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Yahoo!® SiteBuilder FOR
Richard Wagner, 01_598007 ffirs.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page ii, 01_598007 ffirs.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page i
Yahoo!® SiteBuilder FOR
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Yahoo!® SiteBuilder FOR
Richard Wagner, 01_598007 ffirs.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page iv Yahoo!® SiteBuilder For Dummies® Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. 111 River Street Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774 www.wiley.com Copyright © 2005 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana Published simultaneously in Canada No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permis- sion of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600. Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing, Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, (317) 572-3447, fax (317) 572-4355, or online at http:// www.wiley.com/go/permissions. Trademarks: Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, For Dummies, the Dummies Man logo, A Reference for the Rest of Us!, The Dummies Way, Dummies Daily, The Fun and Easy Way, Dummies.com, and related trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and other countries, and may not be used without written permission. Yahoo! is a registered trade- mark of Yahoo, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. LIMIT OF LIABILITY/DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: THE PUBLISHER AND THE AUTHOR MAKE NO REP- RESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES WITH RESPECT TO THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS WORK AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION WARRANTIES OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. NO WARRANTY MAY BE CREATED OR EXTENDED BY SALES OR PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS. THE ADVICE AND STRATEGIES CONTAINED HEREIN MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR EVERY SITUATION. THIS WORK IS SOLD WITH THE UNDER- STANDING THAT THE PUBLISHER IS NOT ENGAGED IN RENDERING LEGAL, ACCOUNTING, OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL SERVICES. IF PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE IS REQUIRED, THE SERVICES OF A COM- PETENT PROFESSIONAL PERSON SHOULD BE SOUGHT. NEITHER THE PUBLISHER NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES ARISING HEREFROM. THE FACT THAT AN ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE IS REFERRED TO IN THIS WORK AS A CITATION AND/OR A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE AUTHOR OR THE PUBLISHER ENDORSES THE INFORMA- TION THE ORGANIZATION OR WEBSITE MAY PROVIDE OR RECOMMENDATIONS IT MAY MAKE. FURTHER, READERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT INTERNET WEBSITES LISTED IN THIS WORK MAY HAVE CHANGED OR DISAPPEARED BETWEEN WHEN THIS WORK WAS WRITTEN AND WHEN IT IS READ. For general information on our other products and services, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 800-762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317-572-3993, or fax 317-572-4002. For technical support, please visit www.wiley.com/techsupport. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. Library of Congress Control Number: 2005924597 ISBN-13: 978-0-7645-9800-5 ISBN-10: 0-7645-9800-7 Manufactured in the United States of America 109876543211O/SU/QY/QV/IN, 01_598007 ffirs.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page v
About the Author
Richard Wagner is an experienced author of over 16 technical books, including WordPerfect 12 For Dummies, XSLT For Dummies, and XML All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies. He is also former V.P. of Product Development at NetObjects and inventor of the award-winning NetObjects ScriptBuilder. In his non-tech life, Richard is author of Christianity For Dummies. He lives in Princeton, Massachusetts., 01_598007 ffirs.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page vi, 01_598007 ffirs.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page vii
To the Jboys.
In writing this book, I’d like to thank the following people for their contri- butions: Paul Levesque, for his guiding hand throughout the project and keen suggestions for improving the book; Rebecca Senninger, for her editing prowess and attention to detail; Lee Musick, for his technical perspective to ensure the book’s accuracy; and Jennifer Shrauger, Sunil Saha, and others at Yahoo!, for their insights into SiteBuilder and how to best cover their Web site builder in this book. Finally, I’d like to thank my wife, Kimberly, and the J-team for their patience and grace throughout the entire writing project., 01_598007 ffirs.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page viii
We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form located at www.dummies.com/register/. Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following: Acquisitions, Editorial, and Composition Services Media Development Project Coordinator: Maridee Ennis Project Editor: Paul Levesque Layout and Graphics: Carl Byers, Andrea Dahl, Acquisitions Editor: Steven Hayes Heather Ryan, Erin Zeltner Copy Editor: Rebecca Senninger Proofreaders: Laura Albert, Leeann Harney, Technical Editor: Lee Musick Joe Niesen, TECHBOOKS Production Services Editorial Manager: Leah Cameron Indexer: TECHBOOKS Production Services Permissions Editor: Laura Moss Media Development Specialist: Travis Silvers Media Development Manager: Laura VanWinkle Media Development Supervisor: Richard Graves Editorial Assistant: Amanda Foxworth Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com) Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director Publishing for Consumer Dummies Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director Composition Services Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page ix
Contents at a Glance Introduction ...1 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder ...7
Chapter 1: Yahoo! Let’s Go Site Building ...9 Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site: Around the World (Wide Web) in 16 Minutes ...21 Chapter 3: Building a Purpose-Driven Web Site ...35 Chapter 4: Trickle-Down Site Building: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements ...45 Chapter 5: Designers At Your Beck and Call: Using SiteBuilder Templates ...73
Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages ...83
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links ...85 Chapter 7: Picture Perfect ...111 Chapter 8: Off to the Woodshop: Building Tables ...129 Chapter 9: Making Columbus and Magellan Jealous: Adding Navigation Instantly ...141 Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms ...157
Part III: Going Further: Developing
Part IV: Managing Your Web Site ...249
Chapter 14: Becoming a Webmaster: Administering Your Site Online ...251 Chapter 15: From Rags to Riches: Selling Products on Your Site ...265
Part V: The Part of Tens ...289
Chapter 16: Ten Design Tips to Rival the “Big Boys” ...291 Chapter 17: Ten SiteBuilder Tips You Really Need to Know ...299
Appendix: What’s on the CD ...311 Index ...315 End-User License Agreement ...341
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Table of Contents Introduction...1
Conventions Used in This Book ...1 Text formatting ...2 Commands ...2 What You’re Forbidden to Read ...2 Foolish Assumptions ...3 How This Book Is Organized ...3 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder ...3 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages ...3 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages ...3 Part IV: Managing Your Web Site ...4 Part V: The Part of Tens ...4 Icons Used in This Book ...4 Where to Go from Here ...5
Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder ...7 Chapter 1: Yahoo! Let’s Go Site Building ..9
Discovering How Web Publishing Works ...9 Creating and designing on your computer ...10 Publishing your site ...12 Visiting your site from anywhere ...13 Repeating the process ...13 Signing Up for Yahoo! Web Hosting ...13 Downloading and Installing Yahoo! SiteBuilder ...15 Exploring Yahoo! SiteBuilder ...16 SiteBuilder panes ...17 SiteBuilder toolbar ...18
Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site: Around
the World (Wide Web) in 16 Minutes ..21 Getting Started in Web Publishing ...21 Stop #1: Creating a Web Site with the Site Creation Wizard ...22 Stop #2: Editing Your Pages ...27 Stop #3: Previewing Your Site ...32 Stop #4: Publishing Your Site to Yahoo! Web Hosting ...32 Going Forward ...34, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page xii xii Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies
Chapter 3: Building a Purpose-Driven Web Site ..35
Creating a Purpose-Driven Site ...36 Organizing Your Site ...37 Mocking up your site structure ...38 Filling in the missing pieces ...39 Avoiding deep hierarchies ...39 Planning for effective feedback ...40 Writing Content for Your Web Site ...41 Evaluating Your Site ...43
Chapter 4: Trickle-Down Site Building: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements ..45
Working with Your Web Site ...46 Creating a new site ...46 Importing a Web site you’ve previously created ...52 Opening an existing site ...54 Saving your site ...55 Closing a site ...55 Deleting a site ...55 Previewing your site before you publish ...55 Ready for the Big Leagues: Publishing Your Web Site ...56 Working with Web Pages ...58 Creating a new Web page ...58 Saving a Web page ...60 Opening a Web page ...61 Closing one or more Web pages ...61 Deleting a Web page ...61 Copying a Web page ...62 Renaming a Web page ...62 Modifying Page Properties ...62 Specifying meta data ...63 Modifying the page layout ...64 Working with Page Elements ...66 Selecting elements ...66 Moving elements ...66 Other common element-based tasks ...67 Layering elements ...68 Aligning and spacing page elements ...70
Chapter 5: Designers At Your Beck and Call: Using SiteBuilder Templates ..73
Exploring SiteBuilder Templates ...74 What is a SiteBuilder template? ...74 Avoiding “template remorse” ...74, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page xiii
Table of Contents xiii
Need More? Downloading Additional Templates ...76 Creating Your Own Template Page ...78 Using Templates or Going Solo? ...80
Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages ...83 Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links ..85
Working with Text ...85 Adding text to a page ...86 Adding text from another source to your page ...87 Editing text on a page ...88 Moving text around a page ...89 Resizing your text container ...90 Caught Ya: Checking Your Spelling ...91 Automatically alerting you of spelling mistakes ...91 Checking your spelling manually ...92 Setting spell checking preferences ...94 Tweaking the Look of Your Text ...95 Deciding which font style to use ...95 Setting the font style and size ...96 Giving your text some style ...97 Changing text color ...98 Stylin’ Your Paragraphs ...99 Making lists ...99 Indenting your text ...102 Formatting Your Text Boxes ...102 Changing the background color of your text box ...103 Resetting the text background ...103 But Your Honor .I was justified! ...103 Getting Jumpy: Adding Links to Your Text ...104 Linking to another page in your site ...105 Linking to a page elsewhere on the Web ...106 Linking to an e-mail address ...107 Linking to a file ...108 Editing and Removing a Link ...109
Chapter 7: Picture Perfect ..111
Be Choosy: Why All Graphics Aren’t Created Equal ...111 Choosing the best Web graphic types ...112 Sizing your images appropriately ...114 Adding a Picture to a Page ...115 Using SiteBuilder clip art ...115 Using your own images ...116 Moving a Picture Around the Page ...118, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page xiv xiv Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies Changing the Properties of Your Picture ...119 Changing the image ...119 Assigning Alt Text ...119 Specifying a mouse-over image ...120 Assigning a Link to Your Picture ...122 Sizing Up a Picture ...122 Resizing a picture ...123 Returning a picture to its original size ...123 Creating a Thumbnail Picture ...124 Turning a Picture into a Background Image ...125
Chapter 8: Off to the Woodshop: Building Tables ..129
Inserting a Table on a Page ...129 The quick-and-easy approach: Using the toolbar ...130 The detail-oriented approach: Using the Create New Table dialog box ...131 Filling Your Table with Content ...132 Adjusting the Table Formatting Properties ...133 Selecting Table Cells ...134 Tweaking the Table ...134 Inserting a new row ...134 Inserting a new column ...136 Deleting a row or column ...137 Merging two cells ...138 Splitting a cell ...139
Chapter 9: Making Columbus and Magellan Jealous: Adding Navigation Instantly ..141
Navigating Your Web Site ...142 Effective Navigation Bar Design ...143 Consistency ...143 Navigation bar placement ...143 Crystal-clear labeling ...143 Short, descriptive labeling ...144 Adding a Basic Navigation Bar to Your Web Site ...145 Adding a navigation bar when you create your site ...145 Creating a navigation bar after your site is built ...146 Use It Again, Sam: Inserting Your Navigation Bar into Another Page ...149 Standardizing the Location of Your Navigation Bar ...149 Tweaking Your Navigation Bar ...150 Creating Customized Navigation Bars ...152 Adding a template-based navigation bar ...152 Creating a text-based navigation bar ...152 Creating a navigation bar with your own images ...154, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page xv
Table of Contents xv Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms ..157
How Forms Work: Discovering the “Form Factor” ...158 Instant Forms: Adding Pre-Built Forms to Your Page ...161 The Contact Us form ...161 The Feedback form ...162 Made-to-Order Forms: Creating a Form from Scratch ...163 Working with Form Elements ...165 Adding a text field or text area ...167 Adding a list box ...168 Adding a check box ...169 Adding a group of radio buttons ...170 Adding Submit and Reset Buttons ...172 What a Form Response Looks Like ...173 After the Click: Tweaking the Form Settings ...173 Sending the form responses to a different e-mail address ...174 Specifying your own confirmation and error page ...174
Part III: Going Further: Developing
“Wicked Cool” Web Pages ...177
Chapter 11: Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity ..179
Working with Add-Ons ...180 Inserting an add-on ...181 Previewing your add-on ...181 Accessing the properties of your add-on ...182 Cutting, copying, and pasting add-ons ...182 Inserting a Counter ...182 Displaying a Time and Date Stamp ...184 Providing a Yahoo! Map ...186 Offering Yahoo! Directions ...188 Searching the Web with a Yahoo! Search Box ...189 Searching Your Site with a Site Search ...190 Understanding the two pieces of Site Search ...191 Inserting a Site Search add-on ...191 Removing the Site Search add-on from your site ...194 Showing Your Online Persona with a Presence Indicator ...194 Keeping an Eye on the Bottom Dollar: Loan Calculator ...196
Chapter 12: The Wow Factor: Adding Multimedia and Page Effects ..199
Multimedia: Going Beyond Mere Pictures ...199 Working with video clips ...200 Working with audio ...202, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page xvi xvi Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies Bringing Your Pages to Life with Page Effects ...205 Viewing the Page Effects pane ...206 Accessing the Page Effects properties ...206 Cutting, copying, and pasting page effects ...207 Adding SiteBuilder’s Page Effects ...207 Dancing with the Border Patrol ...207 Jumping with Bouncing Images ...209 Hitchin’ a ride with the Flyby ...210 Tagging along with the mouse: Text Tail and Image Tail effects ...212 Adding random acts of effects with Random Apparitions ...215 Staying put with an Edge-Locked Picture ...216 Adding IE Page Transitions ...218 Knowing When and When Not to Use Page Effects ...219 Multimedia issues ...219 Page effects issues ...219
Part IV: Managing Your Web Site ...249 Chapter 14: Becoming a Webmaster: Administering Your Site Online ..251
Connecting Major Tom to Ground Control ...252 Viewing Site Activity ...254 Checking Your Site’s Status ...257 Working with the File Manager ...257 Uploading a file ...258 Deleting a file ...260 Have a Snafu? Recover an Earlier Version of Your Web Site ...261, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page xvii
Table of Contents xvii Chapter 15: From Rags to Riches: Selling Products on Your Site ..265
Working with PayPal Buttons ...266 Adding a PayPal Buy Now button ...267 Adding a PayPal Donations button ...270 Building an Online Store with Yahoo! Merchant Solutions ...271 Adding a new field to the product catalog ...272 Adding products to your product catalog ...276 Publishing your product catalog ...279 Enabling your product catalog for use with SiteBuilder ...279 Importing your online catalog ...280 Creating a store page ...281 Adding a Shopping Cart button ...284 Completing the final merchant requirements ...285 Publishing your site ...286 Additional Store Catalog Tasks ...286 Adding a product module ...286 Adding store tags ...287 Viewing product module properties ...287 Refreshing your catalog information ...288 Deleting your catalog ...288
Part V: The Part of Tens ...289 Chapter 16: Ten Design Tips to Rival the “Big Boys” ..291
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel ...292 Eliminate Counters, Clichés, and All Things Cute ...292 Don’t Let Your Site Grow Mold ...293 Hobbit-Size Your Pages ...294 Hey, They’re Free: Test with Multiple Browsers ...294 Don’t Forget About the Text ...295 Take the Ten-Second Test-Drive ...295 Design for Technology Laggards, but Leave Behind the Stone Age ...296 Publishing Your Text as an Image ...296 Never, Ever, Ever, Ever Assume ...297
Chapter 17: Ten SiteBuilder Tips You Really Need to Know ..299
Using the Insert Palette ...299 Avoiding the Pain When Working with Panes ...301 Automatically Saving Your Work ...302 Working with Multiple Pages Open ...303 Automatically Restoring Your Session ...305 Managing Multiple Sites ...305, 02_598007 ftoc.qxd 8/25/05 8:35 PM Page xviii xviii Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies Quick Access to the Yahoo! Web Hosting Control Panel ...306 Embracing Gridlock ...306 Turning gridlines on and off ...307 Snapping to the grid ...308 Adjusting the grid size ...308 Changing the Look and Feel of SiteBuilder ...308 Previewing with Multiple Browsers ...309
Appendix: What’s on the CD ...311 Index...315 End-User License Agreement ...341
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Introduction The term “best of both worlds” has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? All thesugary taste without the carbs. A roomy SUV that gets great gas mileage.
An all-in-one-kitchen-knife-bought-from-an-infomercial-for-just-three-easy- payments that actually works. When you think about creating a Web site for yourself or your business, you undoubtedly want the “best of both worlds” principle to apply here as well. You want to be able to create a really cool Web site by yourself without being forced to get a graduate degree in Web programming or computer human interface design. Yahoo! SiteBuilder is a highly popular software tool for people who want to do just that. Using SiteBuilder, you can create a Web site that looks far more sophisticated than many low-end, design-in-a-browser alternatives but with- out diving deep into the nitty-gritty details of something called HyperText Markup Language (HTML). Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies serves as your friendly tour guide to help you create, design, and manage your SiteBuilder Web site. It gives you just the information you need to know to create “wicked cool” sites without resorting to that geeky stuff. Using the dynamic duo of Yahoo! SiteBuilder and Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies, you can make the “best of both words” goal a reality. But why stop there? I have so many more euphemisms and trite sayings to conquer with this combo. You’ll have your cake and eat it too. Your rolling stone will start to gather moss. Your watched pot will actually boil. Your road-crossing chicken will .well, you get the idea.
Conventions Used in This Book
Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies is one book that doesn’t bow to convention or even bow at conventions (unless free food is involved). But I follow some usual practices to make life easier for you., 03_598007 intro.qxd 8/25/05 8:33 PM Page22Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies
When referring to a menu item inside of Yahoo! SiteBuilder, I use a shortcut. For example, I abbreviate the Copy command on the Edit menu to Edit➪Copy. Also, when I suggest pressing two keys at the same time, such as the Ctrl key and the C key, I use a plus sign like this: Ctrl+C.
What You’re Forbidden to Read
In this book, you explore what you need to know to create great-looking Web sites with Yahoo! SiteBuilder. However, on your first reading of this book, I do cover some topics that you are absolutely, positively forbidden to read. — okay, okay, not forbidden, just topics that you can feel free to skip if you want to. The sections that you have an official waiver for skipping are Any text that is marked with the Technical Stuff icon. Paragraphs with this icon are more technical in nature. It is undoubtedly fascinating infor- mation, but you won’t miss anything if you gloss over it. Sidebars. The shaded boxes that you see scattered throughout the book are like espresso bars you pass on your way home from the office: Stopping for a cappuccino or two is fine, but your trip home takes a lot longer if you stop at every one (not to mention how wired you’ll be on arrival at your house)., 03_598007 intro.qxd 8/25/05 8:33 PM Page 3 Introduction 3
In Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies, I assume that you have basic knowledge of how to use Microsoft Windows and get around the Web with a popular browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. However, I don’t assume that you have any prior know-how involving the creation of Web sites when you start the book.
How This Book Is Organized
Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies is divided into five parts.
Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
As you start your tour of Yahoo! SiteBuilder, you get to know the software and the basics of creating and publishing a Web site. You also focus on how to design a site so that it looks good and is easy to navigate. I give special atten- tion to how you can design your Web site effectively using Yahoo! SiteBuilder’s built-in templates.
Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
While Part I focuses on the design of your Web site, Part II looks at the con- tent that goes into your Web pages. You dive into the basic building blocks of Web pages: text, links, pictures, tables, navigation bars, and forms.
Part III: Going Further: Developing
“Wicked Cool” Web Pages In Part III, you discover how to add cool functionality to your site — such as Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Directions, and page effects — but I show you how to do so without making these features look gimmicky., 03_598007 intro.qxd 8/25/05 8:33 PM Page44Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies
Part IV: Managing Your Web Site
Designing and creating your Web site may be your major task at the start, but after you get your site up and running, you need to effectively manage it. Part IV looks at how to manage your Yahoo! SiteBuilder Web site through the Yahoo! Web Hosting Control Panel. Finally, you tackle the world of e-commerce, look- ing at how to turn your Web site into an electronic storefront.
Part V: The Part of Tens
In the final part, you get quick tips for effective Web site design and tricks and techniques for using Yahoo! SiteBuilder.
About the CD
The CD tucked inside the back cover of this book is loaded with a full version of Yahoo! SiteBuilder 2.2, along with a complete bundle of SiteBuilder tem- plates. (Talk about convenient!) For more CD details — including installation stuff — check out this book’s appendix.
Icons Used in This Book
Throughout the book, you’ll be bedazzled with nifty little icons that are beside important paragraphs. These pictures indicate special kinds of infor- mation that you’ll find amazingly useful: The Tip icon points you to key techniques, tidbits, or shortcuts that can save you time and effort. The Remember icon draws attention to something in the text that is absolutely, positively, definitively, kind of, sort of important. What’s more, if you have a photographic mind and love memorizing entire sections of text, I recommend focusing your mental skills on these particular paragraphs. The Warning icon means “Pay attention, buddy! Or you will run into trouble!” Heed these warnings to save yourself from falling into the pit of Web site despair., 03_598007 intro.qxd 8/25/05 8:33 PM Page 5
The Technical Stuff icon highlights nonessential but interesting stuff that no one but geeks and geek-wanna-bes really cares about.
Where to Go from Here
My guess is that you are so mesmerized by this book’s prose by now that you want nothing more than to keep reading from cover to cover. If you do, you’ll find the topics are ordered logically. However, Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies is designed as a reference book, so you don’t have to read the book from start to finish. If you have a specific topic that you want to immediately dive into, consider the following jumping-off points: To install Yahoo! SiteBuilder, check out Chapter 1. For a basic overview of the Web site publishing process, skip to Chapter 2. To create a Web site that will make the industry leading designers beg you for tips, check out Chapter 3 and 16. To create a basic Web page, see Chapter 4. To use the Yahoo! SiteBuilder Control Panel, check out Chapter 14., 03_598007 intro.qxd 8/25/05 8:33 PM Page66Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies, 04_598007 pt01.qxd 8/25/05 8:24 PM Page 7
Part I Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
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In this part .. One of my least favorite activities is to go to a party orsimilar gathering in which I know no one. After some
awkward introductions, I typically retreat to the corner by myself, munching on chips, veggies, and dip, all the while everyone around me is chatting and happily involved with others. Many people find learning how to create a Web site can be much like my social woes. They make an attempt to do so, but don’t like what happens, and then become too intimidated to try again. Part I helps you eliminate any awkwardness you may have as you think about creating a Web site by yourself. To do so, I guide you through how to use Yahoo! SiteBuilder and the basics of creating and designing a Web site., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 9
Chapter 1 Yahoo! Let’s Go Site Building In This Chapter
Exploring how Web site publishing works Signing up with Yahoo! Web hosting Getting Yahoo! SiteBuilder ready to roll on your computer Scoping out and sizing up SiteBuilder
Zeitgeist. Angst. Mercedes. Porsche. I am embarrassed to say that those fourwords pretty much composed the extent of my German vocabulary prior
to a business trip to Zurich a few years back. Because of my lack of knowledge, I felt nervous, even inadequate, about living several weeks in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. Oh, I’d talk to my well-traveled friends, and they’d reas- sure me that I could learn enough of the language to get by. I even bought a Learn-German-in-a-Day book and studied en route. But I was still tense stepping off that plane into the unknown. As you start out your journey into Web site building, you may feel much the same way I did before my European excursion. Perhaps you know a few terms — such as URL, domain name, JPG, and hypertext. Maybe you’ve even talked with friends who’ve had success creating a business or personal Web site. Perhaps you’ve even created a Web site before with one of those quick and easy online Web builders out there but are ready for something better. This chapter helps you as you “step off that plane into the unknown,” so to speak. It helps you get acquainted with what Web publishing and Yahoo! SiteBuilder are all about and also helps you understand the basics about how it all works.
Discovering How Web Publishing Works
Before you even start working with SiteBuilder, you should take a moment to explore the process of Web publishing. You can think of creating, designing, and publishing a Web site much like a director making a film. For example, consider Peter Jackson’s well-documented saga of creating The Lord of the, 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 10 10 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Rings. He and his band of merry troops spent years filming and editing the Tolkien classics in New Zealand. In the process, they pulled together count- less clips from the general shoot, CGI effects, and miniature shoots to form a single, complete film. Then, for each of the three films, an original film was sent off and copied and then delivered to movie theaters across the world. Moviegoers then traveled by the millions to their local cinemas to watch the film Jackson made. The Web publishing model has many parallels to making a film — though fortunately without Orcs and Gollum trying to mess you up along the way. You create a home Web site by pulling together information from a variety of sources. After you have the site ready, you publish the various parts as a single unit to a computer that can be accessed worldwide. Then people can flock by the millions (or the thousands or the tens) to their browsers to visit the site you made. As you can see, the basic process for Web publishing is Create and design in the comforts of your home or office Publish your site and go public Visit your site from anywhere Repeat the process for changes Figure 1-1 illustrates the process. I describe each step in the following sections.
Your Computer Yahoo! Web Hosting Create Publish View Design
Figure 1-1: The basics of pub- lishing a Web site.
Repeat process to update Creating and designing on your computer
The first step is to create and design your Web site on your desktop or laptop computer (which I refer from here on out as your local computer). A Web site consists of several different kind of files and resources, all of which I conve- niently describe for you in this section. Your Web site building software, such as SiteBuilder, then pulls all these pieces together to form a single Web site., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 11
Chapter 1: Yahoo! Let’s Go Site Building 11 Web pages
A Web site contains one or more Web pages. A Web page is written in HTML (HyperText Markup Language) format and has a filename with an .htm or .html extension. An HTML file is just a normal text file, but each one con- tains a lot of information, such as the following: Text you want to display on-screen in a Web browser References to images, multimedia controls, and other resources that you also want to display on a Web page Links to other pages A set of instructions that tells the browser how to arrange and display all of this content You can work with Web pages in two ways — using a “visual” editor that allows you to create and edit the page visually (in the process hiding all the complex HTML code from you) or using a “code” editor that enables you to work directly with the HTML code itself. Some editors, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and Microsoft FrontPage, are hybrids and provide support for both visual and code editing. SiteBuilder has a visual page editor (called the Design pane) built into it, free- ing you from worrying about the yucky complexities of HTML. See Chapters 4, 6, and 8 for details of how to work with Web pages inside of SiteBuilder.
The Web may have started out as a text-based world, but it has emerged as an image-driven medium of communication. Go to any nice-looking site, and you see all sorts of images scattered around the text. You can either use images you created yourself — taken with your digital camera or drawn using a software program of some kind — or images received from another source (though, as Chapter 7 discusses, you want to make sure you can freely use the image). SiteBuilder’s templates, which I explore in Chapter 5, come with many nice-looking graphical elements for you to incorporate into your Web site design. Today’s Web sites often use navigation bars that incorporate both text and graphics. Chapter 9 shows you how to create navigation bars in SiteBuilder. You don’t create, edit, or manipulate images inside of SiteBuilder. SiteBuilder hands that job off to another graphics software package, such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, or even Microsoft Paint. After you have a Web-ready image, you can add it to your Web page inside of SiteBuilder. Once again, Chapter 7 covers all those details., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 12 12 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
The Web is more than just a giant bulletin board that visitors can browse. A visitor can also interact with the site, providing feedback, ordering products, or requesting more information. A Web page can contain form elements, such as edit boxes, drop-down lists, or buttons, to enable this kind of interaction. Chapter 10 explores how to create and work with forms inside of SiteBuilder. And if you’re interested in selling products on the Web, check out Chapter 15.
A major benefit to using SiteBuilder and Yahoo! Web hosting is that you can incorporate Yahoo! service-oriented add-ons into your Web pages. (Add-ons let you add neat interactive features such as a Yahoo! Map or Yahoo! Search box into your page right inside of SiteBuilder. Chapter 11 has more on add- ons, including how to add features to your Web site. )
A final batch of resources that can be part of a Web site are non-HTML docu- ments and other files that a visitor can link to. Technically, these files don’t appear as part of a Web page, but you link to (and open) them from other Web pages inside of your Web site. Common examples include Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files, PowerPoint presentations, and Microsoft Word documents. See Chapter 6 for more on how to link to these documents.
Publishing your site
After you create and design your site on your local computer, it’s time to go public and publish your site to the Web. Publishing is nothing more than copying the Web site files (Web pages, images, and anything else you have) from your local computer to a Yahoo! computer — the computer that’s going to act as your site’s Web server., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 13
Chapter 1: Yahoo! Let's Go Site Building 13 Visiting your site from anywhere
After you publish your Web site, it’s available for anyone in the world to access. A Yahoo! server stores your Web site files somewhere out in cyber- space for you to access them. Physically, it doesn’t matter where that Yahoo! server is — it could be a facility in Sunnyvale, California; or Dallas, Texas; or Atlanta, Georgia — all that matters is that when people type your site’s Web address in the Address bar of their browser or click a link that goes there, they’re accessing your Web site on that particular server.
