I am new to Expression Web. I want to build a simple website to display pieces of text. I just need to be pointed in the right direction. RRS feed

  • Question

  • If I knew more of the terminology I would ask more specific (and easier to answer questions). Thanks for your patience. 

    The basic idea is this:

    I want a list of links on the left side of the page. The links should cause a body of text to appear in the middle/right side of the page.  

    The text should all appear on the same area of the page. If there is text up and another link is clicked, the original text should be replaced by the text that corresponds to the newly clicked link. 


    There is a "Control" area, where the user can click different links to make different pieces of text appear. 

    There is a "Staging" area, where the text appears. 

    I first tried to use layers. I thought I could make several layers, insert the text into them, and link each layer to its corresponding link in the "control" area.

    I don't know how to link layers to hyperlinks (or if that is even possible) And I don't know how to make a layer disappear when another layer is called up


    Let me know if any of this is unclear. 


    Thanks so much for your help!


    Edit: I inserted the code for what I've got so far. I think it'll give an idea of what I'm going for. 


    <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
    <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en-us" />
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
    <!-- #BeginEditable "doctitle" -->
    <title>Francisco Javier Camacho Jr</title>
    <!-- #EndEditable -->
    <style type="text/css">
    .style1 {
    	font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    	font-size: x-large;
    .style2 {
    	font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    	font-size: x-small;
    .style3 {
    	font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    .style4 {
    	font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
    	font-size: small;
    a {
    	color: #000000;
    a:visited {
    	color: #000000;
    a:active {
    	color: #000000;
    a:hover {
    	color: #000000;
    <p class="style1">Francisco Javier Camacho Jr. </p>
    <div style="position: absolute; width: 438px; height: 470px; z-index: 2; left: 415px; top: 116px; visibility: hidden" id="layer1">
    <p class="style3">Short Fiction//Prose//Poetry</p>
    <p class="style4">Ant Eulogy</p>
    <p class="style4">Love Advice For Our United Soviet Socialist Sweethearts</p>
    <div style="position: absolute; width: 443px; height: 476px; z-index: 3; left: 413px; top: 114px; visibility: visible" id="anteulogy">
    	<br />


    • Edited by fjcamacho Sunday, December 19, 2010 4:38 AM
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 3:37 AM

All replies

  • Before you try to produce something, learn the basics.

    Look above in the BEFORE POSTING thread. Take the tutorials at by-expression.com (download the site materials first so you can work along), then w3schools.com.

    If you don't learn the basics first, including the terminology, you will never be able to produce something. Once you get the basics, you'll understand why layers are always a bad idea, how style1/style2/style3, etc. get created and why they shouldn't, and why sizing with x-small/large, etc. is a bad idea.

    And I'd get your e-mail address out of the code above, pronto, so you don't get hit with spammers.

    Posting code does us no good. We need to see the page in action, on the web server. When you get the tutorials done and get some progress on the site, post it, and if you have a question, post a link to the site. Read the BEFORE POSTING thread for information.

    I understand you want to make something right now, but you need the basics first.

    What do you mean, " 'twas brillig"?!?
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 4:32 AM
  • What Bill said, and just a note: Saying that you are new to EW is not the point. The tool is not the technology. Saying something like that is analogous to going to an electrical engineering forum and saying that you're new to AutoCAD and SPICE. While that may indeed be true, it ignores the fact that those are just tools of the trade, and to use those tools you need a firm grounding in mathematics, physics, and electronic theory and application.

    Granted, the analogy is a bit skewed, since to learn HTML, CSS, and javascript takes nothing like the six years of intensive college education and internship required to produce a qualified electrical engineer. Nevertheless, the point of the analogy is still germane—you cannot learn to apply the productivity enhancements afforded by EW, the tool, until you learn the fundamental technologies that it is designed to work with.

    It is unfortunate that the impression exists among the general public that Web development is akin to word processing or desktop publishing. It is not, and you can't simply sit down with your shiny new Web editor, and, with a few pointers from participants in a forum such as this, produce the kind of dynamic functionality you are looking to create, or even a decent-looking, accessible, compatible site.

    HTML and CSS are the foundations of the Web, the fundamental technologies which operate together to produce the Web pages you see. Knowing those technologies, knowing them well, you can produce any static Web design you see. If you want to add the kind of interactivity you're after, which is a dynamic process, you will need to add a little javascript, or master some more advanced CSS techniques.

    Here is a currently active discussion about a site that does much as you wish to do, only with images instead of text. In both of your cases, the answer requires an understanding of how HTML, CSS, and javascript function. The tools available in EW are excellent, but they presuppose an existing understanding of the technology. They can help you do the work, but they cannot do the work for you, any more than a fully-stocked rollaround full of Snap-On® tools can rebuild your engine without you needing to know a thing.

