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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
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Understanding Dreamweaver and HTML


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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4

with Paul Trani

Video: Understanding Dreamweaver and HTML

Before you start out in Dreamweaver it's helpful to have a good understanding of Dreamweaver as well as HTML, which is the backbone of Dreamweaver. Well first off, what is Dreamweaver? Well, it's a web development application that makes it really easy for anyone regardless of your background to create robust web pages and sites quickly. So, whether you are a programmer and like to sort of write code by hand you can do that in Dreamweaver, or if you want to create everything visually, you can also do that in Dreamweaver, but the end result is web pages and websites made quickly all in Dreamweaver.

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Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4
2h 41m Beginner Sep 16, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4 shows the basics of doing just that—building a first web site. Adobe Certified Instructor Paul Trani walks through the important steps of creating a web site from concept to publishing, using Dreamweaver CS4. He teaches how to create basic web pages, add text and image content, use Cascading Style Sheets for design and layout, create a photo gallery, and even check the final site for browser compatibility. He also demonstrates how to create a contact form to encourage viewer feedback on the site. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Exploring the Dreamweaver workspace for first-time users
  • Linking to external web pages and sites
  • Improving the presentation of text and images on the site
  • Building a layout using Cascading Style Sheets
  • Making navigation reusable across multiple pages
  • Displaying content using the Accordion widget
  • Creating a contact form and sending data from it
  • Making the final site search engine-friendly
Subjects:
Web Web Design Projects
Software:
Dreamweaver
Author:
Paul Trani

Understanding Dreamweaver and HTML

Before you start out in Dreamweaver it's helpful to have a good understanding of Dreamweaver as well as HTML, which is the backbone of Dreamweaver. Well first off, what is Dreamweaver? Well, it's a web development application that makes it really easy for anyone regardless of your background to create robust web pages and sites quickly. So, whether you are a programmer and like to sort of write code by hand you can do that in Dreamweaver, or if you want to create everything visually, you can also do that in Dreamweaver, but the end result is web pages and websites made quickly all in Dreamweaver.

And again Dreamweaver easily creates web content using HTML but you can also use other leading web technologies if you want to. Dreamweaver will give you the tools to write this code very easily regardless of the technology you are using. But most importantly, it really helps us to make HTML content. First off, what is HTML content? Well it's Hypertext Markup Language that really describes web pages. Okay so it will determine or decide kind of how to display text.

So it's a combination of markup tags and plain text. And that combination looks like this. There are some HTML tags. So in HTML page, I might have a tag that works like HTML with sort of angle brackets on either side and that makes up a tag and tags come in pairs. So, if I wanted to add a title to a page, I would have this pair of tags on either side of the title of my page, just like it shows in this example. So, to display a page title between the HTML title tags, I would have the title for the page as well as this h1, which is the header or heading, and then the p is for the paragraph.

Again HTML tags and content between those two tags. And that's the format of HTML. This HTML is then taken and then it's rendered in a browser. So the browsers know what to do with these tags and how to display the content between those tags, to really give you sort of the nice appearance which you usually see on a website. It's all driven by HTML. Now, there are some sort of common basic HTML tags to keep in mind, such as like I mention, the Title tag which will give me the title of the web page.

There will be certain section headings, h1 to h6. So again the largest one on the page is going to be h1, this smallest heading is going to be h6, if I have a smaller handing, and then most of the content is probably going to be Paragraph text. But as you can see there's plenty of HTML tags that you can go ahead and reference to display your text correctly. So, you take those tags and you put them on an HTML document, which is structured into three parts.

We have the Doctype at the top, which Dreamweaver writes this for me already but it really tells the browser how to interpret this HTML page. So there is also the Head, which is really the non-visual content that's loaded before the Body. So it's going to be sort of a reference for the actual certain styles of how to display the Body content or even some additional functionality might be in the Head of the HTML. And really there is the Body copy, which is the bulk of your web page, which is all of the content for that page that displayed potentially based on what's in the Head part of the HTML page.

But that's the basic structure and what's again nice is the fact that Dreamweaver writes all of this for me. So, I might not even know that this is going on in the background because Dreamweaver does all of this work for me, but it's good to know what's going on behind the scenes as you move forward. And again Dreamweaver does all the work. Whether it's a web page or an entire website, it can really get you up to speed quickly.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4.


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Q: After creating the website as instructed in the tutorial, and uploading the site to the internet, the website does not seem to work for every browser. How can one make sure that the website will work for all browsers?
A: An important step when creating a website is to check for browser compatibility. To do so in Dreamweaver, go to Window > Results > Browser Compatibility. Click the Play icon in the left corner then go to Settings and target the browsers you¹re after. Then hit the Play button to run it and check the page that’s open. If there’s an issue, best-case scenario, it should show you what the issue is and link out to a solution. Worst case is that it’s a pretty unique issue, in which case further troubleshooting would be needed.

Q: The background image is tiling, instead of being one large image. How is this corrected in Dreamweaver?
A: This can be corrected by using a larger image, something around 1024x768 that will fill up most of the monitor space. The issue is that the background image is just too small. Note that tiling of the background image can be turned off in the CSS Panel, but that would only result in a single small image. So it’s better to just use a larger image for the background.
Q: When trying to import SWF content, I get a message: “This file is outside the root folder of site ‘xxxxx’ and may not be accessible when you publish the site.” What is causing this?
A: Make sure your SWF file (and all files you put on a page) are located in your local site. Basically make sure you set up a local site in the site panel. It will ask where to put your local site on your computer. Just make sure you SWF is in that folder and you won’t get that error.
 
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