Repeating the process
As I discuss in Chapter 16, you’ll want to regularly update your Web site to ensure that it doesn’t grow stale and start to grow mold. When you update your site, you make the changes and additions in SiteBuilder on your local computer and then republish the updates, overwriting the files that are on the Yahoo! Web server.
Signing Up for Yahoo! Web Hosting
Before you can publish a SiteBuilder Web site, your first step is to sign up for Yahoo! Web hosting. Do so by following these steps: Make sure you have a Yahoo ID before beginning this process. 1. With your browser, go to smallbusiness.yahoo.com. The Yahoo! Small Business home page makes an appearance (see Figure 1-2). 2. Click the Web Hosting link to begin the signup process. A new page appears in your browser, outlining the various Web hosting options available to you. 3. Click the Sign Up button for the Web hosting plan that best suits your needs. 4. On the next page, enter the desired domain name for your Web site. Your domain is a unique name that identifies a Web site, such as yahoo. com. Domain names have two or more parts separated by dots. The part to the right of the dot represents the general type (.com, .net, .org); the part to the left of the dot is meant to be the name that describes or identifies your site., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 14 14 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Figure 1-2: Signing up with Yahoo! Web hosting. Keep the following tips in mind: • Find a domain name that is unique to and descriptive of your busi- ness, organization, interest, or yourself as much as possible. • Don’t include hard-to-remember abbreviations. I also don’t recom- mend using hyphens, simply because people easily forget about them. • Be descriptive, but don’t make it toooo long. • Above all, make your domain name easy for people to remember. Yahoo! searches to see if your choice is still available — meaning that nobody else has registered it before. If it is available, you can continue. If not, you need to search again. 5. Continue through the registration process, providing necessary pay- ment and contact information to complete the order. After your order is completed, you first receive a confirmation e-mail of your order. and then within a few hours, you receive a second e-mail let- ting you know that your account is active and ready to roll. After your account is activated, you can access the Yahoo! Web Hosting Control Panel, which I discuss in Chapter 14., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 15
Chapter 1: Yahoo! Let's Go Site Building 15 Downloading and Installing Yahoo! SiteBuilder
After you sign up for Yahoo! Web hosting, your next step is to download and install SiteBuilder onto your computer. No need to wait for your account to become active; jump right in by following these steps: 1. With your Web browser, go to webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb. The Yahoo! SiteBuilder page displays, as shown in Figure 1-3. 2. Click the Download SiteBuilder Today link. The Download page loads in your browser, at your service. 3. Click the Download link. If you’re not signed into your Yahoo! account, you need to enter your Yahoo! ID and password before downloading SiteBuilder. 4. Save the download file to an appropriate folder on your computer. 5. When the download completes, double-click the ysitebuilder.exe file in your download folder. Figure 1-3: Down- loading SiteBuilder., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 16 16 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder 6. After the Installer launches, follow the directions on-screen to install and configure SiteBuilder. The installer places SiteBuilder into your Program Files directory and adds an icon on your Windows desktop and Windows Start menu.
Exploring Yahoo! SiteBuilder
The rest of this book is devoted to building Web sites using SiteBuilder. But before getting into the specifics of how to do this or do that, take a moment to start up SiteBuilder and just get a feel for what the workspace looks like. Follow these steps to launch SiteBuilder and take it through its paces: 1. Double-click the Yahoo! SiteBuilder icon on your Windows desktop. The main SiteBuilder window opens, as shown in Figure 1-4. You can also launch SiteBuilder by choosing All Programs➪Yahoo! SiteBuilder➪Yahoo! SiteBuilder from the Windows Start menu. For the purposes of exploring SiteBuilder, continue with the following steps. Your focus here isn’t how to create a Web site just yet; you’re simply exploring SiteBuilder and getting a sense of what the tool is like. 2. In SiteBuilder, click the Create a New Site link in the Help pane on the left. You can use the Help pane to perform several tasks, such as create a Web site, import a Web site you’ve already created in another program, or open a Web site you’ve already started. 3. Click the Start button in the Site Creation Wizard. The contents of the Help pane change, starting the wizard. 4. In the Name of My Web Site box, enter dummysite. 5. Click the Next button. The wizard takes you to Step 2. 6. Click the A Blank Page option and then click the Next button. As shown in Figure 1-5, SiteBuilder creates a blank, single-page Web site, enough for your exploration purposes. With a simple site created, you can explore the different features of the SiteBuilder workspace., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 17
Chapter 1: Yahoo! Let's Go Site Building 17
Figure 1-4: Building a Web site starts right here.
Your main work area is the Design pane, the center of the SiteBuilder work- space. The Design pane enables you to create a Web page in a “point-and-click” manner by adding different page elements to the page and then arranging them as you wish. You can have multiple Web pages open, each one of which has a tab at the top of the editor. See Chapters 4, 6, 7, and 8 for the full details on working with the Design pane. In addition to the Design pane, you can find other panes as part of the workspace: Site Contents: The Site Contents pane shows you a folder view of your Web site contents, including Web pages (.html files), clip art graphics, sounds, and other files you have as part of your site. Chapter 4 shows you how to use the Site Contents pane to manage all your Web site resources. Preview: The Preview pane displays the currently selected item in the Site Contents pane. If nothing is selected, it displays the current page in the Design pane., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 18 18 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Toolbar Open Web pages Figure 1-5: The SiteBuilder environ- ment. Help pane Design pane Page Effects pane Preview pane Site Contents pane Page Effects: Some effects you can add to your page, such as a bouncing image or a background sound, don’t display in the Design pane. That’s because they’re event-based effects that kick in when the page is being viewed “live” in the browser. Placeholders represent these effects in the Page Effects pane. Chapter 12 tells you all about how to work with page effects. Help: The Help panel serves as the go-to place within SiteBuilder, allow- ing you to access the User Guide and other helpful information.
Just like in any Windows application, commands are available from the top menu, toolbar, contextual menus, and even keyboard shortcuts. In this book, I refer most often to the toolbar (see Figure 1-6), though you can use whichever of these options you prefer., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 19
Chapter 1: Yahoo! Let's Go Site Building 19
New Site Properties Redo Insert Navigation Bar New Page Delete Insert Store Tags without Save Insert Template Page Copy Image Insert Palette Figure 1-6: The SiteBuilder toolbar. New Page Preview Paste Insert Insert Table Help with Template in Text Browser Undo Link To Publish Site Open Page Cut Insert Background Download All Templates The toolbar contains the commands you use most often during the Web site building process. These include the following: New Page without Template creates a new blank page. New Page with Template creates a new page based on a template you specify. New Site launches the Site Creation Wizard. Open Page allows you to open a page in your Web site. Save Page saves changes to the active Web page in your site. Preview in Browser displays the active Web page in your default Web browser. Properties shows the properties for the active page element in the Design pane. Cut deletes the selection and places it on the Clipboard. Copy adds the selection to the Clipboard. Paste inserts the contents of the Clipboard into the current page or page element. Delete removes the selection without adding it to the Clipboard. Undo undoes the last action you made. Redo redoes the action that you undid. Insert Text adds a text element to the middle of the current page. Insert Image adds an image element to the current page. Insert Background adds a background color or image to your current page and adds a Background icon to the Page Effects pane. Insert Navigation Bar displays a drop-down list of navigation bars avail- able for your site or an option to create a new navigation bar., 05_598007 ch01.qxd 8/25/05 8:37 PM Page 20 20 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Insert Store Tags allows you to add e-commerce store tags to your active page. Insert Table adds a table grid to the current page. Open the Insert Palette displays the Insert palette for dropping page elements onto your page. Link To enables you to create Web links from the selected text or image. Download All Templates enables you to retrieve additional SiteBuilder templates from Yahoo.com. Publish Site uploads Web pages from your computer to Yahoo! Web Hosting. Help displays SiteBuilder Help in the Help pane. In addition, as you explore SiteBuilder, be sure to check out Chapter 17, which provides ten important productivity tips that you should know about SiteBuilder., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 21
Chapter 2 Publishing Your First Site: Around the World (Wide Web) in 16 Minutes
In This Chapter Creating a site from scratch and publishing it in minutes Discovering the basic processes of Web site publishing
Phileas Fogg is so “last century.” (Or was it the century before that?) Ittook him 80 days to make his way around the world. That timeframe
may have been impressive in his day, but you and I can take a circumnaviga- tional supersonic flight around the world in far less than 80 hours, let alone days. So, too, in the early days of the Web, site builders would have to spend several hours or days hand-coding their Web pages and then copying these files onto a server using some geeky FTP tool. In contrast, using SiteBuilder, you can create a nice-looking Web site presence in a mere 16 minutes. In fact, I show you how to do that in this chapter. Of course, as you work with SiteBuilder on your actual site, you’ll want to spend much more time and energy thoughtfully designing, producing con- tent, and fine-tuning your site. But you’ll be glad to know that the mechanics of creating a SiteBuilder Web site are as quick as reading just a few pages from a Jules Verne classic. In this chapter, I’m your personal valet — or, keeping with the Phileas Fogg imagery, your Passepartout — to help you make it around the world of Web site publishing before Big Ben strikes the stroke of midnight.
Getting Started in Web Publishing
The purpose of this chapter is to get you comfortable with the basic mechan- ics of Web publishing by introducing you to each of the major steps that you, 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 22 22 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder take in creating and publishing a Web site. I won’t explain these steps in detail; that’s what the rest of the book is all about! However, I think as you go through this exercise in Web publishing, you become better equipped to get your hands around exactly what Web site publishing is all about. Before starting your little road race, you need to have two steps done (both of which I tell you about in Chapter 1): Signed up for a Yahoo! Web Hosting Plan. Launched SiteBuilder. After you do those two tasks, get out your stopwatch, and get ready to let out the clutch.
Stop #1: Creating a Web Site
with the Site Creation Wizard Estimated Time: 4 minutes Your first stop on your Around the Web Tour is to create a new Web site using SiteBuilder. SiteBuilder walks you through a step-by-step process using its Site Creation Wizard. After you finish your process, your Web site pages are created and ready for editing. So go ahead and do the following to get the show on the road: 1. From the Help pane inside of SiteBuilder, click the Create a New Site link, as shown in Figure 2-1. The Help pane updates to display the opening page of the Site Creation Wizard. 2. In the opening page of the Site Creation Wizard, click the Start button to continue. The Help pane updates to show the next step in the site creation process, as shown in Figure 2-2. 3. Enter My First Site or any other appropriate name in the Name of My Web Site text box. The site you create in this chapter is for instructional purposes only, so just indicate that in the name you choose. 4. Click the Next button to continue. The Help pane once again updates, ending up with what you see in Figure 2-3., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 23
Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site 23
Create a New Site Figure 2-1: Begin your SiteBuilder tour here. Figure 2-2: Filling out the basics., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 24 24 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Figure 2-3: Starting with a template. 5. Stick with the default A Template option, and click the Next button. The Help pane updates to allow you to select the template of your choice. (See Figure 2-4. ) The Templates list displays the available templates, both ones that you’ve downloaded to your computer all ready as well as ones that have not yet been downloaded. For the Around the Web Tour, choose one that comes with SiteBuilder. 6. Select Business from the Template Categories drop-down list. 7. Select the Consulting – Blue template from the Templates list box. Don’t worry if you’re not a consulting company or don’t like the tem- plate design; you can always change it immediately after this exercise. 8. Click Next to continue. The Help pane updates to display the last page of the wizard, as shown in Figure 2-5., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 25
Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site 25
Figure 2-4: Selecting the right template for your Web site. Figure 2-5: Selecting the starter pages for your Web site., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 26 26 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder This screen helps you determine which pages of your site you want SiteBuilder to create for you at this time. For the Around the Web Tour, you can narrow it down to just three initial pages: the Home Page, the About Us Page, and the Contact Us Page. 9. Uncheck the Services Page box. If you own a small business, the Services page comes in handy for describing your company’s services. For this step-by-step example, how- ever, you don’t need to include this page. 10. Click the Next button to create your Web site. SiteBuilder creates your Web site, opens each page inside the Design pane, and displays the Web site in the Site Contents pane. Figure 2-6 shows the final results. For the full scoop on creating and working with your Web site, see Chapter 3. Navigation bar Text banner Text box Figure 2-6: The first step of your journey is complete., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 27
Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site 27 Stop #2: Editing Your Pages
Estimated Time: 7 minutes Your second stop on the Around the Web Tour is the Design pane, where you can edit the three pages that SiteBuilder created for you as part of your Web site. You can do four basic page-building tasks here: editing text, deleting text elements, adding an image, and creating a link. To edit your home page 1. Click the index.html tab at the top of the Design pane. The tabs allow you to move between your open pages. The index.html page is the home page for the Web site. Take a look around at the various elements that appear on the page, including the text banner, navigation bar, text boxes for descriptive text, and images. Figure 2-7 shows the page before you make any changes. 2. Click the Your Company Name Here text box to select it. Figure 2-7: Your home page in the Design pane., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 28 28 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder 3. Select all the text with your mouse. Alternatively, if you’re up for it, you can triple-click inside the box to select all the text. 4. Type XYZ Creations over the selected text. Feel free to use your own company or personal name instead. 5. Click the topmost text element (box) in the content area of the page to select it. 6. Overwrite the Page Name Here (Home) text with a welcome message, such as Welcome to XYZ Creations. 7. Select the Paragraph Title Here (What’s New?) text, and press the Delete key. Press Delete once more to get rid of the blank line. In doing so, you are deleting the extra sample text that you don’t need for these simple steps. 8. Overwrite the sample paragraph text with a “coming soon” message, such as Coming soon. Web site under construction. Check back after I finish reading Yahoo! SiteBuilder For Dummies. 9. Remove the rest of the sample text in the text element. SiteBuilder provides sample text to help you get started on your home page. You can delete the extra text elements for this exercise. 10. Select the text box underneath the one you just modified, and press the Delete key. Repeat this process for the other two elements. Your basic vanilla home page is ready. It should look something like what you see in Figure 2-8. To edit your About Us page 1. Click the aboutus.html tab on the top of the Design pane. The About Us page makes an appearance. 2. Double-click the About Our Business text element to edit the text inside it. 3. Leave the About Our Business heading as is, and overwrite the remainder of the text with XYZ Creations is the leading provider of XYZs in the world. Or, if you’re describing your actual business, modify the text of this paragraph as you like. However, because your tour is on a tight sched- ule, I recommend keeping it to just a sentence or two. 4. Resize the text element box to fit the amount of text inside of it. To do so, first click the blue handle on the bottom middle of the text box and (while keeping your mouse button down) drag the box to the appro- priate size; then release your mouse button., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 29
Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site 29
Figure 2-8: Your starter home page is ready to go. 5. Click the Insert Image button from the toolbar. The Choose an Image dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 2-9. 6. In the Select From section, click the Clip Art option. Figure 2-9: Adding a sample image., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 30 30 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder 7. In the Select Clip Art box, select the group_party_mountain.jpg image from the list. 8. Click OK. The image is placed in the center of your page. 9. Click the image, drag it down, and position it under the text element box. Your basic vanilla About Us page is all set to go. (See Figure 2-10.) See Chapter 7 for full details on working with images. To edit your Contact Us page 1. Click the contactus.html tab at the top of the Design pane. 2. Double-click the Request More Information text element to edit the text inside of it. 3. Leave the Request More Information heading as is, and overwrite the remainder of the text with E-mail us for more information about the best XYZs this side of Texas. Use this text as the basis for a link to your e-mail address. Therefore, when the link is clicked in the browser, the visitor’s e-mail software opens with a new message addressed to you. Figure 2-10: The About Us page is ready to roll., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 31
Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site 31
4. Select E-mail us with your mouse. 5. Click the Link To button on the toolbar. The Link dialog box appears. 6. In the Select the Type of Link drop-down menu, choose An Email Address from the list. The Link dialog box changes its options, as shown in Figure 2-11. 7. In the An Email Address text box, enter your e-mail address. 8. Click the Create button. Your Contact Us page is ready to go, as shown in Figure 2-12. Figure 2-11: Creating a link to your e-mail address. Figure 2-12: The Contact Us page is rarin’ to go., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 32 32 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder See Chapter 6 for more on creating links in SiteBuilder. Your Web site is now ready to go. Notice that I ignored talking about the navigation bar (a graphical bar of links in your site) on the left-hand side of the pages. That’s because SiteBuilder already set up the links for you. Before continuing, choose File➪Save All Pages to save all the pages in your site.
Stop #3: Previewing Your Site
Estimated Time: 2 minutes Your third stop on the Around the Web Tour is a preview of your site before you publish. SiteBuilder enables you to open your Web site inside your browser before publishing. This preview feature allows you to catch mistakes before you actually “go live” with your Web site. To preview your site 1. Click the Preview in Browser button on the toolbar. SiteBuilder opens the current page shown in the Design pane in your default Web browser. 2. Click each of the pages in the navigation bar to view each of them. Under normal circumstances, you spend a lot of time going back and forth between designing your Web site and previewing it and testing it and redesign- ing your Web site and previewing it and testing it and .you get the point.
Stop #4: Publishing Your Site
to Yahoo! Web Hosting Estimated Time: 2 minutes, 59 seconds Now that you’ve created your site, edited your pages, and previewed your site locally, you’re ready for the home stretch of the Around the Web Tour. And looking at the clock, you’ve not a moment to spare! Follow these steps to complete the experience: 1. Choose File➪Publish to Yahoo! Site from the main menu (or just click the Publish Site button on the toolbar)., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 33
Chapter 2: Publishing Your First Site 33
Unless you’re all ready logged into Yahoo!, the Sign In to Yahoo! dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 2-13. Figure 2-13: Log in to Yahoo! before publishing. 2. Enter your Yahoo! ID and password in the Sign In to Yahoo! dialog box and then click OK. The Publish Site dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 2-14. Figure 2-14: Publishing your Web site. 3. Click the Publish All Files option. 4. Click OK. SiteBuilder starts the transfer process and notifies you when the publish is complete. (See Figure 2-15.) Figure 2-15: Publishing success before the sounds of Big Ben. 5. Click the link in the dialog box to take you to a live view of your Web site. Figure 2-16 shows how the Web site looks after it’s been published., 06_598007 ch02.qxd 8/25/05 8:27 PM Page 34 34 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Figure 2-16: Not ready for prime time, perhaps, but a good start. See Chapter 3 for more on publishing your Web site.
Congratulations! Or, as Passepartout would undoubtedly say, “Félicitations! Magnificient!” True, the site you published is basic; it is vanilla. But you’ve done it successfully in less than 16 minutes. You’ve gotten the basic mechanics of what Web site publishing is all about. With that backdrop, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get down to business — creating a genuine, killer Web site using SiteBuilder., 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 35
Chapter 3 Building a Purpose-Driven Web Site
In This Chapter Creating a site with purpose Organizing your site effectively Creating smart content Making your site accessible to everyone Evaluating your site
Poor Karl Marx; the man was misdirected. He sought revolution throughthe political and economic systems when all along, he should have been
a geek and invented the Web. Everybody knows that the Web has become the great equalizer. (Hmmm, does that make Web surfing “the opiate of the masses?”) Indeed, whether you’re a “mom and pop” shop or a large global conglomerate, the Web levels the playing field. Yes, the “big boys” can spend megabucks on advertising, focus groups, and faster servers. But in spite of those advantages, you don’t need that much to put together a Web site that is every bit as effective. In this chapter, you explore some of the basic practices you should under- take as you start to build your Web site. This chapter is all about the upfront work you should think about before you jump in and use SiteBuilder. Then, after you have a handle on this preliminary stuff, you’re ready to create something I call a purpose-driven Web site — one that unifies the visual design, content, site organization, and messaging to reach the people you most want to reach. Use this chapter in combination with Chapter 16. While I cover the upfront issues to consider in Web site design here, Chapter 16 explores very practical tips that you should be aware of as you are in the midst of creating, design- ing, and publishing your SiteBuilder Web site., 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 36 36 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Creating a Purpose-Driven Site
The single most important factor to keep in mind as you work with SiteBuilder is to create a site that is driven by a specific purpose. If you just start creating a site without this upfront effort, your site (and its effective- ness) can suffer as a result. You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money in research, focus groups, and the like. Instead, simply carve out a few hours from your schedule, and devote that time to exploring what you want out of your Web site. You’ll be glad you put the effort into it. As you do so, consider the following issues: Identify a specific purpose: If you’re taking the time and effort to learn how to use SiteBuilder to create a Web site, you must have a reason. Identify your purpose and your goals. If you have a business site, are you trying to attract new customers? Or are you trying to better serve your existing ones? Or are you trying to provide a balance between the two? After you identify your site’s purpose, gear every part of the Web site toward achieving that purpose — including understanding what your priorities are, what your messaging should be, and what Yahoo! add-on features and templates you want. Define your target visitor: Consider who is going to be most interested in coming to your site. Develop a list of various types of people and then narrow it down to just one or two archetypes. After you identify the kind of visitor you expect your Web site to attract, most of the questions con- cerning what kind of design, content, and services you want to offer simply fall into place. Don’t forget to consider the technical expertise and technology-adoption behavior of the target visitor. Your understanding of the target visitor in this area is sure to have an impact on your site design. Make sure you account for people coming to your site with disabilities. Give a professional feel to your site: As Chapter 16 stresses, one of the most important objectives is to create a professional-looking Web site. But unless you’re targeting stuffy old Ivy League professor types, “pro- fessional” doesn’t mean stuffy and stiff-collared. Instead, professional simply means “well done.” Define a “presence:” After you consider your site’s purpose and target audience, identify the way in which you want your Web site to appear to visitors, and develop an aura throughout your Web site that supports that objective. Consider the following potential “tones:” • Conservative and traditional • No-nonsense and practical • Informal and friendly • Avant-garde and cutting-edge, 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 37
Chapter 3: Building a Purpose-Driven Web Site 37
Tailor every visual element on your Web site toward this decision, including • The SiteBuilder template you standardize on. (See Chapter 5.) • The graphic style. (Photos can convey a more conservative tone, while clip art and illustrations are effective in creating an informal aura.) • The writing style. • The visual elements. (Conservative and friendlier sites need to pro- vide intuitive labels and navigation, while a cutting-edge site can have an aura of mystery by taking a more abstract approach.) Evaluate competing sites: As you consider your own purpose-driven site, take a look around the Web at sites that directly or indirectly com- pete with yours. How effective are they at communicating to a similar target visitor? What mistakes do they make that you can avoid? Bookmark these sites you find, and see how their Web sites evolve over time.
Organizing Your Site
Web sites can be logically thought of as hierarchies or as pyramid-like struc- tures. Your home page is at the top of the heap, with three to six second-level sections, and subsections within each of these. Therefore, as you begin plan- ning your Web site, you need to give forethought to the hierarchical structure of your Web site. The hierarchy helps you determine which pages to include on your navigation bar, what pages to bundle together in separate sections, and how the visitor can navigate through your Web site. For example, consider the following structures of two basic sites, shown in Figures 3-1 and 3-2. Home Figure 3-1: Basic two-level Services Contact Us About Us Web site., 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 38 38 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Home Weekly Specials Products Purchase Support About Us Figure 3-2: More expanded 20 Years three-level PencilWalker iDop CrazyJB FAQs of Customer Contact Us Web site. Focus Pictures are sometimes worth a thousand words, but now and then the best way to grasp a concept is to read some solid prose. For some solid ideas on how best to organize your site, read on to the end of this section.
Mocking up your site structure
The best way to define your Web site structure is to develop a list of all potential pages, topics, or services you wish to include. As you brainstorm, ask yourself what the target visitor should expect to find when arriving at your home page. After you have a working list of ideas, mock up your site, using either a low- tech or high-tech option: Old-fashioned index cards. Get a stack of4x6index cards, and write down these major topics or pages you wish to include in your site. Then spread them out on a table, look for logical groupings, and begin to orga- nize them into a hierarchy. A natural hierarchy begins to develop as you see the various pages and topics presented to you in this manner. Charting software. If you just can’t imagine the thought of doing a cre- ative task away from your computer, then use any charting software you may have to create a hierarchical chart. Visio is a popular package, but that’s really overkill. Instead, if you have Microsoft PowerPoint, use its built-in Organization Chart tool. This easy-to-use tool (see Figure 3-3) gives you an ideal visual aid to assist in creating your Web site structure., 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 39
Chapter 3: Building a Purpose-Driven Web Site 39
Figure 3-3: Taking advantage of the built- in charting tool of PowerPoint.
Filling in the missing pieces
After you define the basic structure, you want to identify additional Web site pages or features that may not immediately show up. These include Section pages. As you visually group your pages into clusters, you often encounter the need for a section-level page — one that doesn’t provide much content in and of itself but is needed as a centralized starting point for a subsection. Links. You also want to sketch out the links that you want to include across your site’s pages. Remember, while Web sites are hierarchical, links are positively nonlinear. Sketching or printing the site structure and drawing lines to identify these links is helpful.
Avoiding deep hierarchies
Be careful not to make the hierarchy too deep. If you have a lot of topics, it is better to be broad at the higher level than to have many layers of pages. Studies have shown that visitors easily get lost when they descend more, 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 40 40 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder than three layers deep in a site. For example, suppose you have an About Us section in which you’d like to include the following Web pages: aboutus.html, companyhistory.html, investors.html, contactus.html, maps.html, directions.html, and phonelist.html. Logically, the purest hierarchy is shown in Figure 3-4, but its added layers will make it more difficult for visi- tors. (I even added two extra grouping pages — background.html and visitus.html.) In contrast, Figure 3-5 shows an alternative site hierarchy, which flattens the structure levels and avoids deep nesting. aboutus.html contactus.html background.html Figure 3-4: visitus.html phonelist.html companyhistory.html investors.html Purest hierarchy but not the most visitor friendly. maps.html directions.html
Planning for effective feedback
In addition, you should provide feedback on your Web pages that indicates where the visitor is on your site. Fortunately, some of the SiteBuilder naviga- tion bars change the button state of the active page. In this way, visitors can quickly discern their location. Another handy technique is to include a listing of the hierarchy just under the page header. For example, consider the following heading for a feedback page:
Sound Off to Us
Home \ Contact Us \ Sound Off to Us, 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 41
Chapter 3: Building a Purpose-Driven Web Site 41
aboutus.html companyhistory.html contactus.html investors.html Figure 3-5: A more visitor- friendly site phonelist.html maps.html directions.html structure. As you can see, underneath the page header’s Text element is a second Text element that visually shows where the visitor is in the site’s hierarchy. It even includes links to each of the pages above the current one. Used in combina- tion with a SiteBuilder navigation bar, a visitor can never get lost in your Web site.
Writing Content for Your Web Site
Many people find developing a site’s structure to be an almost intuitive process — the pages naturally start to group themselves into a tree-like hierarchy. However, to many Web site builders, “intuitive” is not a term that comes to mind when you talk about what content should be on a page and how to best present it. Writing content for a page is one of those tasks that you often have to slog through a few times before you really feel like you got it right. Even if content development is more “art” than “science,” keep in mind these general princi- ples as you work your way through this book: Write descriptive headings. Make sure visitors can quickly scan the text heading of your page and instantly know exactly what they can expect on it. Don’t be cute; be clear., 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 42 42 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Avoid forced scrolls. In general, avoid developing pages that require too much scrolling. However, in cases where scrolling is possible, you can still inform visitors what they are going to read on this page rather than force them to scroll down the page to see it. You can create a mini table of contents at the top that highlights section headings of a lengthy page. You can also provide a quick summary that highlights what the visitor can expect. Place key content at the top. Within the main text on a page, consider writing the text like a newspaper article — placing the key information first and then providing details in subsequent sections. This technique doesn’t force readers to read all the page in order to understand what you’re trying to communicate. Avoid “link-itis.” As Chapter 6 discusses, links are the primary driver of the Web and add power to your Web site. At the same time, if you’re writing a page that has multiple paragraphs of text, don’t feel obligated to add a link at every possible place within that content. Too many links within a body of text can be disruptive to the flow of reading. So use them, but recognize the trade-offs. Also, placing links at the start or end of paragraphs is better for the reading flow. Be concise. Don’t add content just because you feel like you need to beef up your Web site. As you proofread through your Web site, get rid of any fluff. Say more with less. Period. End of story. That’s exactly my point. (Ooops, perhaps I should follow my own advice.) Avoid “pixel cramming.” Along the same lines as the previous point, make sure you don’t place too much content on a given page. A page should have plenty of white space and should not — I repeat, should not — be cluttered. White space makes for a much more inviting Web site to come to rather than going to a place that has every pixel of a page crammed with information. Create an aura of accessibility. If you’re a business trying to sell prod- ucts and services, make sure you seem accessible to your site visitor in case of questions or concerns. Provide contact information at the bottom of each page (an e-mail link or page link to your Contact Us page). Also, the Yahoo! Presence Indicator add-on (see Chapter 11) is another way to let visitors know if you are available online for your visitors. Emphasis your trustworthiness. Unless the site visitors know you already, they’re going to be on guard, wary of buying something from an unknown company or even fearful of giving you an e-mail address or other personal information. Therefore, in those parts of your site where a level of trust is needed, such as submitting a feedback form or purchasing a product, tackle that issue head on, and put your visitors at ease. Take a look around at some of the way other sites handle trust and then come up with a solution that best meets your site’s needs., 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 43
Chapter 3: Building a Purpose-Driven Web Site 43
Be informative on downloads. If you have any PDF documents, PowerPoint presentations, large graphics, or software programs that visitors can download from your site, be sure to indicate the size of the download. A major frustration for visitors, particularly those who use a dialup Internet connection, is to not know the size of a file that they wish to download. What’s more, if your download requires a program or sepa- rate reader (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader) in order to access the docu- ment or file, be sure to inform the readers and provide a link to a Web site from which they can download it.
