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How can I change a secure site that has been set-up?

Posted on 2004-11-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-07
I am very new to this web developing stuff!!!  We had a site set-up by someone which is no longer with the company...and is unreachable.  He had purchased Dreamweaver (which I feel is a very hard program to work with).  I attended a very basic course for Dreamweaver, but still have numerous questions.  

The website that he set-up had a secure-site on it.  Once you logged in, you would be directed to a welcome.asp page and all it had was a image (Under Construction) and a time test.  He also had an ASP tag that would tell you that you were logged in and your security level.  I tried to go in and change the look of the page and also set-up links to other pages with information in the secure site, but now I am not able to view the page at all when I log in.  I actually tried setting it up with frames first, but when I would save the page it would actually save each of the frames seperately and my page would actually be blank.  I then did some research on the internet and saw that it was much easier to work with templates.  I set the page up by using tables and saved it as a template, so my Secure Site pages would look uniform, but I also left his ASP tag but put it in a different place. The page looks fine when I preview it in the browser but once I published it you are not able to see the page.  For some reason it will not take you past the validate page (which is a blank page that he set-up which will redirect you to the welcome.asp if you log in successfully).  I do not think that I made any changes to the validate page.  I had a few other people look at it and they did some changes to the code and nothing helped.  I don't know if I am able to save what he had set-up.

is there anyone that would be able to help me through repairing what we had?  Or do you think that I would be better off just starting from scratch?  I do not know how to set-up the log-in or any of the security information.  

I would be able to give someone a temporary log-in if it would be easier for someone to look at the code on the validate page.  

Please feel free to email me directly sgiles@dolbeyco.com with any additional questions.

Question by:afluke
LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 12595828
I hope you don't mind a fairly direct answer.

It sounds to me that you are in the process of learning web dev and have inherited a website that is complex beyond your abilities.  You asked, "is there anyone that would be able to help me through repairing what we had?"  Yes.  There are numerous professional web designers who could help you.  I think you should hire one, because it appears that you need more assistance than can be practically offered in this sort of forum.

If you think I'm wrong, you can post your code in the ASP TA (www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Web_Languages/ASP/) with a specific overview of what you need to accomplish and you will likely get some good advice.  There are also some first-rate web dev experts in this TA who may be able to give good advice as well.

Author Comment

ID: 12596873
I appreciate your honest answer.  I was afraid that I would hear that.  Unfortuneatley I am not in a position to pay someone.  I will have to keep researching and try to learn from books, internet, etc.  I will also try to post my code to the link above and see if I get any response.

Do you have any good books that you recommend when I have to learn on my own?  Such as Dreamweaver for Dummies?
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

humeniuk earned 1500 total points
ID: 12597109
It sounds like you're in a difficult situation and I can certainly appreciate that.  From that standpoint, you may be better off leaving the existing site alone and starting from scratch so that at least whatever you create you will understand and can more easily modify.

There is a Dreamweaver for Dummies (Dreamweaver MX for Dummies, actually) - www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764516302/103-6846709-6375000?v=glance.  That wouldn't be a bad place to start.  Dreamweaver MX Weekend Crash Course wouldn't be bad either (see http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0764549308/ref=pd_sim_b_2/103-6846709-6375000?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance).

One thing to remember, though, is that while Dreamweaver is a very handy tool, it does have it's limitations.  It's a much more useful tool when you have a solid grasp of web dev basics, html, css, etc.  So, before you open a Dreamweaver book, you should read 'What a Web Developer has to Know' (www.w3schools.com/site/site_intro.asp).  The W3 Schools site has a lot of great tutorials and web dev info that I wish I'd had when I was learning web dev.

Also, if you're interested, take a look at this thread - www.experts-exchange.com/Web/Hosting/Q_21206934.html - as it addresses some of these issues.  The most important thing to remember is that when it comes to web dev, the learning process is an ongoing one.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12598928
I have to say, "that's a sticky situation"

Good advice humeniuk , and good luck to you AFluke!

LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 12599209
Thanks for the compliment, mrwebdev.

Expert Comment

ID: 12599352

Expert Comment

ID: 12609323
All the above advice is good. I'd like to add some too:

Are you using some sort of source-code management tool? For example, MS Visual source safe, or perhaps CVS or Subversion? If you're trying to experiment with fixing up some code you inherited, you really need tools like this so that you can try something out, but still have known working versions to roll back to if necessary.

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