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Visualise Your Site

Visualise Your Site

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Published by: chepimanca on Apr 11, 2010
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NOVEMBER TUTOR
¢
 VISUALISE YOUR SITE
o you’ve created this killer Website, full of information and lotsof links. Yo u re ecstatic abouthow it turned out and everyonewho looks at it tells you how great it is.Once the excitement dies down, the re al-isation hits you that somehow you’re go-ing to have to manage this site. After all,rom the huge sites of major intern a ti o n al corporations down to your personal Website about the life cycles of your pet slug,every site needs to be monitored and man-aged to make the most of your presence onthe Internet. Dropped links, lost pages andold content sound the death knell for anyWeb site.Visio 2000 Professional Edition gives youa powerful tool to help you with this task:the Web Site Map add-on. This standard op-tion for Visio 2000 Professional auto-matically maps any Web site you point it atand then gives you a graphical re p rese n-tation of the site, complete with inform a-tion about every page, link and detail itfound.
 W H AT WEB SITE MAPPING DOES
The Web site mapper is a crawler (a pro-gram that searches for and indexes We bpages) similar to the famous Internet searchservices, but instead of indexing the entireWeb, it indexes a single Web site. It startsat the Web page you point it to and in-dexes all linked pages below that, down tothe level of links you specify. The mappermakes a temporary database containingevery link from the pages as well as everygraphic, audio, movie and scripting file.Then it creates a Visio graphical element foreach one and lays these out on the Vi s iodrawing page, interlocked the way theywould be on an organisational chart.The crawler is searching through theHTML code of every page for standard link re erences like HREF and SRC, and thenlooking for the reerenced file. If the crawler doesn’t find the file, it assumes the link isb roken and displays the link as such.You can specify types of files and linksto have the Web site mapper look for, oryou can let it find everything on the page.Once you have all the information on theVisio page, you can use the map any wayyou like, including adding it to other doc-uments about your Web site.
MAPPING A WEB SITE
C reating a basic Web site map is quick andeasy using the Web Site Map tool. First,open up Visio 2000 Professional and starta new Web Site Map document by select-ing File | New | Internet diagram | We bSite Map from the menu. The resulting di-alog (Figure 1) prompts you for the ad-d ress of the Web site you want to map.Make sure you have access to the Web siteyou want—you’ll need to have an active In-t e rnet connection unless you’re mappinga site that exists on your hard drive or net-w o r k .Youll also need to select the number of levels the crawler will search down (the de-fault is 5) and how many total links it willinvestigate before stopping (the default is500). The One Level check box lets youoverride the Maximum number of levelsoption to give you a quick diagram of theWeb site. Keep in mind that the total num-ber of links determines the total number oshapes on the Visio drawing page.When you click O K, the Web Site Maptool starts mapping the Web site. Youll seei n f o rmation about each page beingmapped as it works (Figure 2). When thep rocess is finished, Visio lays out the link and object information it found on your Vi-sio drawing page (Figure 6, page 100).
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VISUALISE
Designing a great Web site is just the st a rt of an ongoing pro cess of Web site manage- ment. Build it and they may come, but to keep them coming back you cannot affo rd lostlinks and orphaned Web pages. If you find yourself in this position, help is at hand with Visio 2000 Professional Edition’s Web Site Map add-o n .
YOUR SITE
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 VISUALISE YOUR SITE
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NOVEMBER TUTOR
 ADVANCED SITE MAPPING
The default options of Web sitemapping make for a pretty excit-ing site management tool, but thereare lots more advanced options tohelp you get the information youneed about your Web site.One thing to make sure of beforeyou start any new map is that youhave a completely clean Vi s i opage. It’s usually easier to just starta whole new Web Site Map docu-ment each time you map a site.Create a new Web Site Map doc-ument as described earlier, andthen click the Options ... buttonin the resulting dialog. This givesyou the Links and Advanced tabs,with which you can change thecrawler settings (Figure 3). By de-fault, the mapper looks for everystandard kind of link found on the Web page. The Links tab lets youspecify the ones you’re interested in. This can be helpful when you just want HTML page links, orwhen you are trying to sort out alinking problem (when your imagelinks aren’t working, for example).Beore you can turn anything on or off, you’ll need to deselect theAll Links option. Once you turnthat option off, you can select ordeselect diff e rent types of files.You can also use this tab to addn o n s t a n d a rd file types, such asthose you’ve developed yourself.When you check the Duplicatelinks box, your diagram shows allthe links from each page, eventhose that appear more than onceon a page. This option is usuallychecked, but it can return a huge number of links if you have useda link many times—a tiny graphicthat’s used as a bullet in a long list,for example. So you may want toturn this option off to avoid un-necessary clutter on your diagram.The Links on a remote site check box shows the connections fromyour site to external sites. By de-fault, this box is checked. Vi s iogives you a shape for every pageyou link to on remote sites of anykind, but it does not investigatethe remote page’s own links, evenif the page is well within the levellimit you set in the first window. Vi-sio ignores links to other sites whenyou uncheck this box.The Advanced tab (Figure 4)gives you even more power forspecifying what you want to ap-pear in your diagram. You canidentify which code triggers themapping tool will look for and tellthe tool to ignore others as it siftsthrough your HTML. By default all the triggers (such as HREF andSRC) are set to create links andconsequently shapes in your dia-gram. You can tell Web site map-ping to ignore any of the triggersit’s programmed to find. The map-per is set to find links based onHREF, SRC, BACKGROUND, AC- TION, CODEBASE and CODEcommands. It finds and separate-ly identifies each type of link, suchas MAILTO:, and assigns an iconbased on that type.On the Advanced tab, you canalso add or completely re m o v ecode triggers from the list of choic-es, which determine what HTML tags will generate a page shape onthe map. Using the Add or Removebuttons, you can indicate a diff er-ent set of triggers. Removing a trig-ger isn’t generally necessary, butadding triggers can make this help-ful tool even more useful if youhave unique tags in the pagesyoure trying to track. Just as with the basic site map,when you are done with the moreadvanced setting options, click OKuntil you are back to the main win-dow and then run the Web sitemapping tool.
PRINTING SITE MAPS
If you have even a modest Website, its easy to have more shapesthan you really want on one draw-ing page. For a large Web site, theseveral hundred or several thou-sand shapes can become totallyunmanageable. Fortunately, Visio provides some special layout toolsto help you deal with the prob-lem.There are several layout options, and you need to know how youwant the diagram to look beforeyou can choose one. By default,the links are laid out as you wouldexpect to see them on an organi- sational chart. For most Web sites,this generates a very short, widedocument, looking something likea long strip of paper. If your sitemeets this description, you prob-ably want to choose a diff e re n tlayout. There are three styles: Ra-dial, Flowchart/Tree (the default)and Circular. You access these by
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Figure 1: TheGenerate SiteMap dialog boxappears whenyou start a newWeb Site Map.Here you tellVisio what tomap.Figure 2: Visiodisplays thisdialog to showyou its progresswhile mappingyour site.Figure 3: ThisOptions dialogis accessedfrom a buttonon the GenerateSite Map dialogbox. Use theLinks tab to tellVisio what kindof files toinclude on themap.Figure 4: Usethe Advancedtab to controlwhich HTMLattributesshould triggerthe creation of a shape.Figure 5: TheLay Out Shapesdialog isaccessed fromthe Tools menu;it lets youchange the wayyour link sym-bols are organ-ised.

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