Publishing Your Site

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Publishing Your Site

After completing your site design and development, you re ready to publish the results. Publishing puts your site on a FTP, SFTP, or WebDAV, server so you and others can see it using a browser. The NetObjects Fusion publishing process generates HTML files for the site's pages and associated assets. NetObjects Fusion transfers the generated HTML files to the server you use for Web hosting. You can control the location of your site, directing NetObjects Fusion to save it to a local disk drive so only you can see it, or to a remote server so others can see it, too. When you re sure the site is ready for the Web, you publish it to a Web server so everyone in the world can visit your site.

Sites published with NetObjects Fusion work with any Web server, on any operating platform. No special Web-server extensions are required. If your site contains special components also installed on the server including NetObjects Fusion Form Handler, CGI scripts, or third-party components it requires extra steps to set up to publish on a server.

The Publishing Process

The NetObjects Fusion publishing process involves two basic steps: generating HTML files and then transferring the generated HTML files to the Web server.

  1. When you select Publish Site, NetObjects Fusion converts your site into HTML pages and associated assets using the SiteStructure, page design, content, links, and assets information in the Sitename.nod file. These generated HTML files are used by browsers to display your website. You specify where the generated HTML files are saved. A typical scenario is to publish the HTML files locally onto your computer's hard disk where you can then open, run, and test the site in your browser without connecting to the Internet. When the site is exactly right, you re ready to transfer it to a Web server.
  2. Selecting Transfer Files to Server from the Publish menu copies the locally published HTML files to the server you use for Web access. To speed the transfer process, NetObjects Fusion uses its own built-in FTP program.

You must use NetObjects NetObjects Fusion to transfer your site's HTML and asset files from one location to another. You cannot move generated HTML files from one location to another, nor can you rename the files in Windows Explorer. Renaming the files or moving them to a new location breaks links because the file locations are different from those specified in the generated HTML files.

NetObjects Fusion 's default publish setting (Local Publish) is preconfigured to publish the HTML files on your local disk. You do not have to do additional setup. However, when you re ready to publish to a remote Web server, you must set up a publish profile for your ISP's Web server. You can create as many publish profiles as you need, but you can only log on to one server at a time.

If you re working on a company's intranet and want a few site visitors to test the site before you transfer it to the Internet, you can publish the HTML files to one or more private intranet servers. Then, when it's ready to share with the world, you can publish the site directly to your company's Web server.

Additional Publishing Notes

  • Sites published with NetObjects Fusion work with any Web server, on any operating platform. No special Web server extensions are required.
  • When you re-publish your site, for example to update pages or add new information, NetObjects Fusion overwrites existing files as needed. You can also remove old files or obsolete assets from local or remote directories by selecting View/Delete Server Contents from the Publish menu.
  • NetObjects Fusion does not automatically publish through firewalls or to proxy servers. See Publishing with Firewalls or Proxy Servers.
  • If NetObjects Fusion has difficulty storing your site on a remote Web server:
  • Make sure your system is online and has a valid connection to your network or the Internet.
  • Make sure the server is not down or offline.
  • Make sure your publish profile settings are correct. Test the remote server, account name, and password settings displayed in the Publish Settings dialog by using them to log on to the server using a separate FTP or telnet application.
  • Make sure your account has the appropriate permissions and that sufficient storage space for your site is available on the server.
  • If your company uses a proxy server or has established firewalls for security, make sure the server settings are appropriate for the proxy or firewall.
  • If you define publishing settings for a site, and then export that site as a template, those settings travel with the template. If you are sharing a template with colleagues who can use the same publish settings, you can save time by configuring the publish settings in advance, exporting them with a template, and then distributing the template.
  • You have the ability to keep track of your site's visitors using the Site Traffic option available in NetObjects Fusion . This service is provided by Google Analytics. You will be provided with periodical tracking statistics of your site. See Setting Site Traffic Options.

Exploring Publish View

You use NetObjects Fusion Publish view to publish a site. Publish view looks similar to Microsoft Windows Explorer or Windows NT File Manager. The Local view presents a representation of the file structure that will be created when you publish your site. It does not represent the existing structure for your site on your hard disk or server. Therefore, changing the directory structure in Publish view does not affect the page relationships in Site view and, likewise, changing the page relationships in Site view does not affect the representation in Publish view.

