Build a professional web site or store with our
easy-to-use tools — no prior experience necessary!
Our Web Site Builder is the perfect tool for getting your web site up quickly. ElaHost Site Builder is included in our hosting plans, free of charge.
What You See is What You Get
WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) is a term that describes the concept of visualizing the end result while you are working. In the case of a site builder that simply means that you should see your page and be able to change things directly on the page. ElaHost Site Builder lets you edit text anywhere on the page and use the familiar word processing style tool bar for formatting text, inserting pictures that flow with the text and creating tables for items that need to line up.
What is truly different about ElaHost Site Builder is the way it handles page layouts. Traditionally, web page layouts were done by creating complex tables which may have included tables within tables and spanning of rows and columns to get things positioned exactly where they are needed. This is a very cumbersome way to control layout and one that is best left to the experts. ElaHost Site Builder has a simple approach - just drag around page elements and ElaHost Site Builder will take care of building these complex table structures without user intervention.
ElaHost Site Builder gives you two views of your page:
- The Edit Text tab lets you edit the content of the elements. In this tab all of the elements are actually part of an "invisible table structure" so the page will flow as you add text.
- The Edit Layout tab lets you move elements around on the page. You can drag and drop them, size them and set properties such as decorations, background colors and borders.
Fully Automatic Navigation with Multiple Menu Levels
ElaHost Site Builder menus are fully automatic. Unlike other site builders, ElaHost Site Builder can employ graphic features into menus such as the ones you see in this site. An intuitive "Explorer" view of pages shows the navigation structure. This structure is automatically reflected in the menus and is instantly updated.
You control navigation by
- Renaming the page using the edit box at the top - the name change appears immediately in the menu
- Dragging pages to change the order in the menu
- Pages within folders are the second level of navigation and have a second level menu
- Moving pages in and out of folders automatically scales them to account for the second level menu
60 Decorative Fonts Create Excitement!
Web browsers come with a very limited set of fonts and the ability to download fonts is not universally supported. Most web designers simply create graphics with an offline program such as Adobe Photoshop™ or Macromedia Fireworks™. This requires having such programs available and knowing how to use them. Then end result is also graphic headlines that search engines cannot "see".
ElaHost Site Builder uses Macromedia Flash™ based technology called sIFR to support a wide variety of fonts for use in headlines. Headlines are visible to the search engine and a stand-in font is provided for those rare instances where a viewer has Flash disabled. You can create and edit headlines directly within ElaHost Site Builder. A unique drop-shadow effect makes the headlines come alive.
We include 60 fonts from the Font Encyclopedia collection by Soft Horizons:
Powerful Image Handling Capabilities
Images can be included in three ways with ElaHost Site Builder:
- In Text - Inserted into text where they will flow along with the text.
- In Boxes - Created as stand-alone elements that can be positioned anywhere in the layout.
- As Albums - Uploaded in bulk or individually and stored independently from the web pages. They are automatically included in "Photo Album" web pages, creating as many pages as needed to display all images. Menus are also created to help the viewer navigate across photo albums and within albums. Captions can be created and a slide show is also available.
Today's digital cameras produce huge images that are very time consuming to upload and consume valuable disk space. If left unprocessed they can cause customer sites to load slowly. ElaHost Site Builder has a multi-faceted strategy to deal with this without requiring any effort or knowledge on the part of the user:
- First, we provide a simple desktop utility to upload batches of images directly from a digital camera directory. The images are scaled to a reasonable size before uploading so they upload very quickly and conserve disk space on the server.
- We store images at a moderate resolution so that detail will be preserved no matter what size they end up being used on the web page.
- We resample images after they are dragged to the correct size. This provides for very crisp images that are more detailed than simply applying size attributes to an image.
Consider these two images....
The fuzzy image to the left was dragged to a smaller size but without resampling. IE and Firefox don't resample and simply scale the image to fit.
The clear one on the right was created using ElaHost Site Builder which uses high-quality image resampling. Notice the smoothness and crispness of the image even at this small size.
A Simple and Easy to Use Shopping Cart
For customers wanting to sell items online ElaHost Site Builder fully integrates with Paypal, the leader in internet payments. Paypal lets customers sign up quickly and accepts all leading credit cards.
