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Anyone looking for a fast and easy way to build a great web site can use iWeb to bring together and post photos and videos that were created using other iLife '09 applications. Instructor Garrick Chow demonstrates the basic functions and the new features of this application in iWeb '09 Essential Training. Garrick shows how to create and publish everything from basic web pages containing text and images to more involved pages with video. He also demonstrates how to create blogs and podcast pages. Exercise file accompany the course.
All right, let's go ahead and fire up iWeb. You should have its icon in your dock but if you have removed it, you will find iWeb in the Applications folder on your hard drive. Now, if this was the first time you are opening up iWeb, you might get a dialog asking you to sign in to your MobileMe account, which we discussed in the previous movie. Again, MobileMe is Apple's online hosting service and it is the best choice for hosting your iWeb sites if you want to be able to use all the features of iWeb. So, if you see that dialog box, you can either sign in to your MobileMe account or sign up for a MobileMe account or just click out of it if you don't want to anything about it right at that moment but I have opened iWeb before in this Mac so I don't see that dialog box this time.
Now, to have a website, you need at least one web page. When you open iWeb, you need to select a template for your first page. iWeb comes with plenty of templates in lots of different themes to fit just about any options from Plain Jane white or black to fancy-schmancy themes like Goldenrod, Modern Frame, Playtime, Comic Book, Elegant, Notebook and so on. In all, there are 20 themes in this version of iWeb, two of which are new to iWeb '09 and those two being Leaf Print and Fine Line. And don't worry about your choice here too much. You are free to change your site's theme at any time if you decide you don't like the one you picked.
So, go ahead and experiment with different themes. Working with them will give you a better idea of what they really look like than just their thumbnails will. Also, be aware that you can select a separate theme for each page of your site but bear in mind that most web designers agree that it is a good practice to keep the appearance of the pages in your site consistent with each other. If you pick a different theme for each page, you might confuse visitors into thinking they have suddenly jumped to someone else's site after clicking one of your links. Mostly though, you want to consider what your website is going to be about. For instance, if you are keeping a journal of your vacations, you might want to pick one of the Travel themes or maybe the Road Trip theme or if you are creating a website tracking your new baby's progress, in which case you are probably done with vacations and travel for the time being, you might want to pick the Baby theme or one of the Kids Blue or Kids Pink themes. If you don't particularly like any of these themes, you might want to start with either the basic Black or White themes which are pretty basic with no flashy designs and then you can customize and build your pages from there.
Throughout this tutorial, I'm going to be creating a website for documenting my recent trips and vacations. So, let's see. I think I'll go with one of the new themes in iWeb '09 and let's go with Fine Line and once I have selected my theme, I can choose from eight different types of pages. We have got the Welcome page, About me, Photos, My Albums, Movie, Blog, Podcast and Blank. The Blank page is for those times when you don't want to work with a pre-designed layout other than the pre-selected colors and look of the particular theme you have selected.
I will start of with the Welcome page. I'll select that and click Choose. So, here is the Welcome page in the Fine Line theme. Everything you see here is a placeholder. All the text can be changed and images here can be swapped out for your own and you can also adjust the positioning of elements on the page. So, it is pretty customizable. Let me just undo that move. In the sidebar, you see the page's name which is currently set to Welcome. This is the title of the page that will eventually appear in your visitor's browser's title bar. You can keep the title the way it is or you can customize it by double-clicking it and retyping a name of your choice. My suggestion is to keep the names as short as possible and avoid using spaces in the name. Now, spaces work but they give you some not so user-friendly addresses for your pages when you publish them to the web, which we'll see a little bit later. So, in this case, I'm just going to leave this as Welcome.
Now, instead of creating and working on pages one by one, you might want to start creating additional pages before you start personalizing them. So, to add another page, click the Add Page button and let's add an About me page. I'll just double-click that. Again, I now have a page with a bunch of placeholders for adding my own text to the images and I can see About me appear in my sidebar. Notice at the top of the page that the beginnings of a navigation bar now appearing. Each page you create in your site will automatically have a link created in the navigation bar so that all of your pages will be linked together.
Now there may be cases where you don't want certain pages to appear in the navigation bar. I'll be showing you how to prevent pages from appearing here a little bit later. So, that's how you add pages to your website in iWeb. It really doesn't get much easier than that. I'm going to make sure I save the work I have done so far by choosing File > Save. All right, in the next chapter, we'll take a look at how to go about replacing this placeholder content on your pages with your own text, images and links.
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