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What is an index page?

From: Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

Video: What is an index page?

Okay, one last thing I'd like to discuss before we jump into {italic}Dreamweaver.{plain} Let's take a look at what a website actually consists of, and what happens when you type a web address into your browser. You probably spent plenty of time visiting web sites before, but I think it's important to start here, especially if you've never created your own web site. Anyone who's spent any time at all on the web knows how to type a site's address into the browser window. You just open up your browser, type in an address, and the page comes up. But, not everyone knows exactly what happens when you do this. So, I just want to take a couple of minutes here to give you the basic rundown and to explain where {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} figures into this process.

What is an index page?

Okay, one last thing I'd like to discuss before we jump into {italic}Dreamweaver.{plain} Let's take a look at what a website actually consists of, and what happens when you type a web address into your browser. You probably spent plenty of time visiting web sites before, but I think it's important to start here, especially if you've never created your own web site. Anyone who's spent any time at all on the web knows how to type a site's address into the browser window. You just open up your browser, type in an address, and the page comes up. But, not everyone knows exactly what happens when you do this. So, I just want to take a couple of minutes here to give you the basic rundown and to explain where {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} figures into this process.

I have a folder here on my desktop called teacloud, which is a website for a fictitious tea company. If you have access to the exercise files you can examine this folder on your own, but I'm really not going to do anything with these files in this movie. I'm just using it to point out a few things. Notice this folder contains several files that contain the extension of .html. Like this and this. And it also contains several folders. A web site is really just a collection of files and folders. Think of the main folder, meaning the folder containing everything that appears on your site, as the site folder, also called the root folder. The concept of the site folder is very important when working in {italic}Dreamweaver,{plain} as you'll see very shortly. Looking in this site folder I can see files like abouttea.html, brewingtea.html, contactus.html, and so on. Files that end in .html, or .htm if that's the extension you're using, are the actual web pages of the site. The folders found here contain additional web pages as well as the images and animations and other media files used on those pages.

Now, notice this file here called index.html. This is a very important file name. For the most part, you're free to name your web pages whatever you want, as long as you follow the basic rules we looked at in the previous movie. But, when you name a file {italic}index,{plain} you're basically declaring this page to be the default go-to page for the entire folder. Now, I have a version of this teacloud website already on the web, so let me fire up my web browser again. And, I'll type in teacloud.com. And, up pops the web page. Anytime you go to a world wide web address, you're connecting to a computer somewhere on the Internet that hosts the web site you're looking for.

Now, in this movie I'm not going to go into the details about how you go about associating the web address with an actual location on the web. That's something that your web hosting provider will help you with, and I'll be talking much more about this subject in the chapter on publishing your site. Right now my concern is explaining the default page that appears when you type in a web address. When I type teacloud.com, I'm telling the browser to find the folder on the web containing the teacloud site. And, since I didn't specify which page to open, it's going to open the default page, often called the home page, or the front page. This default page is the one named index, and it will have the extension of .html, or .htm. Notice if I type teacloud.com/index.html, the exact same page shows up.

This page is called index.html, and the point is, since I didn't specify a particular page in this folder, I got the index page when I typed teacloud.com. Now, if I do specify a page in the main site folder, for instance I can see there's a page in my main directory here called brewingtea.html, So, if I come back to my browser and type teacloud.com/brewingtea.html, that's the page that comes up. Or, if I go back and look in this folder again, I can see there's a folder here called abouttea, and inside that folder is a file called teatypes.html. So, I can specify that page as well by going to teacloud.com/abouttea, which is the name of the folder, slash (/), which tells the browser to look inside that abouttea folder, teatypes.html, specifying the page. And, there's that page. Of course, you rarely have to type page addresses into your browser like this. This is why we have links on our web pages; so visitors can just click to go to the pages that they want to look at. We'll get to creating links later. Let me give you one other example of the index page concept.

