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Getting Started

This chapter's intent is to give you an overall introduction to WebGUI. It shows how to log in, enter admin mode, and add basic content.


Content Management in WebGUI


Content managers often find themselves wearing many hats. Depending on the size of your organization, you may be responsible for creating and editing content, for managing workflows, managing users and groups, or maybe even for some templating and design. Plain Black publishes books devoted to all aspects of WebGUI, so if you find yourself needing more in depth knowledge about site administration or site design in WebGUI you should consider consulting one of the other books.


Publishing content in WebGUI is basically a four step process:


  1. Select your asset to display on the site. Assets are individual content applications in WebGUI.

  2. Enter your content and manage settings of the asset.

  3. Save the asset.

  4. Commit your version tag to publish content to the live site. Version tags act as storage containers for your content while you work. More information on Version Tags is provided later.


Once you are comfortable performing these steps, you'll have the tools you need to begin exploring some of WebGUI's more advanced features on your own.


Log In


To begin creating and editing content in WebGUI, you must be logged into the site and in Admin mode.


To begin, log into your site using the username you selected when configuring your WebGUI site. Then, enter your password and click on the login tab. The location of the login/password fields may differ, depending on the layout of your site.



Enter Admin Mode


Admin mode is entered by clicking a link that says “Turn Admin On!” The position and appearance of the “Turn Admin On” link may look different on your site, depending on its individual site style.



Click on the “Turn Admin On!” link after you log in. When Admin mode is on, you will see the text of the link change to say “Turn Admin Off!” You are now in Admin Mode and may begin Managing Content.


You can also enter Admin mode through the Account tab of the User Account Manager, which is covered in the next section.


Account Manager


WebGUI's Account Manager contains a number of tabs in which you can manage various aspects of your user account. These act as major categories within your profile, and may contain additional tabs themselves.



The tab you are currently viewing will be a slightly darker shade.


The easiest way to access the Account Manager is to click on your username once you have logged into the site.


Note: You will notice that the “save changes” buttons for the Account Manager are located outside of the shaded area. You may move freely from tab to tab inside the Account Manager without the need to save each screen. All data will remain in the tabs, so you can simply click the “save changes” button once you have updated all your fields.


Account Tab


The Account Tab is the default tab displayed upon entering the Account Manager. It displays the Update Account Information screen and provides a number of options for managing your user account.


The Username field displays your username. To change your username, simply enter a new username in the Username field and click save. Your account will be updated, and a message will display indicating this has occurred.



The Password and Password(confirm) fields contain your site password. To change your password, enter a new one in both fields. Click save, and a message will indicate the account has been updated. Your site administrator may have placed restrictions on the format of your password, such as a combination of upper and lower case letters, or the inclusion of special characters. If so, double check to make sure you have met those criteria.


Below the account fields are a number of links.


  • Turn Admin On/Off: turns admin mode on or off, depending on the user's status upon entering this screen.

  • Logout: logs you out of the site.

  • Back to site.: returns you to the web page you were previously viewing.


Profile Tab


The Profile Tab allows you to manage your personal user profile. It contains a number of additional tabs for filling in such things as contact information. The tabs and fields you see in the Profile Tab are created and managed in WebGUI's User Profiling system, which is accessed through the Admin Console. The fields and tabs on your site may be different than the ones in this book.


To the far right of each field you will see a small dropdown menu allowing you to set the privacy level of each individual profile field.


If the field is set to Public, registered users on the site will be able to view this information upon viewing your profile. Friends Only will restrict the view of the field to only those users who are your friends in the WebGUI Friends system, and Private means no other users will see this personal information.


Your site administrator may have designated some fields to be required or invisible. At the bottom of the tab are some symbols to indicate this status. These symbols will appear next to any field to which they apply.



If a field has been made invisible, it will have a Private privacy status, meaning others will not be able to see it as part of your user profile.


Personal Tab


The Personal tab is the default tab under the Profile category.


The first three fields relate to your name.



The First, Middle, and Last name fields are where you can enter your given name. Your Alias is basically your username, and is what people will see to identify you in places where you may post content to the site, such as forums or galleries.


Moving down the screen, you will see a Signature field.



In the Signature field you may enter a signature that will be added to any post you make on the site. This is similar to a signature that gets added to email messages.


In the Photo field you may upload an image file. This is an image that will be associated with you when others view your profile. This is not an avatar.


Contact Info


The Contact Info tab is the second tab under the Profile category. In it, you can enter your electronic contact information, such as an email address or instant messenger screen name.



Some of the field labels are hyperlinked. If you would like to create an account with one of these resources, the links will direct you to their sites.


Once again, you have the option of setting the Privacy level for each field on this screen.


Home Tab


The Home tab contains fields for entering contact information for your home address.



To the far right of each field is the Privacy dropdown menu.


Work Tab


The Work tab contains fields for entering your work contact information.



To the far right of each field is the Privacy dropdown menu.


Demographic Tab


The Demographic tab only contains two fields. One to indicate your gender, and one to enter your birth date. Again, privacy fields are available for each.



