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Discover how to build web sites, prototypes, and more in this course on Adobe Dreamweaver CS6. Author James Williamson shows designers how to take control of their site by properly naming and structuring files and folders; how to create new documents and web pages from scratch or with starter pages; and how to add content such as text, images, tables, and links. James also provides a background on the languages that power projects built in Dreamweaver—HTML and CSS—and introduces the programming features in the application, for developers who want to dig right into the code. The last chapter shows how to finesse your project with interactive content such as CSS3 transitions and Spry widgets.
As you create files for the Web understanding the rules governing their naming is vitally important. If your files aren't named correctly, certain pages might become inaccessible or just not work properly. Remember that webpages contain links to other webpages and assets. If file naming isn't handled correctly, your site's functionality can really suffer. Fortunately, the rules for Web file naming conventions are pretty easy to follow. First, don't use any spaces in your file names. If you have a file that's longer than one word, use an underscore or a hyphen to separate the words.
Most Web servers will allow file name as spaces, but when the link is resolved, the special character, %20 is used in place of that space. So if you've ever seen that in the URL, now you know what that's referring to. Now, this is really messy and can lead to a lot of confusion when sending links or displaying URLs. Second, shorten the file names when you can. Rather than using something like about_us.htm, how about just about.htm? Shorter names are easier to remember and make URLs easier for clients to type.
Next, avoid using special characters, no dollar signs, exclamation points, forward or backslashes, question marks, periods, really any other special character or punctuation. Now, many of those symbols are actually used to denote things like directory structure, URL parameters, or other meanings that you could unwittingly trigger if you use them. Numbers are okay to use in file names, just avoid using them as the first character. Also, avoid uppercase letters if possible. Most Web servers won't care, but some UNIX servers are case-sensitive and links could not be resolved correctly even if they're spelled correctly by your users, so you want to be very careful about that.
When using extensions, just be consistent. Honestly, one of the biggest questions I get from users is, should I use .htm or.html? Well, for non-dynamic websites, it's okay to use either one. Now, to avoid having to worry about it, you can set up a default document extension in Dreamweaver's Preferences and Dreamweaver will resolve that extension for you when you save the file.
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