Evaluating Your Site
As you develop your Web site, you should constantly be evaluating it. As you do so, ask yourself the following questions: Is the purpose of my site clear? Do all the pages of my site focus on that one purpose? Am I effectively targeting my audience? Is the content interesting and relevant? Is my site professional looking? Would a visitor know my skill level by the look of the Web site? Is the content well written and easy to read? Is the content written appropriately for my target visitor? Do I always know where I am throughout every page of the Web site? Or do I find myself lost or in a dead end? On a dialup connection, do the pages load fast enough? Is my site accessible to visitors with disabilities? (Test how your Web site looks when you use extra-large fonts in the browser. Also, print your Web site in black and white on your printer, and see if it’s readable by color-blind people.), 07_598007 ch03.qxd 8/25/05 8:50 PM Page 44 44 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder, 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 45
Chapter 4 Trickle-Down Site Building: Working with Sites, Pages,
and Elements In This Chapter Creating and working with your Web site Publishing your Web site Handling the basics of page editing Working with elements on a Web page
By and large, the software programs that you work with on your desktopor laptop computer are file-based applications. For instance, when work-
ing in Microsoft Word, you’ll edit a document (.doc file); in Excel, calculate a spreadsheet (.xls file). Or, if you listen to music in iTunes or Window Media Player, you’ll play .mp3 or .wmf media files. In fact, as if to underscore this point, open virtually any Windows program, and check out the name of its first menu. Chances are you see a certain word that rhymes with Gomer Pyle. Within this file-based world, SiteBuilder has a different take: You work with both a group of files (a Web site) as well as individual Web pages (.html files) with the help of SiteBuilder’s Design pane (where you do most of your editing). Therefore, from its File menu, you can actually create, open, and save a Web site as well as a Web page. That might be enough to get Gomer to say gollllllly! In this chapter, you explore how to use SiteBuilder to perform basic tasks associated with your Web site and individual pages within it. You also dis- cover how to use SiteBuilder to work with various elements on pages — the text, images, and links that make up any decent Web page., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 46 46 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Working with Your Web Site
A Web site in SiteBuilder is kind of like the titles of the classic fantasy series The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia. These titles refer to a series of books, but you never, for example, read a book with those specific titles. Instead, you read individual books, such as The Fellowship of the Ring or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, within that collection. In the same way, a SiteBuilder Web site serves as an organizing device for a collection of individual Web pages. You perform basic site-related tasks to organize and manage the pages, but you never really edit your Web site as a whole. Instead, you create and edit Web pages within the site. In this section, you explore the major tasks you perform when working with your Web site.
Creating a new site
In order to build a Web site, you need something to work with. So you either need to create one from scratch or start with one that you’ve built using another Web site building tool. (See the “Importing a Web site you’ve previ- ously created” section, later in this chapter, for more on that course of action.) Using SiteBuilder, however, you’ll normally want to start from scratch to take advantage of SiteBuilder’s templates. After you start the Site Creation Wizard, you can’t access the SiteBuilder menu or toolbar. You either need to complete the site creation process or cancel out of the wizard to enable the full functionality. To create a site using SiteBuilder’s templates, follow these steps as you go through the Site Creation Wizard: 1. Click the Create a New Site link in the Help pane. (The Help pane is on the left side of the SiteBuilder main window.) You can also choose File➪New Site from the main menu or press Ctrl+Shift+N. The Help pane updates to display the opening page of the Site Creation Wizard, as shown in Figure 4-1. 2. Click the Start button to continue. The Help pane updates to show the next step in the creation process. (See Figure 4-2.), 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 47
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 47
Figure 4-1: Step on up and create your own Web site. Figure 4-2: Gathering information for your Web site., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 48 48 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder 3. Enter the name of your Web site in the text box provided. The name you pick never shows up on your public Web site but is used to name the Web site folder on your hard drive. 4. If you wish to change the base location in which SiteBuilder stores the Web site, enter a new folder in the Save My Web Site Folder In box. Normally, you’ll want to simply stick with the default location (typically c:\Program Files\Yahoo! SiteBuilder\sites), because that’s where SiteBuilder naturally assumes all your stuff is kept — and some- times old assumptions die hard. However, if you are a rebel, then you can create a My Web Sites sub- folder in your My Documents folder to use as a home base for your Web site. 5. Click the Next button to continue. The Help pane once again updates, as shown in Figure 4-3. 6. Determine whether you wish to use a SiteBuilder template for your Web site design or not. If you want to use a SiteBuilder template — the optional resource that gives you predefined page designs and graphics — then choose the Template option. Figure 4-3: Your choice: Start with “the works” or “the bare bones?”, 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 49
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 49
If you do not want to use a template at all, then choose the Blank Page option. 7. Click Next to continue. If you chose a blank page, then the Site Creation Wizard ends and your site, containing one blank Web page, is ready to roll. You can ignore the remaining steps in this list. If you’re using a template, then the Help pane updates to allow you to select the template of your choice, as shown in Figure 4-4. 8. Select the template that you want to base your site design on. The Templates list displays the available templates, both ones that you’ve already downloaded to your computer as well as ones that are available but you haven’t downloaded. Downloaded templates have a check mark beside their name. If you select a template that isn’t available on your local computer, SiteBuilder asks if you want to download the template from the Yahoo! Web site as you continue the process. (For more on downloading tem- plates, see Chapter 5.) Click the View Full Size button to see a full-size thumbnail in a separate window. Figure 4-4: Selecting the right template for your Web site., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 50 50 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Picking a template is one of the most important — and long-reaching — decisions you make when it comes to your Web site. First, your selection dominates the look of your site, so make sure it’s something you’ll want to live with on a day in, day out basis. Second, it is also not a decision you can easily turn back from — switching to another template after you already create your site is not simply done. Third, the template provides a starting point for you, but SiteBuilder templates are customizable so you can make a site that meets your unique needs. Again, check out everything you need to know about templates in Chapter 5 before making your final decision. 9. Click Next to continue. If you need to download the template you select, SiteBuilder prompts you at this point to download it before continuing and gives you the approximate time it will take to do so. You can continue or cancel the process. After the template is ready, the Help pane updates one final time, as shown in Figure 4-5. 10. On the last page of the wizard, check the boxes beside each standard page you want in your Web site. Figure 4-5: Determining your site’s organ- ization., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 51
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 51
You must include a home page, but you can decide whether you want to start out with other typical pages, such as an About Us page, Contact Us page, or a Services page. Checking the Blank Template Page box creates a page without any starter text, but it still has the overall visual template style. If you don’t add these page types now, you can always decide to add them later on. See the “Creating a new Web page” section, later in this chapter, for more details. 11. If you want to add a navigation bar, select the Link Pages Together with a Navigation Bar radio button. (If not, select the Do Not Create a Navigation Bar Now radio button.) As Chapter 9 discusses, the navigation bar provides an easy way for people to get around on your Web site. 12. Click the Next button to create your Web site. SiteBuilder creates your Web site, opens each page inside of the Design pane, and displays the Web site in the Site Contents pane. Figure 4-6 shows the final results. (Note that each page now has its own tab at the top of the Design pane.) Figure 4-6: Presto! Your Web site is ready to begin., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 52 52 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Importing a Web site you’ve
previously created If you’ve never created a Web site before or had an old one that could be a candidate for the Web’s Ten Ugliest Sites list, then you can simply start from scratch, following the instructions in the “Creating a new Web site” section. However, perhaps you are now just turning to SiteBuilder after you’ve already poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into a site that you don’t want to simply throw away. You can import your previous work into SiteBuilder, with two important qualifications: Your Web site must be on your Yahoo! Web server. If you have a Web site that exists elsewhere, you need to transfer it first to your Yahoo! host and then import it. Importing into any Web site builder is usually an imperfect process, so don’t expect perfect results. If you did not use SiteBuilder or Yahoo! PageBuilder to create the site before, your original pages may need tweaking and redesigning after you import them. Some Web site builders may use complex formatting techniques that are difficult for SiteBuilder to interpret correctly. My own personal caveat: Importing a Yahoo! Web site into an existing SiteBuilder Web site is possible. However, because of the potential for confu- sion and unexpected complications, I recommend you don’t do it. If you still decide to go through with it, at least be sure you have any opened Web sites closed before proceeding by choosing File➪Close Site. (This menu item is dis- abled if you don’t have a site opened.) This ensures that you don’t acciden- tally import pages into an existing Web site that you are working on. To import a Web site into SiteBuilder, follow these steps: 1. Choose File➪Import Yahoo! Site from the main menu. A dialog box may display, letting you know what I already told you — don’t expect perfect results. Click OK to continue. If you are not signed in with Yahoo! Web Hosting for this session, SiteBuilder prompts you for your Yahoo! ID and password. You’re prompted whether you wish to import the files into a new or existing Web site. (See Figure 4-7.), 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 53
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 53
Figure 4-7: Deciding the destination of the imported files. 2. Click the Create a New Site radio button and click OK. The Choose a Name and Location dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 4-8. Figure 4-8: Creating a comfy new home for your incoming files. 3. Enter a name for your site in the box provided. 4. Choose a location on your hard drive to put your imported Web site. As the dialog box recommends, you’ll usually want to stick to the default folder provided. 5. Click OK in the Choose a Name and Location dialog box to continue. The Import Site dialog box, shown in Figure 4-9, displays. Figure 4-9: An all- important task: importing your Web site., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 54 54 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder 6. Confirm the Import From and Import To locations in the Import Site dialog box and then click OK. SiteBuilder begins the importing process, copying each of the files located on your Yahoo! host to your new Web site.
Opening an existing site
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, so too you’ll be working on your Web site in more than one sitting. Therefore, each time you want to work on creating or update your Web site, you first need to open it. Follow these steps to open a site you’ve already created: 1. Choose File➪Open Site from the main menu. The Open Site dialog box, shown in Figure 4-10, displays. Figure 4-10: Open sesame and Web sites too! 2. Select your Web site from the list displayed. If your Web site is stored in the SiteBuilder Sites folder, then select your Web site from the list. Or, if it is located elsewhere, such as in your My Documents folder, then click the Standard File Chooser radio button at the top, navigate to your Web site folder using the Look In box, and then select the root folder of your site. 3. Click the Open button. SiteBuilder opens up the site., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 55
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 55 Saving your site
You may create, open, and publish a Web site, but SiteBuilder has no equiva- lent Save Site command. However, you can perform the same task by choosing File➪Save All Pages from the main menu.
Closing a site
When you are ready to close your Web site, choose File➪Close Site from the menu. Before closing, you will be prompted to save any changes you’ve made to the Web pages.
Deleting a site
You can delete a site by opening the Open Site dialog box (accessible by choosing File➪Open Site from the main menu). In the dialog box, select the Web site and click the Delete button. (Refer to Figure 4-10 for a peek at the Delete button; it’s at the top right and has an “X marks the spot” look.) SiteBuilder asks you to confirm the deletion process.
Previewing your site before you publish
One of the advantages of using a desktop-based Web site builder like SiteBuilder is that you can preview, test, and debug (fix any problems) the site on your own computer before you go live with it for the world to see. When you preview your site locally, SiteBuilder launches your default Web browser and points to the local file version of your home page. Previewing allows you to See how the design and look of your Web site appears in the actual browser. Click through the links on your Web site to make sure they work as you expect. Test page effects and other functionality on your page to ensure their proper operation. However, not all functionality, such as form process- ing, is available when you preview your Web site locally. So if you have a site with a lot of bells and whistles, you probably need to publish to your Yahoo! host first if you really want to check out every aspect of your site., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 56 56 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Follow these steps to preview your site: 1. Click the Preview in Browser button on the toolbar. Or choose File➪Preview in Browser from the menu. 2. Test your Web site design and functionality in the browser. You don’t need to save your open files before previewing them. This capabil- ity is handy, enabling you to test different ideas without actually having to save your changes first. Within SiteBuilder itself, you can only preview your Web site using the default browser. However, if you have more than one browser on your system and want to preview your site in a nondefault browser, then perform the following trick: 1. Preview your Web site in the default Web browser. This process ensures that you’ve properly prepared all the site files for previewing. 2. In your default Web browser, copy the URL in the Address box to the Clipboard. 3. Open your nondefault browser. 4. Paste the URL into the Address box and press Enter. The nondefault browser displays the preview Web site.
Ready for the Big Leagues: Publishing Your Web Site
After you create, design, and preview your Web site offline on your local com- puter, you’re ready to “go public” with it. However, before doing so, make sure your site passes two critical tests: Make sure that you’ve fully debugged the Web site, as I describe in the “Previewing your site before you publish” section, earlier in this chapter. Thorough debugging before you go live ensures that your visitors don’t run into potentially embarrassing problems with your site. Make sure the home page of your Web site is named index.html in the Site Contents pane. If not, your published Web site won’t display properly., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 57
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 57
You need to be connected to the Internet before starting this process. Otherwise, you receive an error message from SiteBuilder. After you pass these two sanity tests, transfer your files to your Yahoo! Web server by following these steps: 1. Choose File➪Publish to Yahoo! Site from the main menu. Note: You need to save all your Web pages before you can publish — otherwise, SiteBuilder can’t copy your latest changes. If all of your files aren’t saved, SiteBuilder prompts you to save first. The Publish Site dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 4-11. Figure 4-11: Publishing your Web site takes just a couple easy steps. 2. Make any necessary changes in the Publish From and Publish To boxes. (You will rarely need to adjust these default settings.) The Publish From box displays your current Web site folder on your local computer. The Publish To box shows the Web site domain that the files will be pub- lished to. You’ll almost always want to publish to the root domain folder (the default). However, if you want to publish to a subfolder on your site, click the Browse button next to the Publish To box and select a different folder. Under most circumstances, you can ignore this step, because you’ll usu- ally want to publish your Web site to the root folder of your domain (for example, www.anysite.com). But if you have a Web site that you want to start from a subfolder (such as www.anysite.com/myothersite), then change this value before publishing. 3. Determine which files you want to publish. If you wish to update just the files you updated since the last time you published, click the Only Publish Modified Files radio button. You’ll nor- mally want to use this option as a timesaver., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 58 58 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder If you wish to publish or republish all the contents of your Web site, then click the Publish All Files button. 4. Click OK. SiteBuilder starts the transfer process and notifies you when the publish is completed. (See Figure 4-12.) Figure 4-12: Publishing success, even without a New York Times bestseller.
Working with Web Pages
“No sense reinventing the wheel” is what I always say. You’ll soon discover that you can perform several file-based tasks inside of SiteBuilder that oper- ate surprisingly like the file-based tasks you’d perform in a word processor program like Microsoft Word. This section highlights these tasks.
Creating a new Web page
When you use the New Site Wizard (see the “Creating a new site” section, earlier in the chapter), you begin with a Web site containing a basic set of four or five pages. Or, if you import a Web site, you start off with the number of pages transferred from the Web server. However, your Web site doesn’t stay static. As your needs change, so too do the pages on your site. You add some, edit others, and remove old ones that you no longer need. When you add a new Web page to your Web site, you have two choices. You can Add a blank page Add a template-based page A blank page is useful if you want to fully customize the design and overall look of your Web page. Otherwise, you want to choose the template-based page option. The following two steps of instructions tell you how to add these two types of new pages., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 59
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 59
To create a new blank page 1. Click the New Page without Template button on the toolbar. Or you can choose File➪New Page➪Without Template from the main menu or just press Ctrl+N. SiteBuilder adds an empty Web page to your site. To create a new template page 1. Click the New Page with Template button on the toolbar. Or you can choose File➪New Page➪With Template from the main menu or just press Ctrl+Shift+N. The Add New Page dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 4-13. Figure 4-13: Adding a new template- based page. 2. Select the template you want to use for the new page from the Template list box. Be careful. This is one of those places where Yahoo! gives you too many choices for your own good. Mixing and matching templates in a single Web site is always a bad idea. Therefore, avoid the glamour and allure of all of those pretty templates, and plunk down the same template you already picked for the rest of your Web site. If you find yourself so enam- ored of one of these templates, then consider making that template the look for your entire site. 3. Select the type of page you wish to add: • Blank Template Page: Provides the basic page design of the tem- plate but without any canned text. • About Us, Contact Us, Home Page, and Services Page: All provide template-specific versions of these SiteBuilder basic page types., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 60 60 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder • Store Products Wizard: Creates an e-commerce products page for your Yahoo! Merchant Solutions Web site. See Chapter 15 for more details. 4. Click the Add Page button. A new page named Untitled is added to the SiteBuilder Design pane, and a new tab is added to the top of the page editor display. When you create a new Web page, it isn’t officially part of the site itself until you save it with a real name. After you save it (see the “Saving a Web page” section, later in this chapter), then it’s added to the Site Contents pane.
Saving a Web page
As you design and edit your Web page, you should save it periodically inside of SiteBuilder just like any file-based Windows application.
Saving an untitled page
The first time you save an untitled page, you’re prompted to both enter a file- name in the Save As dialog box and specify the location of the file. Normally, you want to give the file a descriptive name, such as directions.html (for a Directions page) or news.html (for a Latest News or What’s New page). The name you choose is the one used on the Web site. For example, if I have a page called booklist.html on my domain, the URL for accessing that file would be www.menwithoutchests.com/booklist.html.
Saving a titled page
If you’ve already titled and saved the file before, simply click the Save Page button on the toolbar to save your latest changes. You can also choose File➪Save Page or press Ctrl+S.
Saving a file with a new name
If you wish to save the Web page with a new name, then choose File➪Save Page As from the main menu. In the Save As dialog box, enter a new name and click OK. When you save a file with a new name, SiteBuilder adds the new page to your Web site but keeps the original file and all its link associations intact. In this way, you can think of the Save As process as duplicating your original Web page instead of renaming it., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 61
Chapter 4: Working with Sites, Pages, and Elements 61 Opening a Web page
When you wish to edit a Web page already in your site, you can open it in var- ious ways. To open the page immediately, double-click the name of the Web page in the Site Contents pane. (Refer to Figure 4-6.) To open up a page through the Open dialog box: Click the Open Page button on the toolbar. Choose File➪Open Page from the main menu. Press Ctrl+O. In SiteBuilder, you can open an HTML file on your computer that is not part of your Web site. However, when you do so, SiteBuilder treats it essentially as a file import process: SiteBuilder copies the file into your Web site and renames it untitled. As a result, you are working off a copy, not the original file.
Closing one or more Web pages
When you are done with a Web page, close it by choosing File➪Close Page. Or, if you’re through with the whole lot of pages you have open in your Design pane, choose File➪Close All Pages. SiteBuilder closes them suckers quicker than you can say “Barney Fife.”
Deleting a Web page
An old Web page that needs to be put out to pasture. The page design experi- ment that went horribly awry. A page that you look at and suddenly scream at the top of your lungs: I am sick of it, and I’m not gonna take it anymore! When circumstances like these spring up, sometimes you just have to take drastic measures and delete a Web page from your site. To do so, find the doomed file in the Site Contents pane, and press the Delete key. (Alternatively, you can choose Delete File from the right-click menu.) SiteBuilder, after asking you to confirm your drastic action, not only removes the page from your site, but also deletes the file from your computer., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 62 62 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Copying a Web page
If you’d like to make a copy of a Web page, you can duplicate it by performing one of two tasks: Right-click the Web page inside of the Site Contents pane, and choose Copy File from the contextual menu that appears. Provide a new name in the Destination box, and click Save As. Choose File➪Save As from the menu. (See the “Saving a file with a new name” section, earlier in this chapter.)
Renaming a Web page
You can rename a Web page that you’ve already created by selecting it inside of the Site Contents pane and pressing F2 (or right-clicking and choosing Rename File from the contextual menu that appears). You can then make a name change inside of the Site Contents pane. Press Enter to save your changes. If the Web page is linked or part of the navigation bar, you’re asked to confirm your changes.
Modifying Page Properties
While most of your time is spent adding, editing, and arranging elements (such as text blocks, images, and links) on a page, you can also modify cer- tain attributes of the page as a whole. You can perform these operations from the Page Properties dialog box (see Figure 4-14), which you can access by choosing Edit➪Page Properties from the main menu. You can also right-click the page and choose Page Properties from the contex- tual menu that appears. However, depending on your page layout and tem- plate, selecting the page as whole with your mouse — rather than just an image or other element on top of the page — can be tricky. If you don’t see Page Properties in the right-click menu, it means you’ve selected another object. The following sections discuss how you can work with the Page Properties dialog box to modify the page., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 63
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Figure 4-14: Modifying page level properties.
Specifying meta data
Each Web page can optionally contain meta data, a techie term that refers to information that is maintained “behind the scenes” of your Web page to describe the content of the document. Your page’s meta data is accessible from the top section of the Page Properties dialog box. (Refer to Figure 4-14.) The three pieces of information include Title: The title provides a descriptive name for the Web page. Most Web browsers, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, place the title of the Web page in the title bar of the browser window as well as use it as the name when a page is saved as an item in a Favorites (or bookmarks) list. Search engines also use the title when they display results from a search. Keywords: The words you provide as a comma-delimited list enable search engines to index your Web page according to these keywords. For example, if you ran a travel agency specializing in selling mountain- climbing adventure travel packages, you could include such words as travel agency, adventure travel, Mount Everest, Alps, Himalayas, mountain climbing, adventure tours, extreme sports, and sport tourism. Then, when a potential customer uses a search engine to find a travel agency spe- cializing in alpine adventure packages, your site may pop up as one of the first hits on the list, due to your excellent choice of keywords. Author: The author meta tag is useful for your personal use. It can be especially helpful if you have multiple people working on your Web site. Enter the meta data information that best describes your Web page in the spaces provided in the Page Properties dialog box., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 64 64 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Modifying the page layout
You can also modify the physical layout of the page from the Page Properties dialog box. The following sections show you how to make these modifications.
Resizing a page
The default size of a SiteBuilder Web page has a fixed width of 762 x 3000 — 762 pixels in width and 3,000 pixels in height. (A pixel is the measuring unit of screen resolutions.) You can tweak the size by changing the values of the Width and Height boxes in the Page Properties dialog box. The width of your page is the most important design consideration in terms of physical size. Visitors coming to your site will be using a variety of screen resolutions. The most popular resolution today is 1024 x 768, but other popu- lar resolutions include 800 x 600 and 1280 x 1024. Given this resolution range, it is a wise idea to ensure that the width of your page is 790 pixels or less, guaranteeing that the visitor can view the entire contents of the page width- wise without needing to scroll horizontally. A few stragglers are still out there using 640 x 480 resolution, but as Chapter 16 indicates, you don’t need to design your site for really old technology.
Specifying page margins
You can specify left/right and top/bottom page margins from the Page Properties dialog box. A small margin of 5 pixels or less can offset your page nicely from the browser window. Experiment with a variety of values, and see what looks best for your Web site. If you center your page (see the next section), left/right page margins have little effect unless the width of the browser window is the same size as or smaller than the width of the page.
Centering your page inside of the browser
You can have your page centered inside of the browser window by checking the Centered check box in the Page Properties dialog box. Therefore, instead of being left aligned, your page is always centered smack dab in the middle of the browser window. If, for example, your Web page is 762 pixels in width, and you view the page at 800 x 600 resolution, you won’t notice much difference. But centering is especially attractive for visitors coming to your site who use a high resolu- tion, such as 1280 x 1024. For example, Figure 4-15 shows a noncentered page at 1280 x 1024, while Figure 4-16 displays the same page with the centered option turned on., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 65
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Figure 4-15: Uncentered page at 1280 x 1024. Figure 4-16: Centered page at 1280 x 1024., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 66 66 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Working with Page Elements
So far in this chapter, you’ve been looking at how to work with the Web site as individual Web pages. Important work, to be sure, but for the most part it’s work that involves relatively simple tasks you can take care of rather quickly. The bulk of the work you actually do on your Web site — the stuff that really eats up your time — deals with what’s inside your Web pages: its content. In SiteBuilder, when you talk about content you’re talking about page elements such as text boxes, images, tables, forms, navigation bars, and all the other doohickeys you can physically place on a Web page. Most of the remaining chapters deal with how to work with each of these specific page elements. For now, though, think of this section — the one you have in your hot little hands right now — as your (relatively brief) introduction to how you orga- nize and arrange all these various page elements onto the page itself. Read on and become enlightened!
Inside of the SiteBuilder Design pane, you can select any page element by clicking inside its borders with your mouse. When you do so, a flashing blue border displays by default around your selection. When selecting elements, keep the following in mind: To select multiple elements on a page, press the Ctrl key while you click each element you wish to select. SiteBuilder adds the element you click to the overall selection. To select all the elements on a page, choose Edit➪Select All from the main menu. To unselect all the elements on a page, choose Edit➪Select None from the main menu or click somewhere on the page itself.
You can move elements around on your page and place them wherever you want to. To do so 1. Click the element you want to move, keeping your mouse button down. The element shows a flashing blue border around it. If you wish to move more than one element at a time, press the Ctrl key while you select each element with your mouse., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 67
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2. Drag the page element(s) to the desired new location. 3. Release the mouse button. You can also use your arrow keys to move any page elements you’ve selected one pixel at a time. This technique is useful when you wish to precisely posi- tion your element. If you want to line up a page element based on x, y coordinates, you can right-click the element and choose Properties from its contextual menu. Click the Coordinates tab and adjust the x, y values as desired. Click OK to reposi- tion the element.