Miscellaneous Tab


The Miscellaneous tab allows you to upload an Avatar, an image that will be associated with your username.



The second field allows you to designate whether you are available to be added as a friend in the WebGUI Friends system. If set to Yes, users will see a button at the bottom of your profile that gives them the option of making you a friend. Upon clicking the “Send Friend Request” button, you will receive an email alerting you that the request has been made, and giving you the option of accepting it (or not).


Preferences Tab


The Preferences tab provides a number of selections related to your user preferences. These include things such as the language in which you would like manage content, the date and time format you wish to use, the discussion layout you prefer, and so on.



This screen also allows you to set your profile's privacy level. In the other tabs you had the option of making individual profile fields private; here, you have the option of making your entire profile private. You can also indicate if you want to allow other users to send you private messages or show when you are online. If Private Messages are sent to Public or Friends Only, these messages will be sent to your WebGUI Inbox.


The Version tag mode field determines how version tags will be handled for your user account. You can learn more about version tags in the chapter devoted to that topic. Options include:


  • Inherit from site settings (default): this means that version tags related to your user account will operate according to the site wide setting designated by your site administrator.

  • Commit automatically: this means that your content will be committed to the site for live publication upon saving an asset.

  • Multiple version tags per user: this means that each user on the site will have the ability to have multiple version tags open under his/her username. This is helpful if people may be working on multiple projects on the site at one time.

  • Single version tag per user: this means each user will only have one version tag open, which will contain all content the user has edited or created.

  • One site-wide version tag: this means all users' content will be stored in one main site-wide version tag. This is useful if only one person in the organization is responsible for publishing content.


Note: The default version tag mode for WebGUI is commit automatically. This makes the content publishing process simpler for novice users. Best practice is to leave the site wide version tag mode at commit automatically, and allow users to set their own version tag modes through their user profile if they would like something different.


View Profile as Others See It


In the upper right hand corner of the Profile tab is a link that says “view my profile as others see it.” Clicking this link opens a preview of your profile.



In the preview there are visual indicators alerting you to your privacy settings. You will also notice that only the Profile, Friends, and Contributions tabs are available. To leave the preview, click on the “Back to profile” link in the upper right hand corner.


Inbox Tab


The Inbox tab contains your WebGUI Inbox. This will display all messages sent to you through WebGUI, including private messages from individual users, alerts from WebGUI Shop, Matrix listings, etc etc. To read a message in your Inbox, simply click on a message's Subject.



Once inside a message, you can Delete it using the Delete button in top left corner. To navigate between messages, use the Previous and Next buttons in the upper right hand corner.


You can also compose new messages to send to other users from the main Inbox screen.



In the top left corner is a New Message button. This button allows you to compose a new message to send to a WebGUI Friend via private messaging.


Moving down the screen, you will notice that each message in the Inbox has an envelope icon. Messages that are unread will be a closed envelop, and messages you have read are opened.


If your inbox is getting crowded you can delete messages by selecting their checkboxes, and then clicking on the Delete button in the top left hand corner. To delete all messages, select the checkbox at the very top of the column.



Each column in the Inbox is sortable. For instance, if you click on the From column header, your messages will be rearranged in descending/ascending alphabetical order by username. Likewise with Subject and Status. The Date column will reorder chronologically.


The Inbox is paginated. You can navigate between pages using the links in the upper and lower right hand corners. By default, 25 messages are displayed per page. You have the option of changing this amount using the number dropdown menu in the upper and lower right hand corners.


At the top of the Inbox are two tabs: Messages and Invitations. The Messages tab indicates how many unread messages you have in your inbox. The Invitations tab indicates if you have any unread friends invitations.




Friends Tab


The Friends tab allows you to manage users who have become your friend through the WebGUI Friends system.



Each friend is displayed on the screen, with an associated image if the user included one in his or her profile. Below each friend's name is an indication of whether or not the friend is currently online. This will be visible only if the user has made it visible in his/her user profile. Clicking on a friend's name will direct you to that user's user profile.


If the friend has set his/her user account to accept private messages there will be a button by which to send that person a message. Clicking the Send Private Message button will open the compose screen.



There is also a button you may use to remove another user from your friend list.


Contributions Tab


The Contributions tab lists all the user contributions you have made on the site. Contributions can be considered things such as publishing an article, posting in forums or submitting an event to a WebGUI calendar. To view a contribution, click on its title.



Shop Tab


The Shop tab contains a list of transactions made by you on the site. Transactions, or orders, are listed chronologically (newest to oldest), and each contains an Order number, the amount spent, and date it was completed.



To view a transaction, simply click on an Order number. This will open the Manage Purchases screen.



You can learn more about this screen, and other Shop related topics, in the WebGUI Shop Guide.


Password Recovery


In the event you forget your password, WebGUI's password recovery system can email you a new one.



In the Log In screen you will see an “I forgot my password” link under the login fields. Click on this link to access the password recovery system.



Enter your login name (username) and your email address in the appropriate fields, then click save. WebGUI will email you a message with instructions to reset your site password.


