Templates are a good place to start if you need to throw together a Web site quickly, or if the prospect of building a site from scratch seems daunting. Expression Web comes with templates for several types of sites. Use the template that most closely approximates the site you want, and then tweak it to your heart's content:
Organization: Use one of these templates to design a Web site for your professional organization or club. Visitors can read news, look at photos, view an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page and find out how to contact you.
Personal: Use one of these templates as a springboard for designing your own, personal Web site. You can add your résumé and contact information, as well as a photo gallery of your work or a page listing downloadable documents or links.
Small Business: These types of templates are ideal for quickly building a Web site for your small business. They contain predesigned pages for news posts, press releases, products, services, and promotions; a links page for more information; a site map; and contact information.
Even if you don't end up using a template as the basis for your Web site, you may want to take a look at what pages the Expression Web templates contain and how they're organized, to get ideas about how to put together your own site.
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All Expression Web site templates use a Dynamic Web Template (DWT). A DWT contains common elements (such as logos and navigation links) that appear on every page in the Web site so that it looks cohesive. A DWT can save you a lot of time because after you build the template and apply it to a new page, all you need to add is the content specific to that page. We talk about Dynamic Web Templates in Chapter 11.
To create a new Web site by using a template, follow these steps:
With Expression Web running, choose File New Web Site.
A list box appears, showing variations on the different types of templates. When you click a template name, Expression Web shows you a picture of what the Web site template looks like in the Preview area.
In the list box, click the template you want to use.
In the Specify the Location of the New Web Site text box, enter the name of the new Web site folder or accept the default given by Expression Web.
We describe how to change the Web site folder name earlier in this chapter.
If you want Expression Web to store the Web site's files in another location, click the Browse button and, in the New Web Site Location dialog box, navigate to the folder you want and click the Open button. The dialog box closes, and you return to the New dialog box. The path you chose appears in the Specify the Location of the New Web Site text box.
If you want Expression Web to place the template in the Web site you have open, select the Add to Current Web Site check box in the Options area of the New dialog box.
In the New dialog box, click OK.
If another Web site is already open in Expression Web when you create a Web site from a template, the Web site you just created appears in a new workspace window.
After Expression Web creates the new Web site, a bunch of folders unfurl in the Folder List task pane and on the Web Site tab. You see a file named default. htm marked with a little house icon-that's the site's home page. (We talk more about home page filenames in Chapter 2.) You also see a file named master. dwt, which is the site's Dynamic Web Template. It contains the design elements common to all the pages in the site.
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Building your site from one of these templates can be confusing if you're new to using CSS styles to format and position page elements, or if you've never worked with Dynamic Web Templates. But the templates are great examples of how these technologies work together to build a Web site. (In Chapter 9, we walk you through a template's code step by step.) If tinkering with actual changes seems too daunting, just create a site from a template and have a look around. At the very least, you will probably come away with some ideas.