ElaHost Site Builder integrates shopping with the regular content of the site. This is more intuitive for most users than a "catalog" approach and grants more flexibility in laying out the descriptions of products . Paypal is ideally suited for ElaHost Site Builder as it does not require a separate product database. All of the product information is contained in the "Add to Cart" button which is automatically created by ElaHost Site Builder.
- Start with a pre-fab shopping page in choice of layouts to help get started with the formatting of products.
- Enter text and pictures for each item with our regular rich text editing capability. There are no limitations on formatting or size.
- Double click on the Add to Cart button and use the form wizard displayed here to enter the details of the product.
- All of the account setup information is kept in one place so that it can be changed at any time without updating the Add to cart links.
- When the site is published it will link with the PayPal shopping cart and visitors may purchase the items. PayPal sends an email to confirm the purchase.
Introducing the "Widget" Architecture
Widgets allow a script to be packaged in a way that can easily be incorporated into a web site by novice users. The script is "wrapped" such that it has an interactive properties dialog where the user can configure the widget with a user interface of the author's choosing. When added to the web-page a template is used to configure the script based on the properties set by the user. Most new functionality in ElaHost Site Builder will be packaged in this way. We will eventually open this up to third parties to allow for the packaging of scripts that can be fully integrated into ElaHost Site Builder.
To date we have implemented the following widgets for use with ElaHost Site Builder:
- A Photo Navigation and Slide Show - This navigates the viewer through the photo album and pops up a slide show. By pre-loading pictures the slide show works well even at lower bandwidths.
- Google AdSense - This widget allows code from the Google AdSense program to be used for the creation of advertising. The widget accepts pasted code and interprets the parameters to automatically size the AdSense box on the page.
- sIFR Fonts - This feature is implemented entirely as a widget. It is a great example of the power of the properties dialog where fonts and font properties can be set.
We have also implemented fundamental building blocks for users who have programming skills and wish to create their own active content. These widgets are only available in Elahost Site Builder PRO:
- iFrame - Allows content from other sites to be embedded directly onto a web page.
- PHP - We have chosen PHP as the language for active server content because it is the most widely supported in the web hosting industry and contains the security features that most hosting companies demand. Scripts can be debugged using the widget interface before inserting on a page.
ElaHost Site Builder PRO has CMS Features for Advanced Site Design
Page Masters: Site templates have common headers, footers and navigational elements. With Elahost Site Builder PRO, these can be updated and the changes reflected throughout the site. Multiple levels of page masters are used so that elements that are truly common throughout the site (such as the footer copyright notice) get changed in one and only one place.
Color Palettes: Palettes provide global control over all colors used in the site. Changing colors in the palette will change the colors throughout the site.
- Color shifting technology can even change the color of images.
- Color selection is based on the same user interface as is used in Adobe Photoshop.
- Preview the color changes before committing to them.
Style sheets: Style sheets provide global control over style attributes. This gives web-sites a consistent look and feel and provides a central place to change style elements such as:
- Font faces, sizes, colors and decoration
- Control of margins, padding and line height
- Decorative backgrounds such as rounded corners
- Images for bullet lists
Multiple stylesheets can be maintained and can be associated with individual elements on a web-page.
Composite Graphics: Today's web sites use simple graphical concepts such as rounded corners and decorative borders on text blocks. siteZen uses multi-part, 'composite' images for complex shapes so that they can be stretched and sized while preserving the integrity of their design. These composite images can be applied as backgrounds to any element on the page. New composite images can be created with Elahost Site Builder PRO.
Multiple Sites: Customers can create multiple web sites with Elahost Site Builder PRO. The way that this works depends on the control panel being used, but includes support for sub-sites (sites that have a suffix on the domain name), sub-domains and 'add on' domains.
Start With a Clean Modern Site Template
- Templates are organized into topics and sub-topics.
- Each template has a variety of color themes which can be selected during the site creation phase and changed at any time.
- Mamy attractive templates with multiple color schemes.
- Templates also come with an assortment of over 20 different page layouts.
- Templates can be "swapped" even after publishing a site!
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