"How to" Guideline series is coordinated by Helen Mongan-Rallis of the Education Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions to improve these guidelines please me at e-mail hrallis@d.umn.edu.

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Site Management Using Macromedia Dreamweaver

Creating Site Settings

  1. Launch Dreamweaver.
  2. From the site menu --> select new. This will bring up a box to define the new site. There will be two columns in this box. On the left is a list of categories and on the right the features for whichever category is selected. When you open the site menu it is usually set to default to the Local Info category.
  3. Make sure Local Info is the category selected in the left column. Then, in the right box/column, you need to define a number of different things.
  4. Select Remote Info in the category list on the left column.
  5. In the right column, next to Server Access, select FTP from the pulldown menu.
  6. This will bring up a number of form boxes to be filled providing information about your FTP connection:
  7. Click on the box to create a cache.
  8. Click the OK button.

You have now defined your site so that you can use Dreamweaver's FTP to upload and download your site or elements of it.

Setting Site Preferences

You should only do this if you are using your own computer. Do see directions on how to do this, go to the UMD ITSS guidelines called Opening Dreamweaver and Setting Defaults (at http://www.d.umn.edu/itss/support/Training/Online/DreamweaverIntro/Defaults.html) and follow the directions there.

Creating files and folders(directories) within your site

You can do this one of two ways:

(a) You can create the site structure outside of Dreamweaver and then open the site through Dreamweaver. The only reason you might do this is if you already have an existing site and wish to convert to using Dreamweaver both for creating web pages and managing your site.

(b) By setting up the site (as described above) and then creating files and folders from within the new site structure. This method is preferable as the site management features of Dreamweaver will help eliminate many of the problems that occur when each page within a site is created in isolation from others. The following steps will guide you through creating files and folders using Dreamweaver's site management features:

  1. Once you have created a site (see first section of these guidelines), open the site (if it isn't already open). To do this, go to menu and select Site --> Open site --> and select your site from the list that appears. Next you will create a series of folders (directories) and pages. To do this;
  2. From the menu select Site --> Site files view --> New folder. This creates a new untitled folder in the site window. Name it SiteNameImages (where "SiteName" is the name of your site. The folder name must be one word, no spaces).
  3. Now create other folders (according to how you have planned out your site). Repeat this step until you have created all the folders that you want to have (at this point) in your new site.
  4. Now create and index page to go at the root level of your site (ie: Outside of all of the folders you have created). This index page will be the first page people see when they enter your site. To do this, go to menu and select Site --> Site files view --> New file. A file called "untitled.htm"l will appear at the root level of your site. Rename it index.html
  5. Now create index pages within each of the folders in your site. To do this, click once on the first folder. Then go to menu and select Site --> Site files view --> New file. This will place a file called "untitled.html" at within the folder (not at the site root level, but "down" a level, within the folder). Rename this "index.html". Repeat this until you have an index.html file within each of the folders in your site.
  6. Create an images folder within each of the folders in your site. Do this by clicking once on the folder and then go to menu and select Site --> Site files view --> New folder. Name the images folder FileNameImages (e.g. MyHobbiesImages).

Done! You now have the structure of your site set up. What you now need to do is go in and enter content onto each of the pages. You also need to put the images that you will use on the different pages into the appropriate images folders (it's very important that you do this before you put them onto the pages, not afterwards). Note: all images that you insert onto your web pages must be either in .jpg or .gif format.

To locate background images, bars etc, here are some useful sites:

Creating a template page for your site

Templates are very useful when you want all the pages across your site to have a consistent design and when you have the same reoccurring features (such as a set of links) on all pages. By using a template you create one page and then use this as the foundation on which you build the rest of the pages in your site (you can still, however, make pages within the site and not apply the template to them if you want them to have a unique format). To create a template page:

  1. Under the File menu --> select New. This opens a new blank untitled file.
  2. Set up the page so that it contains all the elements that you want to appear on your site pages (e.g. background color or image, header and footer, "return to home page" link, a menu table of links that appears at the top and/or bottom of your page etc). [View an example of a template]
  3. When you are done, under the File menu --> select Save as Template.A box will pop up asking you to name the template. Choose a name like "BasicTemplate".
  4. Create an editable region on the page. This will be the area in which you will insert the content of each page (the part that is different from one page to another). To do this, place the cursor at the point on the page where you will insert the page content.
  5. From the menu select Modify --> Template --> New editable region. A box pops up asking you to name this editable region. Call it something like "page content".


Applying the template to a page

You can apply the template to an existing page or create a new page using the template.

Apply template to existing page:

  1. Make sure you have the site window open so that you can see all the files and folders within the site.
  2. Open a page you already have in your site (e.g. begin with your root index). Do this by double clicking on the index page from within the site window.
  3. From the menu select Modify --> Template --> Apply template to page. A box pops up asking you to select which template you want to apply. Since at this point you probably only have one template, only one will appear in the list (but if you have more, select the one you want to use). Click on the select button.
  4. A new window will pop up asking you where you want the current content from your index page to go within the template. Click on the name of the editable region (e.g. page content) and then click the OK button. This will apply the template to the page.
  5. Save -- and you are done!

Create a new page using the template:

  1. From the File menu, select New from template. A window pops up and asks you to select which template. If you have more than one site, make sure that the name of this site is the one displayed in this window.
  2. Choose the template you want to use from the list that appears and click the OK button.
  3. A new, untitled file opens, showing all of the elements that you have on the template page. The cursor will appear blinking at the point of the first (or only) editable region. You can now start typing in the content you want to include on this page. When you start typing, the name of the editable region will still be displayed in parentheses. Highlight the word this parentheses and delete it.
  4. Notice that when you move the cursor/pointer over parts of the page that are not editable, a "no entry" symbol appears indicating that you cannot enter anything in this area.
  5. When you are done entering content, save -- and you are done!

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