The Look of WebGUI


After turning Admin mode on, you will notice a number of changes have occurred on the page. On the left hand side of the screen you will see a light gray column; this is the Admin Bar. The New Content menu in the Admin Bar contains all the applications, called assets, necessary to manage content on your website, as well as administrative functions.


The default editing view in WebGUI is called the inline editing view. It allows you to view the content on the page as you work. The other editing view in WebGUI is the asset manager. The asset manager operates in a similar manner to the filesystem on a PC. You can learn more about using the asset manager in the Asset Manager chapter.


Each page is basically comprised of:


  • site style: can consist of a company logo and name, specialized icons, a color theme, site navigation, etc. Basically, the overall theme and appearance of the site.

  • page layout: this asset used to create a new page, similar to adding a blank notebook page to the site that then needs to be filled with content.

  • regular assets: assets used to display content on the page.



Page Tools


Once you’ve logged in and entered Admin mode, you’ll notice a number of new items on the page.


On the body of the page a number of toolbars appear. The first toolbar on the page is the Page Layout toolbar. Use this toolbar to manage security, style, and the overall layout of the page. Below this first toolbar are a number of similar toolbars located throughout the page. These toolbars manage individual assets on the page, such as articles, pictures, polls, or calendars. Each asset has its own toolbar.


By editing with these toolbars, you can manage the content of that particular asset on the page.



Again, remember that the location and appearance of these items can differ quite a bit depending on your site content and style, your user interface level and your permissions. The examples in this book are all taken from a user with a UI level of 9, and full Admin privileges, so all functionality is exposed.


1. Class Icon: this is the first icon on the left side of the toolbar. By hovering your mouse over this icon, you will be told what kind of asset you are working with. Clicking on the class icon will reveal additional functions that can be performed on that asset.

2. Red X: clicking on this icon will delete the asset from the page and place it in the trash.

3. Edit: clicking on Edit will direct you to the edit screen for that particular asset, where you can manage the asset's settings.

4. Cut: this icon will remove the asset from the page and place it on the clipboard contained in the Admin Bar. From the clipboard it can be placed somewhere else on the page, similar to the cut and paste feature of a word processing program. Cutting an asset that contains child assets will cut the asset selected and all its children. For example, cutting a page layout asset will cut the page layout and all the assets that page contains, such as articles displayed on that page.

5. Copy: this will create a copy of the asset and place it on the clipboard so it can be placed somewhere else on the web page. Again, similar to a word processing program. Copying an asset that contains child assets will display a small box which will allow you to indicate if you wish to copy just the individual asset, or the asset along with all its children or descendants.



“This Asset Only” will make a copy of just the asset itself. “With Children” will make a copy of the asset and any children it contains. For example, a Page Layout and any assets displayed on that page, or a Folder and any assets the Folder contains. “With Descendants” will copy the asset, along with any descendants. For example, a Page Layout, all the assets contained on that page, any subpages to the page, and any assets contained on those subpages.

  1. Shortcut Arrow: clicking this creates a mirror of the asset and places it on the clipboard. You can then place that mirror anywhere on the site. Creating a shortcut can save time. By editing one version of the asset, you will simultaneously edit all versions located throughout the site.


Clicking on the class icon of the toolbar reveals a number of additional functions that can be performed on the asset.


  1. Change URL: this allows you to change the URL of this asset. Doing so eliminates any old versions of the asset, and prohibits this asset from being rolled back.

  2. Edit Branch: opens the edit branch screen where you can change certain pedigree options for this asset as well as descendants. Making a change through Edit Branch will change asset properties for an entire branch all at once; so, you can change the page style or security settings for an asset and all its descendants at one time.

  3. Revisions: takes you to the “Committed Versions” screen where you can rollback a version or work off a previous revision.

  4. View: takes you to this asset’s page where you can view the asset on the page, or use its asset toolbar.

  5. Lock: locks the asset for editing while the asset moves through the versioning system. Once the asset is locked it must be committed to the site before it can be edited again.

  6. Promote and Demote: moves the asset up or down one ranking level in the asset tree.

  7. Manage: takes you to the Asset Manager view for this asset.

  8. Export (not shown): if static HTML exports are enabled on the site, there will also be an Export option. Clicking on this will direct you to the Export screen, where static HTML exports can be configured and executed.


Hover Help


While in Admin mode, you will notice hover help boxes appear as you work in the asset screens. Hover your mouse above the label of any field in the screen to read an explanation of that field's function.



Admin Bar


The Admin Bar contains all the tools necessary to manage your WebGUI website. The content contained in the Admin Bar for your site may differ a bit. As a content manager, your primary concern will be the New Content menu, which contains all the assets necessary to add and manage new content on the site.


The New Content menu is arranged into sub-tabs, which basically act as categories of asset types. For example, in the following example, Basic contains some of the most commonly used assets on the site, and Community contains assets that are commonly used for interactive applications, such as forums and wikis. There may be a tab for Shop assets, Prototypes and Packages as well. The New Content menu sub-tabs are completely customizable, so the categories and selections under each may differ from what you see here.


Keywords: version tag user account profile editing controls edit account manager Assets user interface

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