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In Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson explores the tools and techniques of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe's web design and development software. This course covers both the ins and outs of Dreamweaver, as well as recommended best practices for crafting new web sites and files, the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and how to ensure clean and accessible code. The course also includes how to use tools in Dreamweaver to create and style web pages, manage multiple sites, and add user interactivity with widgets and scripting. Exercise files are included with the course.
A less glamorous, often overlooked aspect of web design is the simple day to day maintenance that you need to do to keep your sites running smoothly. Little errors that you make in the process of creating your site can become large errors if they're left unattended as those tend to compound in document after document after document. To keep your site running smoothly, Dreamweaver has a full set of site management tools that let you monitor your site all the way through the development process. In this chapter, we will focus on Dreamweaver's site management tools.
We will cover how to run reports, check links, make sure your CSS is solid, and cover adding remote servers and uploading your site to a live server. One of the things you should do throughout the development process and certainly before uploading your site is to check for errors. Dreamweaver allows you to run site wide reports that can catch and help you fix a number of different problems. To run a site report, you don't need have any files open at all, you just need the Results panel group, which can be found under Window > Results and we're looking for Site Reports.
Now, as you can see, I already have the Site Reports panel as part of my workspace. But if you didn't, it would open up probably as a floating panel group. I like keeping it as part of my workspace because when I need to see more information, I can just grab this dividing line right here and move it up, regardless if I have any files open or not. So what do site reports allow us to do? Well, if you'll notice, there's a little green arrow in the upper left-hand corner over here on the Site Reports panel. I am going to go ahead and click on that so that we can see the option of the reports that we can run.
Now, in the Reports dialog box, the first thing it's going to ask is do you want to run a report on the entire current local site? Do you want to just any current document that you might have open, selected files in site, which would allow us to select individual files, or a folder, which would allow us to look at a subdirectory within our site structure. Now, I am going to say entire current local site and this is as good a time as any to let you know that I've defined the 16_01 folder as my site.
So for this particular exercise, if you haven't already, go ahead and define 16_01 as the root directory of this site. Okay. So for my reports, I can choose to do a workflow based report or an HTML report or combine the two. The Workflow report would allow me to see files that were checked out by a certain team members, any design notes that have been added or any recently modified files. Those options allow me to see who is working on what, which files have been recently modified, that sort of thing. Now, for this exercise we're more interested in the HTML reports.
Some of these are old and you really shouldn't have to worry about them like Combinable Nested Font Tags. Hopefully, you're still not using font tags in your site design, but if you are hey, you can check for them. Now, I want to turn your attention to two options here that are quite common problems in a lot of websites and can really make your life miserable if you don't pick up on an early. One would be Missing Alt Text. I am going to check that. And the other one would be Untitled Documents. I am going to check that. Those are two pretty common errors. Maybe when you place an image on the page and you just forgot to write an alt tag for it or maybe you swapped an image out for another one, deleted the alt text and never went back in and filled it back in again.
It happens, but that's definitely not something you want to have in your site. Same thing with untitled documents. It is so easy to create a new file, design the page, get it looking the way you want, test it, preview it everything looks great and then you move on to the next one, but you forgot that one little step of actually titling the document. So it does happen. So now, I am going to run a report that's going to check my entire current local site for any images that are missing alt tags and any documents are missing a title. I am going to go ahead and run my report.
And sure enough I see two results. One is the tours.htm, which is missing an alt attribute, and the other one is a document in the Tours section that's missing a document title. So I am going to fix have to both of those. Now, what's nice about this is we get a list and we can save that list as a text file. So if you're working with a team and you run a report and you find a lot of errors, you can save that and print it out or mail it to people and say hey these are some things that you need work on. Now, for our report these are pretty easy fixes to make and we only have two documents.
So we are going to dive in and do them ourselves. Another thing that I really like the Site Report dialog box gives you is a line where that error can be found. So you can jump right in the code or right to that item and fix it. In fact, if you double click that number, Dreamweaver is going to open the file up and jump right to that spot. I can see by looking in Design View and maybe I want to expand that a little bit that the missing alt tag is on this image right here. The Kids California logo. So I'm just going to switch over to the Properties Inspector, and it is indeed missing an alt tag, and I am just going to type Kids California, hit Return.
Then when I go back to my Site Reports, I can move on. Now unfortunately, when you fix an error, it doesn't remove it from the Site Reports. So you just kind have to move in order and remember what you fixed. I am going to go down my next document that is missing a document title. Double click that line. It's going to open up that document and again it takes me right to that spot in the code. I can see the Design View on this side, plus I get the option of titling it here. So this is my bigsur detail page. So I am just going to type in Big Sur Retreat as the document title.
Hit Return and save my file. As a matter of fact, I am just going to do a Save All and then I am going to close those files. Now again, those don't go away, but you can certainly run that report again. It's fairly easy to do. I can run it site-wide and now when I run it, I notice that I don't have any errors. So everything that was wrong in my site has now been fixed. Thankfully, I only had two problems. So it really didn't take me that long and that leads me to my next point. I would recommend running these reports on your site throughout the development process.
It's a lot easier to fix these errors if they are caught early on. The last thing you need the day before the site launch is to stay up all night fixing the errors that you've waited until now to find. Site reports are only one way to make sure the pages in your site are in working order. In our next movie, we are going to explore how to check and make sure that all the links in your site are working properly and how to fix them if they're not.
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