Was just here posting a Question of my own and saw your post. I'm afraid there's no way around having to use Contribute to administer the website. However, if you think you're only going to have to do it once, you can download a trial version and get all your work done in 30 days, before the trial runs out.
Thank you very much for answering my question. Knowing the site owner as I do, I'll be doing it long after 30 days so I guess I'll have to invest in Contribute to administer the site.
Can I ask another on the same issue? If they have contribute and I have contribute, would I still use Dreamweaver to make proper site changes to templates, etc., or would I stop using Dreamweaver and ONLY use Contribute?
You can keep using Dreamweaver. If you prefer some of the features of
Contribute for quick page fix-ups — or you want to share drafts with
others before posting — you can use that on small jobs, but I find
that I'm just too comfortable with DW to leave it's editing
environment for the more specific workflow of Contribute. I end up
using Dreamweaver for just about everything, although I occasionally
use Contribute, just so I get a sense of what the client's workflow is
like or to offer technical support to the users.
Thanks Gary. So does that mean I continue to make changes in Dreamweaver and "put" the files as normal. They then use Contribute and when they make changes then to the site, do I just have to use the 'synchronise' feature or 'get' feature to make sure I'm looking at the most recent pages in my Dreamweaver and not overwriting pages they've already edited? And when they create a new page in Contribute, how do I make sure it's saved keeping the file structure that I have set? As I have never used Contribute before, would you recommend that I try it as if I am the client to see what happens and how it works from their side? Is it the exact same product that they get that I get and you just say at the set up whether you are the controller/designer or end user, or are we both treated exactly the same as far as Contribute is concerned? Can I use my own copy of Contribute for other clients (ie. more than one site) to manage in the same way?
Sorry to have so many questions!! I'm sure I'm not done yet!!
Thank you for your continued patience
Let me try to address your questions and give you a sense of the
First off, when you configure a site to use Contribute there are three
1) How and if you're going to let your clients create new pages (as
opposed to just letting them edit ones YOU create)
2) Templates: How many and how complex are the they going to be? (With
that in mind, if you haven't messed around with templates yet, time to
start working with them, they're key to keeping people from messing up
your design, since you can enable areas within tags, leaving the tags
— and classes and ids — untouched and untouchable.)
3) How many users and what are their roles? (Administrator, Publisher,
Writer). Briefly, Administrators control the users and have access to
everything (you can have more than one). Writers can edit pages, but
have to send them to someone else to publish. Publishers can edit and
The simplest solution is to just create the pages yourself, mark off
content areas within your div tags as editable and let them edit
within those. You can even limit access to CSS rules, allowing only a
small set that keeps your clients from using chartreuse headers on
As far as your workflow goes, when you enable a site for Contribute,
the site automatically goes into Check In/Out mode. A page can be
checked out by only one person at a time, regardless of whether
they're using Contribute or Dreamweaver. On your part, you'll just
have to remember to check in your file when you're done editing
(rather than just "Put"). If you do that, you won't have to
synchronize, since you'll always be checking out the page on the site,
rather than working on a local copy. (Having said that, periodically
I do synchronize my local copy of the site, so that I can make a full
site backup to DVD. With the economy the way it is, there's no telling
when your web host might just go belly up, leaving your client's
content somewhere on a hard drive and you with no way of getting it.)
I think for your own peace of mind, you'll want to set up a test page
early in the design process and really think about what you're going
to let your client touch by editing it a few times in Contribute
yourself, getting an idea of how much control you want the user to
have, getting a feel for the whole synchronizing templates, making a
back up copy, saving a draft and publish workflow that is Contribute.
My answers seem to grow exponentially with each of your questions. At
this rate I'll be writing a manual!