Website Builder Getting Started Guide

This document supplements the more detailed Instructional Videos and gives general information about how to start using the Website Builder tool.  As the Website Administrator, you have full access to all of the features of the application, such as creating a website, editing the style of the site, adding and removing pages, and adding and editing page content. 


Product Overview 

Website Builder was first released in 2011, and since then National RTAP compiled user feedback to prepare for a second version of the product, which was released in 2014. Website Builder Version 2 made the process of creating your website easier by simplifying the design functions and offering a ready-to-use template into which users can cut and paste their content. At the same time, organizations that previously created and launched a website using Website Builder still have access to the functions they had been using. This allows new users to easily create a website without taking away functionality from experienced Website Builder users.    

Version 2 also includes a series of Instructional Videos that are detailed guides for each of the functions. These videos are the primary support resource, and this Getting Started Guide is designed to complement the information presented in the videos.  

If you have never set up an account with National RTAP in the Cloud, see the following section for instructions.  


Cloud Accounts and Permissions

You must have a Cloud account to log into National RTAP in the Cloud and have access to Website Builder. If you do not have a Cloud account, you can create one by clicking the “Cloud Signup” button in the top right corner of this website. If you already have a Cloud account, you can log in using the “Cloud Login” button also in the top right corner.

Once logged into the Cloud, you will see Website Builder listed in the left toolbar of your dashboard.

You will create your basic website by going through a three-step process, which starts by clicking the ‘Create Website’ link in your Website Builder Dashboard. This is the only task you will complete within National RTAP in the Cloud. The rest of your work will be done directly on your website.


Instructional Videos

After you have created the basic website, you will work on your pages by logging directly into that website using the credentials you established in the sign-up process.  Before you edit your basic website, we recommend you watch the following videos which can be found both in the Website Builder section of the Support Center, and by clicking the “Instructional Videos” button at the bottom of the homepage of your website (you must be logged in to see this option):


Website Builder Overview

#1 - Intro to Website Builder
#2 - Signup
#3 - Managing User Security Roles
#4 - Site Settings


Getting Started

#5 - Logo and Favicon
#6 - Page Management
#7 - Basic Module Functions


Customize the Loo and Feel

#8 - Site Design 
#9 - Adding Content


Go Live

#10 - Go Live - Publish Your Website



#11 - User Account Settings
#12 - Creating Custom Forms
#13 - Creating an Image Gallery
#14 - Creating an Image, Video and Audio Gallery
#15 - Creating a 3D Gallery
#16 - Advanced HTML Module Functions



This section gives you a step-by-step guide for using Website Builder to create and edit your website, and it will point you toward the appropriate Instructional Video for each step.   


Creating your basic website

Log into your Cloud account, and in the Website Builder section of the left toolbar, you will see the “Dashboard” link.  Click on this link and you will be taken to the Dashboard page.  Along the top of the page you will see a series of buttons, and to create your website you should click on the “Create Website” button that is the first option on the left.

After you click this button you will be taken to a screen that asks you to choose an administrator username and password.  Make sure to write this information down as these are the credentials you will use every time you log into the admin side of your website.  After you have entered your information, click the “Next” button at the bottom of the screen.

After entering your Admin information you will be able to select a template for your website. You can hover over each template for options to Apply or Preview each one. Once you click Apply you will be directed to the next step.

Next, you will be asked for information about your organization and will choose a temporary web address for your website.  All web addresses built with Website Builder begin with “devwebbuilder.nationalrtap.org/,” and the text that comes after this will be unique to your site.  Many Website Administrators choose their organization’s name to come after this text.  After your site goes live it will drop the "dev" portion of the address. You can continue to use this address after you publish your site, or you can register a new domain name (website address) that is more specific to your organization.  

You will also be asked to enter a description of your organization and associated key words.  If you have a question about any of these fields, click the ‘i’ icon next to each field name to get more information.  At the end of this page you will see a “Create Site” button.  Click on this to be taken to your basic website (this can take 15-30 seconds depending on the speed of your internet connection).

Once your new website opens, you will be taken to the homepage, and we recommend that you bookmark this page in your browser so you can easily return to your site and edit content.  The website comes pre-loaded with boxes for text and photos placed on several transit-related pages.  You can edit all aspects of the site, and the Instructional Videos will guide you through that process (there is a button at the bottom of the homepage that brings you to the Instructional Videos - you must be logged into the website to see this button).  In order to make these edits, please make sure “Edit This Page’ is selected in the Mode dropdown menu found in the top right corner.  

