What is Web Authoring Package?
A web authoring package is specifically designed to allow you to create web pages and web sites. Examples include Dreamweaver and Microsoft Front Page (as used on the CTiE site).
How were things done before web authoring?
Web designers would have to write the page using HTML code. Whilst this is very powerful, it is a lot slower than using a web authoring package.
It is also possible to save word processed documents or many publications as a web page. However, this is not recommended because they produce large amounts of code which is not required.
Features of web authoring applications
Web pages are created using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Whilst it definitely helps to have some basic knowledge of this, it is not essential when using a web authoring package because there is the option of using a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) interface. Generally, this works well, but unlike word processing packages, sometimes do not always go exactly where you want them or display as you had planned. In this case, the only solution is to switch to the HTML code and edit that directly.
Although many of the features in a web authoring package are similar to those you find in standard office applications, generally you need some technical skill in order to be able to create suitable web pages and use the tools effectively.
Templates can be set up to ensure that the main features on a web page are the same throughout the site, e.g. the banner, the side menu. Many web authoring packages contain a selection of templates. There are plenty available on the Internet to download for little or no cost. It is also fairly easy to create your own template.
Most web authoring software has a number of wizards to help you with things such as setting up the site, specifying the FTP etc.
Web pages can contain text, images, animation, videos and sound files.
They can also contain interactive CGI forms (Common Gateway Interface) which enable people to fill in their details using a form on a webpage and then submit the completed form to the website. A web authoring package makes it easy for the user to set up these interactive forms.
The software also makes it possible to set up hyperlinks and hotspots which when clicked will take the user to other pages, other websites or a place within the same page. If a web page is moved to another place in the website by using the web authoring applications, then any links to that page will automatically be updated.
This is a tool which enables you to view the overall structure of your website and to update links quickly if any pages are moved from within the web authoring software