Video #1: Getting Started

Welcome to the Open Website System.  If you're watching this then you should have been able to find the website successfully.  Once you go to the website, go ahead and login with your username and password.


As you log in, you'll notice that you should have a list of sites that you are a member of.  These are the sites that you can add to and edit the pages of.  In addition, at any time within OWS you can click on the "Browse All Open Websites" button and see a list of websites that are available for you to view.


Right now we want to go into our site, and the site we want to edit is "Demo Site," so we'll click on that, and here it is.
When using OWS you need to be sure that you are using the Firefox web browser.


Your pages will view well in either Internet Explorer or Safari, but when you go to edit a page, some of the editing features may not show up if you are not using firefox.


Right now we're just going to do some basic editing for our site right here.  Notice you have two buttons on the left.  You can create a site page with either a single author or group authorship.  The only difference here is that if you do a single author page, other people who have access to edit your site will not be able to edit it, whereas if you do a group authorship page, everyone will be able to edit it, and it will keep track of revisions, much like a wiki.


Before we create a page though, we want to do some things to our home page and change the overall theme of our site.  While I'm on my home page, if I click edit and scroll down I have a few options.


"List in groups directory": If I check this it merely means that on the home page, my site will be listed with all the other sites so that it is easily accessible to the world.

"Membership requests": It's typically best to leave this as "Invite Only" or you can completely close it, because you don't want people to just come in and become a member of your site, because then they will be able to edit the pages as well.
In addition, you can change your site title; this is the name of your site that is shown at the top.  So, I'm just going to go ahead and change mine to "My Great Site."

You can also upload a logo, and notice you have some constraints here; it needs to be less than 100 KB and 100 by 100 pixels, but your logo is visible up here by your name.  I'm not going to upload a logo now, but this helps to give your site some personality.

"Description"  is used if you are listing your site in the groups directory.  This is the description that will be listed next to your site if someone is going down the groups directory looking through the sites.  So, I'm just going to put in "this is a demo site."
Below this we have theme configuration.  We can choose any of these themes and once we choose one we can always come back later and choose a different one.

The content within OWS is separate from the themes, so I can go in and plug in all of my content and then  come back later and choose a theme, and I won't lose any content.  So, I'm just going to choose one of these themes.  I'll choose this purple one.  Keep going down.

Here in the mission statement I can put in the content of my home page, so I'm just going to write "This is my home page.  Welcome!" and then put a smiley face.  And as I press save, now notice the overall theme of my site has changed; notice the title of my site has changed to "My Great Site", and here is the content of my home page.

Someone else coming to this site would not see some of the things that you see here, for instance, they would not see some of these buttons here, so let's log out just to see what it would look like.  Logout.  As I get back to my page, notice that I don't have any links over here, and here's my home page.  So, I'm going to log back in, and then I can create a new page.  I'm going to create a group authorship page, because, let's say, I'm going to invite other people to come in and edit this page with me.  Give it a page title.  Call it "Page Number 1".

"Listed": This determines whether or not your page will be listed over here in your navigation bar.  This is useful if you're using some tiered navigation.  For the most part, most of your main pages you'll want to do in a list.  The only time when you may not want to list it is if you don't want direct access over here in your navigation bar and you're going to create some kind of manual link to the page yourself.

"List Number" determines the order in which it is listed, and I can choose to put a teaser if I want.  A teaser is similar to a blog.  If I put a teaser, it will put a little snapshot of this page on my home page.

Here I can put whatever content I want, so I'm going to put "content of page 1".  Go down and press save.  And there it is, there's my page 1.  Now I'm going to log out so you can see what it will look like.  So notice now that I have a link to page number 1 over here, and here's my page.

So, this is just basic functionality of OWS.  You can create as many pages as you want, and it will automatically create a list of those pages as long as the "Listed" box is checked.  And OWS will put all those pages together into your site and, again, you can always come back and change the theme of your site and change the logo, and so you really have a lot of control over the way your site looks and how you construct it.