A Non-Programmer's Guide to Web Crossing

Why? Web Crossing is a powerful, industrial-strength web conferencing interface which won the C-Net Builder Award for Best Community Software. Web Crossing's reach extends from the very smallest community operated as a hobby all the way through large communities with deeper pockets for technical support. Thus, we offer this Non-Programmer's Guide to help all forum administrators take best advantage of Web Crossing, with its great flexibility, strength, and configuration options - whether or not they have technical help available to them.

If you're anxious to get started, try the Quick Start Checklist and new-in-5.0 feature list.

Who? We write this both for the new Web Crossing administrator as well as for those who have lived with the software for a while and are interested in doing some more complicated things with it. As the title suggests, we DO NOT assume that you're a programmer, but we DO assume you have a basic knowledge of HTML. For some of the more advanced server-side scripting functions, you will have to already know, or be willing to learn Web Crossing Template Language or Web Crossing's Server-side JavaScript. We've even included a WCTL tutorial and a tutorial that gets JavaScript programmers up to speed in Web Crossing JavaScript (WCJS). However, this is entirely optional and you'll find that Web Crossing is robust and flexible even without advanced server-side scripting.

Web Crossing Express users take note! This Guide is written primarily with the Web Crossing administrator in mind, so you will find some things in here which don't apply to your site. Still, you should find a great deal of helpful information and should have a good picture of the capabilities of Web Crossing, to help you decide if upgrading to the paid server is the right thing for you to do.

How? We've divided this up into 8 content areas, each of which may have several subsections. Click a chapter title in the left column to see a list of sub-topics, or head to the Site Map to see an overview of the entire Guide. Besides all of that, there's a Quick Start Checklist to get you off and running. Each individual page or topic area includes links to further resources in the sysop documentation or Web Crossing Technical FAQ. If you're still stuck, try asking your question in the Web Crossing Tech Support Forum. If you're having trouble with your Web Crossing server (installation problems, problems getting it to run, possible bugs, etc.) your best bet is to contact Technical Support for help. (Please note: some screenshots may not exactly match your display, but it should be close enough to allow you to figure out what to do.)

If you're new to online community, or just want a little historical perspective, have a look at our Community Building page.

We both believe deeply in online community, and in Web Crossing, and we hope this is helpful and useful to you in building and managing your web forum!

Sue Boettcher
Doug Lerner

(March 15, 2003 version)