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A guide to defining websites using Macromedia Adobe Dreamweaver

Please note this tutorial is intended for use with Macromedia Studio 8


Why define a web site?

You might be wandering what’s the point in defining a web site in Macromedia Dreamweaver. Well, looking at the image below, as soon as I opened dreamweaver, it shows me all of the files in my current site, making it quick and easy to edit web pages and drag images into my designs.



Another useful reason to define a websites is because it allows you to store passwords for accessing web servers. That way, you can upload files easily at the click of a button.


How to define a website

O.K. so that’s all well and good, but how do you go about doing it?
First of all click on ‘Site’ in the menu bar and then click on ‘New Site’.

Site Menu


A wizard will start asking you a few easy questions about your website’s definitions.



Name your website

On the first page of the wizard, give your new web site a name and enter the http:// web address (URL) of your website. If you don’t have a hosting server then leave this field blank. Click on ‘Next >’.

Name your new website



Server Technology

The next page will ask if you want to use server technology. If you are going to be creating dynamic web pages with scripting languages such as ASP or PHP then click on yes and choose the type of server technology that you are using. If you will be using more than one type of server technology then choose the one you will use the most. Of course, if you are just creating static HTML web pages rather than ASP or PHP pages then choose the ‘No’ option.

Server Technology



Editing Options

The next page will ask you how you want to work with your files during development. There are three options here. If you are not using a hosting web server then you would choose the first option. If you do have a hosting package then you might want to choose the second option as it allows you to make sure that, after a file has been saved and uploaded to a web server, all the images etc appear where they should do. The third option would be used if you didn’t have the files saved on your local machine and wanted to edit the files directly from the server.

Design Folder


Before going to the next page, click on yellow folder icon to browse to the folder where your files are saved. Navigate to, and open the folder where your files will be saved. Click on ‘Select’ to tell Dreamweaver to save your files here.

Bnrowse for a file

Remember, all of your images should be saved to this folder also.

Click on ‘Next >’



Setting up a conenction to a remote web server

Depending on what option you chose in the previous pages you will now be asked a different question. You may now be asked if you want to use a remote testing server. If you are not using a web server to host your files then click ‘No’ to this and then click on ‘Next >’. That’s it, your site is defined, click on ‘Done’. If you had come to this page and actually you were going to use a web server during your design and testing process then click on ‘Yes, I want to use a remote server’ then click on ‘Next >’.

Dreamweaver will now ask you how you connect to your remote testing server or web host. You would normally connect to a hosting server using FTP (file transfer protocol) so in the first drop down box, click on ‘FTP’. Then complete all of the fields as necessary. If you are not sure of your FTP settings then you will need to ask your hosting provider. Once all of your FTP details are in place, click on ‘Test Connection’. Dreamweaver will attempt to log in to the web server. If all of the details are correct then Dreamweaver will let you know that it successfully connected to the server. If you get an error then you have probably entered something incorrectly. Again, you will need to contact your hosting provider to check your ftp account settings and in the drop down box click on ‘I’ll set this up later’.

When you are done, click on ‘Next’.

FTP Details



Website URL or http address

On the next page enter your websites URL such as then click on ‘test URL’. If the test is successful then click on ‘Next’.




Working as part of a design team

The next page will ask you if you want to use “Checking in and out”. This is useful if you are working as part of a team of web designers. Checking in will stop other web designers from trying to modify a web page that you currently have open for editing. If you not working as part of a team of designers then choose the ‘No’ option. Click on ‘Next >’.




Site Defined

That’s it, you’re finished. =D Click on ‘Done’. If you ever need to come back later to edit any of these settings, go to the 'Site' menu and click on 'Manage Sites'.


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