Getting started

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When you first install Smartest you will see one of two things.

If you used a build kit, then that may have set up some templates for you, and given you a design to start working with, in which case this may not be the article for you.

However, if you did not use a build kit, or have installed a version of Smartest older than revision 750 or so, you will have a very sophisticated, but empty, CMS on your hands.

One of the core tenets of Smartest is not to determine in any way the structure, content or design of your website. We have created a product for people who can't bear it when the CMS they are attempting to use, is either limiting in that it prevents certain aspects of their (likely already signed-off) design from being used, or alternatively, specifies too much about how they should work, in a way that interferes with their work.

Imagine if your CMS forced you to use jQuery, or forced you to structure your content as "posts." You'd be pretty unhappy, and so might your client be, if you have one. So that is why Smartest traditionally starts off as empty - it is in deference to you.

In other words, you are expected to bring HTML, CSS, javascript, and images that have already been put together in your own way, into the system, and then Smartest will help you to convert these static resources into a fully blown, dynamic, content managed website.

This article will take you through the first few steps that Smartest expects you to take upon creating a new site, or installing it for the first time.

Import resources

You may well be using lots of CSS, Javascript, Images and other resources. A good thing to do now is upload them into Smartest's Public/Resources/ folder, in one of the appropriate sub-folders:

  • Public/Resources/Images/ for binary images and SVG files
  • Public/Resources/Stylesheets/ for your CSS files
  • Public/Resources/Javascript/ for any javascript files except Cufón fonts (prior to revision 697 Cufón fonts were stored here too)
  • Public/Resources/Fonts/ for WOFF, EOT or Cufón fonts
  • Public/Resources/Assets/ for everything else

For large numbers of files, you can do this quicker over FTP or SFTP than one-by-one in the web UI.

If you do use FTP or SFTP, you will need to import the files into Smartest's asset management system, the Media library. For this, go to Media library > File Types tab > Detect newly uploaded files. This process means Smartest 'knows about' your files and can help you organise them. For more on batch uploading, see batch uploading images.

Import markup

Now you should upload your HTML files as templates. Obviously, you'll want to cut them up a bit, so that the bits that are on every page, such as header, footer, masthead, etc. are in a page master template, and individual layouts that are used on more than one page are container templates or item templates.

Here is a more complete guide on converting static HTML pages to Smartest templates.

For the purposes of this page, it should be sufficient to say that you should paste all the 'inner' bits that are potentially different from page to page, into container templates, and keep the universal bits in a page master template. Note that, if you have pages that look drastically different from each other, you can also have as many page master templates as you like, but most sites only need one, and let containers do the work.

Smartest may well have created a very very basic, boilerplate page mater template for you, and already used this for the home page. You are of course free to edit this, or create your own - pages can have their master template changed at any time.

Create a site map

Pages in Smartest are the outermost layer - they're where most if not all of the visual presentation and user interaction with your site happens.

Once you've got your page master template set up, head into Smartest and go to the Pages section, where you will see a site map, probably containing only your home page.

Pages in any site map are arranged hierarchically, where some pages branch off others. Usually, as you get further from the homepage, pages get more thematically specific.

In Smartest, if page A branches off page B, page A is said to be a child page of page B, and page B is said to be a parent page of page A.

To create a new page, you can either select the parent page under which you would like to add a child page, or you can simply select "add page" from the options on the right, and Smartest will give you a choice about where to add the page.

Create data structures

It could be blog posts if your site is a blog, cars if your website is a dealership, movies if your are running a reviews site, or nearly anything else. The name and the structure are entirely up to you, and you can have as many different data structures as you like. In Smartest, these structures are called models.

After you've set up your site map, you'll probably want to have a good think about data, and how it will be structured. This system is very flexible, and you can re-order, add and delete item properties at any point.

For more on creating the data structures you need, see creating a model.