I roll over this About Us link right here, if you look at the status bar down here when I do that, notice it says down there that it's going to go to teacloud.com/aboutus/index.html. So, when I click on that page, there's the About Us page. Now, because this page is also called index.html, and it just happens to be sitting inside the aboutus folder, which you can see right here, I don't need to have index.html in here. If I wanted to go to this page, I could just type teacloud.com/about us, hit return, and that page shows up anyway. So, you can see that each folder in your site can have it's own index.html page, and the browser will always default to this file if you don't specify a different page.

So, when you create your site you can basically store your files however you like. You can have every single one of your pages sitting in the main folder, which probably isn't a good idea if you're going to have a fairly large site. It's best to arrange your site into subfolders, like abouttea, aboutus, assets, to hold all your images and media files, ourproducts, and so on. And, within each of these folders, you can have an index.html page, if you like. If not, you can just name them whatever you like. For instance, this abouttea folder has no index page. It has fromthefields.html and teatypes.html. But, this is just an example of how you can set up your sites file structure.

This is not the only way to set up your site. We'll be getting more into these concepts as we go along, and we'll talk a little bit more about site structure. But, I'm showing you all this now because I think it will help make sense of{italic} Dreamweaver's{plain} files panel, which is the window in {italic}Dreamweaver{plain} where you manage all aspects of your site's files and folders. Okay, so that's a quick overview of what's going on in the background when you call up a web page in your browser. That should give you enough foundational information to jump right into {italic}Dreamweaver.{plain} So, let's get started.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training
Dreamweaver CS3 Essential Training

