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Using the Site Definition Wizard

In the Site Definition Wizard, give your site a name, as shown in Figure 3.2. This name is used only inside Dreamweaver, so you can use spaces and characters if you want. The site name should be meaningful, identifying the purpose of the Web site when you drop down the Site menu to change sites. My Dreamweaver copy has about 30 to 40 sites defined at times. I need clear names so I can quickly find the site I want to edit. Click the Next button.

Figure 3.2 Your site name is used by Dreamweaver only to identify this site.

The next page, Editing Files (Part 2 shown in Figure 3.3), enables you to specify whether you will be using server-side scripting to create dynamic Web pages. Our Web pages will be regular HTML pages, so you should select the top radio button that says No, I do not want to use a server technology. Click the Next button.

Figure 3.3 Part 2 of the Editing Files section of the Site Definition Wizard enables you to tell Dreamweaver whether you will be using server-side scripting in your site.

The next page, Editing Files, Part 3, helps you specify where the files in your site are located. The site that you edit in Dreamweaver is your development site; it isn't the final site that other people will view on the Web. You can store your development files in three places: on your local machine, on a network drive, or on a server somewhere. Select the top radio button, electing to store the development files on your local machine. If you are working in a networked environment (at your office, for instance), you could use either of the other two choices. However, do not ever link to the final live version of your Web site for development. You do not want to make a mistake on the real site; always make sure you are working on a copy of the site.

The textbox at the bottom of the dialog box, shown in Figure 3.4, asks you to enter the location of the site directory. Click the folder icon to the right of the textbox to navigate to the directory. Use an existing directory on your hard drive or create a new directory for your local site. Click the Next button.

Figure 3.4 You enter the directory that will house your development files.


File and directory names containing spaces, punctuation, or special characters may cause problems on some Web servers. You can use underscores instead of spaces in names. In addition, file names are case-sensitive on some Web servers.

The next section enables you to configure how you share files. You may set up a central location where members of your team can save files once they are finished editing them. Or, you may set up a location on a public Web server where you intend to share your Web site with the Web community. You'll learn how to set this section up and transfer files in Hour 21. For now, simply drop down the top menu and select None as shown in Figure 3.5. Click the Next button.

Figure 3.5 To set up the connection information later, simply select None.

The last page of the wizard displays a summary of your site, as shown in Figure 3.6. You can come back to this wizard at any time to change your site definition by selecting the Edit Sites command from the Site menu (the menu in the Site panel or the menu in the Document window). Click the Done button.

Figure 3.6 The Site Definition Wizard displays a summary of your site definition.

After you click the Done button, Dreamweaver displays a message telling you that it will now create the initial site cache, as shown in Figure 3.7. When you click OK, a progress bar appears (and disappears very quickly if you have nothing in your site yet). The initial site cache is created each time you create a new site. The site cache is used to store information about the links in your site so they can be quickly updated if they change. Dreamweaver continues to update the cache as you work.

Figure 3.7 Dreamweaver tells you it is creating a cache for your site. This file speeds updating links when you move or rename a file.

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Last Update: November 17, 2020