Working with the Site Window
Working with the Site Window
I first envisioned GoLive as a magical tool that allowed beginners to create Web pages any old way they liked, while the software hummed along in the background, keeping all of that nasty code out of sight. And while it works that way to some extent, GoLive is really geared toward more experienced HTML jockeys. The wealth of choices and the 800-page manual (you heard me) are daunting to someone just starting out, and much of the terminology and capabilities are unfamiliar.
So let’s get started. First, fire up the program, go to the File menu, and select New Site:Blank. This creates a folder for your site, which will hold a site folder for your HTML files and media, a data folder for stuff that you’ll be using while designing (but won’t need when the site is live), and the site document. The site document is what holds all of your files together, treating the various elements as One Big Entity that will allow you to search your whole site at once, make global changes, and be warned instantly about broken links.
If you already have a site that you’re working on, it’s easy enough to import it. Go to File and choose New Site:Import from Folder or Import Site from FTP. Then GoLive will snatch all the files, either from your hard drive or from the Web, and plug them into a GoLive-ized structure.
I’m making a site from scratch, though, so when I choose New Site:Blank, the resulting folder is barren except for an empty file called index.html that is kindly created for me. GoLive displays this file in the Site Window, which is your control center for dealing with site-wide stuff:
The Site Window, and in fact the entire interface, should look familiar to Mac users, especially to Mac users who have dealt with Adobe products. As with Photoshop, you do your main work in a central window (in this case, either the Site Window for site management or the Document Window for page design), controlling the action with a toolbar and tabbed palettes that float in the outskirts. Tabs appear along the top of most of the windows, giving you quick access to a wide array of features, while conserving screen real estate.
A number of windows are grouped together in the Site Window, compiling all of the tools that help maintain your site. You can reorganize the structure, add new folders, get bug warnings, save oft-used colors and fonts, and even upload your site, all right from this one window. The main section you’ll be using, though, is Files. Click on that tab and you’ll see all of the files and folders in your site. You can move stuff around and rename files just as you would in the Finder. In fact, the changes you make here will be instantly echoed in the Finder.
Right now, all I have in the Files window is the blank index.html. I could go ahead and start designing that page, but I’d like to figure out the site’s structure first. I want the big picture in focus before I concentrate on the individual pages.