OK, so we've seen how to start the editor on an existing page. Right now you're probably thinking.. but how do I start a new page?
Go to the Mara bar at the top of the window, and select File...New. This displays the Filesystem Browser. The filesystem being displayed here is that of your webhosting account. On the left bar, this is initially focused on the Template folder.
Choose a template to base the page on.
For starters you're probably as well using the blank template. As you come to write more material, you will probably create templates for specific page layouts that you use regularly.
Enter a filename for your page
This should follow the standard conventions for computer filenames. Remember that most webservers use Linux, whose filenames are case sensitive, and should not contain spaces. You don't need to add an extension as the standard filetype (usually .php) will be added automatically.
Press 'Make Page' and the page will be created. You are then taken into your new page and the editor launched.
As mentioned, some webservers don't like seeing spaces in filenames. Therefore, best not to use spaces. You can use an underscore or dash instead. Most are case sensitive, so if you use capitals in filenames you must be consistent in doing so every time you refer to that file. That's not to say you can't use capitals, but be aware that you need to be a bit more organized with your naming if you do. It's probably also best to stick to the standard character set for names. In theory, unicode means that almost any characters can be used, but in practice that doesn't always work out as expected. So, keeping things standard avoids problems.
At this stage you will most likely be putting all pages in the document root, in which case you just use plain filenames. However it may be useful to know that you can create a page in a subfolder (subdirectory) by prefixing a path to its name. Website paths always use forward slashes. (and that is true even if the site is on a Microsoft server, by the way) So, blog/november/jetski will create the file jetski.php in the blog/november folder. If the path does not exist, it will be created.
The templates mentioned here are page layouts that you've developed and might want use more than once. You can make a template from any existing page.
You won't find many templates in the Mara distribution, and that's because we expect that you will want to create your own. We provide a few examples of how to create a contact page or gallery. Templates are simply standard webpages, the extension changed to .template and placed in the template folder.
Templates are not to be confused with Themes, which determine the appearance of the website as a whole.
Changing (or making a new) a Template will not affect your existing pages in any way.
Changing a Theme will have profound effects on how the whole site is displayed, existing and new pages. More on Themes later.
You can in fact use any existing Mara page as a template. It doesn't have to be in the Template folder - just click 'Full View' and navigate to where the page is. Doing so doesn't change the original page. This can be very useful if you need to create a set of mostly-similar pages.
Importing a page from your computer
It may happen that you have an existing webpage or pages that you wish to import into Mara. If so, use the Upload option. Mara pages are straightforward HTML pages as found on any static site. Normally the 'Upload To' field is left blank, in which case the file is sent to the root of the site.
If you want to convert all of the pages on an existing static site to Mara as a job lot, this is quite straightforward to do. However, we'll leave such details for the manual so as to keep these instructions concise.