Other common element-based tasks
You can perform several other common tasks on any element on your page. If you’ve worked with Windows applications before, these tasks should be old hat to you. Select one or more elements and then perform one of the following: Cut: To cut an element, click the Cut button on the toolbar. (Or choose Edit➪Cut from the main menu or press Ctrl+X.) SiteBuilder moves this element to the Clipboard. You can then paste it into the current page or any other page inside your Web site. Copy: You can copy an element by clicking the Copy button on the tool- bar. Alternatively, you can choose Edit➪Copy or press Ctrl+C. Paste: Once you cut or copy an element, you can paste it into another page on your Web site by clicking the Paste button on your toolbar (or choosing Edit➪Paste or pressing Ctrl+V). SiteBuilder inserts it in the same position (x, y coordinates) that it had when it was cut or copied. Therefore, if you paste an element onto the same page you copied it, the new element is on top of the original. Duplicate: If you’d like to duplicate an element, you can perform a two- step copy-and-paste process. However, you can save a step by choosing Edit➪Duplicate from the menu. SiteBuilder adds the duplicate copy right on top of the original. Because Duplicate adds elements to the same page, use the traditional copy-and-paste process if you wish to use the duplicate element on a dif- ferent page. Delete: To delete an element, click the Delete button on the toolbar (or press the Delete key or Edit➪Delete)., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 68 68 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
In the early days of the Web, every page element that you added to a Web page had its own rectangular sandbox where it could play to its heart’s con- tent but would throw everyone else out of if they ventured inside of its bor- ders. The only exception was a background image, which could cover the entire page regardless of what was on top of it. This meant that if you tried to put one image on top of another, the browser wouldn’t know how to display the combination properly, and so it would force one image to move downward, outside of the sandbox of the other. But, in so doing, it would skew the intended look of the page — not exactly what the doctor ordered. If you’ve ever needed proof that, every day and in every way, things are get- ting just a little bit better, the newer browsers allow for you to overlap images and other page elements, one on top of the other. (Cause for celebration, I think.) The vast majority of your Web site visitors will have browsers capable of dis- playing layered images just as you intended when you designed the page. However, there are some exceptions. For example, a text element overlapping a navigation bar doesn’t display properly in the current version of Firefox. In addition, a few old-time dinosaur browsers may also prove incapable of dis- playing your page properly. Keep that in mind as you design your site. To layer elements, simply drag one element over the rectangular sandbox of another. As you do so, you see that one of them has to be “on top” of the other, taking precedence in what’s displayed on-screen. Ultimately, for all of the elements on your page, there’s a “king of the mountain” — the image or other page element that is on top of all other elements. Each of the other ele- ments then fit in somewhere farther down the line. This relative ranking order among page elements is maintained by SiteBuilder and passed along to the Web browser for keeping track of the overlapping of page elements. Some of the elements are transparent, but other elements may have all of its area filled in. For example, a text element with no background color or graphic will be transparent except for the text that is contained in it. As a result, any image or element underneath the text element will show through the transparent regions of the element. You can’t layer all page elements. Several of the Add-Ons, such as the Yahoo! Map Add-On, need their own sandboxes. SiteBuilder displays a flashing red border around these elements when they overlap with another page element, letting you know that the page won’t display properly unless corrected., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 69
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As you work inside of SiteBuilder, you can determine where the elements rank in that list by following these steps: 1. Select the page element with your mouse. 2. Determine the relative display order of the selected element to other, overlapping elements. • If you’d like to make it the “king of the mountain” and appear on top of any other element, choose Arrange➪Bring to Front from the main menu (or press Ctrl+Shift+F). • If you’d like to send it spiraling downward to the bottom of the dis- play order, choose Arrange➪Send to Back (or press Ctrl+Shift+B). • If you’d like to move it up one level, choose Arrange➪Bring Forward. • If you’d like to move it down one level, choose Arrange➪Send Backward. SiteBuilder then updates the display order based on your choice. Figures 4-17 and 4-18 show how changing the order of the layers impacts what’s displayed on-screen. Figure 4-17: Option 1 of layer order., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 70 70 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Figure 4-18: Option 2 of layer order.
Aligning and spacing page elements
You can move page elements around anywhere you want on the page, but get- ting all your elements aligned with each other or evenly spaced is tricky. To align and space multiple page elements, follow these steps: 1. Select each of the page elements you wish to align. Remember: To select multiple elements, press the Ctrl key as you make your individual selections. 2. Choose Edit➪Align from the main menu. If you like keyboard shortcuts, press Ctrl+Shift+A. The Align dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 4-19. 3. In the Alignment box, select the desired type of alignment. Choose one of your six alignment choices (left, vertical center, right, top, horizontal center, and bottom). Or, if you are going to adjust the other settings in the dialog box and not the alignment, then choose None., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 71
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Figure 4-19: Align this way and that. 4. If you wish, check one or both boxes in the Match Largest box. The Height box sets the height of each element to be the same size as the largest selected element. The Width box adjusts the width of each element to be the same size as the widest selected element. 5. If you wish, select the desired spacing option in the Space Items box. To space the elements evenly based on your alignment direction, click the Space Evenly option. To arrange the elements flush next to the other, click the Space Edge to Edge option. To keep the spacing as is, click the No Change option. 6. Click OK to align., 08_598007 ch04.qxd 8/25/05 8:32 PM Page 72 72 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder, 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 73
Chapter 5 Designers At Your Beck and Call: Using SiteBuilder Templates
In This Chapter Discovering what a SiteBuilder template is Avoiding template remorse Downloading more SiteBuilder templates Changing a template look Creating your own custom template page Deciding whether to use a template
You’ve probably seen those “home makeover” shows on TV. The typical
scenario is the following: A professional designer comes into a couple’s home and transforms it from “this old house” to “this spectacular house.” Invariably, the homeowners cry in joy at the grand unveiling and thank the designer profusely for the great work. Perhaps it’s just the ornery side of me, but I secretly wish, just once, a couple would despise the changes — and with such a ferocity that they throw the designer into their pool! In some ways, SiteBuilder templates are reminiscent of those home makeover shows. As a Web site builder, you get to utilize the expertise of a professional designer and have them make over your site. Your Web site look can go from “drab and dull” to “rockin’ and stylin’.” Best of all, unlike those homeowners, you don’t have to wait a week before being surprised by the results. You get to pick and choose the exact style that best fits your needs before you actu- ally create your Web site in the first place. Sound like something you might be interested in? Then read on, for this is the chapter where you get to explore SiteBuilder templates, those “virtual” designers always at your beck and call. If you have your own custom design that you wish to use instead of a SiteBuilder template, feel free to move on to Chapter 6., 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 74 74 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Exploring SiteBuilder Templates
SiteBuilder gives you access to over 380 professionally designed templates right inside of the product itself. The SiteBuilder template designs are grouped into over 40 categories, such as Real Estate, Beauty, Baby, Computers, E-Commerce, Medical, and Wedding. You can either take the time to install all these templates right onto your local computer, or you can view thumb- nail versions of templates online and then download just the ones you need on demand.
What is a SiteBuilder template?
Many software applications that you use every day — applications such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint — make use of “templates” or “master” pages. Yet a template means something different to each of these applications, and the SiteBuilder templates are no exception. SiteBuilder templates are page designs that serve as the backbone for your Web site. A template includes most or all of the following components, which combine to create a unified look and feel for your site: A graphical theme, including coordinated graphics, background image, customized navigation bar, and custom image bullets. Text colors coordinated to match the template graphics. Pre-designed “boilerplate” pages tailored for a specific purpose. The pages that are available depend on the actual template. Business-oriented templates often include About Us, Contact Us, and Services pages. Real Estate templates include many pages specific to that vertical market, such as Calculator, Listing Details, and Neighborhoods pages. Personal- or activity-oriented templates usually include About Us, Contact Us, Calendar, and Photo Album pages. A predefined layout area on each page to place your content. Clip art specific to the template design. Figure 5-1 displays a sample template page with several of these components.
Avoiding “template remorse”
You select the template you are going to use before you create your Web site. After you create your site and start adding your own content, you can’t simply switch over to another template. Instead, you have to start all over, 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 75
Chapter 5: Using SiteBuilder Templates 75
again and create a new site. Therefore, avoid “template remorse” by making sure you explore all the possible templates that you may be interested in before you hone in on one to use: Download all the possible templates that you are considering using. (See the “Need More? Downloading Additional Templates” section, later in the chapter, for instructions on how to download additional templates.) Create a dummy site for each of these templates. (Chapter 3 gives you the lowdown on creating Web sites.) You don’t need much, if anything, on a test site. You just want the basic site created to the get the flavor of the template. Evaluate each candidate. After you narrow your template list and make a final selection, you’re ready to create your Web site. You may not be able to change templates after you create your site, but as Chapter 3 explains, you can always add new pages based on the template to your site after the initial site creation. Graphics Coordinated Navigation bar Text color Template pages added Figure 5-1:
SiteBuilder template does all the upfront work for you. Layout area, 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 76 76 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Need More? Downloading Additional Templates
To minimize the time it takes to download the SiteBuilder program files, Yahoo! includes just a handful of templates in the initial SiteBuilder installa- tion. However, you can download additional templates — even all of them, if you want — so you can have them ready to go at a moment’s notice. You must be connected to the Internet, of course, in order to download SiteBuilder templates. (Ahh, details, details..) The following steps show you how to download a single template “on demand:” 1. Choose File➪New Site from the main menu. The Help pane updates to display the opening page of the Site Creation Wizard. 2. Proceed through Steps 1 and 2 of the Site Creation Wizard. See Chapter 3 for a complete details on the site creation process. After completing these steps, Step 3 displays. (See Figure 5-2.) Figure 5-2: “High definition” templates on demand., 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 77
Chapter 5: Using SiteBuilder Templates 77
3. Select the desired template from the Template list box. You have a couple tools that help in your template selection process, including • The Template Categories list box, great for filtering templates by category. • The View Full Size button, which lets you look at a normal-size pre- view of the template. Note: If you’ve all ready downloaded a template, a check mark is beside its name. 4. Click Next to continue. If you select a template that is not yet installed on your computer, SiteBuilder downloads the template for you automatically and makes it available for use. 5. Proceed through the remaining steps of the Site Creation Wizard. When your site is created, it’s based on the specified template. You can also download a template “on demand” from the Add New Page dialog box (see Figure 5-4, shown later in the chapter). You access the Add New Page dialog box by clicking the New Page with Template button on the toolbar. Follow these steps to download SiteBuilder templates in advance: 1. Click the Download All Templates button on the toolbar. The Download More Templates dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 5-3. SiteBuilder then contacts the Yahoo! server and retrieves information on any template packages available for download. If you have a dialup connection, this process may take a few minutes. Figure 5-3: Download More Templates in one big swoop., 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 78 78 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder
Tweaking a SiteBuilder template
After you put your template to its intended use — For example, suppose you like some aspects of creating your Web site — don’t hesitate to tweak a given template but want to remove the back- the look of the SiteBuilder template elements on ground color, change the font from Arial to your pages. If you are creative, this kind of Verdana, and set the navigation bar to be verti- tweaking can help ensure that your Web site’s cal instead of horizontal. If so, you could make design is truly unique and different from other these changes on your first page and then Web sites that use SiteBuilder. update all other pages to give your entire Web site the same unique look. 2. In the Download More Templates dialog box, check the templates you want to download or click the Check All button to download all templates. 3. Click the Download button to start the download process. When SiteBuilder is done downloading, you can begin using the tem- plates and clip art with your Web site. You can also view the SiteBuilder Templates Gallery inside your browser — just go to webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/templates.
Creating Your Own Template Page
While you cannot make your own SiteBuilder templates, you can create your own template page and reuse it within your site. In some software applications, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, you can make one change to the “template,” and the changes ripple throughout every page based on that template. Not so with SiteBuilder: After you create a custom template page, it no longer contains any “linkages” to the pages that were created from it. As a result, make sure you are satisfied with the design and look of your custom template page before you create pages from it. You can create and use a customized template page by following these steps: 1. With your Web site open, click the New Page with Template button on the toolbar. The Add New Page dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 5-4., 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 79
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Figure 5-4: Choosing the template when creating a new page. 2. In the Add New Page dialog box, select the template you are using from the list. The current template is selected in the list. 3. From the Select Page to Add drop-down menu, choose Blank Page. 4. Click the Add Page button at the bottom of the Add New Page dialog box. The new page is added to your Web site. 5. Within the Design pane, set up the page layout exactly as you want it to. Continue until you are satisfied with the results. See Chapter 3 for more on working with pages in the Design pane. 6. Click the Save Page button on the toolbar. The Save As dialog box appears. 7. In the File Name box, give the template page a name that reflects its usage, such as template.html or basic.html. 8. Click Save. Your custom template page is now ready to go. You can see it in the Site Contents pane, as shown in Figure 5-5. Create a new page based on your custom template with these steps: 1. From the Site Contents pane (refer to Figure 5-5), right-click the tem- plate page and choose Copy File from the menu that appears. The Copy File dialog box displays., 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 80 80 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder Custom template Figure 5-5: Your custom template is ready for use. 2. Enter the new page name in the Destination box, and click Save As. SiteBuilder creates a new page based on your template page. Your new page is added to the site and is displayed in the Site Contents pane.
Using Templates or Going Solo?
The site templates that come with many Web site builders are often not too impressive. They can look tacky, cookie cutter, and give your site a very ama- teurish look. Not so with SiteBuilder. The templates that are included are nicely designed and creatively packaged. Therefore, many people who use SiteBuilder are going to want to simply go with a template to design their Web site. At the same time, just because you can use templates doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. Instead, you should consider the advantages (and disadvantages) of using templates versus striking out completely on your own. The advantages to using SiteBuilder templates are Templates give you a professional-looking site oriented toward your business type or interest. You can create a template-based site in SiteBuilder in mere seconds and be productive with it immediately., 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 81
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You can get a well-designed site without needing to know how to use Adobe Photoshop or any other graphics software. You are freed from doing any design work yourself. As a result, you can focus purely on the content and messaging of the site. The advantages to doing it yourself are You don’t have to base your Web site design on someone else’s ideas. Your blank page is an open canvas. Whatever you can dream up and pro- duce visually, you can do. You can rest assured that your design is going to be unique and not used by another Yahoo! SiteBuilder user. In the end, it comes down to three factors: productivity, design skills, and the level of control you want. Most SiteBuilder users will opt for templates, as they provide a healthy balance among each of these factors., 09_598007 ch05.qxd 8/25/05 8:52 PM Page 82 82 Part I: Getting to Know Yahoo! SiteBuilder, 10_598007 pt02.qxd 8/25/05 9:02 PM Page 83
Part II Creating “Cool” Web Pages
, 10_598007 pt02.qxd 8/25/05 9:02 PM Page 84
In this part .. You can create a vanilla, run-of-the-mill Web site
in many ways. I’m guessing you’re using Yahoo! SiteBuilder because you want to do something extraordi- nary, to create a site that looks good and is easy to use. If so, check out the chapters in Part II, which cover the building blocks you need for cool Web pages. You dis- cover how to work with text, links, pictures, tables, navi- gation bars, and forms., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 85
Chapter 6 Nuts and Bolts: Working
with Text and Links In This Chapter Adding and editing text on your page Checking your spelling on your Web site Changing the font and style of your text Working with links
The underappreciated, not-so-glamorous, yet-oh-so essential sidekick. Itseems like most films with a hero has one. For every Maverick, there’s a
Goose. For every Frodo, there’s a Samwise Gangee. For every Batman, there’s a Robin. This sidekick principle holds true in the Web design world as well. Graphics and other visual elements are the “Mavericks” of the Web world. They’re the top guns, the show-offs, and the prima donnas. Heck, some have even wit- nessed them singing “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” off-key to other graph- ics. But even if visual elements are the most glamorous part of a Web page, text is what makes the Web go round. You use visual elements to create an atmosphere and paint broad messages for your visitors, but text is what you’ll use to interact and communicate most information to them. In this chapter, you explore how to add the “nuts and bolts” of any page to your Web site — text and links. But I’ll make a guarantee: After you under- stand how to work with the various Text and Link tools, your pages won’t suffer the crash-and-burn fate of poor ol’ Goose.
Working with Text
When you work with words and paragraphs inside of Yahoo! SiteBuilder, it’s much different from working within Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or another, 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 86 86 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages word processor. In a word processor, your document is much like an ever- expanding container that grows in length as you add more text. The physical area that the text occupies on a page is defined by its page margins. When you can add graphics to a page, the word processor usually treats these as foreign objects that the flow of the document ignores and just wraps around. In contrast, Yahoo! SiteBuilder is much more like a desktop publisher, such as Microsoft Publisher. You don’t work with a single document spread over mul- tiple pages. Instead, you work with multiple independent pages that you orga- nize yourself. This type of software doesn’t work with words and paragraphs so much as rectangular objects that contain text, graphics, or video. In terms of page layout, it wants to know how big these objects are and how to arrange them on the page. In a word processor, when you want to add text to a document, you just start typing. But in SiteBuilder, you can’t just start typing on a page. You first have to add a text box on a page and then type in the box you just created. In this section, you explore the basic text-editing tasks, including Adding text to your page Copying text from Microsoft Word or another application to your page Editing your text Positioning the text where you want it Resizing the text container Sounds like a lot, I know, but take things a step at a time and you’ll do all right. Ready to get started?
Adding text to a page
To add text to a page, follow these steps: 1. Click the Insert Text button on the toolbar. (See Figure 6-1.) You can also choose Insert➪Text from the menu or press Ctrl+Shift+T. In the smack dead center of the current page, a blue text box is created. 2. Click and drag the text box to the approximate position on the page you want., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 87
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 87
Insert Text button Figure 6-1: Adding text to your page. 3. Resize the text box to an approximate size that can hold your text. To do so, position your mouse cursor on top of one of the eight resize handles — the tiny squares you see spaced along the borders of your new text box. Click and drag the box boundary to the desired size and then release your mouse button. 4. Double-click the blue text box and begin typing. After you start typing, if you find that you miscalculated on the text box size, see the “Resizing your text container” section later in this chapter.
Adding text from another
source to your page When you create a Web site, you’ll want to have some original text that is specifically written for your Web site visitors. However, oftentimes you’ll have some information to put on your Web site that you have used for other purposes — stuff that’s already hanging around somewhere on your com- puter. Perhaps you have text from a paper brochure you had printed up, or an e-mail you sent to a customer, or maybe just an old Microsoft Word document., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 88 88 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Rather than retyping it, simply follow these instructions to add it to a fitting Web page: 1. Open your word processor or other application and copy the desired text to the Clipboard. 2. Add a text box to your SiteBuilder page. Follow directions in the “Adding text to a page” section, earlier in this chapter. 3. Double-click the blue text box. A text cursor displays. 4. Right-click in the text box, and choose Paste from the contextual menu that appears in order to insert the copied text into the text box. You can also click the Paste button on the toolbar, choose Edit➪Paste from the menu, or press Ctrl+V. The text is added to the text box at the spot the text cursor is. You’ll quickly notice that any formatting that you had assigned to the text in the other application is stripped when you paste it into SiteBuilder. Therefore, you need to reformat the text as appropriate.
Editing text on a page
To edit existing text on a page, simply follow the steps: 1. Double-click the text box containing the text you wish to edit. The text box you select displays with a flashing blue border around it. Note: The text cursor shows up right at the location where you double- clicked. 2. Modify the text as desired. While Yahoo! SiteBuilder is not a word processor, many text editing capabilities of your word processor are built in for you. See Table 6-1 for a list of keyboard commands.
Table 6-1 Basic Text Editing Shortcuts
Task Command Cut Ctrl+X, 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 89
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 89
Task Command Copy Ctrl+C Paste Ctrl+V Undo Ctrl+Z Redo Ctrl+Y Delete Delete key Select All Ctrl+A Select None Ctrl+D
Moving text around a page
One benefit of having all your text contained inside text boxes is that moving big chunks of text around is pretty easy. Just reposition the text box contain- ing the stuff you want to move, and the content inside the text box dutifully follows along. Here’s a blow-by-blow account: 1. Click the text box you wish to move, keeping your mouse button down. A flashing blue border appears around the selected text box. 2. Drag the text box to the desired new location. 3. Release the mouse button. You can also use your arrow keys to move text boxes one pixel at a time. This technique is useful when you wish to precisely position your text. Yahoo! SiteBuilder allows you to move the text box anywhere on the page — and I mean anywhere. You can overlap other text boxes, graphics, or what- ever, so be sure to position your box carefully to avoid unwanted overlap., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 90 90 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Resizing your text container
When you add a text element onto your page, SiteBuilder always sets the rec- tangular container to a standard size. However, you will usually want to resize the text box to account for the text you are adding to it. Follow these steps to resize: 1. Click the text box you wish to resize. A flashing blue border appears around the selected text box. 2. Click one of the blue handles on the outside of the text box, and keep your mouse button down. • If you wish to expand or shrink the width, click a left or right handle. • If you wish to expand or shrink the height, click a top or bottom handle. • If you wish to expand or shrink both the height and width at the same time, click a corner handle. 3. Drag the mouse to the appropriate size. Figure 6-2 shows a text box being expanded. 4. Release the mouse button. Figure 6-2: Made-to- order text boxes can be sized as you wish., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 91
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 91 Caught Ya: Checking Your Spelling
Winurtring two preesent yurself professhunally, theerz feeew thinz wurse wers then havwing splling earors. Fortunately, Yahoo! SiteBuilder comes with a built- in spell checker, so you can clean out those spelling gotchas before you pub- lish them to your Web site. You can check your spelling both automatically — letting SiteBuilder watch your words as you type them — or manually — activating the spell checker yourself.
Automatically alerting you
of spelling mistakes If you use Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, you know what that ubiquitous squiggly red line means resting underneath a word — Hey, look at me! I’m spelled wrong! Not to be outdone, Yahoo! went to the U.N. Commission on Squiggly Red Lines and got permission to include their own squiggly red line inside SiteBuilder. Therefore, when Automatic Spell Checking is on, SiteBuilder lets you know of any spelling problems. By default, Automatic Spell Checking is enabled. To enable or disable the Automatic Spell Checking option: 1. Choose Tools➪Check Spelling from the main menu to display the Spell Checking submenu. If already enabled, the Automatic Spell Checker option is checked. 2. Click the Automatic Spell Checker option to toggle the current setting. The logic that SiteBuilder uses to determine whether a word is or is not mis- spelled is based on your preferences. See the “Setting spell checking prefer- ences” section that’s coming up. Figure 6-3 shows what you see when a word you enter is marked as being spelled incorrectly. The Automatic Spell Checker feature lets you know that a word is unrecog- nized, but you can’t use the checker to correct the mistakes themselves — you can’t simply right-click the misspelled word and see a list of suggested spellings. If you really want help on how to spell something — rather then just being notified of a spelling boo-boo — you’re going to need to check your spelling manually, as I spell out (pun intended) in the next section., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 92 92 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 6-3: Our little squiggly red friend.
Checking your spelling manually
You can manually check the spelling of the text on your Web site in a variety of ranges — checking a selection of text, a page, all the open pages, or your entire site. To manually check your spelling 1. Determine the scope of your spell check and then choose the appro- priate menu command: • If you have text selected with your mouse and want to check this text but not the entire page or site, choose Tools➪Check Spelling➪ Selected Text from the main menu. • To check all text on the current page, choose Tools➪Check Spelling➪Current Page. • To check all pages you currently have open in SiteBuilder, choose Tools➪Check Spelling➪Opened Pages. • To check the entire “kit and caboodle,” the whole Web site, then choose Tools➪Check Spelling➪Entire Site., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 93
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 93
The Check Spelling dialog box (see Figure 6-4) appears, with the first potential spelling error shown in the Unknown Word box. A suggested replacement word is shown in the Replace By box, along with other pos- sible choices in the Suggestions list. Figure 6-4: No matter which type of manual spell checking you do, you always end up here. 2. Decide what action you wish to take for this flagged word: • Replace this instance of the spelling error: To replace the mis- spelled word with the one shown in the Replace By box, click the Replace button. To choose a different word from the Suggestions list, select the word with your mouse and then click Replace. If SiteBuilder doesn’t suggest the word you need, type the correct spelling for the word in the Replace By box and then click Replace. • Replace all instances of the misspelled word: Misspelling the same word multiple times is common. For example, I habitually misspell separate as seperate and calendar as calander. If this hap- pens to you, you can replace all instances of the misspelled word in the range you are checking by selecting the word and clicking the Replace All button. • Add an unrecognized word to the Yahoo! SiteBuilder dictionary: If you have a word that is not understood by the spell checker, but you’d like to add it to the dictionary, click the Learn button. • Ignore misspellings: If you have a word that SiteBuilder doesn’t recognize but you don’t want to add the word to the dictionary, you can click the Ignore button (to ignore this single instance of the word) or Ignore All (to ignore all instances of the word). After you take an action, the spell checker moves to the next misspelling (or punctuation error, if you have that option enabled). When you finish, SiteBuilder informs you that the spell check has com- pleted successfully., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 94 94 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages You can also switch spell-checking dictionaries. To do so, click the Dictionary drop-down box and select the desired language choice. 3. Click Close to finish spell checking.
Setting spell checking preferences
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 95
Ignore Words with Digits: Overlooks words that contain fingers .oops, I mean, numeric digits. Ignore Duplicate Words: Ignores those times where you list the same word more than once. Ignore URL-Like Words: Bypasses any word that looks, smells, behaves, or in some way resembles a URL or a Web address — such as http://www.yahoo.com or www.yahoo.com. Check Punctuation: Puts on its English Teacher hat and checks for simple punctuation errors, such as having a space prior to a comma or a period at the beginning of a word, that sort of thing. Allow Hyphenated Words: Ignores two or more words attached by a hyphen, such as sub-menu or venti-one pump-soy-extra whip-mocha. Allow Common File Extensions: Doesn’t flag filenames with common file extensions, such as .doc, .html, or .zip.
Tweaking the Look of Your Text
The days of boring monospaced text are long gone — relics of the days of the typewriter. People nowadays, whether they read a document you created or visit your Web site, expect to see spiced-up text that looks attractive and readable. Text formatting in Yahoo! SiteBuilder has three scopes: Character: Character formatting applies to any range of characters — from individual characters to words to sentences and even to one or more paragraphs. The Font, Style, and Text Color settings are all character formats. I discuss these in this section. Paragraph: Paragraph formatting is formatting associated with an entire paragraph — things like justification, lists, and indents. Find my discus- sion of these settings in the “Stylin’ Your Paragraphs” section later in this chapter. Text box: Text box formatting is applied to the contents of the entire text box, whether the text contains one word or several paragraphs. See the “Formatting Your Text Boxes” section later in this chapter for more on these settings.
Deciding which font style to use
The font style (or typeface) that you use is one of the most basic decisions you’ll ever make when creating a Web page. Chapter 3 describes the specific, 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 96 96 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages design considerations you’ll want to think about when deciding on which fonts to use. But in general, remember two rules: Pick a font that you know people will have on their system. When you create a printed document, newsletter, or Adobe Acrobat file, you can pick any font you have and be certain that your reader will be looking at the formatting that you intended. However, on the Web, the font you define on your Web page may or may not be on the visitor’s computer. If the font is missing from the system, then the browser looks for a substi- tute font. However, you don’t always know how the page is going to look. Therefore, I recommend picking Arial, Verdana, or Times New Roman as fonts. You can be fairly confident using Tahoma or Georgia, too, as most users will have these fonts or at least the browser can substitute a stan- dard font quite close to these. You can also use Courier New in specific instances where you want to display a monospaced font. Pick one to two font styles for your site and go with them. You’ll want to pick a default font style and use it predominately across your site. For sans serif (smooth) fonts, use Arial, Verdana, or Tahoma. For serif (curvy) fonts, stick with Times New Roman or Georgia. You may want to have a second font for headings to add some variety. But if you do so, pick the opposite font style. For example, if you use Verdana as your primary font, pick a serif font for your headings. Or if you have Times New Roman as your main font, use any of the sans serif fonts for your heading text.
Setting the font style and size
When you work with a Web site that you created using a template, SiteBuilder already gives you a recommended font. However, if you’d like to change the font style, follow these instructions: 1. Click the text box that contains the text you wish to modify. If you wish to change the font style for all the text within the box, then keep the box selected. Or if you wish to modify a portion of text, then select just that portion with your mouse. 2. Select the desired font style or size from the drop-down lists on the toolbar. Your text updates to show the new font setting. You can also change the font style or size for two or more text boxes on a single page. To select multiple text boxes, simply click each text box while pressing the Ctrl key. Then set the desired font style from the drop-down list on the toolbar., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 97
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 97 Color me beautiful
You can express colors on computers in differ- HSB values: HSB stands for Hue, Saturation, and ent ways. SiteBuilder provides support for three Brightness. Hue values range from 0 to 360 of the most popular methods today: degrees — like points on the circumference of a Hex color codes: Each color is represented large colorized circle. Saturation and Brightness within the Web world with a very techie-looking are percentages, ranging from 0 to 100. hex color code, which is a six-digit code prefixed RGB values: RGB stands for Red, Green, and with a # sign. For example, black is #000000, Blue. A color is created by combining the Red, white is #FFFFFF, and bright blue is #0000FF. If you Green, and Blue values — each of which range ever look at the HTML source code for a Web from 0 to 255. Many Windows applications, such page, you’ll see the colors expressed as hex as Microsoft Paint and Microsoft Word, support color codes. the use of RGB values.
Giving your text some style
You can make parts of your text stand out by assigning the old formatting bold, italic, and underline standbys to your text: Bold is helpful for headings. Italic is useful for emphasizing certain words or phrases within a paragraph. Within the Web world, the underline style has become synonymous with Web links. Therefore, under most circumstances, I don’t recommend using underline formatting. You’ll find your visitors clicking the word assuming it’s a Web link. (To set links, see the “Getting Jumpy: Adding Links to Your Text” section, later in the chapter.) To set a character style for your text, follow these steps: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text you wish to modify. 2. Select the text you wish to style with your mouse. 3. Click the Bold, Italic, or Underline button on the toolbar. You can also choose Format➪Bold, Format➪Italic, or Format➪Underline from the menu or use the following key shortcuts: Ctrl+B (Bold), Ctrl+I (Italic), or Ctrl+U (Underline). If you’d like to set a character style for all the contents of a text box, click the box and then click the appropriate button on the toolbar., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 98 98 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages In word processors, you can toggle character style formatting on or off as you type. You can do the same here. You can turn on Bold, Italic, or Underline by clicking its toolbar button. The toolbar button is darkened to signify its “on” state. You can then turn it off by clicking the button once more.
