Working with Pages and Sites in Dreamweaver
In This Chapter
How to Define a New Site
How to Create a New Page
How to Set Page Properties
How to Set the Page View
How to Save and Name a Page
How to Close and Retrieve Pages
How to Set a Browser to Preview Pages
Although you could just jump in and start creating pages in Dreamweaver, it is far better to plan your attack first. Many Web designers still use a pen and paper to draw a rough plan of how the finished site should look; other designers create a complete mock-up using graphics applications.
Regardless of how you plan your individual pages, working in a site is much better than simply creating pages. A site gives you somewhere to store all the information you want to use as well as a structure to work in.
You can check on the status of the site as a whole rather than checking every single page. Obviously, if you are planning a site that will only ever have one page, creating a site will probably be a touch of overkill. On the other hand, even sites that start small can grow and grow and grow!
How to Define a New Site
When you plan to create a Web site using Dreamweaver, you must first define the site before you can do any other work on the site. Dreamweaver allows you to create several Web sites, but you have to identify each one with a unique name. When you define a site, you create or specify a folder on your hard drive (called the local folder) in which all the files for this site are stored. You must define each Web site you create using Dreamweaver.
Open the Site Definition Dialog Box
Open Dreamweaver and choose Site, New Site to open the Site Definition dialog box.
Name the Site
From the Category list on the left side of the dialog box, make sure that Local Info is selected. In the Site Name box, type a name for this Web site. Perhaps MyFirstSite would be a good idea. Choose a name that relates to the site content; the descriptive name will help you later on when you have several sites to choose from.
Name the Location
Click the folder icon to the right of the Local Root Folder text box. The Choose Local Folder dialog box opens to enable you to navigate to the folder you want to use to store the files for this site. Select the folder you want to use and click Select (click Choose on the Mac). The path to the local root folder you have just chosen appears in the Local Root Folder text box.
Create the Site
You don't have to fill in anything else in the Site Definition dialog box for now; click OK to register your site name and folder location. An alert box opens, asking whether you want to create a cache for your new site. A cache helps the management of the site and ensures that links are kept up to date. Click the Create button to create the cache.
Open the Site Window
As soon as you click Create in Step 4, the screen changes to display the Site window. The right pane of the Site window shows the folder you have chosen to hold the files for your site. At the moment, there are no files for this new site, but when you do have files, they are displayed under the folder icon. Your site will soon grow and grow!
Understand the Site Window
After you have some files for the site, the Site window will display information about each file (as this example shows). After you have uploaded your site to a remote server, you can display the remote server in the left pane and transfer files from your local hard drive to the remote server by simply dragging them from one location to the other. You can see how your Web pages are linked to one another by clicking the Navigation button. This example shows an existing site with the files showing on both the local hard drive and remote servers.