129 video lessons · 87104 viewers

Garrick Chow
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 12s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
  2. 21m 0s
    1. HTML vs. XHTML
      3m 4s
    2. What is CSS?
      3m 48s
    3. What is XML?
      2m 11s
    4. What is DHTML?
      1m 9s
    5. What is JavaScript?
      1m 23s
    6. File naming conventions
      3m 22s
    7. What is an index page?
      6m 3s
  3. 46m 18s
    1. Setting up your workspace
      2m 39s
    2. The Welcome screen
      4m 11s
    3. Windows and Mac differences
      3m 18s
    4. The Insert bar
      4m 38s
    5. The Property Inspector
      1m 50s
    6. The Document toolbar
      6m 6s
    7. The Document window
      9m 11s
    8. Panels and panel groups
      6m 58s
    9. Saving workspace layouts
      2m 22s
    10. Defining a default browser
      5m 5s
  4. 24m 59s
    1. Defining a site
      9m 5s
    2. File and folder management
      3m 11s
    3. Understanding path structure
      3m 17s
    4. Adding content to a site
      6m 6s
    5. Creating a site map
      3m 20s
  5. 38m 39s
    1. Creating a new blank site
      6m 0s
    2. Creating and saving a new document
      7m 54s
    3. About DOCTYPE
      3m 59s
    4. Inserting images
      9m 26s
    5. Inserting text
      3m 35s
    6. Aligning text and images
      4m 9s
    7. Inserting meta tags
      3m 36s
  6. 45m 58s
    1. Link basics
      6m 4s
    2. Linking with Point to File
      5m 18s
    3. External links
      4m 15s
    4. Creating email links
      5m 49s
    5. Named anchors
      7m 37s
    6. Linking to a file
      7m 35s
    7. Image maps
      9m 20s
  7. 1h 8m
    1. About CSS
      4m 52s
    2. Anatomy of a style sheet
      4m 10s
    3. CSS and page properties
      10m 11s
    4. Moving an internal style sheet to an external style sheet
      6m 46s
    5. The CSS Styles panel
      3m 48s
    6. CSS selectors
      2m 37s
    7. Type selectors
      12m 13s
    8. ID selectors
      10m 21s
    9. Class selectors
      5m 42s
    10. Creating rollovers with pseudo-class selectors
      7m 22s
  8. 42m 54s
    1. CSS vs. the Font tag
      2m 42s
    2. Formatting text with the Property Inspector
      8m 41s
    3. What measurement should I use?
      3m 15s
    4. Managing white space with margins, padding, and line height
      8m 34s
    5. Using font lists
      5m 45s
    6. Aligning text
      2m 47s
    7. Creating lists
      5m 8s
    8. Creating Flash text
      6m 2s
  9. 43m 19s
    1. About tables
      1m 28s
    2. Tables in Code view
      2m 36s
    3. Creating and adding content to tables
      7m 40s
    4. Changing table borders with XHTML
      5m 46s
    5. Coloring tables with XHTML and CSS
      6m 41s
    6. Aligning table content
      6m 39s
    7. Sorting tables
      3m 6s
    8. Setting table widths
      4m 48s
    9. Creating rounded-corner tables
      4m 35s
  10. 28m 22s
    1. Dreamweaver's layout tools
      3m 8s
    2. Tracing images
      4m 58s
    3. Adding AP div tags
      7m 29s
    4. Working with Layout Tables
      6m 55s
    5. Adjusting table widths and nesting tables
      5m 52s
  11. 16m 19s
    1. What is a device?
      3m 14s
    2. Attaching a printer-friendly style sheet
      3m 5s
    3. Styling for print
      7m 41s
    4. Adobe Device Central
      2m 19s
  12. 29m 54s
    1. Rollover rules
      3m 31s
    2. Creating simple rollovers
      5m 36s
    3. Creating disjointed rollovers
      7m 12s
    4. Creating navigation bars with multiple states
      9m 21s
    5. Creating Flash buttons
      4m 14s
  13. 26m 32s
    1. Viewing the code
      6m 9s
    2. Editing in Code view
      3m 0s
    3. The Code toolbar
      5m 11s
    4. Working with Code Collapse
      4m 27s
    5. The Quick Tag Editor
      2m 20s
    6. Working with snippets
      5m 25s
  14. 32m 45s
    1. About forms
      3m 23s
    2. Adding text fields
      9m 52s
    3. Adding checkboxes and radio buttons
      5m 37s
    4. Adding lists and menus
      6m 5s
    5. Submitting form results
      3m 23s
    6. Styling form elements with CSS
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 17s
    1. Opening a new browser window
      9m 38s
    2. Creating a popup message
      2m 50s
    3. Validating text fields
      2m 42s
    4. Getting more behaviors
      7m 2s
    5. Removing extensions
      1m 5s
  16. 14m 58s
    1. External image editor preferences
      3m 18s
    2. Built-in image editing tools
      3m 11s
    3. Roundtrip editing from Dreamweaver to Fireworks or Photoshop
      4m 39s
    4. Copying and pasting
      3m 50s
  17. 34m 16s
    1. Templates in action
      5m 12s
    2. Creating a new template
      6m 36s
    3. Applying templates
      3m 36s
    4. Modifying a template
      1m 40s
    5. Adding repeating regions
      3m 28s
    6. Working with repeating regions
      3m 13s
    7. Adding optional regions
      3m 34s
    8. Creating a library item
      3m 48s
    9. Modifying a library item
      3m 9s
  18. 13m 2s
    1. Using the History panel
      4m 24s
    2. Saving History steps as commands
      3m 25s
    3. Using Find and Replace
      5m 13s
  19. 14m 44s
    1. W3C accessibility guidelines
      4m 6s
    2. Accessibility preferences
      1m 29s
    3. Inserting accessible images
      3m 2s
    4. Inserting accessible tables
      2m 53s
    5. Inserting accessible form objects
      3m 14s
  20. 26m 17s
    1. About media objects
      2m 6s
    2. Linking to audio and video files
      5m 56s
    3. Embedding audio and video files
      7m 7s
    4. Setting parameters
      4m 27s
    5. Inserting Flash content
      2m 37s
    6. Inserting Flash video
      4m 4s
  21. 28m 47s
    1. Getting site reports
      3m 35s
    2. Checking links sitewide
      3m 30s
    3. Signing up with Tripod
      6m 36s
    4. Entering remote info
      4m 13s
    5. Publishing your site
      5m 41s
    6. Updating and publishing pages
      5m 12s
  22. 44s
    1. Goodbye
      44s

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