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Creating a website with FirstClass



The Web Publishing folder
The Web Publishing folder on your Desktop is the place to put material (web pages) that you want others to view using their web browsers. FirstClass publishes the contents of Web Publishing on the web.
In addition to regular web pages, you can publish lists of uploaded files (listing folders), blogs, podcasts, links, and calendars. You can organize this material into folders, and you determine the order in which pages appear.
The left pane lists the contents of your Web Publishing folder in a tree view. To open a web page, select it in the tree view. The right pane displays the opened web page.



About your website's structure
The tree view in your Web Publishing folder controls the structure your website will have. All objects directly under Web Publishing (as opposed to inside a folder) will be displayed in a navigation bar on your home page. Their order in FirstClass is the same as their order on your website.
To change the order, simply drag the objects in the tree view. You can also drag objects into and out of folders.
Defining your home page
The first object in the tree view that isn't a folder or a link is automatically your home page.



Changing your website's overall appearance
Your website's general appearance (colors, navigation bars, and so on) is controlled by a template. To see what your website looks like by default, click View in Browser. You can give certain objects that you create for your website a difference appearance.
To change your website's overall appearance:
1       Click Appearance.
2       Select the template you want your website to use.
To see what your choice looks like, click View in Browser.
Customizing a template
You can fine-tune the appearance of your chosen template. To do this, click the arrow portion of the Appearance button, then choose Advanced Web Config and make the changes you want.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
You can customize other templates that you have chosen for specific containers in your Web Publishing folder.
In addition to changing the template appearance for these containers, you can select "Exclude from navigation" to hide them on your website. This lets you prevent readers from accessing these containers using the website navigation bar, while still allowing you to give certain readers access by sending them a container's URL.
Changing your website's main heading
By default, the main heading you see for your website is "Web Publishing". To change this name, change the name in your Web Publishing folder's properties.




Hiding unfinished pages
If you are working on a web page and don't want it visible or accessible on your website until you are finished, you can hide it from visitors to your website. To do this, unapprove it. This page won't show up in your website's navigation bar, and readers can't access it in any other way.
When you are ready to publish this page, approve it.



How others can access your website
When you view your website by clicking View in Browser, your web browser's address field displays your website's URL.
This is the address to give others so they can access your website.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
Local users can access your website directly from FirstClass.



Viewing others' websites
You can see a local user's website by selecting that user, then choosing Open User Web Site from the context menu in the Directory, Who's Online list, message envelopes, or instant messages.
You can also go directly to anyone's website if you know the user name or mail alias and the domain name of the server for this person. Type the web page address in the address field of your web browser, using the following format:
domain name/~first name_last name
or
domain name/~alias
or
domain name/user-home/alias
For example, to see Michael Hill's (user name Michael Hill) website at www.huskyplanes.com, you could type
5112007_10742_0.png
To see Michael's website using his email alias (his email address is michaelh@huskyplanes.com), you would type
5112007_10827_1.png



Creating basic web pages
To create a page for your website:
1       Open Web Publishing.
2       Open the folder in which you want this page, if necessary.
3       Click New Web Page.
4       Select one of the basic web page templates.
The templates for the basic web pages are listed first.
5       Add and format the web page content.
Replace any placeholder content with your own. You can choose File > Save whenever you want to be sure your work is saved.
6       Click Save and Close when you are done.
You will be asked to supply a web page name.
7202010_20004_0.png        Notes
Before you close the web page, you can give it a name (to appear in the navigation bar) and a title (to appear in the title bar), plus keywords to assist someone doing a site search.
If you have changed your mind about the folder in which you want this web page, choose File > Save As. This allows you to specify a location as well as a name.
To check your web page on the web, click View in Browser with the web page selected.



