With this behind-the-scenes work completed, I switch back to designing the home page by selecting it from the top-center pulldown menu and clicking the “Show Designer” link next to the menu. I click inside the dashed red box for the main title and change the text from the template’s default “Acme Brothers” to “Prompt, Friendly and Reliable Handyman Services for Bergen County”. I also replace the default body text with my own copy. In the design mode, you’ll see familiar text editing tools in the upper left; you can highlight text and apply modifications just as you would in a Word document.
To make it easy for a new client to reach me, I want my contact information to appear on every page of the site. I accomplish this by adding a text block at the home page, then “sharing” it across the site. At the top of the page, I click the “Insert” tab, then the “Block” icon below it. A new block is added under the block that has the body copy in it. In the area provided, I add my contact information and format it so that it stands out. I also add an e-mail address link by typing “Email Us,” highlighting it with the cursor, and clicking the “Create Link” icon in the text formatting palette. I identify the link as an e-mail link, type in the target e-mail address, and click “OK”.
Before clicking “OK” to save the contact text block, I click the “Share” button at the top of the page. Following the prompt, I give the shared content a name (“Contact info”), and automatically that block is saved for reuse on the other pages in the site. To put the shared block on a new page, I place a new text block, click “Share,” select the item from the pulldown menu that appears on the right, and click “Insert Shared Content”. If later I make any changes to a shared block, the changes propagate across the site.
I add content to the rest of my site’s pages in pretty much the same way, though the contact page takes special attention because some of the lines need to be edited to fit my business. The prebuilt form is located inside a typical text block, so I double-click on one of the fields to open the “Edit Form” window (next page). I make sure that on the left side of the window — underneath the words “On form submittal go to:” — the page is set to the one I want, usually the home page. That way, when users click the submit button, the next page they will see is the home page.
When you submit a form online, it’s reassuring to see a confirmation message pop up. WebSite Tonight doesn’t offer this option, but when I have an unused page to use, I may create a “Thank You” page and use that in lieu of the home page. When I don’t have an extra page, I put a note below the submit button that says, “After clicking the submit button, you will be redirected to our home page. We will be in touch with you shortly.”
Next I check that the “Email to” address is correct, as well as the address where I want the form data sent. Finally, I click into the form itself, edit the text as needed, and click “OK.”
Importing New Images
At this point, the new Web site is ready for use, except for one detail: I want to replace the generic image of keys on the page template with my own company logo. I click the “Edit Template Images” icon near the top of the page. A window opens that shows all of the images used across the site template; it tells me that the photo of the keys is 186 pixels wide by 150 pixels tall. Knowing the dimensions allows me to use an outside image editor to resize my logo to 186 pixels wide; height doesn’t matter in this instance. I save the logo on my computer so I can upload it to WebSite Tonight.
With my new logo ready, I select the image of the keys and click the “Change Image” button above it. In the new window, I click “Upload Image,” browse to find my logo file, upload it, and click “OK.” My logo now appears in the template images window; I click “OK” and the site template is updated. Other template images can be replaced in the same way.
If you make it this far, you’ll have a site ready to “Publish.” You may want to tweak it for a few days first, using the “Preview” function. If you run into problems, you can call GoDaddy’s tech support. You’re bound to find them capable and willing to help.Greg DiBernardo owns Fine Home Improvements of Waldwick in Waldwick, N.J.