Changes that you make to the directory structure in Publish view only affect your site's current directory structure when you publish your site.

The drop-down list in the Local view displays the directory structure of your site as it will be published on your server. Click a directory's plus sign to expand the display to show the subdirectories beneath it. Click a directory's minus sign to collapse the display and hide the subdirectories beneath it. Or click the folder next to the drop-down box to navigate up one level.

The Remote view on the right displays the contents of the remote directory you are currently connected to. (If you are not connected to a remote server, you will see drop-down list of available remote profiles.)

You can delete, rearrange, or rename the directories shown in the Local and Remote panes, and you can create new subdirectories at any level below the root. Locked components and their related assets, signified by a black lock image on their icons, cannot be renamed or rearranged.

For each local and remote directory, page, or asset displayed, the Local and Remote pane displays its name, type, attributes, and the date and time of the last local and remote publish or modification. You can sort the content files and folders by clicking a column heading, and you can resize the columns by dragging the column heading border. The icons associated with different file types are set in the Windows File Types Registry.

Publishing Locally

While developing a site, you should publish it at least once to your local hard disk to check that the site works as intended. After the site is published to your hard disk, NetObjects Fusion launches your browser so you can view the site and see how it will appear to site visitors on the Web.

If, after publishing the site to your hard disk, you make changes to the site in NetObjects Fusion, re-publish the site. Depending on the complexity of the site, you may publish several times to get the site working as desired. Then, when the site works perfectly, publish it to your Web server or ISP server so everyone in the world can appreciate your handiwork.

Setting Up to Publish Locally

  1. In Publish view, click the Settings button on the views bar.

The Publish Settings dialog appears.

  1. In the Server drop-down list, choose Local/Network.
  2. Check the Folder name. By default NetObjects Fusion preconfigures the local location to \Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\NetObjects Fusion\User Sites\Sitename\Local Publish. Also make sure the local disk drive has sufficient space for your publishedsite files.

If you want to publish the site to a different directory, do one of the following:

  • Enter the drive and directory path you want to use. This path can point to an existing directory or create a new directory.

To publish to a different machine on your local network, create a new local publish profile and browse to that machine.

  • Click Browse and select the folder you want to use, or create a new folder.

To create a new folder, select the folder in the Browse dialog in which you want to create the new folder, then click OK. Enter the name of the new folder at the end of the path in the Directory field. To prevent your site's HTML files from getting mixed in with other files, you should always use an empty directory the first time you save the files.

  1. Click Advanced publish settings.
  2. Select the options for your site's pages:
  • Home page file name. Index is the default page name recognized by most Web servers. Select Current Page Name to set the Home page to use the same name as in Site view. Select Home or Default to set the page as in Home.html and Default.html.
  • File extension for HTML pages. Select .htm, .html or .shtml depending on the page extension your browser recognizes. Click the browse button to enter a page extension that is not available in the drop-down list.

Make sure you use a page extension that your browser recognizes or it might not display the page properly. If you used the Custom Names dialog in Site view to assign a file name extension for an individual page, that customized extension overrides the site default for that page.

  1. Click Close.

Setting HTML Options

NetObjects Fusion includes a variety of options to control HTML format and generation.

  1. In any view, from the Tools menu, choose Options > Current Site.

The Current Site Options dialog appears.

  1. On the General tab, click HTML Options.

The HTML Options dialog appears.

