Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Defining a new site


Dreamweaver CS4 Essential Training

with James Williamson

Video: Defining a new site

Defining a new site provides you with in-depth training on Web. Taught by James Williamson as part of the Dreamweaver CS4 Essential Training
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 14m 50s
    1. Basic site structure
      2m 16s
    2. What is an index page?
      1m 34s
    3. Current web design practices
      2m 21s
    4. What is XHTML?
      3m 9s
    5. What is Javascript?
      1m 38s
    6. What is CSS?
      1m 51s
    7. File naming conventions
      2m 1s
  3. 24m 0s
    1. The Welcome screen
      3m 33s
    2. Windows and Mac interface differences
      2m 7s
    3. The Application toolbar
      2m 34s
    4. The Document toolbar
      3m 0s
    5. Arranging panels
      4m 43s
    6. Managing workspaces
      4m 14s
    7. The Properties Inspector
      3m 49s
  4. 18m 27s
    1. Defining a new site
      4m 12s
    2. Managing sites
      3m 59s
    3. Managing files and folders
      6m 3s
    4. Setting a default browser
      4m 13s
  5. 15m 14s
    1. Creating new documents
      3m 51s
    2. DOCTYPE declarations
      4m 44s
    3. New document preferences
      2m 37s
    4. Working with starter pages
      4m 2s
  6. 20m 14s
    1. XHTML structure
      2m 27s
    2. Structuring content
      4m 11s
    3. Creating lists
      6m 22s
    4. Getting text into Dreamweaver
      4m 11s
    5. Importing Word documents
      3m 3s
  7. 52m 5s
    1. Understanding style sheets
      1m 59s
    2. Anatomy of a CSS rule
      1m 32s
    3. Setting CSS preferences
      3m 56s
    4. The CSS Styles panel
      6m 36s
    5. Controlling CSS through the Properties Inspector
      4m 51s
    6. Using the Code Navigator
      4m 52s
    7. Understanding Element Selectors
      6m 4s
    8. Understanding Class Selectors
      5m 39s
    9. Understanding ID Selectors
      5m 35s
    10. Understanding Descendent Selectors
      5m 30s
    11. Attaching external style sheets
      5m 31s
  8. 1h 0m
    1. Working with units of measurement
      4m 33s
    2. Declaring font families
      6m 3s
    3. Controlling font sizing
      3m 57s
    4. Controlling weight and style
      6m 13s
    5. Controlling line height
      5m 26s
    6. Controlling vertical spacing with margins
      6m 45s
    7. Controlling spacing with padding
      6m 1s
    8. Aligning text
      5m 25s
    9. Transforming text
      4m 27s
    10. Using the cascade to control styling
      11m 56s
  9. 1h 2m
    1. Understanding image types
      5m 1s
    2. Managing assets in Dreamweaver
      8m 30s
    3. Setting image accessibility preferences
      3m 44s
    4. Placing images on the page
      7m 45s
    5. Modifying image properties
      8m 6s
    6. Customizing images through CSS
      6m 4s
    7. Photoshop integration
      5m 16s
    8. Setting external image editing preferences
      2m 7s
    9. Modifying Smart Objects
      4m 9s
    10. Alternate Photoshop workflows
      5m 45s
    11. Using background graphics
      5m 42s
  10. 31m 3s
    1. Link basics
      3m 10s
    2. Setting site linking preferences
      1m 25s
    3. Creating links in Dreamweaver
      4m 55s
    4. Absolute links
      4m 8s
    5. Using named anchors
      4m 26s
    6. Linking to named anchors in external files
      2m 49s
    7. Creating an email link
      5m 16s
    8. Creating CSS-based rollovers
      4m 54s
  11. 39m 17s
    1. CSS structuring basics
      2m 19s
    2. Structuring with DIV tags
      8m 48s
    3. The Box Model
      5m 9s
    4. Understanding floats
      4m 42s
    5. Clearing and containing floats
      4m 47s
    6. Using relative positioning
      3m 7s
    7. Using absolute positioning
      5m 42s
    8. Using fixed postioning
      4m 43s
  12. 51m 26s
    1. Reviewing table structure
      4m 45s
    2. Importing tabular data
      4m 44s
    3. Creating accessible tables
      7m 39s
    4. Using thead and tbody tags
      2m 56s
    5. Basic table styling
      6m 36s
    6. Styling table headers
      5m 13s
    7. Styling column groups
      6m 30s
    8. Creating custom table borders
      4m 24s
    9. Adding user interactivity to tables
      5m 12s
    10. Styling table captions
      3m 27s
  13. 1h 3m
    1. How forms work
      3m 5s
    2. Reviewing form design
      2m 51s
    3. Creating accessible forms
      4m 50s
    4. Setting form properties
      3m 46s
    5. The fieldset and legend tags
      3m 7s
    6. Inserting text fields
      5m 7s
    7. Inserting list menu items
      4m 35s
    8. Inserting radio button groups
      4m 34s
    9. Inserting checkboxes
      3m 15s
    10. Inserting text areas
      3m 37s
    11. Inserting submit buttons
      2m 31s
    12. Styling form elements
      6m 57s
    13. Adding form interactivity
      4m 19s
    14. Using Spry validation widgets
      10m 26s
  14. 35m 51s
    1. Planning for templates
      4m 0s
    2. Creating a new template
      3m 51s
    3. Creating editable attributes
      4m 55s
    4. Creating new pages from a template
      4m 57s
    5. Applying templates to existing pages
      3m 18s
    6. Working with nested templates
      5m 47s
    7. Working with repeating regions
      5m 42s
    8. Modifying templates
      3m 21s
  15. 35m 32s
    1. Behaviors overview
      2m 43s
    2. Getting more behaviors
      4m 44s
    3. Creating disjointed rollovers
      7m 6s
    4. Hiding and showing elements
      6m 7s
    5. Spry overview
      3m 3s
    6. Using Spry widgets
      5m 19s
    7. Adding Spry widgets
      3m 12s
    8. Using Live View and Related Files
      3m 18s
  16. 22m 1s
    1. Inserting Flash files
      3m 59s
    2. Setting properties for Flash
      4m 18s
    3. Dreamweaver and Flash integration
      3m 19s
    4. Encoding Flash video
      6m 55s
    5. Adding Flash video
      3m 30s
  17. 22m 57s
    1. Using the History palette
      3m 45s
    2. Saving history steps with commands
      2m 59s
    3. Creating library items
      4m 55s
    4. Updating library items
      5m 2s
    5. Using Find and Replace
      6m 16s
  18. 23m 50s
    1. The Code toolbar
      4m 35s
    2. Setting code preferences
      4m 24s
    3. Using code hints
      6m 1s
    4. Adding comments
      5m 8s
    5. Finding syntax errors
      3m 42s
  19. 20m 31s
    1. Running sitewide reports
      4m 9s
    2. Checking for broken links
      3m 10s
    3. Validating markup
      1m 52s
    4. Checking for browser compatibility
      3m 14s
    5. Entering remote information
      2m 6s
    6. Synchronizing sites
      3m 26s
    7. Updating and publishing files
      2m 34s
  20. 14s
    1. Goodbye

