Join Paul Trani for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding how web sites work, part of Creating a First Web Site with Dreamweaver CS4.
So I would like to start of by giving an overview how websites and the web in general works. So this is a tall order, but I'm just going to simplify it. In general, the web is really made up of a bunch of websites and you are probably asking yourself, what is a website? A website is just a collection of related web pages that are linked together and viewed on Internet through a browser. These web pages could have various items on them, whether they are images, interactive content, even a video. But in general, there are web pages that are linked together in one way, shape or form and viewable through a web browser.
But if we take a closer look at a webpage, what a page is, is really a document written in plain text with formatting applied to it and this formatting is called Hyper Text Markup Language. HTML. So what this HTML does is tell how to display that text. It can not only tell you how to display text, but also to display images, again, interactive content, or even videos, if you want to as well. But again, it's just a sort of a plain text with formatting applied, allowing you to extend the experience of the page visually and as well as adding additional content.
The great thing about Dreamweaver is Dreamweaver does a lot of this for us. So I could know nothing about HTML, to be honest, and I can create everything in Dreamweaver, if I want to, because it really makes it possible for non-programmers or coders to quickly create robust web pages and sites. Again, Dreamweaver does a lot of the work. I just tell it what to do and now it magically comes a website or webpage. Once this webpage is created, I can go ahead and take all those web pages and the ancillary content and upload it to what's called the web server. All that a web server is a computer that's connected to an Internet, so big word, but it's just a computer that's connected to the Internet.
The website is then accessed by web address usually made through a web browser. So the user will type in the web address or do a search through Google and that request is then made to the web server, which then sure enough serves up that requested webpage and displays it in a web browser. The great thing is Dreamweaver really helps us build these web pages and then upload them to the web server, so a user can access them.
- 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
Skill Level Beginner
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.