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Web development tutorial

Getting Started with PowerCMS Builder

Tutorial created by Ray Borduin, WebAssist

Categories: Design Extender, Design, Dreamweaver, PHP


PowerCMS Builder is a Dreamweaver extension for adding/managing PowerCMS on your Dreamweaver websites. This extension requires that you have a connection to a MySQL database for managing the PowerCMS system.

This tutorial guides you through adding the PowerCMS Solution to your site using PowerCMS Builder and installing the CMS on your remote server.

If you are using PowerCMS Builder on a Dreamweaver website that you have already applied PowerCMS or the Site Sculptor CMS to, you will instantly be able to use PowerCMS Builder to manage the CMS content once PowerCMS Builder is installed.

arrow downRequirements

You will need the following items before starting this tutorial:

  1. PowerCMS Builder
  2. Dreamweaver CS3 or later
  3. Dreamweaver site defined including Remote Server details

arrow downInsert a content area

The first step in using PowerCMS Builder is to create your first PowerCMS content area by selecting the content that you wish to add to PowerCMS and creating a new content location.

When you add content to PowerCMS from PowerCMS Builder, the content that is currently selected on your page will be moved to your PowerCMS database where it can be managed by anyone who has access to your PowerCMS pages.

Follow these steps to add content from your page to a PowerCMS controlled content location.

  1. Select the content on your page that you wish to add to PowerCMS.
  2. From the WebAssist menu, choose CMS > Add Content to PowerCMS.
  3. Choose the database connection you would like to use for PowerCMS.
    PowerCMS Builder will use this information to create it's own database connection.
  4. Enter a name for the content location.
    In most cases, your content locations will be named based on the page the content resides on (example: Home Page, Contact Us Page, etc.).
  5. Enter a name for the content area.
    Useful, descriptive content area names will make it easier to determine the correct content in PowerCMS (example: News Pod, Main Content, etc.).
  6. Click OK to complete the process of adding this content area.

PowerCMS Builder will then detect that the PowerCMS files have not been added to this site, and will copy all the necessary files to your site. Once all the files have been copied over, you will notice a number of new files and folders have been added to your site.

Installing PowerCMS

After creating your first content area, you will be notified to upload your files to your live server before installing PowerCMS. Once you have uploaded all your files, you will want to run the PowerCMS Installation Wizard.

To run the PowerCMS Installation Wizard, enter the URL to the page that you applied your first content area.
Since this page has a PowerCMS content area applied, you will automatically be redirected to the first step of the Installation Wizard.

The Installation Wizard will guide you through configuring PowerCMS and making sure that your server is properly set up for PowerCMS to run.

If you experience any issues from the Installation Wizard, refer to the tips and instructions on the Installation Wizard for assistance.

When prompted for a serial number, use the serial number you obtained from your Download Center for PowerCMS Builder.

arrow downInserting Content from CMS

One useful feature of PowerCMS Builder is that you can easily add existing CMS content to your pages. This is useful for shared content that you would like to appear in multiple locations or on different pages.

  1. Place your cursor on the page where you wish to insert the content.
    Or, highlight the content you wish to replace.
  2. From the WebAssist menu, choose CMS > Insert Content from PowerCMS.
  3. Select the content area that you wish to use by choosing the Content Location it is stored in.
  4. Select the content area from the Content Area field.
  5. Click OK.
Your new content should be automatically added to your database, and you will be able to view that content directly on your page in Dreamweaver.

arrow downManaging Content

With PowerCMS Builder installed on your site and PowerCMS properly configured, you can now manage all your CMS content directly within Dreamweaver. All your dynamic content areas will be displayed normally in Design View, and you can easily jump to the correct location in PowerCMS for editing that content.

Properties Inspector

The Properties Inspector allows you to manage each of the content areas that you have on your page. Simply select the content area from within Design View and the Properties Inspector will update to reflect your options.

  1. Reload Content: Will reload all content from the database.
  2. Replace Content: WIll launch the Insert Content interface for replacing the selected content area.
  3. Edit in PowerCMS: Will launch this page in PowerCMS for editing.

arrow downReviews and comments

Comments will be sent to the author of this tutorial and may not be answered immediately. For general help from WebAssist, please visit technical support.

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David in Mississippi: 5 Years, 1 Month, 4 Weeks, 22 Hours, 51 Minutes ago

This is an okay very-basic tutorial, but there are many unanswered questions. For example, this is obviously for an existing Dreamweaver web page; but when your instruction says in step 1 "Select the content on your page that you wish to add to PowerCMS." that's inaccurate. I tried it exactly as stated, and it didn't work. However, it worked perfectly when I selected (in the page edit window's bottom margin) the <div> tag that included the text I wanted in the
CMS editable area.

This basics tutorial needs LINKS to subsequent tutorials that explain more of the details about how to do each of these things. How about creating a NEW CMS page? How about adding these new pages to a CSS menu?

The biggest question I still have is that there is nothing here - and I can't seem to find it on your site, although I've only searched for two hours so far - about the CMS website client being able to insert an image into his CMS area. Where are the tutorials on this subject?

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