Changing text color
You can modify the color of your text to any color shade on the color dial. But SiteBuilder doesn’t stop there: You can also use any color on the color spectrum, the color wheel, or even the color palette. (Okay, all these terms mean the same thing, but you get my drift.) Follow these steps to change the color of the text: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text you wish to change its color. 2. Select the text you wish to color with your mouse. 3. Click the Text Color button on the toolbar. Alternatively, you can choose Format➪Text Color from the menu. The Choose Text Color dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 6-6. Figure 6-6: Coloring your text without crayons. 4. Select the color you want to use. The Swatches tab displays the common colors, along with a box of the most recent colors you’ve chosen before. Or if you don’t see the exact color you want to use on the Swatches tab, you can more precisely define the color using the HSB or RGB tabs. (See the “Color me beautiful” sidebar for a discussion of what these acronyms mean.), 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 99
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 99
In the past, you wanted to be careful to use only “Web safe” colors, which are a set of 216 colors common to most browsers. Web safe colors helped ensure that the colors you picked would display reliably on mon- itors that display only 256 colors. However, now that the vast majority of your visitors will be using a monitor with thousands of colors, you can feel confident using any color. 5. Click OK to save your settings. The text you selected displays with the new color.
Stylin’ Your Paragraphs
Most text formatting inside of SiteBuilder is done at the character or text box level. SiteBuilder has just two paragraph-level formats that you can set — lists and indents.
Whether it is a to-do list, a grocery list, or a list of points covered in a lecture or sermon, people just seem to think in lists. Lists are popular on Web sites as well because they enable people to quickly read and process “sound bites” of information much more quickly than if they were forced to plow through paragraph upon paragraph of dense text. The designers behind SiteBuilder recognized that fact and came up with software that allows you to create a broad spectrum of lists, including bulleted lists, numbered lists, and even image bulleted lists.
Adding bulleted and numbered lists
A bulleted list is used to offset a bunch of related sentences or bits of informa- tion on your Web page. A numbered list is sequential list of steps or other items that SiteBuilder automatically numbers for you. To add bullets or num- bers to one or more existing paragraphs, follow these steps: 1. Double-click the text box containing the paragraph or paragraphs you’ve targeted for a bulleted or numbered list makeover. 2. Select one or more paragraphs that you want to transform into a list. 3. Click the Bulleted List or Numbered List button on the toolbar. You can also choose Format➪Bulleted List or Format➪Numbered List from the menu. You can also customize the bullet or number format SiteBuilder uses. See the “Customizing bulleted and numbered lists” section later in this chapter., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 100 100 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Adding image bulleted lists
If you are sick of the normal round or square bullets that SiteBuilder uses, you can use your own image as the bullet instead. Image lists are an attrac- tive and professional-looking alternative to normal bullets. You’ll notice that many of the SiteBuilder templates use image lists. To create an image bulleted list 1. Double-click the text box where you’re planning to place the image bulleted list. 2. Select a paragraph (or paragraphs) to transform into such a list. 3. Click the Custom List button on the toolbar. The Choose Bullet dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 6-7. Figure 6-7: Faster than a speeding image bullet. 4. Determine whether you wish to choose a bullet from your own images or from the SiteBuilder Clip Art library. If you wish to use your own image, use the Select Clip Art pane to navi- gate to the image file. If you wish to use SiteBuilder Clip Art, click the Clip Art radio button in the Select From pane and then use the Select Clip Art pane to pick your bullet. Be sure the image you use is 12 pixels or less in height. (And remember, the point here is to look professional, so no images of Socko the Clown.) 5. Click OK to create the image bulleted list., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 101
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 101 Removing list items
If you want to remove an item from a bulleted, numbered, or image bulleted list, simply position the text cursor at the left margin to the right of the bullet or number and press the Delete key.
Customizing bulleted and numbered lists
SiteBuilder also enables you to more precisely define your lists using the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. Here’s how to get your list to look exactly like you want it: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the list you are going to customize. 2. Select each of the paragraphs that make up your list. 3. Choose Format➪Bullets and Numbering from the main menu. The Bullets and Numbering dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 6-8. Figure 6-8: Bullets and Numbering command and control center. 4. Customize the list as desired. Use the List Style drop-down menu to choose the bullet or numbering style you want. • For bullets, you can choose Disc (the default), Circle, Square, or Image. • For numbered lists, you can choose normal 1, 2, 3, 4 order or else jazz it up with roman numerals (I, II, III, IV or i, ii, iii, iv) or use alphabetical order (A, B, C, D or a, b, c, d). • For an indented list with blank bullets, select Blank. In the Margins box, you can specify any custom margins for the list. Usually, the only value you want to modify is the Left margin. The Top and Bottom margins can be helpful if you are using an extra- large image bullet. 5. Click OK to save changes., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 102 102 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Indenting your text
Indenting moves the left margin for a paragraph several spaces to the right. You can indent a paragraph within your text box when you want to offset a specific piece of text for emphasis, including a lengthy quotation, or simply to make an unnumbered list. To indent a paragraph 1. Double-click the text box that contains the paragraph you are going to indent. 2. Position your cursor anywhere inside of the desired paragraph. 3. Click the Increase Indent button on the toolbar. You can also choose Format➪Increase Indentation from the main menu. 4. If you’d like to increase the indentation more, click the Increase Indent button again. You can unindent a paragraph to reverse the indent settings as well by follow- ing these steps: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the paragraph you are going to unindent. 2. Position your cursor anywhere inside of the desired paragraph. 3. Click the Decrease Indent button on the toolbar. Alternatively, you can choose Format➪Decrease Indentation from the main menu. 4. If you’d like to decrease the indentation more, click the Decrease Indent button again. When you unindent all the way to a normal paragraph, SiteBuilder ignores the Decrease Indent command.
Formatting Your Text Boxes
Within SiteBuilder, you can apply certain text formatting commands to every- thing inside of a text box. These include Background color Justification and alignment, 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 103
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 103 Changing the background
color of your text box While you can’t change the background color of individual pieces of text within your text box, you can change the background color of the entire text box by following these steps: 1. Click the text box whose background you wish to change. 2. Click the Text Background button on the toolbar. You can also choose Format➪Text Background from the main menu. A dialog box appears almost identical to the one shown in Figure 6-6, except this time it’s called the Choose Text Background dialog box. 3. Select the color you want to use. See the “Changing text color” section, earlier in this chapter, for details on how to change the settings in this dialog box. 4. Click OK to save your settings. The background of the selected text box updates with the new color.
Resetting the text background
You can call it “coloring remorse” or “backgrounder’s regret.” But whatever label you want to put on it, sometimes you’ll decide that changing the text box background wasn’t such a good idea after all. SiteBuilder allows you to reset the background color with a touch of a button: 1. Click the text box that has the really horrid, awful color scheme that you can’t stand the sight of. 2. Click the Remove Text Background button on the toolbar. You can also choose Format➪Remove Text Background from the main menu. Whew! The colorizing experiment is over. You’re back to where you started from.
But Your Honor .I was justified!
Within the printed world of documentation, paragraph justification is a big thing. For example, for standard letters, you often right-align the sender’s, 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 104 104 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages mailing address while left-aligning the rest of the letter. For reports, you usu- ally center titles on the front page. Within the Web world, justification is used less often as a formatting technique. By and large, Web designers usually stick to left-aligned text. It just seems to work better. However, you may have specific text boxes that need different alignment, such as a page title or the text inside of a navigation bar. Moreover, there’s another level of alignment that isn’t thought about in the word processing world but is important when working with SiteBuilder’s text boxes: vertical alignment. Because you’re working with the entire text box, you may want to align the text vertically within the boundaries of the text box. When you need to change the horizontal or vertical justification for a text box, follow these steps: 1. Click the text box that contains the text you wish to justify. 2. Click the appropriate justification button on the toolbar. For horizontal alignment, click the Left Justify, Center Horizontally, or Right Justify button. For vertical alignment, click the Top Justify, Center Vertically, or Bottom Justify button. Alternatively, you can choose the corresponding command from the Format part of the main menu. The text box alignment updates based on your selection.
Getting Jumpy: Adding Links to Your Text
Links are the backbone of the Internet — the very reason that the Web came to be what it has become today. A link (also called a hypertext link or hyper- link) is an element on a Web page that you click with your mouse to jump to another Web page or another destination. A link can be a bit of text you click, but it can also be a clickable graphic. (You can explore how to set graphic links in Chapter 7.) In SiteBuilder, you can create links to several different types of resources on the Web, including Another page on your Web site A page on another Web site, 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 105
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 105
An e-mail address A file, such as a Microsoft Word or an Adobe Acrobat document In this section, you explore how to add links to each of these types of resources.
Linking to another page in your site
Probably the most common link that you want to add is a link to another page on your Web site. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text that you want to use as the link. 2. Select the word or words that you want to use as the link text. 3. Click the Link button on the toolbar. The Link dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 6-9. Figure 6-9: Linking to another SiteBuilder page. 4. In the Select the Type of Link drop-down list, keep the default option (A Page in My Site). 5. Choose a page from the Select a Page from My Site drop-down menu. The list displays all the pages that are part of your Web site. 6. If you wish to modify the hyperlink text, do so in the Enter Text for Link box. 7. Click the link inside the Link Preview pane if you wish to test the link before creating it. 8. Click the Create button., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 106 106 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages You can set the link to open in a new browser window by adjusting the When Clicked, the Link Will Open In setting. However, for pages within your site, you almost always want to simply use the same browser window, the default option. Multiple browser windows can be annoying for users, and so you only want to use this option if you have a compelling reason to do so.
Linking to a page elsewhere on the Web
If you want to refer your visitors to another Web site, create an external link by following these instructions: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text that you want to use as the link. 2. Select the word or words that you want to use as the link text. 3. Click the Link button on the toolbar. The Link dialog box appears. 4. Choose the Another Web Site option from the Select the Type of Link drop-down menu. The Link dialog box changes its options, as shown in Figure 6-10. Figure 6-10: Linking to another Web site. 5. In the Enter the Destination URL text box, enter the URL (Web address) of the Web page you want to link to. To ensure accuracy, I recommend locating the Web page in your browser and then copying and pasting the URL from your browser’s Address box. 6. Decide whether you wish to have the destination page open in the same window (replacing the existing page) or else in a new browser window. Select the desired option from the When Clicked, the Link Will Open In drop-down menu., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 107
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 107
For Web links that take visitors off of your Web site to another destina- tion, using a new browser window is often a good idea. Otherwise, they may leave your site and forget to come back. 7. If you wish to modify the hyperlink text, do so in the Enter Text for Link box. 8. Click the link inside the Link Preview pane if you wish to test the link before creating it. 9. Click the Create button.
Linking to an e-mail address
Not only can you link to Web pages, but you can also enable a visitor to send you an e-mail message by clicking a link on your site. To link to an e-mail address, do the following: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text that you want to use as the link. 2. Select the word or words that you want to use as the link text. This text is usually your e-mail address (such as email is hidden) or perhaps something like Contact Us. 3. Click the Link button on the toolbar. The Link dialog box displays. 4. Choose the An Email Address option from the Select the Type of Link drop-down menu. The Link dialog box changes its options, as shown in Figure 6-11. 5. In the An Email Address box, enter the e-mail address you wish to link to. Figure 6-11: Faster than snail mail, slower than a Web link., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 108 108 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages 6. If you wish to modify the hyperlink text, do so in the Enter Text for Link box. 7. Click the link inside the Link Preview pane if you wish to test the link before creating it. 8. Click the Create button.
Linking to a file
On occasion, you may refer your visitors to a file that is not a Web page. Perhaps you have a 50-page case study in a Microsoft Word document that you’d like prospective customers to download. Or perhaps you have a user’s manual that you created as an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file that you want visi- tors to reference. If so, then you can set up a link to these files — make sure they’re available on your local computer — and SiteBuilder uploads these to your Web site when you publish. To link to a file, follow these steps: 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text that you want to use as the link. 2. Select the word or words that you want to use as the link text. 3. Click the Link button on the toolbar. The Link dialog box displays. 4. In the Select the Type of Link drop-down menu, choose the A File in My Site option. The Link dialog box changes its options, as shown in Figure 6-12. 5. Enter the path of the file you wish to link to into the Select a File in My Site text box. Click the Browse button to navigate to the file. Figure 6-12: “Heavens to linkatroids,” yet another type of link., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 109
Chapter 6: Nuts and Bolts: Working with Text and Links 109
6. Decide whether you wish to have the destination page open in the same window (replacing the existing page) or else in a new browser window and then select the desired option from the When Clicked, the Link Will Open In drop-down menu. 7. If you wish to modify the hyperlink text, do so in the Enter Text for Link box. 8. Click the link inside the Link Preview pane if you wish to test the link before creating it. 9. Click the Create button.
Editing and Removing a Link
After you create a link, you can always edit or remove it. To edit a link 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text that you want to use as the link. 2. Position your text cursor anywhere inside of the link. 3. Click the Link button on the toolbar. The Link dialog box displays with the current settings. 4. Make any changes you wish and then click the Create button. To remove a link 1. Double-click the text box that contains the text that you want to use as the link. 2. Position your text cursor anywhere inside of the link. 3. Click the Link button on the toolbar. The Link dialog box displays. 4. Click the Remove button to blow that link to kingdom come., 11_598007 ch06.qxd 8/25/05 8:43 PM Page 110 110 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages, 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 111
Chapter 7 Picture Perfect
In This Chapter Knowing which graphics to use Adding clip art and images Moving and resizing images Creating a background
With great power comes great responsibility. Those memorable words arespoken by Uncle Ben to Peter Parker in the hit film Spider-Man. Yet they
also are a fitting motto to keep in mind when you think about using graphics on your Web site. The power and effectiveness of images and visual communica- tion are amazing. Just by glancing at the major sites around the Web, you’ll see not only large numbers of images, but also the many creative ways in which to use them. Yet if you’re going to use the power of images on your Web site, you need to use them responsibly. The reason is that every graphic you use can “weigh down” your Web page and make it longer to download, especially for those visitors using dialup access. Smart Web site designers take Uncle Ben’s advice and make sure that the graphics they use on their Web pages both serve an important purpose and are relatively “lightweight.” This combination smacks of “Spidey Sense:” powerful. In this chapter, you explore the balance of using the power of graphics effectively and responsibly. As you aim for that balanced approach, you explore the types of graphics you should (and should not) use on your Web site. Then you dive into the nitty-gritty of how to work with pictures inside of SiteBuilder.
Be Choosy: Why All Graphics Aren’t Created Equal
When you begin adding pictures to your Web site, keep in mind these two important factors that can help you decide what kinds of pictures to use and, 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 112 112 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages what not to use: the type and size of the graphic. Getting a solid grasp of these issues goes a long way in achieving that “power and responsibility” balance for your Web site.
Choosing the best Web graphic types
Generally, graphic files are identified by their file extension: GIF graphics have a .gif extension, JPG graphics have a .jpg extension, and PNGs have a .png extension. These three formats are popular because they are compression-based formats — meaning that they take up less space and require much less time to download than other uncompressed formats, such as Windows BMP files. JPG and GIF graphics are the two most widely used image formats on the Web. PNG is a third format that’s becoming popular for Web use, but it still lags behind in overall support across browsers. You can think of JPG, GIF, and PNG formats as something like trash com- pactors. They take a normal-size image and compress all the “extra air” out of them so that they take less space. For example, a BMP file of 1.5MB can be reduced to a JPG of just 2.4K!
JPG omelet: A photo’s “breakfast” of choice
JPG (short for JPEG, or Joint Photographic Experts Group) is an ideal format for photo-quality and other high-resolution images containing millions of colors. JPG is what is known as a lossy compression format, because it works to remove redundant and unneeded graphical data that doesn’t impact the look of the image. However, as good as JPG is for photo-like images, it doesn’t do nearly as good a job on simple line graphics, clip art, and text.
Choosy mothers (with simple graphics) choose GIF
GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) can often be shrunk to a smaller size than JPG, though its compression ratio is dependent on the colors used in the image. GIF also supports only a maximum of 256 colors (far less than JPG), but it provides support for transparency (clear portions of the image) and animation (which JPG does not). GIF is known as a lossless method of compression, meaning that it squishes the original image but doesn’t throw out any of data in the process. As a result, simple graphics that include text and line drawings are often ideally represented in GIF., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 113
Chapter 7: Picture Perfect 113 Understanding bitmap and vector graphics
You can work with two major types of graphics The two standard types of bitmap graphics for the on your computer: bitmap and vector graphics. Web are GIF and JPG. PNG is another popular Understanding their differences is important in format, though some older browsers do not sup- order to know which are useful for the Web and port it. BMP is a popular format for Microsoft to better understand how you can use them. Windows but is not supported across the Web. Bitmap graphics: The most common type of pic- (However, as mentioned in the “Deciding the right ture, a bitmap graphic is a pattern of colored format to use” section, SiteBuilder automatically dots (called pixels) that are combined to form an converts a BMP image to a JPG image.) image. When you take a digital photo or down- Vector graphics: Vector graphics are composed load a wallpaper for your desktop, you are of a pattern of lines and curves (called vectors) working with bitmap graphics. If you happened that together form the shape of the picture. The to magnify these pictures a whole bunch in a graphic is generated by math calculations (don’t graphics editor, you’d see that the image is ask me how) instead of pixels. The result is that actually composed of thousands of individually you can shrink or expand all you want, and colored dots that form a mosaic. those little math geeks inside of the graphic Bitmap images are the type of graphics almost resize it without any loss in quality. Now, before always used on Web pages. And if you down- you throw up your arms as to why the Web load a picture from the Web or receive one via doesn’t use these geeky graphic types more, e-mail from another person, it’s probably a there’s a catch. Vector graphics never look as bitmap. Bitmaps are used for any purpose for realistic or have the detail that bitmaps do. which you need sharp, clear photo-like pictures Instead of looking like photos, they look like and thousands of colors. The disadvantage to sketches or hand drawings. bitmap graphics is that you lose quality the The most common vector file types on Microsoft moment you resize them. You can usually shrink Windows is WMF. However, vector graphics a bitmap image without much trouble. But the have no standard support in browsers, so don’t moment you enlarge a bitmap, you’ll quickly use them. notice that the quality of the picture suffers.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a third compression format that has started to become popular over the past few years. It also uses a lossless method of compression but does so at a higher quality, with more colors, and at a smaller size than does GIF. PNG supports transparency (like GIF) and opacity adjustment (which neither GIF nor JPG handles). Opacity adjust- ment is the percentage to which the image is visible relative to image or back- ground underneath it. A 100 percent value would show the image normally, but 10 percent would show the image faintly., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 114 114 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Deciding the right format to use
So which format is better? As good as PNG is, the format is still not univer- sally supported by all browsers, so it’s not the best choice at this time for your Web site. When you examine the other two, each has advantages and disadvantages to think about when you’re deciding which format to use. GIF is often the best option for graphics with text; graphics that require transparency; and diagrams, clip art, and other line-based images that have a small number of colors. JPG, on the other hand, is top down the best choice for true color photos, as well as images with shadows or gradations. Fortunately, SiteBuilder takes much of this decision making process off your hands. If you use any other graphics format besides GIF, SiteBuilder automati- cally converts the image to JPG format for you. As a result, you can even insert BMP and TIFF images into your Web site. SiteBuilder handles all the details of conversion.
Sizing your images appropriately
Choosing the right graphics format is only half the battle. You also need to consider the file size of the graphic you wish to use. There’s no hard-and-fast rule concerning the maximum file size, but you should generally aim to keep each graphic as small as possible. You should work to keep each Web page — both the text and the graphics on the page — under 80K or less. Therefore, if you know that you want to use several graphics on a single page, you need to make sure that your graphics/text combination still fits within that allowance. If you find your images “weighing down” your Web page — which could mean longer download times for your Web visitors — try experimenting on the best graphic format to use. (See the “Choosing the best Web graphic types” sec- tion, earlier in this chapter.) In addition, you can often crop your pictures in a graphics program to eliminate unneeded parts of the picture to save down- load time. If you plan on using pictures from a digital camera, keep in mind that most digital cameras save high-resolution pictures that are far too big for Web use — both in terms of screen size (width and height dimensions) and “weight” (amount of disk space). Therefore, never slap a digital photo on your Web site and publish it without shrinking it first. In terms of screen size, make sure the picture is 640 x 480 pixels or smaller in screen resolution. For the photo’s “weight,” most digital cameras use the JPG format to store digital photos in an uncompressed state. Therefore, if you have graphics software or a tool such as Microsoft Office Picture Manager, you can compress the files before putting them on your Web site. You can, 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 115
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usually shrink a JPG as much as 40 percent and maintain essentially the same image quality as before. And you can often shrink a file as much as 60 to 80 percent and still have acceptable results.
Adding a Picture to a Page
If a picture says a thousand words, then you can save a lot of real estate on your Web page with a well-chosen image. This section explores how to add a picture to your page.
Using SiteBuilder clip art
SiteBuilder comes with a variety of stock clip art that you can incorporate into your Web site. SiteBuilder divided its clip art into several categories, including Backgrounds: These images serve well as background images. See the “Turning a Picture into a Background Image” section, later in the chap- ter, for more on background images. Bars: Separate certain parts of your Web page with vertical or horizontal lines. Bullets: Use these in image bulleted lists, which I discuss in Chapter 6. Buttons: Button clip art enables you to use image buttons on your forms. See Chapter 10 for instructions on using these images. Frames: Use the Frames images as images that frame your Web page content. Images: The Images group contains a variety of different types of images: frame images (sidebars used in conjunction with navigation bars; see Chapter 9) on the left side of your page and other image varieties. Photos: The Photos group contains a variety of different photos that you can add to your Web site. Follow these steps to add a clip art image to your Web page: 1. With your Web page open, click the Insert Image button on the toolbar. The Choose an Image dialog box is displayed. 2. Click the Clip Art radio button in the Select From pane. The Choose an Image dialog box is updated, as shown in Figure 7-1., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 116 116 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 7-1: Choosing clip art for your Web page. 3. Navigate to the desired clip art image using the Type and Subtype drop-down menus in the Select Clip Art pane. 4. Click OK. The image is added to the center of your open Web page, as shown in Figure 7-2. You can also click and drag the image from the Site Contents pane and drop it anywhere on your Web page. 5. Click and drag the image to move it anywhere on the page. Keep in mind that not all of the clip art images SiteBuilder supplies are spe- cific to your template design. Use care to ensure you don’t clash or mix and match visual designs as you use them.
Using your own images
While the SiteBuilder clip art can be useful for many purposes, you’ll very likely want to add your own images to your Web site. Perhaps you want to add your company logo as the header of each page. Maybe you created a pic- ture in an image software package to be the highlight of your home page. Or perhaps you took unforgettable digital photos at your sister-in-law’s aunt’s nephew’s brother-in-law’s wedding., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 117
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Figure 7-2: Adding the “man at the afternoon BBQ” clip art, sure to add flair and sophistica- tion to any Web site. Whatever image your sights are set on, here’s how you add it to your Web page: 1. With your Web page open, click the Insert an Image button on the toolbar. You can also choose Insert➪Picture from the main menu. The Insert dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 7-3. Figure 7-3: Inserting your own picture into your Web page., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 118 118 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages 2. Navigate to the image you want to add, select it, and then click the Insert button. The image is added to the center of your open Web page. 3. Click and drag the image to move it anywhere on the page. SiteBuilder adds the picture to your Web page and also copies the pic- ture file to the Images folder of your Web site. You can access the copied file by expanding the images folder in the Site Contents pane. You can also drag an image from your Windows Explorer window and drop it on top of your Web page in SiteBuilder. This technique is the quickest way to add an image to your Web site.
Moving a Picture Around the Page
Moving a picture is just like moving any object on a page. You can do it by fol- lowing these steps: 1. Click the picture you want to move, keeping your mouse button down. A flashing blue border appears around the selected picture. 2. Drag the image to the desired new location. 3. Release the mouse button. Or, if you want pixel-level precision when you move the image, you have two alternatives: Press your arrow keys to move the selected picture one pixel at a time. Double-click the picture to display the Picture Properties dialog box and then click the Coordinates tab. (See Figure 7-4.) Enter new x, y coordi- nates in the text boxes, and click OK. Figure 7-4: And you thought you could forget that x, y coordinates stuff when you left high school math., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 119
Chapter 7: Picture Perfect 119 Changing the Properties of Your Picture
Each picture on your page has certain properties — filename, alt text, and target window, for example — associated with it. You can access and modify these properties through the Picture Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 7-5. You can access the dialog box in one of three ways: Double-click any image on your page. Select the picture and press the Enter key. Right-click the picture and choose Properties from the contextual menu that appears. The next sections describe the various functions you can perform using the Picture Properties dialog box, including changing the image, supplying Alt Text, and setting up a mouse-over effect. You can also set up Web links, resize the picture, and change its x, y coordinates (which I describe later in the chapter). Figure 7-5: Tweaking the properties of your image.
Changing the image
The Picture text box in the Picture Properties dialog box shows the filename of the selected image. If you’d like to replace the current picture with another, click the Browse button, select another image, and click OK.
Assigning Alt Text
While visitors to your site will almost always be able to view the images on your Web site, you need to be prepared to handle the rare occasions in which images do not display properly. For example, suppose a dialup visitor to your site has disabled images in her Web browser., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 120 120 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Alt Text mistakes
People make two common mistakes when using than provide a text-based substitute. For Alt Text: example, suppose you have a graphic that Ignoring Alt Text. Some people are confused displays your recommended product for the about what Alt Text is or why it is needed, so week. If you simply describe the image, you they simply ignore it. For the vast majority of might say Photo of Recommendation, visitors, ignoring Alt Text is fine. But when which would be of no help to the text-only you have an occasional person who comes visitor. However, if you instead use Our to your site but can’t handle pictures, then Weekly Recommendation: The you make it difficult for him or her to navigate Sunlight Squiggly, by Maple or understand your Web site. Stirdale, then you can be sure you arecommunicating to all visitors of your site Describing your images. Other people use rather than most of them. Alt Text to simply describe the image rather The Alt Text (short for alternate text) property allows you to use words to express the same idea your picture does visually. Add a text-based alterna- tive for your image in this text box. Even more important, Alt Text is used quite extensively by the visually impaired, who may have systems configured to “read” this text to them.
Specifying a mouse-over image
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Figure 7-6: Normal state of the mouse-over image. Figure 7-7: Mousing over the image causes the browser to switch images., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 122 122 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Assigning a Link to Your Picture
While Chapter 6 discusses how to add text-based links to your Web page, you may also want to use a picture as the jumping-off point to another Web page, an e-mail address, or other document. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Double-click the image you want to link. The Picture Properties dialog box makes an appearance. (Refer to Figure 7-5.) 2. In the Select the Type of Link drop-down menu, choose the desired type of link. For details on each of these link types, see Chapter 6. 3. Provide the link specifics for the type of link you’re creating: • Another page in your site: Click the Browse button and select the appropriate file. • Another Web site: Enter the URL in the space provided. • An e-mail address: Enter the e-mail address. • A file in your site — a Word or PDF file, for example: Click the Browse button and select the desired file. 4. Choose the desired destination from the Target Window drop-down menu. As Chapter 6 discusses, except for links to other Web sites, you’ll usually want to keep the link in the same browser window. 5. Click OK. You can also assign a link to your image by right-clicking an image and choos- ing Link To from the contextual menu that appears (or by pressing Ctrl+L). The Link dialog box that displays is nearly identical to the text Link dialog box.
Sizing Up a Picture
After you have the picture on your Web page, SiteBuilder allows you to tweak, fiddle, tug, yank, and twist the image so that it fits into the exact space you have available for it. Because you can resize images inside of SiteBuilder, you don’t have to get the dimensions perfectly right inside your graphics program before adding it to your Web site. As long as you use a format other than GIF, SiteBuilder auto- matically creates a new JPG copy of your image sized according to the sizing, 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 123
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dimensions you specify. Therefore, if you place a large digital photo image on your Web page and resize it to a smaller size that fits on the page, SiteBuilder makes a smaller copy of the larger original for you. However, you should keep in mind that when you resize an image (primarily enlarge), you are invariably going to deteriorate the quality to some extent. (See the “Understanding bitmap and vector graphics” sidebar, earlier in this chapter, for all the details.) If the size change is proportionally small to the overall size, then the quality loss very well may be invisible to the human eye, but the greater the change, the greater the loss in quality.
