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Website Guide for Fortenberry Homes Inc.

Introduction to Fortenberry Homes Inc. Website

Introduction will go here.

Fortenberry Homes Inc. Organization

Your website is organized as a series of pages named "index.php", each located in a folder named after the content in the respective "index.php" file.

Maintaining Your Site

In order to properly maintain your website, you will want to consider practicing the following:

  • update content often and regularly
  • test for good usability and accessibility each time you make a major change

Editing Your Site

In maintaining your site content, you will need to modify certain portions of the "index.php" files for editing purposes. Other pages must remain strictly "off limits" and therefore you will not edit. Most of the time, you will only edit the content. The content is located between specific tags that will be explained below. You will not make changes to any other type of file or folder either to its contents or its name. In the case of small sites, like yours, the editing is done on the "live web site". There is a copy of all your files on your local computer and a copy on the web server. Remember that all of your content is contained in "index.php" files. Since all of the files have the same name, you must know which folder they are from so you can keep them straight. You will be making changes to your local files and then uploading those files to the web server, overwriting the ones that are there. This could be really bad if you are not careful. It's possible to accidentally overwrite the wrong "index.php" file and then you would have to hope your local copy is good or rewrite it. Be very careful to keep the "index.php" files straight. The easiest way to keep these files straight is to use an "html editor" or "editor". Web designers used editors to keep track of their files. I suggest purchasing a good one or finding a good free one for you to use when making site edits. If you are using a PC, I recommend using "HTML Kit". It is a terrific, free editor. If you are using a Mac, I highly recommend purchasing (for $50) TextMate. It is an excellent editor and worth the money.

What Is Safe To Edit

There is no document or file in your entire web package that is completely immune from careless editing; however, some pages are designed in such a way that you may safely edit specific sections. Those pages are called "index.php" files and they contain the actual content that you see on the website. You will only edit certain parts and not others. Any content that is between "<" and ">" symbols should never be edited. Those symbols come in pairs or sets called xhtml "tags" that together, with any stuff you may find between them, are very important information for the proper functioning and presentation of your content. The content of your website is found outside these tags.

Include Files

In addition to "php" files, your site also contains "include" files. An include file name is identified by its ".inc" filename extension. The part of the name that comes before the ".inc" extension describes the content of that include file. For example, if you wanted to edit a menu name to change it from "Contact" to "Contact Us", you would do so in the "mainmenu.inc" file. The "mainmenu.inc" file contains the main menu. Remember that only certain sections of each include file is safe for editing. The markup tags are not safe to edit. Include files are extremely important because their contents is applied to every page that "calls" them, typically this means every page on the website. This is certainly the case for your site. So, if you change something in and include file, you will see those changes in all the pages of your website. It is best not to make any changes to the include files at all. If you want to do so, please contact me and I will step you through the process safely.

What Is Not Safe To Edit

Some parts of a web packet should never be touched. A good rule of thumb is to avoid it unless you are sure and ask me if you are not. The following files should never be modified:

  • css files (filenames ending in ".css")
  • any script files (filenames ending is ".js", ".pl", etc.)

If you find that you want to modify portions of these files, call me and we can set up a short training session.

Creating New Pages

When you decide to extend your website, you will need to create new pages using the templates. The templates already contain the structure and call all the includes that are necessary for a page to function correctly and display the styles. The only changes you will need to make is changing the photo if desired and adding the content. When you are ready to add the new content, follow these steps exactly:

  • Open the desired template in your editor.
  • Save a copy of the template (File - SaveAs) with the name "index.php" in a new folder titled the name you choose.
  • Choose a folder name that has no spaces and describes the new content you are adding.
  • Close the original template so there is no accidental chance of editing it.
  • Navigate to and open your newly-created folder and open the "index.php" file in it.
  • Change the title in the 4 places where you see "new site packet" to match your new title. It's important that the "ids" inside the "body" tag and the "p class='top'" element matches the folder name exactly. The "title" and "h1" tags will be a more presentation-friendly version of the same since the contents of those elements will actually be visible on the website.
  • Locate the comments that say "add content here" and replace the comment with your own content, being careful not to replace the tags themselves.
  • Save your file regularly and often as you are adding or editing your content.

Uploading Pages To The Web Server

  • When you are done with your edits, connect to your web server using your ftp software and carefully upload your newly-created or edited file to the respective folder on the webs server.
  • This will overwrite the old file, replacing it with the new one if you are just making edits or it will be created if you are uploading a new folder and file.
  • Now, refresh the webpage in your browser to make sure that the change you made turns out the way you expected.
  • If you have any problems, don't take any further steps unless you know exactly what you are doing and call me for help.
  • Otherwise, enjoy your new changes!

Versioning Your Web Site

You will want and need to version your web site if it grows large. This means that you will regularly save a copy of the website in full in a safe place (perhaps burned to cd) and give it a version name. Large companies version their changes they make daily so work is never lost. This prevents any overwrite mistakes to mean a total rewrite of the content that was overwritten. There is software, called a Concurrent Versions System (CVS) that you may need and want to use to version your site if it grows to the point where more than 2 people are editing it regularly. I don't see this being necessary for your site Dad but I wanted you to be aware.

Style Guide

  • color palette
  • naming convention
  • color palette


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