Creating a Family/Personal Website
The book's first two chapters looked at the pieces that make up the Internet and websites, and showed how to create simple web pages with Composer. At this point, we're ready to examine how to use Composer to build a complete website. While you can create a website from scratch, it's much easier and quicker to start working with a website template. A website template, often referred to as just a template, is a collection of generic, pre-made web pages that can be easily customized to create a specific site.
When designing websites, designers typically start with an appropriate template and then tailor the template's pages accordingly. Throughout this book we'll be examining five different templates, starting with a template for a family/personal website.
Examining the Family/Personal Template
Friends and families today are increasingly distant, spread around the country and world. Fortunately, keeping your families and friends up-to-date with what's going on in your life is made remarkably easier with a family/personal website, which provides family and friends a one-stop location to catch up on your life. Most family/personal websites have similar features: pictures of the family or person the website is about, a list of recent happenings, and important upcoming dates, such as anniversaries or birth dates.
As you can see in Figure 3.1, the family/personal website template provided with the book's accompanying CD offers a template that contains the following pages:
A home page that gives a brief description of the site and has links to the other web pages.
A photo gallery index page, which provides a list of links to various family pictures.
A recent news page, which lists the latest family events.
A list of recipes for the family's favorite recipes.
Figure 3.1 The family/personal website template.
In this chapter, you'll examine how you can tailor the family/personal template. As you'll see, it's quite easy to take the provided template and change the look and feel, as well as add and remove content. For example, the pages provided in the template are just a few of many potential web pages that you may want to add to your family/personal website. Other potential pages include
The scores from a child's soccer games.
Information about children's after-school activities, such as cheerleading or debate.
Any other bit of information your extended family or friends might care to hear about!
In the "Customizing the Template" section you'll see just how easy it is to add new pages to your family/personal website.
Before you can start customizing the template, you'll first need to understand how to start working with the template files. Essentially, you'll need to copy the template's files from the CD to your computer's hard drive.
This chapter concludes with a discussion on how to publish your website, once you have tailored the template. Publishing a website involves copying the web pages from your computer to the web server computer where your public website is hosted. As we'll see, Composer makes this process a simple one.