Creating blogs
A blog is an online diary to which you add dated entries. You first create a blog to hold your blog entries, then you create blog entries inside it.
To create a blog for your website:
1       Open Web Publishing.
2       Open the folder in which you want your blog, if necessary.
3       Click New Web Page.
4       Select Blog.
5       Open the blog.
6       Click View in Browser to see the default appearance of your blog.
7       Change the appearance, if desired.
Click Appearance, then select the template you want your blog to use. You can view your choice by clicking View in Browser.
8       Change the default blog name, if desired.
Choose Rename from the context menu to make the name editable. Type the new name, then press Enter/Return.
Creating blog entries
To create an entry in your blog:
1       Open the blog.
2       Click New Blog Entry.
3       Add and format the entry's content.
You can choose File > Save whenever you want to be sure your work is saved.
4       Click Save and Close when you are done.
You will be asked to supply a name for your entry.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
Before you close the entry, you can give it a name. The entry is automatically dated today. You can click the date if you want to change it.
To check your entry on the web, click View in Browser with the blog selected.
How others can access your blog
FirstClass blogs support RSS feed readers, so others can subscribe to your blog. FirstClass RSS support adds these objects to your blog page when it is viewed on the web:
•       a subscribe button
People who have a browser that displays this button can simply click it to subscribe to your blog.
•       an XML button.
People who have a browser that can't display the subscribe button can hover their cursor over the XML button. This displays the URL to use for accessing your blog with their RSS reader.
How others see your blog
Blog entries are listed in reverse chronological order. The most recent entry is highlighted, and includes links that let users add a comment and read any existing comments. Readers must be able to log into your server in order to comment.
Clicking the More link on another entry makes that the active entry, and reveals the comments links.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
Comments are shown as replies in the blog when you are in your Web Publishing folder.



Creating podcasts
A podcast is a collection of audio or video tracks or clips (episodes). You first create a podcast to hold your episodes, then you create your episodes inside it.
To create a podcast:
1       Open Web Publishing.
2       Open the folder in which you want your podcast, if necessary.
3       Click New Web Page.
4       Select Podcast.
5       Open the podcast.
6       Click View in Browser to see the default appearance of your podcast.
7       Change the appearance, if desired.
Click Appearance, then select the template you want your podcast to use. You can view your choice by clicking View in Browser.
8       Change the default podcast name, if desired.
Choose Rename from the context menu to make the name editable. Type the new name, then press Enter/Return.
Creating podcast episodes
To create an episode for your podcast:
1       Open the podcast.
2       Click New Episode.
3       Add the audio or video content.
Drag an audio or video file to the Podcast Episode form.
You can record directly instead, just as you do when attaching a recording to a message, if your computer is connected to a microphone. To do this, click Record Episode.
4       Update the fields on the Podcast Episode form to identify the episode.
To check your episode on the web, click View in Browser with the podcast selected.
How others can access your podcast
FirstClass podcasts support RSS feed readers, so others can subscribe to your podcast. FirstClass RSS support adds these objects to your podcast page when it is viewed in your website:
•       a subscribe button
People who have a browser that displays this button can simply click it to subscribe to your podcast.
•       a "Feed URL" field
People can copy and paste this URL into non-Apple podcast-watching software. This field also gives you the URL you need to submit your podcast to the iTunes Music Store.
•       an XML button
People who have a browser that can't display the subscribe button can hover their cursor over the XML button. This displays the URL to use for accessing your podcast with their RSS reader.
•       an Open this Podcast in iTunes button.
Launches the iTunes program and points it at this podcast.
Providing more information about podcasts
FirstClass podcasts support RSS, so that they can be served to the iTunes Music Store. You can add more information about your podcast, such as album art, a copyright statement, and update frequency, that can be used by the iTunes Music Store. To do this:
1       Select the podcast.
2       Click Edit Podcast Details.
3       Update the Podcast Details form.



Putting a calendar on your website
You can create a FirstClass-type calendar for your website. You add calendar items just as you do to your personal calendar.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
You must add calendar items using the calendar in Web Publishing. The version on your website is read only.
To add a calendar to your website:
1       Open Web Publishing.
2       Open the folder in which you want your calendar, if necessary.
3       Click New Web Page.
4       Select Web Calendar.
5       Open the calendar.
6       Click View in Browser to see the default appearance of your calendar.
7       Change the appearance, if desired.
Click Appearance, then select the template you want your calendar to use. You can view your choice by clicking View in Browser.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
Both you and readers of your website can change the dates displayed by clicking the links on either side of the date above the calendar.
8       Change the default calendar name, if desired.
Choose Rename from the context menu to make the name editable. Type the new name, then press Enter/Return.
81203_42935_18.png        Tip
To view your personal calendar items in the web calendar, put a link to your personal calendar inside your web calendar.
How to access your calendar using other calendar programs
FirstClass web calendars support an iCalendar "feed" that lets your website viewers subscribe your calendar to their calendar programs. To accomplish this, an iCal button is added to your web calendar when it is viewed in your website.
Hovering the cursor over this button displays the URL to use for subscribing to your web calendar.
If someone doesn't have a calendar program that understands subscribing, they can click this button to download your web calendar contents in iCalendar format, then import the iCalendar file into their calendar program.