  1. Set the HTML formatting options. These settings do not affect the appearance of your site. The settings only affect the HTML code that is created when you publish the site.
  • Indentation. Select tabs or a specific number of spaces to indent lines of the code so it is easier to read.
  • Maximum compression. Select this option if you do not want site visitors to easily read your HTML code. If this option is selected, line breaks, tabs, and unnecessary spaces that make the code more readable are stripped from the generated HTML code. The generated HTML code uses as few characters as possible and the code will be unintelligible. To restore compressed code so you can read it, clear this option and republish the site.
  • Line breaks. Choose PC/Unix or Mac to set the line breaks in the code for the platform you expect to use to view the code. Your choice of line breaks does not affect the browser's interpretation of the code regardless of the computer platform being used to view your site.
  • Word wrap. Select the number of characters per line of code before it wraps to the next line. This option enhances readability of the HTML code in text editors that do not automatically wrap text. However, this can cause text to wrap in the middle of an HTML tag, which prevents the code from working properly, and for some JavaScript code, you may need to deselect this option so the lines do not wrap.
  • HTML tags. Select whether the HTML tags are in uppercase or lowercase such as <H1> or <h1> in the generated HTML code.
  • Attributes. Select whether the tag attributes are in uppercase or lowercase such as BGCOLOR or bgcolor in the generated HTML code.
  • Generate NOF-specific attributes. The additional code generated does not meet HTML 4.01 standards.
  • Encode External Links. Select this option if you want NetObjects Fusion to encode the external links that are used in your project.
  • Use transparent GIF as spacer. Select this option if you want NetObjects Fusion to use a transparent GIF named clearpixel.gif to space items accurately on a page. If you generate tables on a page, NetObjects Fusion places invisible image files of varying widths and heights in the table cells to ensure accurate placement of objects.
  • Include HTML comments. Select this option to insert comments into your generated HTML code that makes reading it easier. For example, with this option selected, the comment <!--Start of the Body for this page--> appears before the <BODY> tag.
  • Include character set meta tag. Select this option to include the character set for the site in the META tag of each page. Normally you only use this option if your site uses a non-Western character set.
  • Background image offset. Select this option to compensate for the small borders most browsers add to the top and left sides of their windows. By selecting this option you can shift the image in NetObjects Fusion so the page content starts in the upper left corner of the page. Enter values in the Top and Left boxes to offset the background image.
  1. Click OK when you finish selecting HTML options.

Setting Up to Transfer Files to Your Web Server

To put your site on the Web you must transfer its HTML files and related asset files from your computer's local hard disk to a server that has access to the Web. This can be an ISP server that you use to access the Web, your company's Web server, or any other server that gives you Internet access.

NetObjects Fusion uses the FTP process to transfer your site's files to the Web server. Therefore, to transfer to a remote Web server, your computer must connect using the FTP protocol unless that remote server is on your company LAN, in which case you can use the Local Publish option.

Prior to transferring to the server the first time, however, you must set up a profile of the server to receive the transferred HTML files.

The setup for a Web server also applies to an intranet server. If you ll transfer a site from your hard disk to your company's intranet server prior to transferring to the Web server, use the setup steps in this section for both your intranet server and Web server.

The Server Setup Process

To set up a server you select transfer options and define a profile. After you select the appropriate options you don t have to select them again. You just transfer the site from your hard disk to the server(s). If you change servers, you must select options and define a publish profile for the new server.

The setup process consists of selecting the directory structure, defining the server profile, and selecting publish components if necessary. These settings are saved in your Sitename.nod file so you don't have to create a publish profile each time you want to publish the site.

When setup is complete, you can transfer the files from a local directory to the remote server's location.

Publish Profile Checklist

Make sure you can answer the questions in the following checklist before you create a publish profile for a remote server.

  1. Who is your service provider? This is the business, organization, or department that is going to store your site on its server and provide your site visitors access to it on the Web.

The technical support staff of your service provider should be able to provide the answers to the rest of these questions. Service providers and other organizations that provide hosting services often offer technical support pages on their own websites.

  1. What is the name of your FTP host? This is the name of the server that you are going to publish your site to. It might be the same as your domain name, such as www.yourname.com; a name assigned by the service provider, such as inbox.isp.com; or a specific IP address, a series of four numbers separated by periods.
  2. What is your directory? When you log on to your remote host, you automatically begin in the home directory for your log-in account. This might not be the right place to put your site, however. For a variety of reasons, you might need to publish your site in a subdirectory of your home directory.

You must know the relative path from your account's home directory to the base directory where your site should be stored. When NetObjects Fusion publishes your site and logs on to your service provider, it stores your site's pages and assets in this base directory. You enter this path statement as the Directory in the Publish Settings dialog.

You can create a new base directory below your initial base directory to publish and test a site without disturbing your existing site. For example, if the base directory is /Sitename/, you can create a new base directory as /Sitename/test/ and then run the site from that base directory to test it.

However, the host and base directory might not look anything like the URL that your site visitors use to access your site. For security and other reasons, hosting services frequently name their host machines and user directories according to their own needs.

