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Windows Home Server “Website Manager” Add-in Review

Just bought a Windows Home Server? Managed to configure Remote Access? Now looking for a simple add-in that will show a link to your favourite web pages on the WHS home page? Then at first glance, Steve Van Horn’s Windows Home Server Website Manager appears to meet your needs.

Following installation in the WHS Console a button labelled Websites is visible in the Console tab – so far so good.

Clicking on the button shows three menu items; Add, Properties and Remove.

Clicking on Add, (as the others are greyed out), brings up a general properties box.

Two radio buttons select between Home Page and Remote Access (which is selected by default) and three entry fields: Name, URL and Image.  OK, so I give my favourite web site a name and then cut and paste the web address into the URL field. What’s  next? Image, what does this mean? Can I cut and paste an image into here? Nope, there is no browse button to go and select an image, so maybe I can cut and paste the path to an image?  I can but the Apply button is still greyed out so that can’t be right. I read the text next to the information icon  “URLs and Images can either be relative to the WHS Remote site (prefix with /) or fully qualified URLs (prefix with http://) well I’m still no better off for that.  

 So seemingly stuck, I exit out and click on the help button on the top right of the WHS Console. Nothing, not even a “there is no help associated with this item” box. If I wasn’t so stubborn (my wife attests to this!) I would probably exit out of the application, uninstall it and go and try another Add-In. But I persist and eventually work out that if I find a graphic that I want to use as an icon for the web link,  this is the path to where the graphic is located, either on the home server (WHS Remote site) or a on the web (using a URL).   

Creating a Web Link With Windows Home Server Website Manager

I like the off beat cartoon humour that is Fancyteeth and want to put the webpage from the UK’s Channel 4 on the home page of my WHS

Step 1:First I give the web link a relevant name, “Fancyteeth on Channel 4” seems ideal.  

Step 2:After navigating to the Fancyteeth home page (http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/comedy/showcards/F/fancyteeth.html)  I cut and paste the URL into the URL field of Website manager.  

Step 3:I am going to use the Channel 4 logo from the Fancyteeth web page as my web link  icon so I’ll right-mouse click on the image, choosing Properties and then in the General Properties window highlight and copy the Address: (URL) (http://www.channel4.com/media/generic/logos/c4logo.gif) After pasting this into the Image field, and clicking on the Apply button I have created my first web link.

Feeling pretty proud I go to my WHS server home page, what’s this, no link? Maybe that’s what the radio buttons are for. I select the Fancyteeth link in the Websites Console page and then select properties on the tool bar, and select Home Page button and Apply the settings again.  

After a refresh of my home server web page the web link appears and takes me straight through to Fancyteeth (go on try watching “Somewhere over Kidderminster” and keep the chuckling down at the back!)

After a bit of searching through the WHS help guide I work out that what Steve calls “Remote Access” means the first page you see once you have logged onto the WHS, in other add-ins this is called a private homepage or within Windows Home Server itself,  the Home tab. So switching the radio button to Remote Access places web links on the right side of the WHS Home page visible only after you have logged on. 

Source:→ WGS

WHS, Windows Home Server, Addin, Add-in, Website Manager, Addon, Add-on, Review, Remote Access

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