MS FrontPage

Themes, Link Bars, and Templates

Imagine that a visitor is exploring your Web site. He clicks link after link, traveling from page to page. As he moves along, how does he know he's still in the same Web site?

Usually a site has its own design scheme, a unifying look and feel that remains constant from page to page that's one clue. Another tip off might be a fixed navigation bar at the top, side, or bottom of the page. This tells him how to get back to where he started, and where he is in the grand scheme of your site.

When you're creating pages if you care at all about keeping your visitors oriented and surrounded by consistent visual cues you need to consider your site as a whole. You've already read about lots of ways you can implement site-wide design and navigation plans. For example, you could set up a single decorative format for your site using a CSS style sheet. You could also create a site navigation menu with interactive buttons or simple hyperlinks and put it on every page, or display it in a frame.

So far, so good. But FrontPage can give you even more help. The program offers a bunch of automated solutions to handle site-wide display and navigation issues, including tools like FrontPage themes, link bars, shared borders, Dynamic Web Templates, and more. This tutorial shows you how to use all these options, and examines the tradeoffs when you accept FrontPage's helping hand.

Note: If you're collaborating with authors who use non-Microsoft products like Dreamweaver, you shouldn't use themes, link bars, page banners, or shared borders. These features depend upon FrontPage technology, and if you hand off your FrontPage-designed pages to someone who plugs them into, say, a Dreamweaver-designed site, you're guaranteed to see a spectacular mess. On the other hand, included content (Section 11.3) and Dynamic Web Templates (Section 11.5.3) should work regardless of what Web design program you or your colleagues are using.