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Dreamweaver CS4 Essential Training
Video Duration: 4m 12s10h 15m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

View Course Description

To get the most out of Dreamweaver CS4, it's important not only to master the application, but also to understand fundamental concepts of modern web design. James Williamson teaches just that in Dreamweaver CS4 Essential Training, covering everything from site structure to the value of standards-compliant XHTML and CSS. He shows how to create clean and accessible code in Dreamweaver, as well as how to publish compelling content. James demonstrates how to use a variety of techniques for adding interactivity, creating and styling forms and tables, and saving time with templates. He explains the benefits of using programs like Word and Photoshop to speed up workflow, and shows how to publish and manage finished sites. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Understanding current web design practices
  • Learning and customizing the Dreamweaver interface
  • Adding text and structure to an XHTML document
  • Implementing layouts and designs with CSS
  • Controlling all aspects of typographic presentation
  • Working with images, Flash, and video
  • Using behaviors and Spry widgets
James Williamson

Defining a new site

Before working on any web site for the first time, you should define a site in Dreamweaver that will allow you control all aspects of working with that site. Dreamweaver is designed to build web sites, not just web pages. Site management is tied into everything that Dreamweaver does. Without defining a site, Dreamweaver can't resolve links, check related files or help you manage your assets. Although there are lot of options when defining your sites and you could make it relatively pain-free. Now the first thing I want to show you is how many different places in Dreamweaver, you can actually define a new site.

