Web Page Creation
with FrontPage Dynamic Web Templates
August 23rd 2005
The world has
changed over the past decade or so. Creating web pages has gotten
easier, faster and cheaper. There are a few programs that use
WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) web development technology.
The two most prominent are Microsoft Front Page and Macromedia
Dreamweaver. We will review some of the advantages to using MS
Before the advent
of web developing tools, designers would use notepad to design their
pages. They would sit down at a computer and type the HTML code in
by hand and drag the code into a browser to see what it would look
like. If you have ever done any programming you will know this is
Creating a Web Page
is similar to creating a document using a word processor. You can
create a webpage with just a little more effort. Begin by clicking
the File menu and selecting New and then blank page. Type your
document in Design view and save it. After you upload the page
anyone on the Internet can see it. It is that simple.
There are some
advantages to using FrontPage. I realized this in earlier
versions. Let’s say you created a website but wanted to change a
minor detail on every page. If you typed the page using a text
editor you would need to change every page separately. Not so with
FrontPage has a
feature called Dynamic Web Templates (.dwt extension). If you
create a website using these DWT’s (earlier versions of FrontPage
used Shared Borders) you can change all of the pages by modifying
just one page. I recommend you first create the DWTs, even before
you create your first webpage. Then begin creating your web pages,
attaching a DWT to each one.
Most webpage’s you
see on the Internet are tables composed of cells. There is a drop
down menu in FrontPage that allows for table creation. Create
(insert) a 3 by 3 table. Drag your mouse and select the three top
cells in the top row. Right mouse click the row and merge the
cells. This will merge the three top cells into one cell. This is
where the top ad banners will go.
Your Website Name
|Table inside a table. Note the red color of top
cell with white letters.
|Your content can go here.
are properties in the dropdown menu for both cells and the
table. Use both to get the exact feel you want.
Collapse the borders of the table to get the cleaner look.
Many websites keep the maximum width of the table at about 760
pixels so most computer monitors can view it without
Merge the three top and bottom cells
to get the full width of the table.
Do the same thing
for the bottom three cells. This is good place to put the copyright
notice and other links. Most developers will put tables inside
tables. This will make your website look cleaner. Play with the
table properties to get the look you want. You can change the
border sizes, colors and more.
inside other tables will make selecting “editable regions” easier.
These will be the areas on each page you can edit. All other areas
on a page can only be edited by opening the original DWT. Editing
the DWT will change all of the pages associated with it.
So after the DWT
page(s) are created every page you create should be associated with
one. Usually I will create a new page, save it in a folder with a
name (no spaces) associated with the topic, and then attach a DWT.
This is all before I start typing the page.
For this site we
have created a dozen or so DWTs. We have one for our main-pages,
another for our health pages, another for our Sports pages, etc.
There are several places on the Internet you can visit for
will cover publishing your website, images and hyperlinks. You will need to use FrontPage
to publish your site (not a FTP program) in order to take advantage
of all of the features. Hopefully you chose a website host that
uses FrontPage extensions. See my previous article for tips on
If you have an expertise in
DreamWeaver please submit an
No need to make it a tutorial, just describe the features that you
like and use.
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Microsoft FrontPage Books
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