Resizing a picture
Okay, if you’ve considered all the caveats about resizing that I outline in the preceding section, and you still want to do it, here’s how you can do it with your mouse: 1. Click to select the picture you want to resize. A flashing blue border appears around the selected image. 2. Click one of the blue handles on the outside of the picture, and keep your mouse button down. • To expand or shrink the width, click the left or right handle. • To expand or shrink the height, click the top or bottom handle. • To expand or shrink both the height and width at the same time, click a corner handle. To ensure that your picture width and height stay in proportion to each other, be sure to only resize using the corner handles. 3. Drag the mouse to the appropriate size. 4. Release the mouse button. You can also resize to a precise pixel size by modifying its Width and Height properties. Here’s how: 1. Double-click the picture to display the Picture Properties dialog box and then click the Coordinates tab. (Refer to Figure 7-4.) 2. Edit the Width and Height values and then click OK.
Returning a picture to its original size
I can be dangerous with resizing. I get a brilliant idea as to how good a pic- ture will look on a different part of the page, and so I resize the image to fit, 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 124 124 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages into this new position. But something’s not quite right, so I tweak some more. When that idea doesn’t pan out, I try a different idea, resizing more and more and more. But before long, I realize I’ve so screwed up the dimensions of the image that I don’t know what it should look like or what its original size even was. If you get into a spot like I find myself in frequently, SiteBuilder has just the tool for you and me. You can reset the picture to its original size with just a couple of steps: 1. Right-click the picture to reset. 2. Choose the Original Size item from the contextual menu that appears. SiteBuilder restores your original width and height values.
Creating a Thumbnail Picture
SiteBuilder enables you to easily create thumbnail pictures on your Web site. A thumbnail is a small image that is linked to a larger version of the same image. You can see this technique being used on many real estate sites, in which you click a small thumbnail image of a house to see the normal-size picture. But it also comes in handy for product photos, photo albums, and so on. The major benefit of using thumbnails is that you can pack a lot of pictures onto a single page that might otherwise spread out over several pages. Yet when a visitor needs to see the details of one or more of those images, they can do so with a single click. Neat, huh? To create a thumbnail 1. Right-click the picture you want to transform into a thumbnail. 2. Choose the Thumbnail submenu from the contextual menu that appears and then choose the size of the thumbnail picture: Very Small, Small, Medium, Large, or Very Large. SiteBuilder resizes the picture to the desired size and adds a link to the full-size image of the original. When a visitor clicks the thumbnail image, the image is shown in its orig- inal size inside of a blank browser window, as shown in Figure 7-8., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 125
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Figure 7-8: Viewing the destination of a thumbnail.
Turning a Picture into
a Background Image A background image is one that displays behind everything else on your Web page. You can use background images to add a finishing touch to your overall Web site design. Keep in mind these considerations when using background images: Tiling effect: No matter the size, the background image is always tiled behind the page to fill up the entire contents of the browser window. So if you use a background that shows up once when viewed on a 800 x 600 screen, the tiling effect causes the background to show up multiple times for a visitor with a high-resolution screen, such as 1600 x 1280. Readability: When you select a background image, make sure that it doesn’t become a distraction for visitors and doesn’t make the text that displays on top of the image hard to read., 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 126 126 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Follow these steps to add a background picture to a Web page open in SiteBuilder: 1. Have the picture available inside of SiteBuilder. See the “Adding a Picture to a Page” section, earlier in the chapter. 2. Right-click the image, and choose Set as Background from the contex- tual menu that appears. If you’re working with an image inside of the Site Contents pane, you don’t need to add it to page first. You can right-click the item right within the pane. Two things happen after this step: • Your image appears as the background on your page. • A Background placeholder is shown in the Page Effects pane. Figure 7-9 shows the results in SiteBuilder. Background image Figure 7-9: Adding a background image to your site. Page Effects pane, 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 127
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After you add the background picture to your Web page, you can’t select it inside of the page, as you can with other pictures or other page elements. Instead, you use the Page Effects pane for modifying or deleting the background. To modify a background picture 1. Double-click the Background placeholder in the Page Effects pane. The Choose a Background dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 7-10. Figure 7-10: Behind-the- scenes work on your Web page. 2. Click the Browse button and select the new background image you want to use, and then click OK. To delete a background picture 1. Select the Background placeholder in the Page Effects pane. 2. Press the Delete key. Your background image is removed, quicker than you can say “Green Goblin.”, 12_598007 ch07.qxd 8/25/05 9:04 PM Page 128 128 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages, 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 129
Chapter 8 Off to the Woodshop: Building Tables
In This Chapter Inserting a table into your page Adjusting the formatting of a table Adding new rows and columns Selecting table cells Merging and splitting cells
Technology progress is often overrated, but sometimes innovation justmakes life a heck of a lot easier. Before visual tools such as SiteBuilder
and other HTML innovations came along, table creation was at the very heart of Web page design; all the page layout had to be done within the invisible grids of tables. Therefore, in order to arrange text, images, and other page elements beside and around each other, you had to develop an elaborate, messy, and wickedly complicated system of tables within tables within tables. Yucksville! Using SiteBuilder, you are indeed fortunate: You have no need to use tables simply for arranging page elements beside each other, because you can do that far easier by simply moving page elements around your page with your mouse. Instead, you’re now free to use tables for what they were designed for — stuff such as displaying tabular, spreadsheet-like information, lists, or side-by-side labels and text boxes in a data entry form. In this chapter, you explore how to work with tables in SiteBuilder.
Inserting a Table on a Page
SiteBuilder provides two separate ways of adding a table to your page. You can add a quick table using the toolbar or set up a table more precisely using the menu. I discuss both approaches in this section., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 130 130 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
The quick-and-easy approach: Using the toolbar
The quickest and easiest way to create a table in SiteBuilder is by using the toolbar button. Using it, you can add a basic table to your page without wor- rying about formatting the settings of the table up front. If you’ve used Microsoft Word’s Insert Table toolbar button to add a table, SiteBuilder follows a similar process. To add a table using the toolbar, follow these steps: 1. Click the Insert Table button on the toolbar. A table grid drops down from the toolbar, as shown in Figure 8-1. 2. Specify the number of rows and columns of the table by sliding your mouse to the cell that will serve as the bottom-right cell of your table. As you move your mouse to a new cell, SiteBuilder updates the table dimensions (specified as number of columns x number of rows — 3x5, for example) inside of the active cell. 3. When you have selected the desired dimensions of the table, click the active cell. The new table is added to the center of your Web page (see Figure 8-2). Figure 8-1: Adding a quick table to your page., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 131
Chapter 8: Off to the Woodshop: Building Tables 131
Figure 8-2: Your new table, made to order. Your table is now ready to go. You’ll want to stretch the table to the appropriate width and height before adding content. You can resize the table just as you would any other page ele- ment (see Chapter 3 for resizing).
The detail-oriented approach: Using
the Create New Table dialog box You can also set up a table more precisely by using the Create New Table dialog box. While you specify more formatting property settings up front, you can always change them later. (See the “Adjusting the Table Formatting Properties” section, later in the chapter.) Add a table using the Create New Table dialog box with these steps: 1. Choose Table➪Insert Table from the main menu. Or, if you have a real love for the Insert menu, choose Insert➪Table. This command takes you to the same place. The Create New Table dialog box makes an appearance, as shown in Figure 8-3., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 132 132 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 8-3: Creating a table more precisely. 2. Specify the dimensions of the table grid by adjusting the Columns and Rows boxes. 3. Specify the amount of spacing (in pixels) that you want to separate each cell. 4. Adjust the table and cell border style, width, and color. Tinker with the border properties to get the table looking just right. So start with what you think works; you can always tweak it later. 5. Click OK. The table is added to the center of your page. Resize your table to the approximate size of your content.
Filling Your Table with Content
You can add text to a table simply by double-clicking a cell. A text cursor shows up inside of the cell, ready, willing, and able to help you type some text. Follow the same procedures I discuss in Chapter 6 for working with text. You don’t need to add a text element to a table cell in order to enter text. While text is the most common type of content that you can add to a table, you can also insert other page element types in a cell. To do so, double-click a cell and then add the desired element as you normally would on the page itself. For most elements, the cell dimensions are automatically expanded to fit the contents of the element. However, for image elements, the image shrinks to fit the size of the existing dimensions of the cell. One of the great things about the Design pane is its drag-and-drop-capability. You can drag any element on a page you’re working on and drop it into a table cell., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 133
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Because you can freely position and arrange different page elements inside of a SiteBuilder page, you normally don’t need to insert nontextual page ele- ments inside a table cell. For example, if you want an image to be next to a paragraph of text, simply arranging a text element and an image element side by side is the easier way to go, rather than using the table for alignment.
Adjusting the Table Formatting Properties
You can adjust the formatting properties of a table to get the borders and spacing looking exactly as you want them. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Click a table with your mouse to select it. 2. Position your mouse cursor over the table border (not inside a cell), right-click, and then choose Properties from the contextual menu that appears. The Table Properties dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 8-4. 3. Adjust the Spacing and Border properties as desired. 4. Click OK. Your table updates to reflect your changes. Figure 8-4: Tweaking the formatting of your table. When adjusting the properties of an individual cell (such as background color or justification), you can treat the cell just like a text element. See Chapter 6 for modifying the properties of text elements., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 134 134 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Experiment with borderless tables (with invisible table and cell borders), distinguishing as needed between rows and columns with background color. You’ll notice that most of the top sites on the Web never use standard table borders because they look unprofessional.
Selecting Table Cells
You can select a single cell simply by clicking it. However, you can select mul- tiple cells inside your table in two different ways: Click a single cell and then drag your mouse into each of the other cells you want to select. Click a single cell and then press the Ctrl key while you click each addi- tional cell you want to select. If you’re used to working with tables in Microsoft Word, here’s one difference between Word and SiteBuilder: You can’t select an entire row or column by clicking its edge. Instead, to select an entire row or column, you need to click your mouse in a cell and then drag it across all the other cells in the row or column to select them.
Tweaking the Table
Chances are that no matter how you initially configure the dimensions of your table, you’ll probably need to tweak it once you start adding content. Perhaps you need to add more rows. Maybe a column needs adjusting. Or perhaps you want to merge two cells. It’s always something. Not to worry, though. This section shows you how to adjust the table to fit your needs.
Inserting a new row
You can insert a new row into a table either at the bottom of the table or above the currently selected row. You can do so by doing the following steps. To append a row to the bottom of the table 1. Click any table border to select the entire table. Make sure you don’t click in a cell (see Figure 8-5). 2. Right-click and then choose Table➪Insert Table Row from the contex- tual menu that appears. A new row is added to the bottom of the table, as shown in Figure 8-6., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 135
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Figure 8-5: Selecting the table. Figure 8-6: Presto! A new row appears., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 136 136 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages To add a new row above the currently selected row 1. Click in a cell in the row you want to follow the new row. Figure 8-7 shows a cell being selected for this process. 2. Right-click and choose Table➪Insert Table Row from the contextual menu that appears. A new row is added above the row you’re working on, as shown in Figure 8-8. If you have multiple rows selected, the new row is inserted above the topmost selected row.
Inserting a new column
You can add new columns either at the end of your table or before the cur- rently selected column. To append a column to the right of the table 1. Click any table border to select the entire table. Make sure you don’t click in a cell. Figure 8-7: Preparing to add a new row., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 137
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Figure 8-8: A new row is added above the previously selected one. 2. Right-click and choose Table➪Insert Table Column from the contex- tual menu that appears. A new column is added to the right of the table. To add a new column to the left of the currently selected row 1. Click in a cell in the column you want to come after the new column. 2. Right-click and choose Table➪Insert Table Column from the contex- tual menu that appears. A new column is added before the column you’re working on. If you have multiple columns selected, the new column comes to the left of the leftmost selected column.
Deleting a row or column
If you’ve warned a row or column multiple times, and it’s still acting up, you have only one choice left as a responsible Web site builder: Delete it., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 138 138 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages To delete a column or row 1. Click a cell in the column or row you want to remove from the digital face of the earth. 2. Right-click and choose either Table➪Delete Table Column or Table➪Delete Table Row from the contextual menu that appears. 3. Click Yes to confirm the deletion. You won’t see that row or column acting up again. However, if you feel bad and have a change of heart, you can always undo your action and restore the table piece.
Merging two cells
You can merge two or more cells to form a single cell inside your table. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Click the first cell that you want to merge. 2. Drag your mouse across the remaining cells to include in the merger. Figure 8-9 shows two cells selected for merging. Figure 8-9: Selecting cells for a merger., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 139
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3. Right-click and choose Table➪Merge Cells from the contextual menu that appears. The cells are now unified, solidified, and otherwise morphified into one (see Figure 8-10). Any text in the cells now display inside of separate text elements. You need to combine them yourself by cutting the text from one text element and past- ing it into the next.
Splitting a cell
If you want to split a cell in your table, you don’t need to go to a biochemistry lab at your local university. Instead, simply follow these steps: 1. Click the cell(s) you want to split. 2. Right-click and choose Table➪Split Table Cells from the contextual menu that appears. The Split Table Cells dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-11. Figure 8-10: The two cells are now one big happy cell., 13_598007 ch08.qxd 8/25/05 8:29 PM Page 140 140 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 8-11: It’s gonna be splitsville for this unlucky cell. 3. Enter the number of Columns and Rows that you want to split the cell(s) into. If you have multiple cells selected, each individual cell is split according to these settings. 4. Click OK. The table cell is split based on your settings., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 141
Chapter 9 Making Columbus and Magellan Jealous: Adding Navigation Instantly
In This Chapter Knowing the do’s and don’ts of good navigation schemes Adding a navigation bar to your Web site Inserting navigation bars into your pages Setting a global position for your navigation bar Tweaking your navigation bar to get just the right look Creating customized navigation bars
The great explorers in history — such as Columbus and Magellan — had itrough. Back in the 1400s, they risked life and limb as they spent months,
even years, navigating the globe. Yet had they been born 500 years later, they could have traversed the same distance in mere hours, riding in a climate- controlled airplane, even enjoying a snack pack of peanuts to boot. In the same way, creating a stylish graphical navigation bar for a Web site used to be a task that took design skills and a lot of hard work. What’s more, when the Web site layout changed — pages added or taken away — the Web site builder was forced to redo the whole navigation bar to account for the modifications. However, as you use SiteBuilder, you can think of yourself as being among the “jet set” crowd — hopping on board SiteBuilder and letting it do the hard work for you, designing and maintaining your navigation bar. Heck, in the time saved, you can even munch on a snack pack of peanuts!, 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 142 142 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages In this chapter, you explore how site navigation works using SiteBuilder. Before diving into SiteBuilder itself, however, you begin by looking at some of the tricks of the trade on how you should design a navigation scheme for your Web site. After you lay that foundation, you look at how to add and modify navigation bars to your own piece of Internet real estate.
Navigating Your Web Site
You can divide most books in your local bookstore or library into two categories — “read-through” books and “look up” reference books. A read- through book is anything that you read cover to cover, whether it is Green Eggs and Ham, a John Grisham novel, or a biography of Dwight Eisenhower. A reference book, on the other hand, is a work that you browse but often don’t read from start to finish; usually, you use the index, table of contents, page header, or some other navigation aid to quickly look up a tidbit of information. Web sites are much like reference books. A visitor comes to your site, usually for a specific purpose, and may browse for a few pages. But no one is going to read your whole site in a logical, sequential order. This “click in, browse around” nature of the Web means that your Web site needs a navigation aid, much like the ones used by that dictionary or encyclopedia sitting on your bookshelf. A visitor coming to your site should be able to quickly scan your home page, identify where to go and how to get there, and then “click in, browse around.” The graphical navigation bar has become the Web-standard way of handling the “click in, browse around” process. If you were to add this navigation scheme to your Web site manually, you would assemble button graphics you want to use, insert them into your pages, and then add links to them to create a navigation bar. However, by taking this route, not only do you have to create or obtain the graphics yourself, but you also are forced to update the graphics across each page of your site every time your Web site structure changes. Fortunately, as I mention at the start of the chapter, SiteBuilder comes equipped with a smart navigation bar that does most of this work for you. You can easily create and drop a SiteBuilder navigation bar onto your pages — which means you can instantly take advantage of the following three major benefits: Twenty-eight built-in graphical button styles, so you don’t have to do the design work yourself, including buttons that automatically provide, 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 143
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a rollover or mouse-over effect. (A rollover is a Web technique in which the image changes its look when the mouse hovers on top of it.). A navigation bar style that is coordinated with the overall look of the template. Easily update navigation bars at any time as your site needs change. What’s more, SiteBuilder manages the navigation bar updates across your entire Web site. As a result, you can make the change in one place, and SiteBuilder updates all instances of the navigation bar.
Effective Navigation Bar Design
As you add navigation to your Web site, make sure you keep in mind these three design considerations: consistency, placement, and labeling, which I talk about in the following sections. A well-thought-out navigation bar makes your Web site much easier to navigate and helps ensure that visitors can easily find the information they’re looking for.
More than anything else, your navigation should be consistent throughout your site. If you place a horizontal navigation bar on the top of your home page, you should stick with top-horizontal orientation throughout your site, even if you are using multiple navigation bars for different parts of your site. Otherwise, people can become confused and disoriented, and may simply leave.
Navigation bar placement
“Western” people process information in a left-to-right, top-to-bottom manner. Given that, your navigation bar should be at the top and oriented horizon- tally or else on the left side and oriented vertically. A secondary text-only navigation bar at the bottom of the page is an optional feature you may want to add. (See the “Creating a text-based navigation bar” section, later in the chapter.)
When naming your labels on your navigation bar, be as clear and lucid as possible. For most sites, navigation bar labeling is no place to be creative,, 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 144 144 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages obtuse, and edgy. For example, if Gilligan Sportswear, Inc., has a page on its site that provides background information on the company, a good label is “About Us” or “About Gilligan Sportswear.” Above all, avoid getting cute and coming up with your own vernacular and labeling it something like “Gilligan’s Scoop” or “The Locker Room.” Visitors will be clueless as to what the link sends them to.
Short, descriptive labeling
The graphical buttons that make up a SiteBuilder navigation bar automati- cally expand in width based on the text length that you enter for the labels. While you have that flexibility, aim not to use it; stretched images never look as crisp as their original counterparts. Try to keep the labels as short as pos- sible while still being descriptive. Also, while the labels inevitably have some variance in text length, work to keep them as close in length to one another as possible. Having their length range wildly makes for a messy looking navi- gation bar. Figures 9-1 and 9-2 contrast the do’s and don’ts of navigation bar design. Figure 9-1: The Don’t: a poorly labeled and misplaced navigation bar., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 145 Chapter 9: Adding Navigation Instantly 145 Figure 9-2: The Do: a well- designed navigation bar.
Adding a Basic Navigation Bar to Your Web Site
After you understand the basic tricks of effective navigation bars, you should be ready to add your own bar to your Web site in one of two ways: As part of the initial site creation process As you design your pages
Adding a navigation bar when
you create your site When you create a new template-based Web site using the Site Creation Wizard (accessible through File➪New Site), you have the option of letting SiteBuilder build a navigation bar for you automatically, based on the starting pages of your Web site. (Chapter 4 walks you through the steps of creating a new site.) You don’t need to do anything more. The navigation bar is waiting for you on each of your Web pages., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 146 146 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages SiteBuilder templates use customized buttons for the navigation bar that are — luckily enough — available for you when you create a navigation bar on your own. You can find these buttons by browsing ypur way through the clipart. Just keep in mind that the buttons won’t have the same name as their associated template. (Darn.) When SiteBuilder creates a navigation bar through the Site Creation Wizard, it names the navigation bar as navbar.nav.
Creating a navigation bar
after your site is built Whether you use a SiteBuilder template to create your Web site or work from a blank set of pages, you can easily add a graphical navigation bar to one or all pages of your site. If your site has at least two saved pages and if at least one of your site pages is open, then just do the following: 1. Click the Insert Navigation Bar button on the toolbar. If you already have navigation bars created for your site, they are displayed in a drop-down list under the button. The final entry is the Create Navigation Bar item. 2. Choose Create Navigation Bar from the list. The Create Navigation Bar dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 9-3. Figure 9-3: Laboratory for creating navigation bars., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 147
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3. In the Available Pages pane, select a page to include in the navigation bar and then click the right-arrow button next to the pane. As you click the arrow button, the page moves over to the Navigation Bar Buttons list. SiteBuilder displays only Web pages that you have saved before. Therefore, if you have an untitled page that you added to your site but have not yet saved it, SiteBuilder doesn’t display this file in the dialog box. 4. Continue selecting and clicking until you place all the pages you want included as part of your navigation scheme in the Navigation Bar Buttons list. 5. For each page in your navigation bar, click in the Display Text field beside the page and enter the text that you wish to appear on the button. See the “Effective Navigation Bar Design” section, earlier in the chapter, for tips on labeling your buttons. 6. Set the order of the buttons on the navigation bar by selecting a page from the Navigation Bar Buttons list and clicking the up or down arrows to the right of the box. The page moves up or down the navigation bar order one space each time you click. 7. Select the desired style of the button from the Theme drop-down menu. You can choose among approximately 30 built-in navigation bar styles. As you scroll through the list, the Preview area updates automatically, showing what the finished navigation bar will look like. If you’d like to create a customized button style different from the built- in styles, see the “Creating Customized Navigation Bars” section, later in this chapter. 8. Choose the orientation (Vertical or Horizontal) of the navigation bar in the Choose Layout area. 9. Enter a descriptive name in the Navigation Bar Name text box. This text doesn’t appear on your Web site. It’s only for use within SiteBuilder. 10. Click OK. The Add New Navigation Bar appears, as shown in Figure 9-4., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 148 148 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 9-4: Deciding where to add your navigation bar. 11. Determine where to put the navigation bar: on just the current page or on all pages that are linked in the bar. You can also open the navigation bar in the Advanced Navigation Bar Editor for more work — such as tweaking individual buttons to adjusting vertical and horizontal alignment of the label text. However, if you do so, you can’t use the basic navigation bar editor later. 12. Click OK. As Figure 9-5 shows, SiteBuilder adds your newly created navigation bar to the current page or all linked pages. You can move this around on your page to the desired location (usually the top or left of your page). Figure 9-5: Viewing the finished product., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 149
Chapter 9: Adding Navigation Instantly 149 Use It Again, Sam: Inserting Your Navigation Bar into Another Page
After you create a navigation bar, SiteBuilder adds it to your site as an available resource. Having the navigation bar available as a resource comes in handy when you add a new page to your Web site. You can add a new instance of the navigation bar to this new pages by following these steps: 1. Click the Insert Navigation Bar button on the toolbar. A drop-down menu appears, displaying a list of existing navigation bars available for your site. 2. Choose the navigation bar you want to insert from the list. SiteBuilder adds the navigation bar to the top left-hand corner of your page. 3. Click and drag to reposition the navigation bar in the desired location.
Standardizing the Location
of Your Navigation Bar Arguably the most important quality of any navigation scheme is consistency. Therefore, if you are adding a navigation bar to multiple pages of your site, you want to make sure that the navigation bar appears in the same location across all the pages. Even if the navigation bar is only a few pixels off, your Web site can look sloppy when a visitor ends up moving from page to page. With that it mind, do the following to set the location of all instances of your navigation bar: 1. In your current page, precisely position the navigation bar in the loca- tion that you want it to appear across your Web site. 2. Right-click the navigation bar, and select Set Location from the contex- tual menu that appears. SiteBuilder asks you to confirm your action. 3. Click Yes to continue. SiteBuilder makes the needed updates to your site and then notifies you when the updates are done., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 150 150 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages 4. Inspect each page of your site to ensure that the navigation bar fits correctly on the page and doesn’t overlap any other page elements. Make any tweaks as necessary to any overlapping page elements, but don’t move the navigation bar itself.
Tweaking Your Navigation Bar
After you create a navigation bar for your site, your needs may likely change over time, requiring you to adjust your navigation bar. Maybe you added a new page to your site and want to add it to your navigation bar. Perhaps you decide to change the label text. Or maybe you just want to tweak the look of the but- tons. Regardless of what you wish to change, you can do so through the Edit Navigation Bar dialog box (see Figure 9-6), which is accessible two ways: Within your page, just double-click the navigation bar. From the Site Contents panel, expand the navigation_bars folder; then right-click the file for the navigation bar you’re using and choose Modify from the contextual menu that appears. Figure 9-6: Editing your navigation bar. You can perform the following modifications using the Edit Navigation Bar dialog box: Add a page: Select the page from the Available Pages list and click the right-arrow button. A page needs to be saved before it shows up in the list., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 151
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Remove a page: Select the page from the Navigation Bar Buttons list and click the left-arrow button. Button order: Select the page from the Navigation Bar Buttons list and click the up or down arrow on the right to move the button one spot higher or lower on the list. Repeat as necessary. Button text: Click in the corresponding Display Text box for the page and modify as needed. Graphical button theme: Select one of the built-in themes from the Themes drop-down list. Button font: Click the Customize button. The Navigation Bar Properties dialog box appears (see Figure 9-7). Adjust the font style, size, and color as desired, and click OK. The font that you choose for your navigation bar doesn’t have the same limitations as the font for your pages. (For more on such limitations, see Chapter 6.) SiteBuilder “burns” the text into the buttons, so the text becomes part of the graphic itself. As a result, you can be assured that the font looks the same on every machine, even if the visitor’s computer doesn’t have the font installed. Button and text spacing: If you want to add more spacing between the text and the borders of the buttons or between the buttons themselves, click the Customize button. In the Navigation Bar Properties dialog box (refer to Figure 9-7), enter the number of pixels you’d like to space the text in the Left/Right Margin and Top/Bottom Margin boxes and the button spacing value in the Spacing box. Click OK. Button orientation: To switch between horizontal and vertical orienta- tion, click the appropriate option in the Choose Layout box in the Edit Navigation Bar dialog box. When you have made all the modifications to the navigation bar, then click the OK button to save your changes. Figure 9-7 Even more navigation bar properties., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 152 152 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Creating Customized Navigation Bars
In addition to the standard navigation bars that you can create using the built-in styles, you can add other types of navigation bars to your Web site, such as a template-based bar, text-based bar, or one that contains your own images.
Adding a template-based navigation bar
When you use the Site Creation Wizard to create your Web site, SiteBuilder asks you whether you want to create a navigation bar at the time. If you do, a navigation bar is created using a customized style that coordinates with the template you selected. Well and fine, but suppose you do not select that option at the start and later decide to add one. To do so, simply create a new page in your site using the same template (see Chapter 3 for details). The new Web page will have a placeholder for the navigation bar that has the same template-based buttons. You can then customize the buttons as desired.
Creating a text-based navigation bar
A common technique that many Web sites use is to provide a text-based navi- gation bar at the footer of each Web page. This feature enables people who scroll all the way to the bottom of your page an easy way to navigate around your site without being forced to scroll up to the top of the page. You have two options for creating a text-based navigation bar inside of SiteBuilder: Text box approach: Add a text box to your page and create a horizontal set of text links, spacing them evenly apart to simulate a navigation bar. (Chapter 6 discusses how to work with text and links.) Navigation bar approach: Create a custom navigation bar without speci- fying graphical buttons. The navigation bar approach enables you to take advantage of SiteBuilder’s built-in navigation bar management. However, this approach does mean that the labels are not actually text, but text displayed as graphics (though most visitors probably won’t notice the difference). In contrast, the text box approach allows you to work with real text links, but because it’s not really a navigation bar, you have to work with each link manually., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 153
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However, before you go ahead and click OK in the Create Navigation Bar dialog box, follow these steps: 1. Follow Steps 1 through 6 in the “Creating a navigation bar after your site is built” section. 2. Click the Customize button in the Create Navigation Bar dialog box. The Navigation Bar Properties dialog box appears. (Refer to Figure 9-7.) 3. Clear all the contents of the Inactive Image, Active Image, and Mouseover Image text boxes. 4. Specify the font settings you want for the text. You’ll typically want the font to be the same typeface as your default font for your Web site, such as Arial or Verdana. The typical size for a footer navigation bar is 10 points. 5. Enter a value of 5 in the Spacing box. 6. Click OK to close out the Navigation Bar Properties dialog box. 7. Click the Horizontal radio button in the Choose Layout section of the Create Navigation Bar dialog box. 8. Resume the steps in the “Creating a navigation bar after your site is built” section, starting at Step 9. Figure 9-8 shows a text-based navigation bar at the bottom of a page. Figure 9-8: Creating a text-based navigation scheme for the bottom of your pages., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 154 154 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages SiteBuilder doesn’t exactly know how to handle your refusal to use graphics when creating a navigation bar, so if you edit your text-based navigation bar again, it automatically sets the style to be the first built-in graphical style. Therefore, each time you edit the text-based navigation bar, you need to click the Customize button and clear the image values from the Button Images sec- tion of the Navigation Bar Properties dialog box.