If you have your own domain, such as www.mycompany.com, and are logging in directly to the account that owns that domain, you might not need to specify a base directory, because the home directory of that account might be the same location as the base directory.

  1. What is the user name and password for your account? You need this information so NetObjects Fusion can log on to the server and publish your site.
  2. What is the preferred name for the default Home page? Your service provider determines what file name the server displays by default for each directory on the server. Most servers are configured to display by default any file named index; others default to home or default. You must match this preferred name in the Advanced Publish Settings dialog for remote server transfer.
  3. What HTML file name extension does your server support? Web page servers typically support .html, .htm, or .shtml as file name extensions. Some service providers map one to the other so the server recognizes all of them; others require you to use a specific one. You must set the Advanced Publish Settings dialog so NetObjects Fusion transfers files with the correct extension. You can also enter a custom extension, if your server supports it.
  4. Is a specific port required for upload? The service provider or hosting service might have designated a specific port on the server that it wants you to use to upload files. If so, you must specify this for NetObjects Fusion. See Setting the Server Port and Permissions.
  5. Does your log-in account have the necessary permissions? Servers use permission configurations to control what you are allowed to do while logged on whether you can delete files, for example, or create new directories.

In Publish view, you can specify the file and directory structure that you want NetObjects Fusion to create or use for your site by selecting Arrange Files from the Publish menu. Your log-in account which NetObjects Fusion uses to store the files must have the server permissions necessary to create the directory structure you defined.

If your service provider does not let you create directories, then you must use the Flat directory structure option to transfer and store your site.

  1. How much server space do you have? Before you publish your site to the Web server, check the size of the generated HTML files on your hard disk. The default location for the files is a folder named User Sites\Sitename\Local Publish. Make sure you include all the subfolders as well. Check that the space allocated on the Web server can accommodate all the files in the Local Publish folder.
  2. Does your server have security systems in place, such as proxies or firewalls? Firewalls and proxy servers can prevent NetObjects Fusion from uploading files properly. See Publishing with Firewalls or Proxy Servers.

Select the Directory Structure

Many ISPs, hosting companies, and Web servers require website files to be arranged in a certain directory structure. NetObjects Fusion supports the three most popular directory structures used by ISPs and Web servers, but you should check with your service provider to determine which structure to use.

If your ISP or Web server has special requirements for a site's directory structure, you can customize the site directory structure in Publish view. See Customizing Your Site's Directory Structure for information.

When you publish your site to a Web server, you control the directory structure of your files and assets on the server. Setting the directory structure for your site does not change the structure that the site visitor sees, nor does it affect the links between pages and assets. It simply specifies the path names where your pages and assets are stored on the server, and what URL is required to access them. For example, some servers require a one-level structure, with all pages, images, and other assets in the same directory; others let you set up your own directories.

NetObjects Fusion provides three pre-configured directory structures:

  • Flat for servers that require all resources and assets to be in a single directory. Many commercial ISPs and hosting companies require this kind of structure.
  • Asset Type arranges your site contents into folders according to their asset type. This is the default setting in NetObjects Fusion . For example, if your site contains a typical mix of text and media, a structure set by Asset Type arranges your contents into the structure shown below.
  • Site Structure arranges your site contents into a directory arrangement that looks like your site in Site view:
  • Your Home page and its assets are stored in the site's root directory.
  • Each first-level page is stored in its own folder with its assets.
  • Any child page is stored with its assets in a subfolder beneath the folder that contains its parent page. You determine the maximum number of subfolders by setting the Number of Levels option.

For example, a structure set with the by Site Structure option would have this directory arrangement on the server.

The Site Structure setting creates an efficient file structure, allowing the server to load your pages quickly in a site visitor's browser. It also provides an effective directory structure for search engines, which might index only one page per folder.

If you apply the Site Structure setting, shared assets are stored in the deepest folder common to all pages that use that asset. This makes the shared access to those assets as efficient as possible.

To set the directory structure for a site:

  1. In Publish view, from the Publish menu, choose Arrange Files.
  2. Choose by Site Structure, by Asset Type, or by Flat.