Creating your website is the only Website Builder related task you will do in National RTAP in the Cloud.  If you would like to edit your website, you go directly to the website and log in using the administrator username and password that you created during the steps above. 

The following videos will assist you with the basic set up of and administrative tasks for your new website:

#3 - Managing User Security Roles
#4 - Site Settings


Choosing Your Design

After you finish the sign-up process, you are taken directly to your basic website template.  This template has a basic design, general rural images, a space for you to insert your logo, and contains several pages relevant to rural transit systems.  If you are comfortable with the look of this website, and you do not wish to change any of the design elements, you can begin to cut and paste your content directly into the blank HTML modules that are placed on each of the pages.  

If, however, you would like to modify the design of the website, there are multiple methods for you to personalize your website.  When logged in you will see a tab on the far right called the xPlugin. This will allow you to change the Header, the Body styling, the Footer and every element of the website. You can choose to make design changes to your website at the very beginning before you add content or you can choose to make them after you have already started building your site.  

Regardless of when you do it, making changes to the skin will not affect the content or pages you have added to your site.  It will only affect the colors and style of the Header, Body, Footer and Background.  This allows you to easily create a site with your organization’s branding colors without having to use complex design functions.

The following videos will help you change the design of your website:  

#5 - Logo and Favicon
#8 - Site Design


Adding Content

You have the option of placing your content before or after you choose your design, and changing your skin after you have put content on your website will not disrupt any of the work you’ve done.  Each page is pre-loaded with modules you can use to easily place your text and photos, and the two main modules you will use to do this are the HTML modules and the gallery modules.  The HTML modules are blank text boxes that you can use to display both text and photos.  There is a basic editor that allows you to change font size and color, and there are functions that allow you to change the size and placement of your photo.  The video about Adding Content will go into more detail about placing text and photos in the HTML modules. 

The gallery modules are specifically for displaying photos, videos and audio.  There are two separate types of gallery modules and the videos below go more in-depth with how to use them.  They can hold more than one photo and have several transition effects from which you can choose.  While the DNNGo Gallery can be used to display multiple images in a slideshow or grid format, the EasyDNN Gallery can be used to organize image, video, and audio files in different folders, from which users can view or listen to the files.  All editing should be done in a photo editing software before you place the image into the gallery modules. Please see the gallery module videos and the video about editing images for more detailed information. 

NOTE: If you would like to utilize the EasyDNN Gallery for audio, video and image folders, please contact Support at this time as the video for this module is not yet ready for publishing.

The following videos will assist you in editing your pages and placing content into the modules:

#6 - Page Management
#7 - Basic Module Functions
#9 - Adding Content
#13 - Creating an Image Gallery
#14 - Creating an Image, Video and Audio Gallery
#15 - Creating a 3D Gallery
#16 - Advanced HTML Module Functions


Additional Instructions: 

Form Module

The ‘Contact Us’ page of the basic website template comes with a form module pre-loaded on the site.  The DNNCentric Custom Form module can be used to collect other types of information from your website visitors, such as for a ride request, survey, complaint, or a job application. When your website visitor submits the form, the module generates an email that is sent to the administrator (probably you) and a confirmation email that is sent to the submitter.  

In order to make sure the email with the form information is sent to the correct person at your agency, you will need to follow the instructions in the video to enter the email address of the proper staff to accept these emails.  The steps in this module can be confusing, so we have created a thorough explanation in the video below.

The text of the emails sent to your staff and the website visitor who submitted the form are based on multiple templates that you can edit, and these templates have ‘tokens’ that pull the information from the form and display it in the email message.  The DNNCentric Custom Form Module video gives you detailed instructions about how to edit the templates so you can customize each with your agency’s information. You can also view a sample ride request form, along with the emails the form generates, here. If you have additional questions, contact us for assistance.

#12 - Creating Custom Forms


Registering Users

You can set up your website for users to be able to register, which can be helpful for gathering more data on your audience.  See the Instructional Video for how to do this.

#11 - User Account Settings


Website Builder Support

There are a number of ways to get support while using National RTAP’s Website Builder app:

  • Live Chat – you can reach National RTAP Tech Support Monday-Friday 9am-5pm ET through live chat.  Click the "Click to Chat" button in the top right corner of this website.  Then select “Tech Support.”   
  • Email – You can contact National RTAP Tech Support anytime by emailing support@nationalrtap.org.
  • Phone If the above options don't work, you can call 888-589-6821 and ask for Tech Support.