    Take Bill's advice. Stop, right now, thinking about immediately going to work on your magnum opus, and avail yourself of the free learning resources in the BEFORE POSTING thread. Get yourself a grounding in the basics before you try to build anything you would actually want anyone to see on the Web, much less anything that requires dynamic interactivity. You will save yourself a lot of grief and frustration.



    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 6:22 AM
  • Just a word of well meant advice. There is no successful substitute for learning the fundamentals of layout, mark up and styling or design.  You can save yourself a lot of frustration by grounding yourself in some basic HTML and CSS before you attempt to achieve any specific goals.  You have made a good choice of tools by using EW now further equip yourself with the basics and you will be able to ask better questions because a lot of them you will be able to answer yourself and the general flow of things will make sense to you and when something goes wrong as it will you will recognize where you went off the road. 

    I can qualify myself to give this advice as I choose the express route and eventually had to come back to square one where I should have started in the first place.  Good habits are valuable once learned and bad ones are almost impossible to unlearn.

    Good Luck and have a good time with your future projects.

    MIKE E

    "It's like déjà vu all over again." — Yogi Berra
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 6:53 AM
  • Don't use layers.

    Read the Before Posting post, and look at the Resources section, especially the w3school.com tutorials on HTML/XHTML and CSS, and go through the Basic Site tutorial.  If you don't have the basics under your belt, you'll just keep starting down the wrong path.

    For a beginner, why not start with one of EW's site Templates?  Pick one that looks like you want, and realize that the common areas are edited in the .DWT file.  Each page is separate, but the common areas don't change and it looks like only the middle editable areas change.  It's the same effect you are looking for, no javascript or layers, and the framework is all set up for you.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:03 PM
  • What people have been saying. And when you get some basics under your belt, if you have asp.net available, using a Master Page is the best way to go. It (like the DWT) allows you to define an area that contains stuff common to all pages (like the navigation menu, logo, copyright etc) and a separate section for the content that corresponds to each link in your navigation menu (those content sections each actually being a separate page tied to your Master Page.

    ClarkNK, A.K.A. HomePage Doctor
    HomePageDoctor.com -- Expression Web database tutorials
    Ownertrades.com -- Created with FP, Access, Bots and Wizards
    LawOfAllTheLand.org -- Created with Expression, VWDExress, SQL Express, and ASP.NET.
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 12:59 PM
  • Well, I think Master Pages on asp.net are much further along the experience scale. I wouldn't propose them as the best way to go for a new user. I think Master Pages require more understanding and grounding than just some basics under your belt. I'd certainly recommend starting with DWTs, as you mentioned. Then, after the OP is proficient maybe move to Master Pages on asp.net.
    What do you mean, " 'twas brillig"?!?
    Sunday, December 19, 2010 4:54 PM
  • Last week there was some debate here about what are known as Content Management Systems (CMS) and I am just wondering if they might not be more suitable in this case. Basically with CMS the site is already created for you on the server and all you do is fill in the gaps. It's not always as simple as that but that's the idea.

    I don't know whether you have a hosting company lined up but if not look for one that uses cPanel. This is the software that helps you manage your site and I've found it particularly easy to use, it also has the advantage of a website builder which is another form of CMS although I think the templates they use are a bit heavy handed or overcooked, but it's a cheap and easy way forward if you are not over fussy about having something done to precise colours and design.



    Monday, December 20, 2010 7:03 AM
  • For simple sites a CMS is over kill especially if you don't want the default display of whatever cms you choose. Heck, even the time spent in figuring out what cms to use is longer than a newbie working through the resources in the Before Posting sticky and creating a site with a dozen or so pages in it.
    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums
    Monday, December 20, 2010 5:22 PM
  • It's good to hear somebody else saying that Cheryl, I have got into trouble elsewhere for expressing those very sentiments. Having said that the 'Sitebuilder' that comes with cPanel is pretty easy to figure out but very inflexible as you may imagine. I thought of using it for a customer who wanted to do some of their own site but very quickly went off the idea because it looked like exactly what is was.
    Monday, December 20, 2010 6:40 PM
  • Sitebuilder is particularly bad/inflexible. I let my husband create his personal site using it since they had a template he liked. By the time he was on page 3 he was so fustrated he asked me to "fix" it. Installed WordPress and customized a theme for him in 30 minutes which worked out far better but then I've used and customized WordPress since v1 of it. The lead developer Matt Mullenweg used to do the php presentations in the Web Technololgies SIG at HAL-PC (Houston Area League of PC Users) back when I was SIG leader in 2000 back when he was in high school for the perfoming and visual arts.

    FWIW, the discussion of "static sites are dead" and everyone should use a CMS crops up regularly usually started by folks who either a) just discovered Joomla/Drupal/cms of choice, or b) well, I think I'll shut up now. <g>

    MS MVP Expression Tutorials & Help http://by-expression.com & Expression Web forums

    Monday, December 20, 2010 7:10 PM