If you want to customize the structure, select the option that produces the structure similar to the one you'll create. See Customizing Your Site's Directory Structure. If you choose Site Structure, a dialog appears so you can set the number of levels of subdirectories for your site. If Site Structure is already selected, choose it again to see this dialog and set the levels.

Click the up and down arrows in the dialog to set the number of levels. Click OK.

  1. If you customized the directory structure, but want to reset it to one of the menu options, choose Clear All Customizations. The directory structure is reset to the option currently selected on the Arrange Files menu.

NetObjects Fusion removes custom folders and changes all customized asset names back to the original names.

  1. Click Yes to accept the new structure.

The directory structure is revised and displayed in Publish view.

Define Server Profiles

Each Web server has a name and a set of properties that define the connection settings NetObjects Fusion uses to publish your site to that location and server. You can select a server or set its properties any time before you publish. The publish profile is stored in the Sitename.nod file.

NetObjects Fusion includes one default server profile, Local Publish, which is your local hard disk in the \Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\NetObjects Fusion\User Sites\Sitename\Local Publish directory. See Setting Up to Publish Locally to modify the settings for publishing to your local hard disk.

You can modify the default profile, create your own, or delete unneeded profiles. You can also create a global copy of a profile, which makes the profile available across different sites.

The information needed to connect to a remote server is specific to your server. Contact your ISP, hosting company, or Web server administrator for the precise information to enter in these fields. For guidance on the questions you need to ask, see Publish Profile Checklist.

To define a remote server profile:

  1. In Publish view, click Settings on the views bar.

The Publish Settings dialog appears. It is the same dialog you used to set up your local publish profile.

  1. Click New.
  2. A new profile will appear in the list box.
  3. Select one of the following server types:
  • FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Protocol that allows users to transfer files from one computer to another over the Internet.
  • SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol). Secure version of the FTP protocol. SFTP uses SSL to encrypt the entire user session, thereby protecting the contents of the files and the user's login name and password from outside sources.
  • WebDAV. Set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers.

Although many ISPs and hosting companies use a single server to receive FTP files and provide Web hosting, the service you use may have separate servers for receiving FTP files and Web hosting. Select the FTP server to receive your transferred files. Check with your ISP administrator for the correct server to select to receive your files.

  1. Enter a name that identifies the server in the Profile Name box, or use the default name.
  2. Enter information in each field in the Attributes section.
  • Server is the name or IP number you use to connect to the remote server. This can be your site's domain name, the name of an intranet server, or the name of your ISP's server. Confirm this information with your ISP administrator or server administrator.
  • Directory is the location on the remote server where your site's HTML files are stored.

Leave this field blank if your site's Home page should be stored in the home directory of the user ID or server account that you use to transfer your site to a remote server. If you want your site's Home page to be stored in a different directory than the home directory, enter the path to the Home page here, such as /public_html/user. For more information about the directory setting, see Publish Profile Checklist.

  • User name is the name you use to log on to the remote server so you can transfer files to it.
  • Password is the password that authorizes you to access the server. To publish to the remote server, you need server permissions for adding files and creating directories. If you do not enter a password in this box, a dialog appears when you publish the site. You enter the password in that dialog. You can also select an option for NetObjects Fusion to remember your password so you don t have to manually enter it each time you publish files.
  • Live URL is the URL on which the home page will be published. If you fill in the Live URL field with your home page URL, then when you have completed publishing remotely and your site is in place, your browser will open so that you can examine the results. If you leave the Live URL field blank, the browser will not open; in this situation, after publishing your site remotely, you will need to open the browser yourself and type the URL of your home page.
  • Create a site map for search engines option offers you the possibility to create a map of your site's URLs when you publish your site remotely. This option is disabled and it will become available only after you specify your home page URL in the Live URL field. If you enable this option, a site map for search engines will be created on the published site.
  1. Click Advanced to specify publish Settings.

Advanced options are not available for WebDAV profiles.

  1. Select the options for your site.
  • Home page file name. Index is the default page name recognized by most Web servers. Select Current Page Name to set the Home page to use the same name as in Site view. Select Home or Default to set the page as in Home.html and Default.html.
  • File extension for HTML pages. Select .htm, .html, or .shtml depending on the page extension your browser recognizes. That extension is applied to all HTML files for each page in your site. Click the up and down arrows to see all the options. To add an extension to the list, click the browse button.

