HTML 4 For Dummies - Bonus Chapters

Keeper of the Zoo: Tools for Managing Your Site


 

You’ve created your pages, checked them twice, and amassed a nice collection of documents that have become a site. Now what? Your site will require constant care and feeding, sort of like house plants but more like children. That’s where so-called site-management tools come into play.

All the tools we discussed earlier are part of site-management because they affect the documents that make up a site, albeit for only one document at a time. Site-management tools help you control your site as a whole, as a coherent collection of documents. Many site-management tools perform some of the same functions as HTML editors, such as link and spell checking, and they may even feature their own built-in HTML editors. But these are not the most important functions of a site-management tool.

In short, site-management utilities have a larger focus. They give you a bird’s-eye view of a site and help you to visualize it and work with it as a whole, rather than on a per-document basis. Any site-management tool worth its salt does the following:

As an extra bonus, most site-management tools help you create search information for your pages and make the integration of a search engine quick and painless. Many site-management tools available today (there’s no shareware in this category, alas) also offer visual site maps and manipulation tools, support drag-and-drop site operations, and can tell you more about your site than you ever wanted to know. To get you started on a site-management tool search, we offer four good product names and their associated URLs:

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We can’t tell you anything about these products that isn’t on their Web pages, and the developers know their products far better than we do. Your best bet is to download demos or trial versions of any package that sounds appealing, and test it out on your site. After you find a package that works for you, invest in a legal version so you can remain eligible for free or reduced-cost upgrades. With HTML changing as much as it does, you want to keep your site-management tools as current as possible.

A good site-management tool will round out your Web publishing toolkit and give you a solid group of utilities to use. HTML editors, site-management tools, and even servers often offer overlapping features and capabilities. But after a little experimentation, you can master those aspects of each one.

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