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Converting Your Site To GoLive

by Deborah Shadovitz
with a tech check by Derry Thompson
08/23/2002

Editor's note: The latest version of Adobe GoLive has generated lots of interest among Web professionals. The trick, of course, for those who want to start using this full-featured Web development environment, is switching over existing Web sites to take advantage of GoLive's content management tools. This article focuses on how to do just that.

Part One: Starting with a site that resides on a local volume

So do you have to wait until you've got a new site to build before you try GoLive?

Naw ... waiting's no fun. Besides, the best test is to start using it on a site you're already working on. GoLive makes it easy to convert your existing site so that you can give it a run.

Note: If you want to feel extra safe, before you begin, you might duplicate or back up the site you're importing. Your site's files won't be damaged or altered, but it may feel more comfortable if you decide to return to your original program. (Not that you'll probably want to ...)

GoLive provides an easy to follow "wizard" to take you through the import process. However, if you simply follow GoLive's wizard, you end up with the various site folders loose on your hard drive. (I never did understand this one bit of logic on the part of the programmers, but haven't succeeded in getting them to change it yet. Instead, I've worked out a better import process that I'll share with you here.)

In This Series:

Converting Your Site to GoLive, Part 2 -- In part one of this series, you learned how to convert your site from a local volume to GoLive. Here, in part two, Deb Shadovitz shows you step by step how to start using GoLive's great management tools with sites already residing on a Web server.

Ready To Do It?

1. Create a new folder in which your newly-converted site will reside. If it's not a folder that will be placed on the Web or actually be part of your live site, you can give it any descriptive name without concern for Web-naming standards. Here, we call it "MyNewSite." (We put it on the desktop, but you'll put it in an appropriate folder.)

2. Locate the folder that contains the files that compose your site: the html pages, gifs, jpgs, pngs, audio files, movie files, style sheets, etc. This folder will become the main folder that holds all of your site's files. I recommend giving this folder a short name. Rename it now. Renaming later is messy.

A DreamWeaver site's files in place for conversion.


A FrontPage files folder and the folder into which you place it. (You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)
Click for larger view


3. Choose File > New Site to open the GoLive Site Wizard. In the first dialog, choose Single User or Workgroup, as desired. Then click Next.
(You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)

Click for larger view


4. In the next dialog, choose Import from Folder. Then click Next.
(You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)

Click for larger view

5. In the top section of the next dialog, you point GoLive to the actual files that compose your site: the html pages, the gifs, jpgs, pngs, audio files, movie files, stylesheets, etc. Click the Browse button, then locate and choose the folder that contains these files.

Your choice depends on your previous site's file structure:

This image shows a DreamWeaver-created site being imported. (You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)
Click for larger view


This image shows a FrontPage-created site being imported. (You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)
Click for larger view


6. When you choose the folder in step 5, GoLive identifies the home page and notes it in the lower area of the same dialog. If GoLive gets it wrong, point it to the correct home page. Upon seeing the correct home page, click Next.

The same DreamWeaver site. The FrontPage site looks/works the same way. (You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)
Click for larger view


7. In the next dialog, you tell GoLive where to store the new site files you're creating. It says <No Selection> by default. Click Browse, then locate and select the folder you created in the first step.

Selecting the Site File's location for the DreamWeaver site. (You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)
Click for larger view


Selecting the Site File's location for the FrontPage site. (You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)
Click for larger view


Note: Right now, you see only the files folder that you placed in your new site's main folder. However, during the conversion process, GoLive will create two other folders it needs to manage your site, as well as a file it uses to track everything you do. It will place those items here.

8. Optionally, you can set a few advanced options by clicking the Advanced button. Each is explained in the dialog. For the latter two, you may want more understanding of HTML.

Click OK when you've checked your choices.
(You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)

Click for larger view


That's the end of your part of the work. GoLive now looks at your site's files and builds the documents it needs to manage your site. In a moment, you see the resulting Site Window. When you do, GoLive is ready for you to continue working on your site. (If you were using DreamWeaver or FrontPage, some things, such as DreamWeaver Behaviors, may need to be redone.)

Our DreamWeaver-imported site.


Our FrontPage-imported site. (You can click on the screen shot below to open a full-size view.)
Click for larger view

FrontPage Notes:

So What Happens Behind the Scenes?

After you make your final selection in the wizard, GoLive looks at your site's files and creates a Site Document and GoLive folder structure to reflect it, placing these items in the folder you created to contain your site. You don't see this happening, but GoLive creates the following files, as shown here:

What the folders look like on your hard drive using DreamWeaver


What the folders look like on your hard drive using FrontPage


But What About FrontPage Code?

If you're using FrontPage, you're aware that it's big on proprietary code and creates a bunch of folders and files that work only in FrontPage. If your pages look fine in the browser when you preview them from within the GoLive Site Window, you don't necessarily have to worry about that code within your page. However, when you decide you want that stuff gone, there's a special extension made just for GoLive that'll do the job for you and even report what it has done.

All you have to do (after you install it) is open each FrontPage-created html page by double-clicking it in the Files tab, and choose Special > Clean Up HTML > Front Page. From there, by clicking More Options, you'll have the option to "upgrade" or "remove" any of 13 FrontPage code issues.


Adobe-Provided Conversion Help

The GoLive CD includes more details on the FrontPage file and code issue. You'll find this information inside a folder called Featured Extensions.

Deborah Shadovitz is a Mac user-turned-specialist, who also designs Web sites. Among other things she teaches and writes about GoLive.


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