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Get Connected

So now you want to actually do something with Contribute 2, right? Like create a connection to a Web site and edit something?

Creating a Connection

Okay, cool. Here's what you have to do. This is complicated, so be careful:

  1. Open Contribute 2 and click the Create a Connection link in the Start page. Then follow the steps in the Connection Assistant dialog box (see Figure 7).

  2. Figure 7Figure 7 That's right—just tell it what it needs to know.

    Whew! I thought I'd never be able to explain that. Of course, you'll need to know the FTP information to create a connection from scratch, but if you're the site admin, you probably know it all by heart. If you're doing this for your own site and are not that savvy when it comes to FTP settings, just use the info your Web host sent you when you set up your account. You'll need the FTP hostname, your user ID, and your password. (You saved that email, right?)

    If you're creating a brand new connection, you should expect to take up at least two minutes of your average work day. I know that sounds like a lot, but you'll just have to deal with it.

Exporting Connection Keys from Dreamweaver MX (2004)

You'll need to get the FTP info to make a connection to your Web site, and I'm sure your friendly neighborhood Web developer will have time to chat with you about this and whip up a document with all the necessary information. What's that? Your developer doesn't have time? Oh, well, maybe if you threaten to fire him he can find the 30 seconds it takes to send a Connection Key (see Figure 8).

Figure 8Figure 8 Exporting a Connection Key is easier than being fired.

See, the administrative options in Contribute 2 allow the admin to send FTP info to anyone by email in much less time than it takes to clear out his desk. All he needs to do is open up the Administer Web Sites menu, choose a site, click on the Send Connection Key button, click OK a couple of times, and type your email address into an email. The email is actually written for him, so that's not an issue. The FTP info is sent in the Connection Key itself, which shows up as an attachment in the email, so that's no biggie, either. Heck, he doesn't even have to know the FTP info to pull this off. As long as he's the administrator in Contribute 2, he can do you this little favor and keep his job.

Of course, to make this even less complicated, there's also an extension for Dreamweaver that allows the developer to export a Connection Key from there. In other words, the overworked geek doesn't even need to open Contribute 2.

Importing Connection Keys to Contribute 2

When you get the email from your developer saying that a Connection Key has been created and is attached to the email, simply open Contribute 2 and use the My Connections menu to import the Connection Key (see Figure 9). It's that simple. From now on, you can edit the pages yourself, stop listening to your pesky developers whine about how hard it all is, and get some real work done. Cool, huh?

Figure 9Figure 9 Import the Connection Key. It'll be the least complicated thing you do all day.

Site Administration

Becoming a site administrator is as simple as knowing the right information. If you're the first person to create a connection to a site, you get to choose who becomes the admin—and more often than not, that's going to be yourself. All you have to do to make this happen is tell Contribute when you first set up the connection that you are the administrator. And it will listen. Once you've done that, you can specify who gets to have editing powers to what directory and how much power they have. Now they have to listen to you for a change.

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