When working with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX for the first time, or on a new site for the first time, you need to define the Web site so that Dreamweaver can work with it. This process includes naming the site, placing the local files on a directory on your hard drive, and showing Dreamweaver where those files will be published on the Web. Follow these easy instructions to define a new Web site for Dreamweaver MX.
How to Create a Site in Macromedia Dreamweaver
When working with Macromedia Dreamweaver MX for the first time, or on a new web site design for the first time, you need to define the Web site so that Dreamweaver can work with it. This process includes naming the site, placing the local files on a directory on your hard drive, and showing Dreamweaver where those files will be published on the Web. Follow these easy instructions to define a new Web site for Dreamweaver MX.
1. Go to the Site menu, and choose New Site.
Dreamweaver has a site definition wizard that will walk you through the steps of creating a new Web site. Make sure that the Basic tab is displayed.
2. Name your site and click Next.
This name is for you to remember what Web site it is. I named mine “Jenn’s Web”.
3. Leave the option “No, I do not want to use a server technology.” checked, and click Next.
Macromedia Dreamweaver MX supports many different technologies, beyond just straight HTML. But for this example, we’ll be creating a basic Web site with no special technologies.
4. Leave the option “Edit local copies on my machine, then upload to server when ready” checked.
This allows you to keep a backup copy of your website design on your local hard drive. While it can be a bit slower than editing files directly on the Web server, it is a lot safer, especially if your Web server doesn’t have any revision control or backup processes.
5. Decide where you want to store the local files, and click Next.
I tend to leave it in the default location, but if you want to change where the files are stored, click on the folder icon and surf to the directory you want.
6. Change the “How do you connect to your remote server?” drop-down to “FTP”.
FTP is the most common way that people connect to Web servers, but Macromedia Dreamweaver offers several options: Local/Network, RDS, SourceSafe Database, and WebDAV.
7. Fill in the hostname, folder, and login name. For security leave the “save” checkbox unchecked next to the password. I recommend running the “Test Connection” option as well, to make sure that Dreamweaver can connect. If the connection works, click Next.
If you need help with the FTP options, please read my article on uploading.
8. Leave the option “No, do not enable check in and check out” checked and click Next.
Dreamweaver provides an option to protect against overwriting by a team of developers. Unless you know your site will be edited by more than just you, you can leave this option checked.
9. Review the options. If they look correct, click Done.
You have successfully set up a site in Dreamweaver. In the files tab of the resource pane, you will see a folder named the name of your site. This is the local view of your Web site. Go to the Site Menu, and click Site Files if you don’t see it.
Connect to Your Site
It’s easy to connect to a site once it’s been defined in Dreamweaver.
1. On the Site Files tab in the Resource bar, click on the icon with the three circles in a triangle shape.
2. Fill in your FTP login password.
Once you’ve defined your site, you’re ready to start editing. Just click on the files you want to edit, or create a new website design and build your site. When you’ve finished editing a page or section, highlight the page or section and click the blue up arrow to move them to your Web site.