How to Create a New Website Using Dreamweaver

How to Create a New Website Using Dreamweaver

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Dreamweaver MX Through Dreamweaver CS4 Had a Very Similar Site Setup Wizard

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4. Photo Credit: Image courtesy Adobe

This tutorial is designed to help you create a new website definition in Dreamweaver. It is intended for use by people using the following versions of Dreamweaver:

  • Dreamweaver MX
  • Dreamweaver MX 2004
  • Dreamweaver 8
  • Dreamweaver CS3
  • Dreamweaver CS4
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Open Dreamweaver and Start the Site Definition Wizard

Managing Dreamweaver Sites. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

When working with Dreamweaver for the first time, or on a new website for the first time, you need to define the site so that Dreamweaver can work with it. This process includes naming the site, placing the local files on a directory on your hard drive, and showing Dreamweaver where those files will be published on the web. Follow these easy instructions to define a new website in Dreamweaver.

First, you should go to the “Site” menu and choose “Manage Sites.”

As you can see from the screen shot, this will open a dialog window. Choose “New Site” from the “New” button.

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Name Your Site

Choose a Name. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

The first thing you need to do is name your site. It helps to give it a name that is both meaningful to you and describes the site. Dreamweaver recommends “My Site” but this is often very vague. If it’s a personal site, I would use your name as the site name e.g. “Jennifer’s Personal Site.”

Don’t worry about the instructions to create an FTP server connection. We will cover that in a coming step.

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Using Server Technologies on Your Dreamweaver Site

Choose No Server Technology. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

Dreamweaver integrates quite easily with server technologies such as PHP, ColdFusion, and ASP, but for the sake of this tutorial, choose “No, I do not want to use a server technology.” You can always go in and change that later if you decide you do want to run a site with some server technology.

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Where Should You Edit Your Dreamweaver Site Files

Edit local files. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

One nice thing about Dreamweaver is that it is possible to edit the files directly on the web server, which cuts down on the time it can take to edit files. But this is less secure, as you can’t make any mistakes when you edit files right on the server. So choose “Edit local copies on my machine…” Dreamweaver suggests a location to store the site files. I usually don’t change that. But if you already have a directory on your computer to store your web files, you should choose that location instead.

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Defining Access to Your Dreamweaver Site

Choose FTP. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

Dreamweaver provides many different ways to access your website including WebDAV, FTP, and others. Most hosting providers allow FTP (File Transfer Protocol) access, so choose that and move on to the next step where you will learn what credentials you need to access your site via FTP.

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Always Test Your Connection

Always Test Your Connection. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

Fill in the details to connect to your web hosting provider’s FTP site. You will need to know:

  • The URL of your FTP site. This is usually ftp.your hosting provider’s URL.com or something like that.
  • Your username
  • Your password
  • Where your files are stored on the FTP server, if they aren’t right off the root

If you don’t know what those details are, you should contact your hosting technical support.

Always test the connection. Many people forget this step, or think it’s not important.

But if you haven’t tested it, the first time you try to post a page to your site it will break. That’s a guarantee.

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Site Check-out and Check-in with Dreamweaver

No Check In Check Out. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

Another feature that Dreamweaver offers is the ability to connect to a revision control system (RCS) and check files in and out automatically. You should only need this if you have numerous people accessing the same site and you are using an RCS. Otherwise, choose “No, do not enable check in and check out.”

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Review Your Site Definition

Review Site. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

You’re almost done, but first make sure that you didn’t make any typos or other mistakes in your site definition. When you’re ready, click “Done.”

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Your Site Now Appears in the Manage Sites Window

Manage Sites Window. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

Once you’re done creating your new website, Dreamweaver will show your new site in the Manage Sites window. To start editing pages in your site, highlight the site name, and click “Done.”

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Start Editing Your Files in Dreamweaver

Full Dreamweaver Window. Photo Credit: Jennifer Kyrnin

As the image shows, once you click “Done” in the previous step you’ll be in a blank Dreamweaver page. Simply start building your site and saving the files. Dreamweaver will then upload them to the correct location when you transfer the files.

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