Creating a navigation bar
with your own images If you have your own button images that you want to use instead of the built- in ones provided by SiteBuilder, you can incorporate them into your naviga- tion bar design. To do so, follow these steps: 1. Follow Steps 1 through 6 in the “Creating a navigation bar after your site is built” section. 2. Click the Customize button in the Create Navigation Bar dialog box. The Navigation Bar Properties dialog box appears. (Refer to Figure 9-7.) 3. Click the Browse button beside the Inactive Image box. The Choose an Image dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 9-9. If the button image you choose already has text (see, for example, Figure 9-9), you should remove the title from the Display Text box in the Edit Navigation Bar dialog box. Figure 9-9: Adding your own button images., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 155
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4. Click the My Images radio button in the Select From box. 5. Navigate through the folders in the Look In pane to find the image you want to use. 6. After selecting your image, click OK to close the Choose an Image dialog box. You return to the Create Navigation Bar dialog box. 7. Repeat Steps 3 through 6 for the Active Image and Mouseover Image boxes. The dimensions for the Active and Mouseover images should be the same as your Inactive image. 8. Make any other settings changes in the Navigation Bar Properties dialog box, and click OK. 9. Resume the steps in the “Creating a navigation bar after your site is built” section, starting at Step 8., 14_598007 ch09.qxd 8/25/05 8:34 PM Page 156 156 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages, 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 157
Chapter 10 Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms
In This Chapter Understanding how forms work Instantly adding pre-built forms to your Web site Creating your own custom form Understanding the different form elements Adding custom confirmation and error pages
One-sided conversations are almost always far more interesting for theperson doing the talking. Once in a while, the person doing the listening
would like to get a word or two in edgewise, if only to ask a question that spurs on another diatribe. Most Web sites are kinda like those one-sided conversations: They talk to the visitor but provide precious little opportunity for the visitor to respond back. Forms can then become an important outlet for your visitors to get in touch with you — to ask a question, submit a com- plaint, or request more information. Forms serve as the most common and user-friendly way in which your site visitors can communicate to you. Forms can be complicated stuff when creating a Web site. But SiteBuilder makes working with forms amazingly easy. In fact, in many cases, you can just drop a pre-built form on your site, and it’s ready to roll without any tweaks or configurations or confusing server settings. This chapter explores how you can use pre-built and configuration forms inside of your Web site., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 158 158 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
How Forms Work: Discovering
the “Form Factor” A form on a Web page is part of a mini-system that is designed to take infor- mation a visitor submits, get that data to you, provide feedback to the visitor on the form’s processing, and allow the visitor to easily get back to the rest of the Web site. Figure 10-1 shows each step in the process. data ted E-mailit Sub m message Form Yahoo!Web server Yes Confirmation V pageisitor fee Was submitdback successful? Figure 10-1: The travels Errorpage of a Web No form. In the Yahoo! world, when a visitor clicks the form’s Submit button (see Figure 10-2), the form is submitted to the Yahoo! Web server for processing. Yahoo! handles all this processing, so you don’t have to deal with what hap- pens there. The server then sends all the data that was captured in the form to the e-mail address (see Figure 10-3) associated with your Yahoo! ID (or other e-mail address you specify). Finally, you can just leave your visitor at the Web form page, so the Yahoo! server sends him or her to a confirmation page (see Figure 10-4) or, in case something went awry in the process, to an error page (see Figure 10-5)., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 159
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 159
Figure 10-2: A visitor submits a form. Figure 10-3: The captured data arrives in your inbox., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 160 160 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 10-4: Visitor receives confirmation that the form was processed. Figure 10-5: If things go awry, you can let the user know of the error., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 161
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 161 Instant Forms: Adding Pre-Built Forms to Your Page
Forms are great additions to your site, but they can take a while to look just right — getting all the fields and labels arranged properly, for example — on your Web page. SiteBuilder comes to your rescue by allowing you to instantly add the two most popular forms out there — a Contact Us form and a Feedback form. What’s more, SiteBuilder automatically sets up some basic validity checking (such as checking to ensure that the visitor filled in required fields) for the form text fields. After you drop the forms into your page, they are completely ready to pub- lish. You don’t need to make any configurations to get them to work for you. However, while you can check out the layout anytime, you can’t preview the form’s functionality locally using File➪Preview in Browser. You must publish them to the Yahoo! Web server in order for them to actually work. For both of these pre-built forms, you can add them to your site and then cus- tomize them as desired. You can remove extra form elements you don’t need. Or you can tweak the labels as well.
The Contact Us form
A Contact Us form is an ideal way to allow visitors to contact you to submit questions, requests for call backs, or sign up for a newsletter. You can add a Contact Us form to your Web site in one of two ways: To an existing page: Choose Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Contact Us Form from the main menu. SiteBuilder adds the form to your current page in the Design pane. (See Figure 10-6.) To your Web site: Create a new template-based Web page by choosing File➪New➪With Template. In the Add New Page dialog box, choose the Contact Us Page option from the Select Page to Add drop-down menu and then click Add Page. SiteBuilder creates the new page and opens it in the Design pane. The Contact Us form created using both of these commands is identical. The Contact Us page created using the template simply adds additional text above the form itself., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 162 162 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 10-6: The ever- popular Contact Us form.
The Feedback form
A Feedback form is quite similar to the Contact Us form but is targeted to get more information from the visitor. To add a Feedback form to an existing page, choose Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Feedback Form from the main menu. SiteBuilder adds the form to your current page in the Design pane. (See Figure 10-7.) Figure 10-7: The question is: Do you really want honest feedback?, 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 163
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 163
Unlike the Contact Us page, SiteBuilder doesn’t have any template-based Feedback pages, so you need to create one by yourself.
Made-to-Order Forms: Creating
a Form from Scratch The Contact Us and Feedback forms take care of many basic needs you have for interacting with your Web site visitors. However, forms have more to them than simply getting contact and feedback information. You can also use them to create online surveys and questionnaires or any other data gathering you need. For these cases, you need to create a blank form and add form ele- ments and text labels on your own. To add a custom form, follow these steps: 1. Activate the page to which you want to add your form in the Design pane of SiteBuilder. 2. Choose Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Blank Form from the main menu. An empty rectangular element is added to the middle of your page, as shown in Figure 10-8. The form looks rather lonely, so you better add something to it. 3. Resize the form to a size that can hold all the elements you plan to add to it. See Chapter 3 for the basics on resizing page elements in SiteBuilder. 4. Add the desired form elements for data entry from the Insert➪Forms and Form Elements menu. See the “Working with Form Elements” section, later in the chapter, for instructions on how to add and work with each of the various kinds of form elements. Alternatively, you can also use the Insert palette, which I discuss in Chapter 17, to quickly add multiple elements to your form without need- ing to use the menus for each one., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 164 164 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 10-8: Adding a blank form to your page. 5. Add a text element by clicking the Insert Text button on the toolbar to each form element. You need to include an accompanying text element to serve as a descrip- tion label. See Chapter 6 for more details on working with text elements. 6. Add a Submit and Reset button to your form from the Insert➪Forms and Form Elements menu. The Submit button is the form element that provides the form’s “power,” telling the form to send the form data off to the Web server for processing. As with the pre-built Contact Us and Feedback forms, you don’t need to do anything else before they work. They just do. In the same way, you can’t pre- view your custom form locally using File➪Preview in Browser. You must pub- lish it to your Yahoo! Web server in order for it to function. Figure 10-9 shows a finished custom form in SiteBuilder., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 165
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 165
Figure 10-9: An online question- naire.
Working with Form Elements
Web forms provide a standard set of form elements that are designed to cap- ture most every imaginable kind of data. These include the following: A text field is for basic text entry, such as name, address, and that sort of thing. A text area is for capturing data that may span multiple lines of text, such as comments, questions, essays, and dissertations. A list box provides a list of choices in which the visitor selects one (or more) of the items from the list. Check boxes capture yes/no or true/false values from the user. Radio buttons are used as another way to allow visitors to select one option from a series of options. Radio buttons are grouped, and a visitor can select only one radio button in a group at a time., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 166 166 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Two types of action buttons are associated with forms: Submit button triggers the submittal of the form to the Yahoo! Web server for processing. Reset button clears all the data entry fields in the form, so the user can start over with a clean slate, a fresh start, an empty canvas .well, you get the idea. Figure 10-10 shows a form with each of these elements. If you’ve spent any time at all on the Web, you’ve almost certainly filled out forms containing these kinds of elements. The following sections detail how to add each of these elements to your form. Text field Text area Figure 10-10: Forms are so elemental. Radio Check Submit Reset List button box button button box, 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 167
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 167 Adding a text field or text area
The Text Field and Text Area elements are the elements you want to use for fill-in-the-blank type information. If the data is one word or a group of words (such as name, e-mail, or address), then use a text field. If the data involves sentences or even paragraphs of information, then use a text area. You can add either by following these steps: 1. Click in the form to which you want to add the field. 2. Add a text field by choosing Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Text Field from the main menu. (If you want to add a text area, use Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Text Area.) The Text Field Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 10-11. (The Text Area Properties dialog box looks identical, except the Default Text box is multi-lined.) Figure 10-11: Setting up your text field. 3. Enter a descriptive name for the field in the Name text box. This value is never shown to the visitor but is included in the e-mail you receive as a way to identify the data that was captured. 4. If you would like the field to start out with a default value, enter it in the Default Text box. 5. If you want to force visitors to add text in this field before they can submit, then click the Required Field check box., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 168 168 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages 6. If you checked the Required Field box, then add a customized error message in the space provided. This text displays to the visitor as an error message in the event that the field is left blank when the Submit button is clicked. 7. Click OK. SiteBuilder adds the text field or text area to the middle of your form. After you add your field, be sure to add a text element to your form as a label for the text field or text area.
Adding a list box
The List Box element is ideal for allowing a visitor to select one or more items from a predefined list. Each item in the list has two pieces of information associated with it: Text: The text that actually displays in the list box. Value: The text that is sent as part of the e-mail response when the visi- tor selects this item from the list. The text and value are often identical. But by having these as two separate pieces of data, you have more flexibility. For example, suppose you have sev- eral free catalogs that a user can select from a list. You could have a list item presented to the visitor as 2005 Fall/Winter Sports Apparel, while the data captured and sent to you shows up as 2005-FW-SP-GEN, a catalog number more useful to you. You can set up the list of items and the list box itself by following these steps: 1. Click in the form to which you want to add the list box. 2. Choose Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪List Box from the main menu. The List Box Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 10-12. 3. Enter a descriptive name for the list box in the Name text box. 4. Click Add to enter your first item. A row is added to the Contents table, and the text cursor is moved to the first cell in the Text column. 5. Enter the text for the list item. Be clear and descriptive in phrasing each item., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 169
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 169
6. Double-click the Value cell, and enter the text value you want returned as part of the e-mail response. 7. To have the item selected by default, check the Selected box in the table row. 8. Repeat Steps 4 through 7 for each item in your list box. As you enter items into the list, note the Remove, Up, and Down buttons. After you select the item, you can do one of the following: • Click Remove to delete an entry from your list. • Click Up to move an item up in the list order. • Click Down to move an item down in the list order. 9. You can optionally allow visitors to select multiple items in your list box. To allow this feature, click the Permit Multiple Selections check box. 10. Click OK. SiteBuilder adds the list box to the middle of your form. Be sure to add a text element to your form as a label for the list box. Figure 10-12: Defining a list of items in the list box.
Adding a check box
A check box is the best way to capture information that has a yes/no or true/false format. You can a quickly add a check box to your form by doing the following: 1. Click in the form to which you wish to add the check box. 2. Choose Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Checkbox from the main menu., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 170 170 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages The Checkbox Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 10-13. 3. Enter a descriptive name for the check box in the Name text box. 4. In the Initial State drop-down box, select the check box’s default state: Unchecked or Checked. 5. Click OK. SiteBuilder adds the check box to the middle of your form. Figure 10-13: There’s no gray for a check box. It’s a yes-or- no world. A check box is pretty useless without a text label, so be sure to add a text ele- ment to accompany it.
Adding a group of radio buttons
A set of radio buttons resembles those questions on standardized tests you probably used to take in school. You know what I am referring to — the ones that required a No.2 pencil and came with dire warnings of marking outside of the circle. Well, fortunately, with radio buttons, you no longer need to worry about the consequences of making smudges outside the circle. But the same principle still applies: You can choose one and only option among a set of options. If you read the “Adding a list box” section, earlier in the chapter, you’ll dis- cover that each of the items in a list box is defined as part of that same list box. A group of radio buttons is defined in an opposite manner: Each radio button in a group is defined separately and then the buttons are linked with a common group name., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 171
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 171
Because radio buttons are grouped based on a group name, you can have multiple groups of radio buttons within the same form. Simply give each set of buttons a unique group name. To create a group of radio buttons, follow these steps: 1. Click in the form to which you want to add the group of radio buttons. 2. Choose Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Radio Button from the main menu. The Radio Button Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 10-14. Figure 10-14: Defining a radio button. 3. Enter a name for your button group. You need to use the same name for each radio button so you can associ- ate them. 4. In the Value text box, enter the text to submit with the form for the radio button group when this button is selected. 5. In the Initial State drop-down box, select the Radio Button’s default state: Unselected or Selected. Only one radio button in your group can use the Selected state. 6. Click OK. 7. Repeat Steps 2 through 6 for each radio button you wish to define in your group. Be sure you use the same group name in order for the radio buttons to function correctly. Don’t forget to add text elements for each radio button in your group., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 172 172 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages
Adding Submit and Reset Buttons
The Submit and Reset buttons don’t capture data. Instead, they’re responsi- ble for triggering form-related actions. The Submit button sends the form data to the Yahoo! Web server for processing, while the Reset button clears any user data from the form. Don’t feel obligated to add a Reset button to your form. If you do use one, make sure you don’t position it in a place where the visitor would naturally expect to find the Submit button. There’s little more irritating than filling out a form only to accidentally click the Reset button by mistake and then have to start all over. (Okay, I can think of a few things in life that are even more irritating than that, but you get the picture.) Follow these steps to add a Submit or Reset button: 1. Click in the form to which you want to add the button. 2. Choose Insert➪Forms and Form Elements➪Submit Button (or Reset Button) from the main menu. The Submit Button Properties dialog box makes an appearance, as shown in Figure 10-15. The Reset Button Properties dialog box looks identical except for the title of the dialog box. Figure 10-15: Doesn’t get any easier than this: adding a Submit button. 3. If desired, modify the text for the button in the Label text box. Don’t get cute or creative with button labels for forms. If you change the text, make sure the action taken when the button is clicked is crystal clear to visitors. If they are unsure what happens, they probably will avoid processing the form. 4. Click OK. SiteBuilder adds the button to the middle of your form., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 173
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 173 What a Form Response Looks Like
When a form is processed, the data captured from the form is sent to you as an e-mail. By default, the form is sent to the e-mail address associated with your Yahoo! ID, although you can specify a different e-mail address. (See the “Sending the form responses to a different e-mail address” section, later in this chapter.) The e-mail message you receive is based on the following conventions: The From address of the e-mail message is webhosting-userform@ yourdomainname.com (where yourdomainname.com is your domain). The Subject of the e-mail message is Yahoo! WebHosting Email. The text of the e-mail message is structured as name-value pairs: ElementName=VisitorData. As shown in the “Working with Form Elements” section, earlier in the chapter, you supply a unique name for the element. This name is then placed before the value provided by the user. For example, the following is the e-mail text of a standard Contact Us form: name = Kyle Yoderspenda email = email is hidden phone = 805-555-1212 comments = I’d like to get on your e-mail list. Your products are, like, really cool! REMOTE_HOST: 22.214.171.124
After the Click: Tweaking
the Form Settings You can adjust what happens “after the click” from two different places within SiteBuilder: Right-click a form and choose Properties from the form’s pop-up menu. The Form Properties dialog box, with the Form Settings tab, displays. (See Figure 10-16.) Select a form either by clicking its rectangular border or any place inside of the form not taken up by another element. Right-click a form element and choose Properties from the form ele- ment’s pop-up menu to display its Properties dialog box. The Form Settings tab of the dialog box shows the same information., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 174 174 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages Figure 10-16: The Form Properties dialog box. For normal uses, you work with only the standard options, which I discuss in the following sections. If you have advanced needs to connect with another Web service, you can use the Custom Behavior section of the Properties dialog box.
Sending the form responses to
a different e-mail address If you would like to send form responses to a different e-mail than the one associated with your Yahoo! ID, enter it in the Submit To text box of the Form Settings dialog box (refer to Figure 10-16).
Specifying your own confirmation
and error page By default, visitors who submit a form are taken to a Yahoo!-created confirma- tion or error page, such as the one shown in Figure 10-17. However, I recom- mend avoiding these standard pages for four reasons: The pages are text-only and look nothing like your Web site. So the visi- tor is visually removed from your Web site, which can be confusing for visitors and leave them wondering what happened. The pages can look geeky, which can confuse nontechnical visitors. The page has no links to your Web site. As a result, a visitor is forced to click the Back button to return to your site. The process doesn’t look seamless to the visitor, making the interaction appear unprofessional., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 175
Chapter 10: Giving Your Site More Than Lip Service: Using Forms 175
Figure 10-17: A plain vanilla confirmation page. For these reasons, be sure to specify your own confirmation and error pages in the Form Settings dialog box. To define custom confirmation and error pages 1. Using the techniques from Chapter 3, create your own custom confir- mation and error pages with the same look and feel as the rest of your site. • For confirmation pages, you want to let the visitor know that the form was processed successfully and provide a link to return to your home page or other part of the Web site. • For error pages, inform visitors that something went wrong. Tell them to try again in a few minutes or to contact you via e-mail if the problem continues. The confirmation and error pages must be located in the same folder as the page containing the form. 2. Right-click the form and choose Properties from the contextual menu that appears. The Form Settings dialog box appears. (Refer to Figure 10-16.) 3. Click the Browse button beside the Confirmation Page text box, and choose the custom confirmation page from your Web site. Click Open to confirm your choice., 15_598007 ch10.qxd 8/25/05 9:01 PM Page 176 176 Part II: Creating “Cool” Web Pages 4. Click the Browse button beside the Error Page text box, and choose the custom error page from your Web site. Click Open. 5. Click OK. Refer to Figures 10-4 and 10-5 for examples of custom confirmation and error pages., 16_598007 pt03.qxd 8/25/05 9:03 PM Page 177
Part III Going Further: Developing
, 16_598007 pt03.qxd 8/25/05 9:03 PM Page 178
In this part .. Everyone wants to create a hip, jamming, and wickedcool Web site. But, in the quest for being innovative,
many people throw gadgets on Web pages that they think are cool, but only end up looking tacky. In this part, you explore how to add great add-ons to your site, and still keep your Web site looking great, not cheesy., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:44 PM Page 179
Chapter 11 Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity
In This Chapter Discovering how add-ons work Keeping track of your visitors Giving maps and directions Providing search capability Indicating your presence online
Add-ons. Talk up the add-ons. Back when I was in college, I worked parttime as a waiter. One of the things that my manager drilled into the
serving staff every night was “Talk up the add-ons.” Appetizers, desserts, that sort of thing. Everyone dining in the restaurant would order a dinner already, so we waiters were supposed to entice them to order the extra add-ons to add zest and spice to their meal — as well as a few extra bucks to their total bill. In SiteBuilder, you have the basic “meat and potatoes” of your Web site in text, image, and form elements. However, you also have add-ons that you can use to add instant interactivity and functionality to your Web site. Best of all, unlike those fried cheese sticks and brownie pies I used to flog, these add-ons don’t cost extra; they are simply another part of your Yahoo! Web hosting plan. In this chapter, you explore how to work with add-ons inside of SiteBuilder., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:44 PM Page 180 180 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages
Working with Add-Ons
Chapter 11: Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity 181 Inserting an add-on
Choose Insert➪Add-Ons from the menu and then select the desired add-on from the submenu that appears. You can also click the Insert Palette button on the toolbar to display the Insert palette, shown in Figure 11-1. In the palette, click Add-Ons from the left pane and then select the add-on of your choice. The add-on is added to your Web page. Figure 11-1: Insert everything but the kitchen sink via the Insert palette. For instructions on how to add each specific add-on to your page, see the sections that follow.
Previewing your add-on
As you discover in Chapter 4, you can preview your Web site on your local computer before going live on the Web. To do so, click the Preview in Browser button on the toolbar (or press F12). The add-ons have different levels of support for local previews: Preview with or without Internet connection. Because they require no server connectivity, you can preview and test the Loan Calculator and Time and Date Stamp on your local computer before publishing, even if you don’t have a live Internet connection. Preview with Internet connection. Other add-ons are fully functional during preview, so long as you have a live Internet connection. These include Presence Indicator, Yahoo! Map, Yahoo! Directions, and Yahoo! Search. Publish only, no functional preview. Not all the add-ons you insert into your Web pages can be previewed on your local computer. The Personal Site Search and Counter need to be published to your Yahoo! site to be fully functional. However, you can see how they look on your page when you preview the page., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:44 PM Page 182 182 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages
Accessing the properties of your add-on
Each add-on has properties you can modify. To do so, double-click the add-on on your page in the Design pane (or right-click and choose Properties from the contextual menu). The property dialog box that is displayed is the same as the dialog box that is shown when you first add the add-on to your page.
Cutting, copying, and pasting add-ons
You can manipulate add-ons just like other elements on your page. You can cut, copy, paste, and duplicate them by using the toolbar, contextual menu, or menu commands. For more information on copying and pasting page ele- ments, check out Chapter 4. After you paste an add-on into the active page of the Design pane, you can move it around and place it where you want within it.
Inserting a Counter
Time to move from all these generalities about add-ons to some real specifics. Case in point: the Counter. A Web page counter is perhaps the most ubiquitous add-on and one that you’ve probably seen all around the Web. The basic idea of a counter is that it keeps a running total of the visitors who view your Web page and displays the number as a graphical counter on your page. A counter is a fun feature for personal and other sites in which you don’t care who knows the total number of visitors who come to your site. However, for business sites, I don’t recommend using the Counter add-on for two reasons: You may want to keep to yourself exactly how many people visit your site. If you really want to track this information, use the Site Activity module in the Yahoo! Web Hosting Control Panel instead. (See Chapter 14.) Not only is the information for your eyes only, but it also provides more descriptive information than just a raw number. Some people think visible counters look a tad nonprofessional. Once again, as Chapter 16 discusses, consider the “Big Boys” test: None of the major Web sites ever uses counters, so why should you? If you’re determined to forge ahead, here’s how to add a Counter add-on to your Web site: 1. Choose Insert➪Add-Ons➪Counter from the main menu. The Counter Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-2., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:44 PM Page 183
Chapter 11: Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity 183
Figure 11-2: Counting your blessings with the Counter add-on. 2. In the Style area, adjust the properties to set the desired look of the counter: • Use the Font Color and Background properties in combination to determine the right coloring scheme. Keep in mind that the Transparent background option picks the color of the Web page itself. • The Counter Size property determines whether the counter is small, medium, or large. • The Counter Type property gives you 25 number styles to choose among. • The Number of Characters box enables you to specify the number of digits. You can specify 1 to 9 digits. Hint: If you need 9 digits, I think you need more than a standard counter for monitoring your traffic. 3. In the Settings area, specify the settings associated with the tally. • The Starting Value allows you to use the current setting (starting with 1) or else start at a number you specify. • Select your Time Zone from the list provided. This information is used only for your behind-the-scenes reporting and doesn’t impact the visible counter. 4. Click OK. The Counter is added to your Web page, as shown in Figure 11-3. In general, you want to move the Counter to the bottom center of your page., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:44 PM Page 184 184 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 11-3: Counter add-on, ready for action.
Displaying a Time and Date Stamp
The Time and Date Stamp add-on displays the current date and time on your Web page. This add-on comes in handy for occasions when you want your page to be continually “up to date” with the current date or time. The Time and Date Stamp is the one SiteBuilder add-on that is a Java applet. While you generally don’t need to concern yourself with such technical details, you should be aware that the visitor needs to enable Java applets to run inside the browser in order for the add-on to work as designed. To add a Time and Date Stamp add-on to your Web site 1. Choose Insert➪Add-Ons➪Time and Date Stamp from the menu. The Time and Date Stamp Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-4. 2. Choose the Foreground Color and Background Color. 3. Select the Font name, style, and size., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:44 PM Page 185
Chapter 11: Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity 185
Figure 11-4: The Time and Date Stamp takes a licking but keeps on ticking. 4. Choose the Date Format option you want to use: Long, Short, or Numeric. 5. Click the Show Time check box to display the time along with the date. 6. If you want to go military (24-hour clock), click the Military Time check box. 7. Click OK. Like magic, the Time and Date Stamp add-on is added to your Web page, as shown in Figure 11-5. Figure 11-5: Wrist- watches are “so last century” when you can use a Time and Date Stamp instead., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 186 186 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages
Providing a Yahoo! Map
The Yahoo! Map add-on provides a way to easily link your Web site to a cus- tomized map from the Yahoo! Maps service. This feature is handy when you want to provide a way for customers or clients to easily locate your business location. To add a Yahoo! Map add-on to your Web site 1. Choose Insert➪Add-Ons➪Yahoo! Map from the main menu. The Yahoo! Map Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-6. Figure 11-6: Map- making, Yahoo! style: Gerard Mercator never had it so easy. 2. Enter your address information in the spaces provided. 3. Add a label in the Description box. This text is used as the link text when the add-on uses the Large style (see next step). 4. Specify either Small or Large style. Figure 11-7 gives examples of both the small and large styles. 5. Click OK. The Yahoo! Map add-on is added to your Web page. When visitors click the Yahoo! Maps add-on on your Web page, they’re taken to a customized Yahoo! Maps map. The large style provides a text link for clicking. The small style add-on can be clicked anywhere inside of the graphic., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 187
Chapter 11: Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity 187 Creating your own Yahoo! Map link
Suppose you want to offer the same functional- 4. In your SiteBuilder Web page, select the text ity as the Map add-on but need to use your own or image you want to link to the Yahoo! map. text or image. If so, follow these instructions: 5. Click the Link button on the toolbar. 1. In your browser, go to Yahoo! Maps at 6. In the Link dialog box, choose Another Web maps.yahoo.com. Site in the Select the Type of Link box. 2. Enter your address information in the spaces provided to display the Yahoo! map. 7. Paste the URL from the Clipboard into theEnter the Destination URL box. 3. Select the text in your browser’s Address (URL) bar and press Ctrl+C. 8. Pick the target browser window you wantto display the map in the When Clicked, the You are copying the URL for this customized Link Will Open In list. map to the Clipboard. 9. Click the Create Button link. Figure 11-7: Two styles of Yahoo! Map add-ons., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 188 188 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages When a visitor clicks the Yahoo! Map link, the browser leaves your site as it jumps to the Yahoo! Maps service. Visitors need to click the Back button in the browser to return to your site. The only way to have the map display in a new browser window is to use the technique I describe in the “Creating your own Yahoo! Map link” sidebar.
Offering Yahoo! Directions
Like Yahoo! Map, the Yahoo! Directions add-on provides an easy way to link to Yahoo! Maps service. However, this add-on allows visitors to enter their address information and then receive customized driving directions to your location. To add a Yahoo! Directions add-on to your Web site 1. Choose Insert➪Add-Ons➪Yahoo! Directions from the main menu. The Yahoo! Directions Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-8. Figure 11-8: Entering the destination information for Yahoo! Directions. 2. Enter your address information in the spaces provided. 3. Click OK. The Yahoo! Directions add-on is added to your Web page, as shown in Figure 11-9. When visitors enter their address information and click the Show Me the Way button, they’re taken to a customized page on the Yahoo! Maps Web site pro- viding step-by-step instructions. Like the Yahoo! Map link, the Yahoo! Directions add-on takes the visitor from your Web page. Visitors need to click the Back button in the browser to return to your site., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 189
Chapter 11: Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity 189
Figure 11-9: Instant directions to your business, organization, or pad.