If you go over the Files panel, for example, you can click on Manage Sites, and it will show you any of your active sites. If you don't have any or even if you just want to create a new one from here, notice we have a button that says New and you can go ahead and choose that. If I go up to the menu, I have Site and here is New Site right from there. And if I go over to the Application tool bar, I notice that in my quick access icons, I can click on Site and I can choose New Site from there as well. Another location is in our Welcome screen, so if we don't have a file currently open and our Welcome Screen is visible, notice that we can go down to Create New, and click on Dreamweaver Site. So it doesn't really matter where you do this from, you'll always get the same dialog box. So I'm going to click new Dreamweaver Site, and up comes my Site Definition dialog box. Now this comes in two tabs, we have Basic and Advanced, both of these give you pretty much the same options, Advanced does have some options that Basic doesn't have.

Basic is more of a wizard like approach. It's just going to ask you some questions, and sort of walk you through the process. So here it says What would you like to name your site? I'm going to name my site Groundswell, now after that it says What is the HTTP Address of your site? And I don't know that, well a lot of what you're doing when you define a site is optional. Now let's take a look at some of our other options and let's switch from the Basic tab to the Advanced tab. Even though I was already entering up some information, you'll notice that by clicking on the Advanced tab, it went ahead and filled that in for me, so it just says Groundswell right there. Now the first thing that Dreamweaver wants to know in the Advanced section after you name your site is where the Local root folder is. So if you remember the root folder is the folder that contains your web site somewhere on your hard drive or if your are working in a shared environment, it might even be on a server.

So I'm going to click the Browse icon, just beside Local root folder and I'm going to browse out to my Desktop and here I can find the Chapter 03 folder that I have copied over to the Desktop, so that was copied from my Exercise Files. So, I'm going to double-click to select that. On the Mac, you'll highlight that folder and you'll hit the Choose button, on the PC, open the folder up and then choose Select. Okay now, from here on everything else is optional. Default images folder, optional, whether I want to make Links relative to Document or Site root, the default is Document, I'm going to leave it that way. HTTP address, I don't know, so I'm not going to enter it. Caching, I'm going to make sure Caching is enabled. Now what that does for you is it will run through all the files that are already in that folder. So if it's a totally empty folder, this won't matter but if your folder already has some files then like ours does, it will cache them up and make everything available for use right now.

Believe it or not, that's it. All those of the Categories on the left hand side like Remote Info, where you're choosing exactly how you're going to access your remote site, and upload those files, Testing Server, in case you're using ColdFusion or ASP and you want to specify Testing Server so that you can test those pages, all those things, they are optional, and since we don't have that information right now, we are not going to put anything. We are just going to leave them alone. Sticking with the Local Info, I have named my site Groundswell and I have chosen where my Local root folder is on my Hard drive. That is really all I have to do, I'm going ahead and click OK. Dreamweaver is going to take a moment to cache everything up for me and then over in the Files panel now I can see here's my Groundswell site and I have access to all those files and folders.

As you can see, defining a site in Dreamweaver an easy but necessary step required for the start of any new project. You can give Dreamweaver all the site information at the very beginning of the project, or as we have done here, you can wait and define things like Remote Information at a later date. That's certainly helpful if you don't have those settings when you're first starting out.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Dreamweaver CS4 Essential Training .

Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: In Dreamweaver CS4, is it possible – or recommended –  to use a table within a form, in order to line up the fields?
A: Using tables to layout forms is a common web design practice. There are drawbacks to doing so, because it reduces the accessibility of the form, but many, many designers use this technique. There are many ways to layout forms using CSS that don't require tables (see Chapter 8, "Styling Forms" in the Dreamweaver CS4 with CSS Essential Training title), but the forms will work fine should one choose to do so.
Q: How do I direct a link to an FLV movie to open in new browser window, using Dreamweaver CS4?
A: To link to an FLV in a new browser window, create a separate HTML page with nothing but the Flash video on it. Set the video to “autoplay = true”, since clicking the link will be all the input needed by the viewer to play the video. Align the video to the center of the page. (Use a div tag and center the div tag on the page). Make sure the new window opens to the size of the video player, making sure to allow for the browser;'s title bar, menus, chrome, etc. Also, if desired, offset the video byadding left="" and top="" attributes to the behavior. Enter the pixel amount for left and top offset or the window will always open aligned to the top left of the screen.
Q: The author states that the Mac OS version of Dreamweaver CS4 does not support the direct insertion of Word files, and that copy and pasting text from a Word file will format the text as links. How does one add and format text in Dreamweaver CS4 on a Mac, without turning the text into links?
A: Although the Mac version of Dreamweaver does not support the direct insertion of Word files, you can copy and paste from Word into Dreamweaver (as is recommended in the tutorial for Mac users). To control how the text is formatted, go to Dreamweaver > Preferences and select the Copy/Paste category. From there, Mac users can access the same controls that Windows users get when inserting a Word file. Just remember to select the proper preference before copying and pasting from Word.
Q: Is there any way to change a nested template from a two column structure to a single column structure? As explained in the "Working with nested templates" video, it appears that the nested template must maintain the same basic structure as the main template. If one is using a template with a header, footer, main content area, and sidebar, is it possible to create a template without the sidebar?
A: Making these changes is possible, and there are a few ways of doing it. First, one could make the sidebar an optional region. For info on that, check out the “Creating optional regions” video of the Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training title. (The technique works the same in CS5 and CS4).

However, the layout also needs to be changed (switched from a two column to a single column layout, for example), and that can be a bit tougher. Since layout is controlled through CSS, usually what's done is this: There is usually a class assigned to a top level tag (such as the body or the wrapper div) that control the other areas on the page. For pages without the sidebar, one could apply the template, not add the optional sidebar region, and have the class on the body tag be an editable attribute. Then, a class such as "singleCol" or "multiCol" could be assigned, based on which layout is needed.

The other approach is to use multiple templates, but the problem there is how to update them. Nested templates could be used to build a version with the sidebar, which would help ease the updating process, but, overall, the recommend method is to use the first approach or a combination of the two.
Q: Upon selecting Edit in Flash for a SWF in Dreamweaver CS4, an error message appears that says:

Unable to launch Macintosh HD: Applications:Adobe Extension Manager CS4:Adobe Flash CS4:Adobe Flash Please be sure that this application exists and that there is enough memory to run it.

Ctrl-clicking the SWF in the Design view and choosing Go to source file from the contextual menu and then selecting the FLA file from the list will enable the Edit button, but the file opens in Flash independently and not via Dreamweaver. What is causing this error?
A: Unfortunately, Dreamweaver's round-trip workflow is somewhat buggy, so there are several possible explanations.

 The exercise files are not structured the same way a normal website would be, so redefining sites and moving files around as you do from lesson to lesson can cause problems.

Usually the Edit button will be grayed out if Dreamweaver doesn't know where the original FLA file is located (as can happen when they are in different directories). This can also happen if the FLA and the SWF have different names. ("file1.fla" publishs "mymovie.swf" for example.)

One possible solution is to set the source in the Properties Inspector. Another is to re-establish the link to the source file via the point-to-file icon. If the problem persists, browse for the FLA file if prompted by Dreamweaver. This should establish a link between the SWF and the FLA file.

Unlike the PSD integration, Dreamweaver does not import the FLA file, but the SWF, so Dreamweaver has to be able to "see" the source FLA file in order to make the round-tripping work. As the files are moved around between multiple programs, they go through several rounds of compression. This alone can cause features like this to result in an error.

To test if the problem is with the system and not the software, delete the SWF file from the page, re-import it using the Insert panel or menu, and then save the page. This should clear out any caching problems with the old SWF file and re-establish the link.
Q: I am unable to recreate the exercise enabling me to make new CSS rules for the body and header text, as shown in "Understanding Element Selectors." The headers don't update after I enter the H1 rule.
A: The most likely explanation is that the wrong option is selected in the CSS Rule Definition dialog. Make sure the pull-down menu says Tag for the selector type, not Compound, which it tends to default to. That should resolve the problem, and all for new CSS styles to be created. 

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Dreamweaver CS4 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts. provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now

A trusted source for knowledge.


We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.