Monday, June 17, 2024

Streamlining Production, part 2

Ok. So, you’ve got your site set up? If not, then go back and read the last issue of DesignNewz to help you on your way.

We’re going to work from the understanding that the end result of our project is to have a completed, template based website that’s easily updated, easily changed. With our site setup and a clear goal in mind, let’s get started on our templates.

The concept of Dreamweaver templates is pretty simple: you design the basic layout of your page, graphics, text, flash movies, and then you make portions of that layout into “editable regions”. Editable regions are parts of your page that can be edited when you apply a template to a new or existing page. An example of using editable regions would be a press release page. You create a header, a footer, and make the body of the page editable, thereby allowing quick and easy updates. You can apply different fonts, colors, style sheet references, just about anything to regions of editable text, so I’m sure you can see the merit in all of this.

Creating Your First Page Template

For my example of page templates, I’m going to use the press release format I mentioned earlier.

1. Create the initial design of your page, tables, text, anything. What I usually do is make a press release page and then build my template from it.

2. For a press release page, there should be a few elements that are a must. Your company name, date, actual body of the release. Make sure you add those to your design. Once you are finished with the inital layout of your page, go to File/Save as Template. Make sure you save the template into the correct site.

3. Now we’re going to make the regions I just mentioned editable.Select the date portion of your press release. With the text highlighted, right click on select New Editable Region. Give the region a name, like date, and hit OK. You now have an editable region named date. Follow the same steps for each region you’d like to make editable.

4. Save your finished template. Applying this template to a new page is just as easy. Go to File/New From Template. It will display a list of all of the created within a givin site. Select the press release template you just created and hit OK. You will now see your template, but this time the only regions that can be modified are the regions that were defined as such in the template. Now you can create a press release in minutes!

Press releases are just the beginning. Before you know it, you’ll have page, sub-page, and even sub-sub-page templates! You can alsoincorporate editable template graphics into your page templates, which will be the topic for next week’s DesignNewz. Plus, I’ll provide you with a free downloadable project to accompany this set of three tutorials!

We at the Editorial Team would like to thank all our readers for reading DesignNewz. We hope you find this information useful.

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