Your service provider or hosting company can tell you which extension to use for the Web server.

Make sure you use a page extension that your browser recognizes or it might not display the page properly. If you used the Custom Name dialog in Site view and a file name extension for an individual page, that customized extension overrides the site default for that page. If pages do not seem to publish with the correct extension, custom names that you applied to the pages may be incorrect. Check the names of the affected pages.

  • The Aliases and Advanced S/FTP tabs are for advanced setup options. See Advanced Publishing.
  • To create additional publish profiles, click New and repeat the process.
  • To edit an existing publish profile, select it from the Profile list, make the changes, and click OK.
  • To duplicate an existing publish profile, select it from the Profile list, and click Duplicate.
  • To delete an existing profile, select it from the Profile list, click Remove, and click Yes to confirm deletion.
  1. Click Close.

You're now ready to publish your site.

Creating a Site Map for Search Engines

This option allows you to create a map of your site's URLs when you publish your site remotely. After you have defined the server profiles and are ready to publish your site on a remote server, you may enable this option on the Publish Settings dialog to create a site map on the published site.

Follow these steps to activate this option:

  1. Open the site in NetObjects Fusion.
  2. Click Tools > Options > Current Site. The "Current Site Options" dialog appears.
  3. Click the Site Traffic tab.
  4. Check the Create a Site Map for Search Engines option on the bottom of the dialog.
  5. Open the site in Publish View.
  6. Click on the Publish button. The "Publish Site" dialog appears.
  7. Click on the Publish Settings button to the right of the Publish Profile. The "Publish Settings" dialog appears.
  8. Type in the Live URL in the Live URL field.

Note: This step is required.

  1. Click Close

Now, you can publish your site.

Creating a Global Publish Profile

NetObjects Fusion saves publish profiles with the site you are publishing. If you want to use the same profile to publish several different sites, you can create a global copy of the profile, which makes it available to all the sites you build.

To create a global publish profile:

  1. Create a publish profile as described in Define Server Profiles.
  2. In the Publish Settings dialog, click Save as Global Profile.
  3. Click Close.

The publish profile will be available for use for all sites you build.

Publishing Components

If you installed third-party Publish components, you can choose to publish or not publish them. These components generally perform post-publish processing of the generated HTML files.

  1. In Publish view, from the Publish menu, choose Publish Components.

The Publish Setup dialog appears with a list of available components.

NetObjects Fusion does not include Publish components by default, so if you do not install third-party components, such as NetObjects Fusion Connector for ColdFusion, this dialog is blank.

  1. Select a component to include it with your site's HTML files when they are transferred.
  2. Click OK.

Viewing a Server's Contents

Prior to transferring files to the server, you may want to see which files are already on the server and the dates they were modified.

To see a server's contents:

  1. In Publish view, in the Remote pane, choose the profile associated with the server you want to review and click Connect.
  2. Check the folder and file names and the modified dates to determine which folders and files you want to save or delete before transferring new HTML files to the server.

Transferring Your Site to the Web

To put your site on the Web, you transfer it to your ISP or Web server. When the transfer process is complete, your site is available to the world.

To transfer your site's HTML files:

  1. From the Publish menu, choose Transfer Files to Server.

The Transfer Files dialog appears.

  1. From the Transfer files from local directory drop-down list, select the name of the local directory where you published and saved the site's HTML files. This is usually the Local Publish selection for your local hard disk, or an intranet server where you initially generated the HTML files.
  2. From the Transfer files to remote server drop-down list, select the publish profile where you want to transfer the files.

If you need to define a new publish profile before transferring the files, click the pencil icon next to the drop-down lists. The Publish Settings dialog appears.

  1. Click OK.

NetObjects Fusion generates a temporary copy of the site, connects to the remote server using the settings in the publish profile, and uses its internal FTP program to transfer the site's HTML files and directories to the remote server, using the file and directory structure you specify.

While NetObjects Fusion is transferring the published site to the server, you can select a different view and continue working. You cannot open a different site.

Changes made to the site while it is being transferred are not automatically made in the published version.

When the transfer is complete and your site is in place, open it in your browser and examine the results.

That's it. Your site is on the Web and available for the world to see.

See Advanced Publishing for more publishing options.