Create a Web Site in Publisher 2003

By Helen Bradley | Posted September 18, 2008

To get started creating a Web site in Publisher 2003 launch the program or choose File > New to display the New Publication task pane. From the Web Sites and E-mail dropdown list choose Web Sites to show your four options.

Publisher screen shot
You have a number of options for creating a range of different Web sites in Publisher.
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The Easy Web Site Builder walks you through the process of building a site by choosing the type of pages you need. The Three-Page Web Site option creates a Web site with a Home page and pages for About Us and Contact Us. If you have products to showcase to your visitors, use the Product Sales option, which adds a product list and product pages to the basic Three-Page site.

Use the Professional Services option to describe the services that your organization provides to the public. This site includes a Home page, About Us and Contact Us pages and a Services List page with linked detail pages and a project list.

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Publisher offers a range of navigation options for your site.
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Choose the type of site you want to create, and then choose the Design for the site. If you already use Publisher to create your marketing materials, choose the same design for your Web site for a unified look. When you click the design you want, Publisher goes ahead and creates the pages of your site for you.

There is one issue with the Professional Services site. The Project List page contains a list of projects that purportedly link to pages that provide more information ‑ but this isn't the case. If you plan to use this site and to create a project list, you need to delete page 9 from the sample site and replace it with a new page with the linked pages.

To do this, right-click the indicator for page nine in the Status Bar and choose Delete Page. Now choose Insert > Page > Project List/Resume > Project List with Links. Next, enable the Add hyperlink to navigation bars checkbox and click OK.

Work on Your Site

Your new Web site will appear in the editing area with a Web Site Options task pane on its left. From the task pane you can select an alternate position for the navigation bars on the page, if desired.

Publisher screen shot
You can add new pages to your  site using the Insert-a-Page option.
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If you need extra pages for your site, for example, a FAQ page for Frequently Asked Questions, you can add these by choosing the Insert a Page option from the task pane and select the type of page to add. Make sure to enable the Add hyperlink to navigation bars option to attach the page to your navigation structure so a visitor can find it.

You can alter the way individual pages are laid out by clicking the Page Content link in the Web Options task pane. Here you can select a layout option from those displayed for the currently selected page. There are different layout options for each page type, which you can test by clicking an option to see how the page looks when formatted in that layout.

To rename the links, click in the navigation system and change the link text. This changes only the link information not the actual page itself. If you change a page in the navigation system, move to the page and change its title. Then choose Tools > Web Page Options and change the page title to match the new page name. When you change the page name in the navigation bar on one page, the change flows through to all other pages on the site.

Create the Content

As with all Publisher documents, your Web site will be automatically populated with information from the currently selected personal information set. To use different information, choose Edit > Personal Information, select a different set and click Update to refresh the Web site with these details.

Publisher screen shot
Product and services pages link to pages with more detailed information
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Work through the Web site page-by-page and replace the placeholder text with your own text. To replace an image, right-click it and then choose Change Picture, and then select an image From File or from your Clip Art collection.

For the individual products that you sell, for example, type the product detail into the product page and then, for each corresponding product, add more information to its detail page. If you don’t want a separate page for a particular product, remove the link to the page that contains more product details from the Product Page and then remove the corresponding detail page, too.

Check the Site

To preview your Web site choose File > Web Page Preview and the site will open in your default Web browser. Check each page to ensure that all the navigation links work as expected. Also ensure that, for example, when you click a link on the Products Page, that the link opens the correct detail page. You need to get your site working correctly before you finish in Publisher.

Before uploading your site, you should add a page title, descriptions and keywords to each page. Many search engines use these items to index your Web site, and they impact how easily someone looking for a business like yours can find your site.

To add these items, click each page in turn, choose Tools > Web Page Options and complete the Page Title, Description and Keywords options in the dialog. The page title will display in the browser's title bar, the description should be a brief description of the page contents, and the keywords are a list of keywords (separated by commas) that relate to your site.

Publisher screen shot
For easy recognition by search engines use keywords and descriptions for your Web site.
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Save and Publish

When you have finished your Web site, save the file as a Publisher .pub file so you can open and edit it again later on if necessary. To do this, choose File > Save As, and then save the file as a Publisher Files (*.pub) file. Next, to render the html files for the Internet, choose File > Publish to the Web, create a new folder for your file, and save the home page as index.htm (unless you know your Web server software requires something different). When you click Save, the html files will be created and saved to the location you chose.

You should then upload the folder of images and files plus the index.htm file to the root folder of your Web server. Next, test the site again to make sure it works as expected.

In future, if you need to edit the site, open the .pub file, make the changes, and then save the .pub file again. Then choose File > Publish to the Web to render the new html files and upload them to the Web using your ftp software.

Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her Web site, HelenBradley.com

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