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Site Workflow

Adding Pages

These are the steps for adding a page to this site or one like it. In addition to these instructions, become familiar with the Site Tools as well.

  1. Local Folder. Create a local folder on your computer and give it a name "YYYYMMDD Site Name Workspace" where date is expressed as year month day. This will be a local folder where you can synchronize site files. If you do this each day you edit the site, you will end up with some backups of the site files.
  2. FTP Software. Use an FTP program like FileZilla to copy all the current site files from the host into the local folder you created in step one above. You may need to do some research initially to learn about FTP and setup an FTP user login with your host if you don't already have one. You'll need a server name, user name, password, and a secure FTP connection (SFTP). There may also be an initial default remote directory setting to assign your home folder when you first connect. After the first time you connect, these settings will be saved for connecting in the future.
  3. HTML Editor. You can use a simple text editor program such as Notepad on Windows or Text Edit on Apple. However, using a coding program like Microsoft Visual Studio Code can help faciliate some processes such as global search and replace. If you are using Visual Studio Code, you can open the main site folder created in step one, and this will load a directory of all site files in the left column. Then you can easily click on any file to open it in the editor window on the right side.
  4. Copy File. Duplicate (copy and paste) an existing html page from your site. You can do this on your computer in the folder from step one above. Or, usig an editor like Visual Studio Code you can copy a page.
  5. Page Naming. Name (rename) the new page with a simple file name that is one or two words if possible.
  6. Page Title. When you open the new file for editing, at the top of the page in the HTML code you will see an entry for title in the header. Update the title to be the title of the new page.
  7. Page Editing. Editing the page will be made easier because you are editing an existing page that serves as a template. The header and footer area of the page won't chanage. Only the body that is between those will change. You can use the existing paragraph markers and lists as a starting point.
  8. Save Page. Save your page.
  9. Preview Page. You can click on the html page that is saved in your computer to view it in a browser. If the HTML code is properly written, with links to pages and images being relative, then the page should appear correctly. Make any additional changes as needed. This is a good time to check to make sure links work.
  10. Grammar Check. You will want to run your page through a spelling, grammar, and style checker. This can be done by copying and pasting page content into Microsoft Word, or LibreOffice Writer. You can also use a free online service such as Grammarly. Any suggested corrections can be made in the HTML editor.
  11. Upload Page. Use the FTP software to upload the page to its proper folder location on the host. With this site, all pages are in a pages folder.
  12. View Page. You can now view your page as the public will see it by visiting your website. You may need to refresh your browser. You can also try emptying the site cache in your browser.
  13. Special Considerations. Usually reloading a page in your browser is sufficient for seeing changes. If you've edited your site's CSS file, and don't see your changes right away, try using a Private or Incognito browser window. This will force a fresh loading of all site content.
  14. Update Page Directory. When you're confident the new page looks the way you want, add it to the page directory along with a short description and a link to the page. This step helps site visitors, and also helps search engines index the site.

Editing Existing Pages

To edit existing pages, skip the middle steps (4-6) above referring to copy, name title, and name page.

Editing Multiple Pages

When editing multiple pages over a period of time, you may want to upload pages once you've made changes to avoid getting mixed up about which files you've changed. Or, you can wait until you're done with all editing, and then upload all site pages, even the ones that weren't changed, just to make sure everything is updated. Most FTP software allows you to sort files by date and time modified. So, you could sort the files by date and time, then uplad the changed files which will all be grouped together with a date and time separate from the older unchanged files that will have an older date and time.

Simple Instructions

It's possible to skip most of the instructions above by using the online File Management offered by most hosting companies. With the online file manager, you can easily copy and edit pages. However, the editing will happen on the public site, so any typos or coding mistakes will be visible and impact the site as soon as the page is saved. For this reason, a the more careful process oulined above is recommended.

Site Design Reference Pages

These are pages relating to site design, development, and management.