edit mode and allow you enter the page content or URL for the link.
  • Preview. If a page, and the page is created, the icon  will be linked to a preview of that page in your new website.

Edit Mode. This is different for pages and links.  Edit mode for links simply have a field where the URL can be entered.  Edit mode for pages include file upload option for local images and the WYSIWYG editor for the page content.

 Remember...

The WYSIWYG editor does NOT work in Netscape.  It will appear as a regular textarea and the resulting website will not look right.  To use this tool, Internet explorer is highly recommended (ok, maybe required).

Using Local Images. If your website includes images, you need to either upload them or link to the full URL of the image if it already exists on the Internet.

If including an image that already exists on the Internet, you can use the image icon in the WYSIWYG editor to enter the full URL of the image. For most images, however, you will want to make them local images, that is images included with the website.  To do this, use the image upload tool to upload up to 25 images as once to the server.  Once the images are uploaded, you will see them listed as you will see an  icon linked to the right of the image name.  This will add the image to your existing web page where your cursor last was in the edit box.  When the website is published, the local images will be published with it.

Publishing Options - Local Domain. Publishing to a local domain is simply copying the website content to the folder that is used as the document root of your domain.  You cannot publish to just any folder, you must assign a domain or subdomain to the folder first (see the page on virtual hosting) plus you must make sure the folder exists before it will appear in the local domain pull down menu.

Publishing Options - Remote FTP. Providing you have FTP access to another server, you can publish to the server.  This is a great feature for Web designers or web masters that manage many sites. For Appies servers, the FTP publishing path begins with "/html" if you are publishing to a master domain, or if the subdomain is in the /html folder.  It will begin with "/virtual hosts" if you are publishing to a virtual host created in that folder.


Step 1 - Basic Website Design / Information: Establishing the Foundations of Your Website

The first and most important step to creating your new website is the top section entitled, "Basic Website Design / Information". Before creating any pages for your website, this section must be completed and processed.

Select a Theme for your website, or select Custom Template.

 Helpful Hint...

If you choose the Custom Template, you cannot customize it until you've created your Home page. At this time, simply select the Custom Template option in the drop-down menu. Later you'll create your main page, then you can begin customizing your template.

Give your website a name to be saved as. This name is only for reference in the Website Creator program. It will not be used as part of your published site. (character limitations?)

The Title tag will be used as the title of each page of your site. It will appear in the bar at the very top of your visitors' browser window, but will not show up on your web page.  Be sure to use your most important keywords here, to help your site rank well in the search engines. Most search engines use this title when your site is displayed as a result of a search. When visitors bookmark your page, this will be the default title that appears in their bookmarks.

The Description meta tag will also be used by search engines. This tag should contain a brief sentence or two that describes the purpose of your site using your keywords. Use correct English sentences, not just keywords or phrases, as some search engines use this tag as your site's description when your site is displayed as a result of a search. Don't use all capital letters....some search engines may disqualify your listing.

The Keywords meta tag will be used by search engines to help rank your site's listing. Do not use complete sentences here, just list your keywords and phrases. Keywords and phrases should be in lowercase letters, separated by commas, and should not be repeated or you risk being banned from some search engines for spamming.

When you've completed these tags, click the "process" button for this section. (Don't worry, you can always change everything later!)

 Be Careful...

Do NOT input data in the next section (Website Content) until you've clicked "process" for the Basic Website Design / Information section, or nothing will be saved!

Step 2 - Website Content: Creating your Home Page

Now that you've completed Step 1 (and if you haven't yet, then please do it now....Step 2 won't work until you do), it's time to start creating the content pages of your website.

 Helpful Hint...

Do a site plan before you get started. Think about the various pages of content you will need, and consider your site's menu (which will appear in the left column of your web page).  Here's an example:

HOME
News
Products
Links
About Us
Contact Us

You may wish to write and save the content for these pages in a text editor prior to writing it into the Website Creator. You'll have a chance to perfect your wording offline, and also will have a backup copy of your data. Once completed, you can simply cut and paste the content into the Website Creator, then add formatting.

The home page has already been established for you, but you'll need to enter some content to see it. To do this, simply click the  icon in the 4th column of the Website Content section. This will take you to the Edit page, which differs significantly from the main website processing page.

- The first section (Basic Website Design / Information) looks the same. Don't make any changes here.

- The second section (Local Images Used in Website) is where you'll upload pictures for use within the main content section of your web site. You can upload pictures now, or any time you are editing a page. All pictures you upload will be available for use on all your web pages, by simply clicking the "insert" link next to the image name.

- The third section (Website Content) is where you'll actually insert your content (text and images) and format it.

Start by typing or pasting in some content for this page. This area works very much like a word processor. You can highlight text to select it, then click one of the buttons or drop down menus to make changes to that selection of text. Or, alternatively, you can click a button or make a menu choice, then begin typing. All text from that point on will be formatted according to your choice.

The formatting buttons will change in appearance to white when clicked "on", and will be gray when not selected or turned off. The buttons and their respective formatting effects can be turned "off" by clicking on them. Hover your mouse cursor over any of the buttons for a moment, and you'll see a small banner of text explaining the purpose of that button. Some of the possibilities in this section are described in more detail below.

When you're done creating your content, it's IMPORTANT that you click the "save changes" button at the bottom of the screen. You may have to scroll down to see it, but don't forget it! Now your content is saved, and you'll be returned to the main Website Creator interface where you'll now see a  icon linked next to the page you've created. Click the preview link to see what your page will look like when viewed by guests.

Creating a New Page in Your Website. In addition to the home page, you'll want several additional pages of content. Be sure you're on the main Website Creator interface page, with the numbered rows of blank boxes. Using the example we gave earlier, your second page might be entitled News. To create your News page, simply go to the row just below the Home Page row...the first box shows a numeral "2" (indicating the order this page will appear on the menu for your site). Then you have the option of choosing "page" or "link". "Page" is the default selection, and assumes you are creating a new page of your web site with your own original content. In this case, you'll want to type in the word "News" into the next box, then click the  icon. This will title your page "News" in the site menu, and put you in edit mode for the News page. When you're done writing the content, click "save changes" on the edit page, and you'll be returned here, where you can repeat this process to create the remaining pages of your site.

 Helpful Hint...

If you're creating a link to an existing web page that's not part of this instance of the Website Creator, such as a page on another web site or a page that you've created and published elsewhere, then choose the "link" option. Type the text you want to appear in the menu, and click "Edit". You'll be given the option to type in a URL next, and that will complete your link. The menu will display the text you entered, and guests will be directed to the URL you entered.

Step 3 - Publishing Your Website

All of your pages are created and you're ready to take your site live! Publishing your web site is simple with Appies Website Creator. By default, the main HTML folder associated with your domain is listed in the drop down menu under "Publishing Options - Local Domain". Simply select it, and then click the "Publish" button. That's it! Visit your domain to view and browse your creation!

You also have the option of publishing to a virtually hosted domain or subdomain. These will show in the drop-down menu only if properly created first in the Domain Management area of Appies, and only if they point to their own folder. Subdomains that point to your main (/html) folder will not show in the list of publishing choices.

If you prefer to publish this site via FTP to a remote location, you must know the publishing path for the server you are publishing to, the domain or IP address, and the FTP username and password. For all Appies servers, the publishing path begins with "/html" or "/virtualhosts".  For non-Appies servers, check with your sysadmin, tech support, or written documentation.

 

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