Searching the Web with
a Yahoo! Search Box While the Personal Site Search (covered later in this chapter) allows visitors to look for content on your Web site, the Yahoo! Search Box enables people to start a search of the Web from your site. You don’t actually have to do much to add a Yahoo! Search Box to your Web site; just do the following: 1. Choose Insert➪Add-Ons➪Yahoo! Search Box from the main menu. Unlike most of the other add-ons, the Yahoo! Search Box doesn’t have any position properties, so it is immediately added to your Web page without displaying a dialog box. A search box like this looks good in the top-left or top-right corner of your Web page. Figure 11-10 shows the Yahoo! Search Box added to a SiteBuilder Web page., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 190 190 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 11-10: Do you wanna Yahoo! from your home page? Just because you can add a Yahoo! Search Box to your Web site doesn’t mean you necessarily should. The advantage of having a Web search box on your page is that you can more easily get people to think of your Web site as a “home base,” so to speak, on the Web. Your site becomes a good home page, not only because a visitor likes your site, but also because it provides Web searches. The disadvantage of having a Web search box on your page is that once the visitor begins a search, he or she is whisked away from your Web page, maybe never to return.
Searching Your Site with a Site Search
Perhaps the most powerful of all the add-ons that come inside of SiteBuilder is the Site Search add-on. Once you add this search box to your Web page, visitors can use it to find content across your Web site as they search on a keyword or phrase., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 191
Chapter 11: Yahoo! Add-Ons: Drag-and-Drop Productivity 191 Understanding the two
pieces of Site Search The Site Search add-on consists of two parts: The Site Search box: Visitors enter search criteria. The Site Search Results box: Displays the results of the query. You can specify what kind of page to display the results: • A plain page created on the fly. This is the default option. • An existing page in your site. This page must be in the same folder as the page that has the Site Search box, which is typically the case with Yahoo! SiteBuilder sites unless you do something out of the ordinary. • A copy of an existing page on your site. While the default plain page option is easiest — SiteBuilder handles all the details for you when you stick with the default — the resulting page appears quite vanilla and plain to your visitors. As a result, I recommend creating a special results.html page that matches the design and overall look of your Web site and then identifying that special page as the target for the search results. See Chapter 4 for more details on how to create a new SiteBuilder page.
Inserting a Site Search add-on
You can add a Site Search add-on to your Web site by following these steps: 1. Choose Insert➪Add-Ons➪Site Search from the main menu. The Site Search Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-11. 2. Select the Results page option of your choice. (See the discussion ear- lier in this section for more details on these options.) • Click the Use Default Results Page option for a blank search results page that SiteBuilder handles for you. As a result, this page doesn’t show up inside of your SiteBuilder Web site, so you don’t even have to think about it. • If you’d prefer to use a page you’ve already created, click the Use an Existing Page option and then select the page from the Results Page drop-down menu., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 192 192 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 11-11: Adding a Site Search to your Web site. SiteBuilder adds a Search Results box to this page. • If you’d prefer to use a copy of an existing page, then choose the Create a Copy of an Existing Page option, select the page to be copied from the Original Page list, and then enter a new name for the page in the Page Name box. SiteBuilder makes a copy of the original, adds the new page to your Web site, and adds a Search Results box to it. 3. Click OK. The Site Search box is added to the current page (see Figure 11-12), while the Search Results box is added to the page you specified. As with a Web search box, you often want to place a Site Search box either in the top-right and top-left corner of your Web page. If you use a Yahoo! Search Box, just be sure visitors don’t get confused between the two. 4. If you didn’t choose the default Results page, double-click the Results page in the Site Contents pane if you need to open it in the Design pane. You see the Site Search Results box added to the page, as shown in Figure 11-13. 5. Size and position the Site Search Results box as needed. Figure 11-14 shows how the site search results display in the specified Results page., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 193
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Figure 11-12: Visitors can now become like Sherlock Holmes as they search through your site. Figure 11-13: Setting up the customized results page., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 194 194 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 11-14: Professional results using the Site Search add-on.
Removing the Site Search
add-on from your site If you want to delete the Site Search add-on from your site, make sure you remove both the Site Search box and the Site Search Results box (if you have a customized Results page). If you delete just the Site Search Results box but keep the Site Search box, then your search results will be “all dressed up with no place to go.”
Showing Your Online Persona
with a Presence Indicator The Presence Indicator add-on enables visitors to see if you are available to chat live with them using Yahoo! Messenger. (See messenger.yahoo.com for, 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 195
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more details on Yahoo! Messenger.) This feature can be extremely helpful for customers who have questions or problems about your products or services. When you are logged in, the add-on says “I’m Online”; when you are not signed in, it says “I’m Offline.” The Presence Indicator isn’t indicative of your simply being connected to the Internet. Instead, the add-on tells if you are signed into Yahoo! Messenger using your Yahoo! ID and enables visitors to send you messages simply by clicking on it. To add a Presence Indicator add-on to your Web site 1. Choose Insert➪Add-Ons➪Presence Indicator from the main menu. The Presence Indicator Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 11-15. Figure 11-15: Setting up your Presence Indicator. 2. Enter your Yahoo! ID in the space provided. 3. Select the style (size) of the indicator on your page: Small, Medium, or Large. In general, I recommend using the Large style because it is the most descriptive. Avoid the Small style: If your visitors are not that familiar with Yahoo! Messenger, they probably won’t understand what the smiley face signifies. Figure 11-16 displays all three styles. 4. Click OK. In order to receive chat messages from visitors, you need to be logged into Yahoo! Messenger. Go to messnger.yahoo.com for details., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 196 196 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 11-16: Once, twice, three styles for an add-on.
Keeping an Eye on the Bottom Dollar: Loan Calculator
The Loan Calculator add-on is one of those features that is either super-cool or super-boring, depending on your particular Web site needs. If you have a personal Web site or have a small business selling erasers, most visitors to your Web site won’t be thinking about financing. However, if you are a real estate agent, the Loan Calculator is going to make you feel like a kid in a candy store. Add a Loan Calculator add-on to your Web site by choosing Insert➪ Add-Ons➪Loan Calculator from the main menu. The Loan Calculator add-on is immediately placed on your Web page, as shown in Figure 11-17. The Loan Calculator is not like the other add-ons in two distinct ways: No real Properties dialog box. You can’t double-click the add-on to see its Properties dialog box. Oh, you can right-click and choose Properties from the menu. The dialog box that appears is called Loan Calculator, 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 197
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Properties, but none of the properties that appear is related to the func- tionality of the calculator. Instead, these properties are actually form ele- ment properties, which I discuss fully in Chapter 10. The reasoning is that the Loan Calculator uses a form element merely as a container for the add-on. You can directly modify the labels inside of the add-on. While the Loan Calculator has no Properties dialog box to work with, you can adjust the font style and labeling of the various pieces of the calculator. To do so, double-click the text to modify and then treat it as a standard text ele- ment. (See Chapter 6 for more on working with text.) However, you cannot modify the form text boxes themselves. Figure 11-17: Becoming the next big “Loans R Us” or simply providing a finance tool for your visitors., 17_598007 ch11.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 198 198 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages, 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:45 PM Page 199
Chapter 12 The Wow Factor: Adding Multimedia and Page Effects
In This Chapter Adding video and audio media to your site Adding flashy effects to your pages Knowing when to use multimedia and page effects and when to avoid them
It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s a .SiteBuilder page effect.
Whether in real life or the world of the Web, people love to be wowed. TV commercials aim to keep the clicker away by wowing their target audience. Filmmakers attempt to blast moviegoers with CGI effects that keep them “oooing and aahhing” for two hours. And Web site builders love to keep visi- tors at their sites by combining useful information with dynamic effects to make the Web site come alive. In this chapter, you explore how to add multimedia and dynamic page effects to your Web site. However, as cool as they may be, they can backfire on you if you’re not careful. So at the end of the chapter, you also examine the issues involved as you consider whether or not to use them in your Web site.
Multimedia: Going Beyond Mere Pictures
Text and normal images are the “meat and potatoes” of any Web site. They are the primary means in which you communicate with your visitors. However, just as radio and TV proved in the last century, sometimes audio and video communication can be a better way to share certain messages with, 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 200 200 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages people. Responding to that reality, SiteBuilder enables you to add video and audio media to your Web pages. As the “Knowing When and When Not to Use Them” section, later in this chapter, indicates, using video and audio clips come with a cost — they take time to download or stream. Therefore, be sure to consider all the factors I discuss in this chapter before you add multimedia to your page. If you rely on video or audio files to communicate to your visitors, I recom- mend placing a link beside the media clip that takes visitors to the free download page of Windows Media Player (www.microsoft.com/windows/ windowsmedia/download), RealPlayer (www.realplayer.com), or QuickTime Player (www.apple.com/quicktime/download).
Working with video clips
SiteBuilder enables you to add several different types of video files to your Web site, including: Windows Media files (.avi, .wmf, .asf, .mpa, .mpg, .mpeg) RealVideo files (.rm, .rmvb, .ra, .ram) QuickTime video files (.mov) When you add a video to your page, it becomes a part of the Web page in a rectangular container box on your page. The video file is uploaded to your Yahoo! Web hosting server when you publish your site. Then, when the video plays (automatically or when the user initiates the play), a media player on the visitor’s browser — Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, or QuickTime Player — plays the video inside of a rectangular container. Keep in mind that the visitor must have the appropriate player on his or her computer in order to watch the video. However, all three players are stan- dard fare for nearly all computers today. Add a video to your Web page with these steps: 1. Choose Insert➪Video from the main menu. The Insert dialog box makes an appearance. 2. Use the Look In pane to navigate to the media file of your choice in the dialog box., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 201
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3. Click the Insert button. The video media element is added to your page in the Design pane of SiteBuilder. (See Figure 12-1.) You can also drag a video file from Windows Explorer and drop it onto your Web page. After adding your video to your Web site, you can easily edit how it displays and plays; just do the following: 1. Double-click the video media element on your page inside the Design pane. You can also right-click the element and choose Properties from the con- textual menu that appears. The Video Properties dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 12-2. 2. Place a check in the Show Controls check box to display the player controls (play, rewind, fast forward) inside the Web page. If you uncheck this option, the player hides these controls. Hiding the player controls creates a more seamless look for the video integrated into your Web page. Figure 12-1: Adding a video element to your Web site., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 202 202 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 12-2: Changing the way the video shows inside of the Web page. 3. Place a check in the Autostart check box to automatically kick off the video when the page loads. Use this option when you want visitors to always view the video. However, if the media file is large, be careful about using this option. The visitor must first download the entire file before browsing your Web page. If Autostart is disabled, the visitor can play the video by clicking the video element on the Web page or by clicking Play if the player controls are visible. 4. Place a check in the Loop check box if you want to play the video over and over and over again. 5. If you want to switch the media player that plays the file, then choose a different option in the Player area. SiteBuilder determines the initial choice by looking at the video format. I don’t recommend modifying this setting, because not all three players support all the various media formats. 6. Click OK to save changes. Figure 12-3 shows a video clip playing inside of a browser without player con- trols visible.
Working with audio
Much like video media, you can add audio files to your Web page. SiteBuilder supports the following audio media types: Windows Audio files (.mp3, .wav, .wma, .mid, .midi) RealAudio files (.rm, .ram), 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 203
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Figure 12-3: Playing video media files. These audio formats are standard stuff, but the visitor does need a media player installed that supports the format you’re using. Follow these steps to add an audio file to your Web page: 1. Choose Insert➪Audio from the main menu. The Insert dialog box appears. 2. Use the Look In pane to navigate to the audio file of your choice in the dialog box. 3. Click the Insert button. The audio media element is added to your page in SiteBuilder’s Design pane, as shown in Figure 12-4. After adding your audio file to your Web page, you can modify how the visitor interacts with it. Edit the properties of your audio file with these steps: 1. Double-click the audio media element inside of the Design pane. You can also right-click the element and choose Properties from the con- textual menu that appears. The Audio Properties dialog box displays, as shown in Figure 12-5., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 204 204 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 12-4: Audio files can do the Web, too. Figure 12-5: Tweaking the audio properties. 2. Place a check in the Autostart check box to automatically play the audio file when the page loads. As with video media, if the file is at all large, be careful about using this option. If Autostart is disabled, the visitor can play the audio file using the Player button on the media player. 3. Place a check in the Loop check box if you want to play the song or sound in a loop., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 205
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4. If you want to switch the audio player that plays the file, then choose a different option in the Player area. SiteBuilder determines the initial choice by looking at the audio format. Therefore, in general, don’t modify this setting unless you are certain that the player supports the file type you are using. 5. Click OK to save changes. Figure 12-6 shows an embedded audio clip showing up inside of a browser. Figure 12-6: A sound file always has visible player controls.
Bringing Your Pages to Life
with Page Effects SiteBuilder comes packed with several built-in dynamic page effects that you can drop into your Web pages. For example, you can feature an image moving around your page border or flying in from the edge of the browser window. When used effectively, page effects can bring an otherwise dull page to life and bring a fun-loving aura to your Web site. Page effects are different from normal elements you work with on your Web page. All the other elements drop onto the page of SiteBuilder’s Design pane. You can then work with them inside the page itself — moving, resizing, and arranging them alongside the other elements. In contrast, page effects don’t, 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 206 206 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages appear anywhere inside the Design pane. Visual effects are shown in the browser at run time — when the page is being viewed — but don’t display at design time — when you’re editing the page inside of SiteBuilder. Instead, the page effects show up as icons inside the Page Effects pane, as shown in Figure 12-7. Figure 12-7: The Page Effects pane is your home for the page effects icons.
Viewing the Page Effects pane
If the Page Effects pane is not visible in SiteBuilder, you can perform one of two actions: Choose View➪Show Page Effects Pane from the main menu. Click the up arrow in the blue region of the Page Effects pane to expand it to normal size.
Accessing the Page Effects properties
After you add a page effect to your Web page, you can access its properties by double-clicking its icon in the Page Effects pane. You can also right-click the icon and choose Properties from the contextual menu that appears., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 207
Chapter 12: The Wow Factor: Adding Multimedia and Page Effects 207 Cutting, copying, and pasting page effects
Like all other elements inside of SiteBuilder, you can right-click the page effects icon to access several functions from its contextual menu, including Cut, Copy, Paste, and Duplicate. Using these commands, you can copy page effects between pages or inside the same page. If you need some help on copying and pasting inside of SiteBuilder, check out Chapter 4.
Adding SiteBuilder’s Page Effects
SiteBuilder comes with eight built-in page effects that are accessible from the Insert menu. Use this section to explore both what the page effects do and how you can add them to your Web page. Before you go crazy and add page effects throughout your Web site, be sure to read the “Knowing When and When Not to Use Page Effects” section, later in this chapter. It contains several factors to consider before going live with them.
Dancing with the Border Patrol
The Border Patrol creates an animation effect around the edge of your Web pages. You can specify an image or set of images to navigate around your page at various directions and speeds. Follow these steps to add a Border Patrol effect to your Web page: 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪Border Patrol from the main menu. You’ll notice two things happen. First, a Border Patrol icon drops into the Page Effects pane. Second, the Border Patrol Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-8. Figure 12-8: Setting up the Border Patrol., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 208 208 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages 2. Choose an image to display for each of the four directions — North, West, East, and South. You can use the Browse button to navigate to the file you need. You can use the same image in all four directions or else use different graphics on each side. 3. In the Direction drop-down menu, choose the direction for the Border Patrol to travel: clockwise, counterclockwise, or random (periodically switches back and forth). 4. Determine the size of the margin between the Border Patrol and the edge of the Web page. Specify the size in the Margin drop-down menu. 5. Choose the speed at which you want your Border Patrol to move in the Movement Speed drop-down menu. 6. Click OK to save the effect. You won’t notice any change to the Web page itself inside of SiteBuilder’s Design pane — everything pretty much stays as is, including the Border Patrol icon you added to the Page Effects pane in Step 1. You can preview the Border Patrol by choosing File➪Preview in Browser (or simply by pressing F12). Figure 12-9 shows the sample Border Patrol. Figure 12-9: Border Patrol, ready to take a run., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 209
Chapter 12: The Wow Factor: Adding Multimedia and Page Effects 209 Jumping with Bouncing Images
If your idea of being “edgy” goes beyond the perimeter walking behavior of the Border Patrol, you may want to spice things up with the Bouncing Images effect. The Bouncing Images effect animates one or more instances (actually, any number between 1 and 50) of an image, making them bounce all over your page. You can add a Bouncing Images effect to your Web page with these steps: 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪Bouncing Images from the main menu. A Bouncing Images icon drops into the Page Effects pane, and the Bouncing Images Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-10. Figure 12-10: Bouncing your way through the Bouncing Images Properties dialog box. 2. Choose an image that you want to bounce around all over your Web page. You can use the Browse button to navigate to the image file you need. 3. In the Image Count box, enter the desired number of jumping instances of your image. 4. Enter the desired jump settings for the image in the drop-down menus. • Gravity indicates the amount of downward pull that the image has on its jumps. Making it low makes the jumps slower; increasing its value makes the jumps sharp. • Friction specifies the amount of resistance the image has on its upward jump. • Elasticity indicates the amount of bounce that the image has., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 210 210 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages • Initial Height defines the image’s starting point. • When at Rest tells what to do with an image that has lost its bounce — drop from the sky, give it a kick, or let it just sit there. 5. Click OK to save the effect. The Bouncing Images icon in the Page Effects pane stores your effect settings. You can preview the Border Patrol by choosing File➪Preview in Browser (or simply by pressing F12). Figure 12-11 shows a sample Bouncing Images effect. Figure 12-11: Bouncin’ and behavin’ images.
Hitchin’ a ride with the Flyby
Call me crazy, but SiteBuilder’s Flyby effect always reminds me of the climax of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest: the classic crop-duster scene. If you recall the moment, Cary Grant’s character is running and hiding from a plane bent on mowing him down. The crop-duster does several flybys as it attempts to encircle its victim but gets a little too carried away and ends up crashing and burning on the deserted road. Fortunately, when you use the Flyby, you don’t need to worry about hiding in a cornfield or avoiding a fiery crash, but you do get an animated image that flies by your Web page — again and again and again., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 211
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To add a Flyby effect to your Web page 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪Flyby from the main menu. A Flyby icon drops in the Page Effects pane, and the Flyby Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-12. Figure 12-12: Ladies and gentlemen, you are now free to fly around your Web page. 2. Choose an image that you want to fly by your Web page. You can use the Browse button to navigate to the image you wish to use. 3. Enter the desired flight motion settings for the image in the drop- down menus. • Speed indicates the speed of the image as it performs its flyby. • Direction specifies whether you want the flyby to go right or left. • Position tells the vertical positioning of the flyby — top, middle, or bottom of page. • Delay indicates how long the image waits after it leaves the browser before starting the next flyby. You can specify no wait to a wait of up to 10 seconds. • The Offset value is the number of pixels to adjust the position the flyby relative to the Position value. This value is handy when you want to precisely position the flyby to a particular vertical location. • The Offset Variation indicates the range (in pixels) that the flyby can occur, relative to the Position value. The Offset Variation setting is particularly helpful when you want to use the Flyby effect but want a certain amount of randomness to the flybys. 4. Click OK to save the effect. The Flyby icon in the Page Effects pane stores your effect settings., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 212 212 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages You can preview the Flyby choosing File➪Preview in Browser (or simply by pressing F12). Figure 12-13 shows the sample Flyby effect. Figure 12-13: Flying around the Web.
Tagging along with the mouse: Text Tail and Image Tail effects
The Text Tail and Image Tail effects are reminiscent of my clunker of a car in high school, the one that was always trailing transmission fluid. The Text Tail effect adds a string of text that follows the mouse when you move it around on the Web page. The Image Tail effect has essentially the same behavior but uses an image. The following sections show you how to add the Text Tail and Image Text effects to your site. Be prudent in using mouse tailing effects. You are probably going to enjoy these effects more than the visitor will. To add a Text Tail effect 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪Text Tail from the main menu. A Text Tail icon drops into the Page Effects pane, and the Text Tail Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-14., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 213
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Figure 12-14: Static cling, text style. 2. Enter the text you want to have as your text tail in the Message box. 3. Provide the desired settings for the text as it trails the mouse: • Speed indicates how closely the text follows the mouse movements. • Size specifies the size of the text. • Spacing indicates the amount of space in between the text characters. • Style sets the text to be bold or normal. • Color indicates the text color. 4. Click OK to save the effect. The Text Tail icon in the Page Effects pane stores your effect settings. Figure 12-15 shows the Text Tail effect when displayed in the browser. Figure 12-15: The mouse went that- a-way., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 214 214 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages To add an Image Tail effect 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪Image Tail from the main menu. An Image Tail icon drops into the Page Effects pane, and the Image Tail Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-16. Figure 12-16: Catching a mouse by his tail. 2. In the Tail Image box, enter the image filename that you want to use as the tailing image, the one displayed when following the mouse. You can use the Browse button to navigate to the image you wish to use. 3. In the Resting Image box, specify the image that you want to display when the mouse stops. Once again, you can use the Browse button beside the Resting Image box to navigate to the image you wish to use. 4. Choose the desired settings for the image as it tags along behind the mouse: • Position indicates the starting position of the Tail Image when the effect begins. • Tail Length specifies the number of image instances that are shown as the animated tail. • Speed indicates how closely the image follows the mouse. 5. Click OK to save the effect. The Image Tail icon in the Page Effects pane stores your effect settings. Figure 12-17 shows the Image Tail effect when displayed in the browser., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 215
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Figure 12-17: Image Tail effect: a relentless pursuit of a mouse.
Adding random acts of effects
with Random Apparitions In naming the Random Apparitions effect, I wonder if Yahoo! somehow teamed up with some word-of-the-day dictionary site to include a word in SiteBuilder that many people may not be familiar with. Well, in case you are in that boat and don’t know exactly what “apparition” means, let me give you the defini- tion: An apparition is the appearance of something unexpected or ghostly. Therefore, the Random Apparitions effect displays images on the Web page at random locations at random times. It’s all so unexpected! Follow these steps to add a Random Apparitions effect to your Web page: 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪Random Apparitions from the main menu. A Random Apparitions icon drops into the Page Effects pane, and the Random Apparitions Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-18., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 216 216 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Figure 12-18: Ghostly and unexpected. What else could you expect from an apparition? 2. Choose an image that you want to appear randomly on your Web page. You can use the Browse button to navigate to the image you wish to use. 3. Enter the desired number of instances that you want to appear ran- domly at a given time. 4. Click OK to save the effect. The Random Apparitions icon in the Page Effects pane stores your effect settings. You can preview the Random Apparitions by choosing File➪Preview in Browser from the main menu (or simply by pressing F12).
Staying put with an Edge-Locked Picture
Most of the SiteBuilder page effects are designed to animate an image or string of text and have it move around on the page. In contrast, the Edge- Locked Picture effect does just the opposite: It places an image on the edge of your browser window and then locks up the image and throws away the key, so to speak. Therefore, even when the visitor scrolls down the page, the image remains stationed at the exact position in the browser window. The Edge-Locked Picture effect is perhaps the most useful of the page effects, because it can be employed for practical purposes, even on business sites. However, you must use it carefully and appropriately so that it does not become a nuisance to site visitors. To add an Edge-Locked Picture effect to your Web page: 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪Edge-Locked Picture from the main menu. An Edge-Locked Picture icon drops into the Page Effects pane, and the Edge-Locked Picture Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-19., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 217
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Figure 12-19: Anchoring a picture to the edge of the browser. 2. Choose an image that you want to set as the edge-locked picture on your Web page. You can use the Browse button to navigate to the image you wish to use. 3. Use the Position drop-down menu to specify the directional position that you want the picture to display in the browser window. 4. Use the Offset X and Y boxes to tweak the exact positioning of the text. The X and Y coordinates are always relative to the Position value. 5. Click OK to save the effect. The Edge-Locked Picture icon in the Page Effects pane stores your effect settings. When you display the edge-locked picture in the browser, the picture stays put even when the page is scrolled. (See Figure 12-20.) Figure 12-20: The Edge- Locked Picture effect at the bottom of a Web page., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 218 218 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages
Adding IE Page Transitions
The IE Page Transitions effect provides animated transitions when you enter or leave a Web page. If you’ve ever seen transitions used in a PowerPoint slide presentation, then you have an idea what IE Page Transitions do. The caveat, however, is the “IE” you see at the front of the name. IE stands for Internet Explorer, which means that these effects work only in IE browsers. Because IE has the vast majority of browser market share, most of your visi- tors will be able to see them, but you can’t count on it, especially with the recent surge in popularity of the Mozilla Firefox browser. To add an IE Page Transitions effect to your Web page, follow these steps: 1. Choose Insert➪Page Effects➪ IE Page Transitions from the main menu. An IE Page Transitions icon drops into the Page Effects pane, and the IE Page Transitions Properties dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 12-21. Figure 12-21: Adding a transition to your page. 2. For the transition that kicks in when the visitor enters your page, choose a transition effect from the Enter Effect list. 3. Specify the speed of the Page Enter transition in the Enter Time list. 4. Use the Exit Effect drop-down menu to declare the effect you want to have kick in when the page is exited. 5. Specify the speed of the Page Exit transition in the Exit Time list. 6. Click OK to save the effect. The IE Page Transitions icon in the Page Effects pane stores your effect settings. You can choose among over 25 page transitions. In trying to decide which ones look best, experiment. To do so, double-click an icon in the Page Effects pane to display the IE Page Transitions Properties dialog box. Choose a differ- ent transition effect, and click OK. Then preview the page by pressing F12. Repeat for as many of these transitions as you wish., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 219
Chapter 12: The Wow Factor: Adding Multimedia and Page Effects 219 Knowing When and When Not to Use Page Effects
Multimedia elements and page effects are a great way to add life to your Web site and can be a breath of fresh air to an otherwise dull and lifeless Web pres- ence. However, exactly how much you should use the “Wow Factor” on your public Web site depends largely on the site’s purposes. If you have a personal or family site, go for it. In general, you can be as creative and artistic as you like for your friends and family who frequent it. If they become annoyed by anything, they probably know you personally and can complain about it. However, if you’re designing a Web site for a business or other organization, you have many more factors to consider.
A video or audio file can be an effective way to communicate with visitors on your site. However, multimedia files always are expensive in terms of their size, so be careful in how you use them. This reality is not always easy to realize when you test your site on your local machine (where transmission speed is a nonissue) or if you personally have a high-speed connection to the Internet. However, always consider the dialup visitor to your site, and be sensitive to the exponentially longer times downloading any kind of multimedia data takes. Given that reality, always allow a site visitor to initiate the playing of a large multimedia file. Frankly, in most situations, unless the file is under 100K, I rec- ommend not enabling Autostart. In addition, you’ll want to avoid automatically playing an audio clip when the visitor comes to your Web page. Just say no. Cheesy background music cheapens the impact of the site and probably chases more people away from sites than any other single annoyance.
Page effects issues
If you are designing a Web site for your company or organization, you’ll usu- ally want to steer away from using page effects. Yes, they are fun and can add pizzazz to your Web site, but they’re almost always inappropriate for normal business usage. As nifty as they may be, many visitors coming to your site will find them distracting, annoying, and unprofessional — the online equiva- lent of plastic gnomes in the middle of your front lawn. And, just as you won’t find any cute little gnomes in front of the corporate headquarters of Microsoft or Toyota, you’re not going to find a flyby or page transition at their Web sites., 18_598007 ch12.qxd 8/25/05 8:46 PM Page 220 220 Part III: Going Further: Developing “Wicked Cool” Web Pages Above all, don’t add Text Tail or Image Tail effects to any site that you wouldn’t also be willing to put a “we want to annoy you just for the heck of it” banner on your home page. However, some of the effects could be perfectly acceptable for business Web sites in certain occasions. Suppose, for example, a section of your Web site is used as a slide-like presentation showing off your products or services — much like a PowerPoint presentation might look. In this scenario, SiteBuilder page effects can be an effective, creative way of presenting the information to the visitor and transitioning between “slides.”, 19_598007 ch13.qxd 8/25/05 9:03 PM Page 221
Letting SiteBuilder get its
really is skin deep.
is some ugly code.
Listing 13-1: Sampling of HTML Markup Instructions Page Title
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Listing 13-1 (continued)