Site structure and page design for a Contribute site

Site structure and page design for a Contribute site

To prepare your website to be edited by Contribute users, structure the site appropriately.

Create the folders that Contribute users should use for their pages, create index pages for those folders, and add basic navigation to the pages. You might want to create user-specific folders for users to practice in. You might also want to create CSS style sheets that define the styles for each page or folder. You can do some of this setup work in Contribute, but it’s easier to set up a site using Dreamweaver.

In addition, you can create templates that Contribute users can use to create new pages (see Creating templates for a Contribute site).

The following suggestions may help you create a site that Contribute users can easily contribute to:

  • Keep your site structure simple.

    Don’t nest folders too deeply. Group related items together in a folder.

  • Set up appropriate read and write permissions for the folders on the server.

    For more information, see Enabling Contribute users to access templates without root folder access.

  • As you create your folder structure, add index pages to folders to encourage Contribute users to place new pages in the correct folders.

    For example, if Contribute users will be providing pages containing meeting minutes, you can create a folder in the site root folder named meeting_minutes, and create an index page in that folder. Then you can provide a link from your site’s main page to the index page for meeting minutes. A Contribute user can then navigate to that index page and create a new page of minutes for a specific meeting, linked from that page; the new page is automatically created inside the meeting_minutes folder.

  • On each folder’s index page, provide a list of links to the individual content pages and documents in that folder.
  • Keep page designs as simple as possible, minimizing fancy formatting.
  • Name your CSS styles clearly.

    If the Contribute users working on your site use a standard set of styles in Microsoft Word, name your CSS styles with the same names as the corresponding Word styles, so that Contribute can map the styles when a user copies information from a Word document and pastes it into a Contribute page.

  • To prevent a CSS style from being available to Contribute users, change the name of the style so that the name starts with mmhide_.

    For example, if you use a style named RightJustified in a page but you don’t want Contribute users to be able to use that style, rename the style to mmhide_RightJustified.

  • Use CSS rather than HTML tags.

    Contribute recognizes CSS styles and allows users to apply them.

  • Use as few CSS styles as possible, to keep things simple and clean.
  • If you use server-side includes for HTML page elements, such as headers or footers, create an unlinked simple HTML page that contains links to the include files.

    Contribute users can then bookmark that page and use it to navigate to the include files and edit them.

Related topics

  • Setting Up a Dreamweaver Site
  • Creating new documents
  • Using Cascading Style Sheets to format text
  • Working with server-side includes

Getting Started with Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver Basics
Working with Dreamweaver Sites
Managing Your Files
Laying Out Pages
Adding Content to Pages
Working with Page Code
Preparing to Build Dynamic Sites
Making Pages Dynamic
Developing Applications Rapidly