Basic Dreamweaver Setup Tutorial for First Time Users
Note: Download and install the application first. Watching video tutorials and reading step-by-step instructions would be pointless if you don’t have the actual software for hands-on practice. If you don’t have a licensed Dreamweaver app installed yet, you can download its trial version online for free and then install it in on your computer. Installation is pretty straightforward and will take just a few minutes.
When building a new Dreamweaver website for the first time, you will need to define the site so that Dreamweaver can keep track of your project. The instructions below should help you get started.
• Go to the “Site” menu and click on “Manage sites”. A dialog window will appear, click on the “New” button and choose “New Site”.
• The Wizard will ask you to provide a name for your website. Avoid vague names such as “My Site” or “Personal Website”. Use a more descriptive name. Click “Next”.
• A new window will appear asking if you want to work with server technologies (i.e., ASP, PHP, ColdFusion), tick “No, I don’t want to use a server technology”. You can change this option later if you want. Click “Next”.
• Specify the local directory (any folder location in your computer) where you want to save your files. Click “Next”.
• You will be asked for a remote access preference. Choose “FTP” (File Transfer Protocol) from the dropdown menu. Fill in your FTP login details. Click “Test Connection”.
If you don’t know your FTP details – hostname, directory, username, password – you can get the details from your CPanel or hosting provider.
• You will be asked whether you want to enable checking in and checking out of files, tick “No, do not enable check in and check out’. This feature is only useful if there are several people working on the same website project. Since you’re still starting to do things on your own, you won’t need this enabled. Click “Done”.
Once you’re done defining your website, your new site project will now be displayed in the “Manage Sites” window. To start with the actual website creation, highlight your site name and click “Done”.
After clicking “Done”, you will see a blank workspace. This is where you will manage the layout of your actual website. Start editing your site and save files as you progress.
Dreamweaver is a very useful tool for first-time website builders who are not hardcore coders. It has built-in point-and-click CSS window that can be used to add easily CSS styles to web pages. Another feature that makes Dreamweaver a standout tool for novice developers is its split development screen, half the screen displays the HTML code version of the site (for web developers with basic HTML knowledge), while the other half is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) screen perfect for non-techy users.
Image by Flickr