Creating consistent Web pages with FrontPage 2002

Applies to
Microsoft FrontPage® 2002

If you've created a Web site that has more than one page, chances are you've given some thought to consistency. But if you haven't, consider this: Whether you're a small business that sells products online or a hobbyist who has volunteered to archive all the family photos, creating a site with pages that look like they actually belong together is not only good for adding a level of professionalism and aesthetic value to your site, but it also makes your life easier when it comes to updating the pages.

FrontPage 2002 offers a variety of ways to help you make your site look good, while at the same time making it simple to design, create, update, and maintain.

Templates

A template is a pre-designed page that can contain page settings, formatting, and page elements. FrontPage 2002 provides several default page templates, or you can create your own.

For example, if you work in a multiple authoring environment, you can create your own custom templates and share them with other authors working on the same Web site. Anyone who opens the site can then create new pages based on your shared templates, which are listed along with the default templates.

Some examples of the page templates that come with FrontPage 2002 are:

  • Bibliography     Create a bibliography page that references printed or electronic works.
  • Feedback form     Create a page where your site visitors can submit comments about your Web site, products, or organization.
  • Search page     Create a page where site visitors can search for keywords across all documents in a Web site.
  • Confirmation form     Create a page to acknowledge the receipt of site visitor information from discussions, form results, or registration pages.
  • Style template     Create pages with various layouts, such as a page with a narrow left- or right-aligned body, a page with one or more sidebars, or a page with three columns.

Themes

A theme is a unified set of design elements and color schemes that you can apply to your Web pages to give them a professional look. Using a theme is a quick and easy way to make sure your Web pages are visually consistent and appealing. FrontPage 2002 includes many complete themes that you can use right away, or you can create new themes based on existing ones.

You can apply a theme to one or more pages or to an entire Web site. If you apply a theme to all pages in a Web site, the theme becomes the default theme for that site. When you create new pages, the default theme is applied automatically. If you change or remove the default theme, the change is applied to the entire Web site.

The following example shows a plain Web page, and then shows how the same page would look with different themes applied:

Using themes

1 A plain Web page

2 The same Web page with three different themes applied

Shared borders and page banners

A shared border is a region on a Web page that is common to one or more pages in a Web site. A shared border may be a region at the top or bottom of the page (similar to a page header or footer), at the left, or at the right. Use shared borders to place the same content on multiple pages in one step, rather than editing each page.

For example, to quickly place a logo at the top of each page in your Web site, design your pages so that they all have the same top border, then add the graphic to that top border.

When you use shared borders, you only have to modify content in one place in order to update all pages. For example, to change the copyright notice on each page of a 30-page Web site, you can update it on only one page if the notice is inside a shared border.

You can also set the shared borders so that every page in the Web site uses them by default, or you can set shared borders for individual pages. For example, the default setting for a Web site might be to share top and left borders; each new page would then have these shared borders. However, you could turn off the shared border on specific pages, as shown in the following illustration:

Shared borders

1 Default setting that uses shared top and left borders

2 Various pages in the Web site that may or may not use the default setting

A page banner is a quick way to add titles to your Web pages. Page banners use the styles and graphics of a theme if one is used on the current page; otherwise, the page banner just displays text, which you can format. Using a page banner inside a shared border is a way to quickly add titles to multiple pages in a Web site.

Using a single source of content on multiple Web pages

Often you may find that you want to update several pages within your Web site with the same thing—a photo, a logo, a or signature, for example. Rather than opening each page individually and making the changes, you can do one or more of the following procedures.

Embedding a Web page in other Web pages in the same site

You can display a Web page on another page in the same site, allowing you to maintain separate pages.

As shown in the example below, you can display a copyright notice on several pages in a Web site by creating one page that contains the copyright notice, and including that page on other pages in the Web site. When you update the copyright notice, you simply update that one page; all other pages that include the copyright page will be automatically updated:

Embedded pages

1 Web page that contains only the content you want to embed on other pages

2 Pages within the Web site that have the copyright page automatically embedded within them

Create information that can update automatically

A variable is a piece of information that is displayed on a page that can be set to change or update automatically. FrontPage 2002 has four predefined variables that gather information automatically when you put them on a page:

  • Author
  • Modified by
  • Description
  • Page URL

You can also define a variable yourself, such as a copyright or a comment.

For example, you want to refer to a product throughout your web site, but you know that the product's name might change. To make updating the product name easier, first define a variable for the product (by setting a name and value, such as Product and My Product's Name 1.0), and then place the variable on your pages. If the product name changes, you simply change the value of the variable you defined, and then the new product name is automatically displayed on your web site.

As you can see, there are a variety of ways to add uniformity to your Web site without creating monotony for site visitors and without taking up all of your time. For more information, and for procedures on how to use any of the above features, see Help in FrontPage 2002.