19 November 2012
This tutorial requires no previous knowledge of Dreamweaver. However, familiarity with web design concepts such as HTML and CSS will be helpful. The tutorials in this series are designed to be completed in order.
Note: This tutorial series was originally written for Dreamweaver CS4 by Jon Michael Varese. It has been adapted for Dreamweaver CS6 by David Powers.
Looking for the series for Dreamweaver CC? Click here.
This tutorial introduces you to the concept of an Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 site and shows you how to set up the project files for the Check Magazine sample website. In Dreamweaver, a site generally consists of two parts: a collection of files on a local computer (the local site) and a location on a remote web server to which you upload files when you're ready to make them publicly available (the remote site). You use the Dreamweaver Files panel to manage the files for your site.
The most common approach to creating a website with Dreamweaver is to create and edit pages on your local drive, and then upload copies of those pages to a remote web server for viewing on the web. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to set up only the local site so you can begin building web pages right away. Later, after you've completed the website, you'll learn how to create a remote site so that you can upload your files to a web server.
In this first part of the series, after a brief introduction to Dreamweaver sites you will complete the following tasks:
Note: The screen shots for this tutorial series are from the Dreamweaver Creative Cloud 12.1 update. However, the instructions apply equally to the original version of Dreamweaver CS6. You should also be able to follow the instructions on Dreamweaver CS5 or CS5.5.
In Dreamweaver, a site organizes on your local computer all the documents associated with your website and lets you track and maintain links, manage files, share files, and transfer your site files to a web server. Think of your Dreamweaver site as the "bucket" that contains all of the files and assets for your website.
A typical Dreamweaver site has at least two parts:
In some circumstances, you might have more than one remote folder. For example, if you work in a team environment, all members of the team might upload their files to a common testing server before they are deployed on the live website. Also, it’s normal to set up a testing server when developing websites that use a server-side technology, such as Adobe ColdFusion or PHP. Since Dreamweaver CS5, you can define multiple remote and testing servers for each site. However, only one of each can be active at any given time.
To get started you simply need to give your site a name, and tell Dreamweaver where you want to store the files on your local computer. Dreamweaver CS6 automatically prompts you for further information about the site setup only when it’s needed.
For more information about Dreamweaver sites in general, see Site management in Dreamweaver Help.
When you create a local site, you can place any existing assets (images or other pieces of content) in the local site's root folder (the main folder for the site). That way when you add content to your pages, the assets are there and ready for you to use.
The sample files for this article contain assets for the sample website you'll build in this tutorial series. The first step is to copy these assets to an appropriate folder on your hard drive:
check_cs6folder into the
Note: The local root folder of your Dreamweaver site is normally the main or top-level folder for your website. It usually corresponds to a folder named
wwwroot on your remote server. For example, if you have a website at www.example.com, and have a file named news.html in the root folder, its URL is
http://www.example.com/news.html. The normal practice is to give your local root folder the same name as the website without the top-level domain (such as .com or .org). For example, I store the files for my website at
http://foundationphp.com in a folder named
foundationphp on my local hard drive.
You must define a Dreamweaver local site folder for each new website you create. Dreamweaver needs to know where your site files are to create all the internal links correctly, and to update them when you move files to a different location within your site.
Next, set up the site for this tutorial series, and define as your local site folder the
check_cs6 folder you copied into your
check_cs6folder (see Figure 1).
Note: The file paths might differ, depending on where you created the
Sites folder on your hard drive.
The Files panel in Dreamweaver now shows the new local root folder for your current site (see Figure 2). The file list in the Files panel acts as a file manager, enabling you to copy, paste, delete, move, and open files just as you would on a desktop.
For more information about how the Files panel works, see Managing files and folders in Dreamweaver Help.
The vast majority of websites are hosted on Linux servers, which are case-sensitive. Using all lowercase letters for file and folder names avoids problems with files not being found.
Now that you have finished defining your site, you can begin building your web pages by following the steps in the next tutorial in this series, Part 2: Creating the page structure.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license, pertaining to the examples of code included within this work are available at Adobe.