Part 1 of your Free Guide to building a website
In this article we’ll be covering how to use the Webeden to build a website, how to add realtime chat, message boards, galleries and more from the file library
You want to build a professional looking website that’s individual without the hassle of learning HTML. Welcome to WebEden.
What do you do if you want a good looking website, but don’t want to have to install and learn complicated new software? Previously the answer was either to pay someone else to create the site for you, which was very expensive, or to choose a wizard driven online site builder. These create generic, drab looking sites that are very restricted in terms of functionality and in terms of how much you can change them. WebEden is a new service that provides the next generation of online website building.
What is excellent about WebEden is the scope of the offering. Starting at only £2.99/month, cheaper than some standard web hosting packages, you get a hosted website together with an online website creator that makes generating a site and updating it, from anywhere in the world, a walk in the park.
Best of all, WebEden grows with you, so you can start out knowing nothing about creating a website and the system is intuitive that you can have your own new website up and running in half an hour. If you just need a site that looks presentable and offers the right information that you need, then simply use the wizard to set up a site. Even in its most simple form though, it’s better than other wizard driven sites, as you can choose the type of site you are after so that the right pages are created, and then a basic template for the design and then the colour scheme you want as well.
These tick box driven decisions by themselves mean that your site will have an individual look about it, but will look better than 90% of the hand created sites you see online. As you get used to the WebEden system though, you can edit the site and change any part of it that you want, all through the online interface. And we don’t just mean changing the colours, fonts or the graphics, the whole layout of pages can be controlled easily through your browser. The system can even password protect parts of your site and add Message Boards for interactivity. If this sounds interesting, then the good news is that you can try WebEden for free as they have a 14 day free trial, so you can play with the system all you like without any risk. Go to www.webeden.co.uk and sign up for free now.
Get started with WebEden
How to sign up with WebEden and get your first website ready for visitors in half an hour
You can try out WebEden by clicking on the 14 day trial icon on the home page and starting the wizard. The wizard takes only a few steps and you don’t need to enter any credit card or financial data to try out the site, only a valid email address which is used to validate your WebEden account. The first step of the wizard gives you a set of options for the purpose of your website. By selecting the purpose, you decide the number and titles of the pages on your site, so for example you can have a home page with a music page, links, message board and hit counter, or a site for a club you may run with club news, events and photo gallery. You can see the different pages for each purpose by clicking on the relevant button – the list of pages will appear above. If none suit your purpose, you can choose a Blank purpose and add your own pages later. The next step will allow you to combine the pages titles you’ve chosen with a design template.
WebEden has many advanced features which we’ll look at in later tutorials, but for now let’s look at one of the key ones, which is the menu editing feature, which is the key to great website building. The menu changes you make in the site organiser are automatically site wide, so you don’t need to worry about making sure changes are replicated across pages. You may also decide that you want a part of your menu to be a category for new pages, rather than a link to an individual page. Create the new pages and then drag them up so they sit under the category link. Click on the arrow next to the page number in the Organiser and it will make the page a sub-page of the one above it.
Now the Website Builder knows what type of site - and therefore what pages - are needed, it will combine these with the design template. Again there are buttons which when you click on one the preview will be shown above. The difference here is that as well as choosing the basic template for your page’s design, you will see there are three colour buttons under the preview. Once you’ve selected a template, click on the colour button you prefer and you will see the colour scheme applied to the template. Note that there are two pages of templates to choose from.
Once chosen, you can move on to final step which requires you name the site and enter an email address. You can then create your own website and you will be taken to a view of your new site.
Now you have the site, simply click on any area that you wish to change and you will be able to edit it. Start with the basics, which is entering the text you want on your website.
By single clicking on an item you will see the bounding box that surrounds any item. This is like the boxes you will find in any design package on your PC, so you will find control boxes at the corners and mid-points of the bounding box. You can use these to stretch or shrink the object. You will also see that the floating Editor dialog changes as you select different objects on a page. This dialog allows you to change the dimensions of an object or the location of it by entering the pixel data. If the object is a text object you can double click on the object and you will now be able to change the text itself. If you already have the text that you want to appear on a web page written in a Word document, then you can copy it into your pages by opening the document and selecting the text and copying it to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl-C. Then go into WebEden and double click on the text box you wish to edit, then select the text by wanding it in, and press Ctrl-V to paste over it. When you have finished entering the text for a page, you can click on the Save icon to save it, or if you click on a different page in the menu, you will move to edit that page, and WebEden will prompt you to save the page automatically. As long as you don’t simply quit the browser, there should little chance of you inadvertently losing any changes you make to pages. Clicking on the pages in your site menu may take you to the individual pages so you can edit those, but how do you edit the menu itself to rename pages or add pages to your site. Website Builder makes this easier than any other method we’ve seen. Simply go to Pages / Organise pages and the dialog there lists the pages currently in your site. To change the order of pages in the menu, click on a page in the Drag column and move it up or down the list. Type over the page’s name in this dialog to change it on all pages, and click on the “Add a new page” to add one to the menu. See below for sub-menus.
Editing objects in WebEden
The beauty of building a website with WebEden is the speed with which you can edit pages or make site wide changes. Here’s 6 Menus to Basic Editing of your webeden.co.uk website
1. Edit menu
This allows you to operate on the currently selected object. Everything you see on a page is an object and to use it, you simply click on it and drag it around the page, or click here to edit it. You can delete objects from the Edit menu, send them to the back (as you can put objects on top of each other, like using layers in DTP programs), or change some more generic settings. For example, you can change the settings for the current page here, so you can set it as a private page that only registered users can see. The Edit menu also allows you to manage who is registered on your site and send them emails if you have chosen a package that includes this feature. Many of these features are not normally available in low end hosting packages or in normal HTML, but are possible because of the unique delivery system WebEden uses.
2. Pages menu
This menu lists the pages on your site, so you can jump to one to edit it. It also allows you to organise the pages and set which is the home page, etc. a great way to create your own website.
3. Insert menu
This is a very powerful menu as it allows you to add all manner of elements to your pages. As well as text and images, you can choose File, which brings up the File Manager. We’ll look at this in detail in the next part of this series, but you will come to love it because it gives you access to the WebEden library, which includes polls, animations, frames, games and much more.
4. Design menu
You can change the fonts, background, and the “Page Master” which is the template that contains elements that are on every page, like the menus. This menu also allows you to change the overall dimensions of your pages.
5. Active object
The currently selected object on a page will show a bounding box, a real help when you make your own website.
6. Editor dialog
As you select different objects or add ones, this editor changes to offer options.
When you create your own website with WebEden you can have interactive elements like polls added easily, as well as your own images, all added to the existing template.
DID YOU KNOW?
When you create your WebEden account, you simply step through the wizard as described on the next page and select a subdomain, like tutorial. webeden.co.uk, as your web address. If you want to have a “proper” URL, you can register a web address and simply get it to forward to your WebEden address automatically.
That’s all for now
Check in for part 2 to find out how to carry out advanced editing to make it even easier to build your own website with Webeden