Using Dreamweaver to edit/update an existing website<br />Jeff McNear<br />plasterdog.com<br />email@example.com<br />@plasterdog<br />847/849-7060<br />
All example images used in the following slides are from Dreamweaver CS3, however the procedures used will work in any version from MX to CS5.5<br />
Any modern site will have an external style sheet that governs placement and spacing of elements, the attributes of text, and color scheme.<br />While there are some rudimentary controls offered in the Dreamweaver “properties panel” they should be avoided as they often insert conflicting and incorrect styling rules.<br />If styling is to be edited that should be done in the style-sheet. Not only will your site function more reliably, your visitors will appreciate your presenting your content in a consistent manner<br />
If the site has been well planned there will be a straight forward and rational folder structure where files are kept.<br />It is also important to maintain the organization structure, since a logical hierarchy will make for a much easier editing process.<br />When editing a HTML page, it is often useful to keep a copy of the original. A very simple way to segregate active pages from archival/default version of pages is to preface the inactive pages with the letter “Z” …. Then these files will appear last in the series.<br />
In order to bring up a “page” for editing :<br /><ul><li>Go to the file manager
It will then be available for editing</li></li></ul><li>While it may be tempting to view your files in the design<br />configuration, always use the split view – that way you can see the code and verify that you’re working in the right area and avoid inserting incorrect or redundant code<br />
In split screen you can select where you want to edit the code in design view, but especially for text it is best to then make the changes in code view.<br />This way you can be sure that the text is tagged properly, and is going to be in the correct place<br />
The most straight-forward way to insert an image is to:<br /><ul><li>Find your insertion point in the code
Navigate to an image in your site’s file structure
And insert it</li></ul>Note: Your image should already be properly sized and optimized. <br />THE SINGLE MOST COMMON REASONS FOR A POORLY PERFORMING SITE IS THE USE OF IMPROPERLY PREPARED IMAGES !!!<br />
In the case of links, it may be easier to select the text in design view, and then populate the link destination in the property manager : For links within the file structure, clicking on the file icon to the right of the link field will show you the following popup<br />
Via the popup you can navigate to the appropriate file, click “OK” and the link will be inserted for you.<br />For external links, you can use this same popup, but you will need to manually insert the FULL<br />URL of the destination (include the leading http://) rather than selecting a file.<br />Best practice is to go back to the properties manager and target an external link to “_blank”<br />If you do this, then the external link will open in a new tab (and your visitor will not loose track of your site)<br />
In order to publish from your computer, Dreamweaver needs to have a “ftp” connection with your webhost<br /><ul><li>Site
ftp password</li></li></ul><li>Once the information has been entered, you can connect to the host<br />Select a file from the file manager, and “put” the file to the “live” site by clicking on the up arrow<br />IMPORTANT NOTE:<br />Many browsers will have trouble with file names that have spaces or special characters in them.<br />When naming files, avoid the use of spaces between words or any “special character” with the exception of the hyphen or underscore.<br />
By default Dreaweaver will ask whether you want to “put” dependent files as well (this means images, style sheets, etc. related to the selected file).<br />In general you will want to accept this option and let Dreamweaver proceed.<br />You will see a progress display while the files are published<br />
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