Quick Start Guide

BlüeBox makes creating and managing your own blog and website quick and easy. To get started you'll need to first install the application.

To Install

download the application and extract it. It will decompress itself into an installation folder ( /bluebox ). It does not use an installation program and does not modify your system registry, so you can move the folder after installation at any time without affecting operation.

To Uninstall

Simply delete the installation folder. No fuss.

To Upgrade

Reinstall, but be careful. When you extract the distribution file, it will overwrite the default files located in the installation folder. To protect yourself, never edit the default files directly — always use copies.

To Build an HTML Website

Building a website is quick and easy. In order to demonstrate this, try building the sample website in HTML first. This will allow you to view it on your laptop immediately. To build the sample website in HTML, just run the html.bat file. This will build the sample website and copy all of its files to the output path ( /html ). If you have not already created the folder, BlüeBox will ask for permission before creating it. After the build completes, browse to the landing page ( /html/index.html ) to view the sample website. The site includes the landing page, a static page, two blog posts and the relevant blog indexes necessary for navigating the blog.

To Build a Database

Building a website for actual deployment, requires that you generate a database rather than individual HTML files. Before running the build file, you will need to edit the setup file ( db.xml ) and update the content of the $DOMAIN$ placeholder (located near the top of the file) with the root URL of your website. Save the file and then run build.bat. This will build the sample website and copy all of its files to the output path ( /demo-bluebox ). To view your website, you will need to deploy it to your web hosting service (GoDaddy, BlueHost, Heliohost (free), etc.). If you've never deployed a website using a web hosting service before, it's a two sip process.

take a sip of coffee
log into service
open cPanel
open File Manager
go to the public_html folder
zip your output folder
select Upload from the menu
drag and drop the zip file
select the zip file
select Uncompress from the menu
reselect the zip file
select Delete File from the menu
take another sip of coffee

If you're not ready to tackle this quite yet, you can view the BlüeBox Demo online. One of the pages is protected. To view that page, sign-in using "guest" as both the username and access code.

You can also use the BlüeBox testing service to preview your websites online. You will need to sign in to the administrative panel using the application id shown at the top of your build log. Application ids are registered the first time the application runs, but only when the update check option is enabled on the command line (see below), so make sure you've done that first. Preview websites are limited in size and purged periodically. Once signed in you will be able to upload your database file. You will need to set your <PluginsURL> to https://blueboxhosting.org/plugins and your <WebsiteURL> to match your database name (e.g https://blueboxhosting.org/site/demo-bluebox).

If you view the batch file ( build.bat ) you will see that it loads your configuration files:

bluebox -v -u -load config.files -c db.xml
config.files includes several configuration files, each listed on its own line.
plugins.xml
setup.xml
menu.xml
media.xml
pages.xml

The first file ( plugins.xml ) loads the various scripts, stylesheets and metadata (via plugins) needed to create your website's header and footer. The setup file ( setup.xml ) sets your website's title and output folder. The menu file ( menu.xml ) creates a sample two-tier menu. The media file ( media.xml ) configures some cloud-based sample images, the pages file ( pages.xml ) creates the sample pages mentioned above. The db file ( db.xml ) includes items that must be set for database builds; the html.bat, on the otherhand, loads an html file ( html.xml ), includes items that must be set for HTML builds.

BlüeBox supports several command line options.

Verbose
-v
Provides additional build details.
Check for updates
-u
Checks if there is a newer version available.
Config
-c config.xml
Loads an individual configuration file.
Load
-load config.files
Loads multiple configuration files.
Log
-l build[-timestamp].log
Generates a log file. The timestamp is optional.

Now that you've seen how easy it is to create and deploy a sample website, you'll no doubt want to get started with your own. I recommend a quick review of the sample configuration files if you have not already done so. You might also want to review the configuration options. I've tried to keep the documentation concise so that it can be read through quickly. It is entirely up to you how many or few of these options you use. The configuration files used to build this documentation are included in the documentation folder ( /docs ) with its own build file ( docs.bat ), so that you can rebuild it any time. These files also serve as additional examples on how to create a more substantial website and blog (er, this one).