Creating a folder to contain a list of files
You can create a container that acts like a FirstClass client container in list view. This is a repository for any files you upload there and want to publish as a list of files.
7202010_20004_0.png        Examples of use
Store PDF files that you want visitors to download. Or create a photo gallery using thumbnails by choosing Select Fields from the context menu, adding "Thumbnail" to the list of displayed fields, then moving this field to the top of the list of displayed fields.
To create a listing folder:
1       Open Web Publishing.
2       Open the folder in which you want your listing folder, if necessary.
3       Click New Web Page.
4       Select Listing Folder.
5       Open the listing folder.
6       Click View in Browser to see the default appearance of your listing folder.
7       Change the appearance, if desired.
Click Appearance, then select the template you want your listing folder to use. You can view your choice by clicking View in Browser.
8       Change the default listing folder name, if desired.
Choose Rename from the context menu to make the name editable. Type the new name, then press Enter/Return.
9       Upload any files you want to appear in this listing folder.
You can change a file's name just as you would the list folder's name. If you want to change other properties, select the file, then open its properties.



Using folders to organize website content
You can store website content in folders to organize it. This content won't show on your home page's navigation bar. Opening a folder on the web will reveal its contents in the navigation bar.
7202010_20004_0.png        Note
In the FirstClass client, you will only see folder contents in the tree view, not in the right pane.
To create a web content folder:
1       Open Web Publishing.
2       Open the folder in which you want your web content folder, if necessary.
You would do this if you wanted your web pages in nested folders. You can create subfolders within both web content folders and folders containing lists of files.
3       Click New Web Page.
4       Select Web Folder.
5       Open the web content folder.
6       Click View in Browser to see the default appearance of your web content folder.
7       Change the appearance, if desired.
Click Appearance, then select the template you want your web content folder to use. You can view your choice by clicking View in Browser.
8       Change the default web content folder name, if desired.
Choose Rename from the context menu to make the name editable. Type the new name, then press Enter/Return.
Providing a collection of links
You can provide visitors to your website with a collection of useful links. These links are simply FirstClass bookmarks that you put in a web content folder.
To create a links area:
1       Create the bookmarks in your Bookmarks folder.
2       Create a web content folder in Web Publishing.
3       Create a standard web page inside this web content folder to introduce your links.
4       Copy or move your bookmarks to the web content folder.
When visitors open your links folder, they will see your introductory page, with the list of links in the navigation bar.



Using the web publishing application with older content
Issues with pre-8.3 website content
If you used a pre-8.3 FirstClass client to create website content, you are free to do nothing, and your content will continue to render on the web. You can add more content just as you always have.
572004_44255_0.pngCaution
If you don't want to use the new web publishing application, don't click the Appearance button. Clicking this button tells FirstClass to use the new web publishing features for this container, and your web pages won't display as you expect.
But you won't be able to use the full power of the web publishing application. For example, you won't be able to view your content on the web directly from the client, or apply appearance templates.
You also need to know that any HTML pages won't take on the navigation bars or other formatting provided by the templates. These pages will basically be standalone pages in your site.
For these reasons, we recommend that you make your existing content compatible with the web publishing application.
Switching to web publishing
Switching your old website content so that it is compatible with the web publishing application involves just a few steps:
1       Move your Web Publishing folder off your Desktop to another location.
This folder is the My Web Site/Home Page folder, renamed. It contains your existing content, unchanged. Moving this folder archives its contents, so that you don't lose them as you switch over.
2       Open Web Publishing from the menu or navigation bar.
This creates a new Web Publishing folder on your Desktop. This will be your new web publishing environment.
3       Remove any specially named home page document in your old content.
Web publishing can't work properly with content that includes a document named home page, index.htm/.html, home.htm/.html, or default.htm/.html.
You can either rename your old home page document before copying it, or copy its contents to a web page created in the Web Publishing folder on your Desktop.
4       Copy your content from the archived Web Publishing folder to the Web Publishing folder on your Desktop.
We recommend that you do this one page at a time and view each page on the web, to isolate any problems.
When all content has been copied over safely, you can delete the archived Web Publishing folder.