Dear Forum members, I'm completely new to SS and only have basic HTML and CSS skills but bery good general computing skills. However, I'm thinking about migrating my website to SS using one of the downloadable templates as a starting point. I'v gone through the tutorials and played a lot with the online demo but still have question. I would greatly appreciate the help of experienced users on:
1. is there any way to install SS for testing purposes on a local machine which is NOT configured as a web server ? Or has it always to be a web server, either locally or hosted?
2. How to amend HTML templates? All tutorials (http://doc.silverstripe.org/doku.php?id=tutorial:1-building-a-basic-site and following) start with an existing *.ss file, not with HTML. How do I start with a freely available HTML-template?
3. Editor: I understood that SS uses a distributed layout templates system, in which for example the footer is in a different template than the main page. How can I get a preview of what I've edited in an editor such as Dreamweaver or Kompozer which only allow preview whole HTML-pages (I've read the posts on Dreamweaver here but found no explanation)? Sure I can edit the code in Textedit or else, but whill not see the effects before I've uploaded and flushed the cache.
I can't answer the second question, but in response to the first: yes, you will need to run SS on a web server to see the results, even when developing.
In Dreamweaver you should be able to set up a test server as well as a production/staging server. You can develop and upload against the test server.
However, I suspect that Dreamweaver, which is heavily HTML-oriented, is the wrong tool for this job. Fine, design a page or layout using DW, but then be prepared to dismantle it into its constituent parts to deploy it in the CMS.
TO answer your questions
1) It should be a webserver. But if you are on windows you can the microsoft web platform installer see this page
or use Wamp
2) see this page for a excellent tutorial on Templates
In my own opinion, I find it easiest to work in html until I am satisfied how it looks, then still in html add in all the relevant SilverStripe code. Then save it as an .ss file.
3) It does not have to be. You can have it all in one file (like Page.ss). The reason you would have the footer as an include is if you a different template for each page type. This would be a homepage, an about page, a services page, a contact page etc. If you are only using 1 .ss file then there is no need for includes, but if you have more than 1 and the menu/footer are in the same location on each page then its better to use includes.