Fast Way to Recreate a Website

18th of September, 2008

This is one to staple to the wall:

You can recreate a site in Freeway faster than you can clean up the imported code. Hands-down, the fastest production tool on the web.
  1. Make screenshots of each of the major pages of the site. (This is assuming that the site is built with some form of design templates, so that there is a strong similarity among all second level pages and all third level pages, etc. If you are dealing with a professional site, this is most likely true. This means that one screen shot can stand in for all second-level pages)
  2. (Optional) Open the screenshots in Photoshop or similar and ghost them back 50%.
  3. Create a new Freeway document to the size of your old site.
  4. Place each screenshot on a separate page, cropping and positioning it so that it acts as a full-page template. Lock the picture box so you don't move it inadvertently.
  5. Using HTML and graphic boxes as appropriate, sketch the layout right over the template. Set your headlines in GIF text, drag and drop the photos from a browser window into HTML boxes (so they'll be pass-through), copy and paste the text from the browser (drag and drop might work, too). Do this once for each major page-type.
  6. Once you have your templates defined, delete your screenshots, and also take a moment to clean up your text styles and set manual style sheets for all of your graphic and HTML text. Then convert each of your pages into master pages with Page>Make Master Page.
  7. Insert Pages (choose master as appropriate) and repeat as in step 5 above. Once you work out the proper arrangement of windows and monitors, you can get into a rhythm, and using this method, I once recreated a ~100-page site in three hours.

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