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You are here: Home Help How-tos Setting up your homepage
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Setting up your homepage allows you to create your homepage and even set up subsites. It is a kind of website incubator. This how-to will explain the basics and go through the steps needed to set up your homepage and start creating subsites within your homepage which can later be migrated into a complete site on it's own.


It is important to gain an understanding of how this website works and to orient yourself. Going through the following pages will do that for you. It is a good idea to read through it now, so that you know it's there and can reference it later. Here are the important links with a short explanation of each. Note: the graphics used and the options available might be different to what is available on

Tour of Editing Options: This page covers the basics and introduces you to the correct terminology. Read through it carefully. If you are unsure of what it really means. Then go to this link which goes through the information in more detail.

Adding content: This page explains how to add content from your homepage.

This should be enough to start the process. Let me first explain a few important points to make sure you understand some essential concepts that could be confusing.

1) This website is built using a technology called 'plone'. This website manages content (eg a webpage, a file) and so is a content manangement system. Plone is a content management system framework in which this content management system is built. The point is when you read about plone, you are reading about the technology that built this website.

2) There are basically two types of 'objects' that you can add to your site, folders and non-folders. A folder is a container for other objects, eg a folder in windows allows you to add all kinds of files. A non-folder can not contain other objects, eg a file or a webpage.

3) When you open a folder, a particular webpage content may be displayed automatically as part of that folder. You can indicate which webpage should be loaded first. I will explain a bit more about this later...

4) Also, just make sure in your preferences> personal preferences that your content editor is 'FCKeditor' - it is the easiest to use with the most features.

OK let's get started.

1) Once you have joined this website you will be given a 'folder' - this is your homepage. You can add different types of content which you learnt about in the 'Adding content' howto earlier. Go to your homepage and checkout what there is.

2) A plain folder does not give you many options, but there is a special kind of folder called a 'miniportal' that allows you to change many things. The first thing to add is your own 'miniportal'. Read through 'Changing MiniPortal Options'.  Now add a miniportal to your folder. When you add the miniportal, give it the 'short name' or 'id' of 'index_html'. This will mean your miniportal will be loaded as the 'content' of your folder, ie when someone goes to your folder, it will automatically load in your miniportal. To be able to go back to your folder, you will need to click on the 'contents' tab which will show all the contents of the miniportal. Then you will need to click on 'up one level' to go to your actual folder the miniportal is stored in.

3) For displaying content on your miniportal, you have three choices.
      A) If you like the miniportal displaying the contents of your site as is, then just leave it as is and add content as you like.
      B) If you would like to create your own page and add the links to your content yourself, then you want to add a 'page'. In your miniportal, add a 'page'. To make sure your webpage turns up first, in your miniportal click on display and choose the page you added as your 'default view'.
      C) If you want to have more control over the page, with small boxes of content from within your website, then add a 'composite lisiting' which may only be accessible by clicking on 'add to folder' and 'more..'

4) Now you should be able to go ahead and add content as you like to create your own homepage. Have a read through 'Getting started with your site' this will explain a few more features for you. If you want to create a special subsite, then just create another miniportal and build up your subsite.

5) If you wish to have a navigation box (called a portlet) on the left (called the left slot) then you will need to contact us and request this.
by Rob last modified 2007-01-21 00:46
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