Unit 1.  Dreamweaver 8 Basics

Introducing Dreamweaver 8


Dreamweaver 8 is a easy to use software that allows you to create professional web Pages.

The design edition features of Dreamweaver 8 allow you to quickly add objects and functionality to your pages, without having to program the HTML code manually.

It's possible to create tables, edit frames, work with layers, insert JavaScript behaviors, etc., in a very simple and visual way.

In addition, it includes a complete FTP client software, allowing among other things to work with visual maps of the Web sites, and updating the Web site in the server without leaving the program.

In order to follow this course you can download the trial version of Dreamweaver from the Macromedia's Page, this version expires after 30 days, but you can surely at some stage bring yourself to buy the full version of this wonderful program.

If you don't know the basic HTML characteristics you can see them here.

From Dreamweaver MX 2004 to Dreamweaver 8


In this point we will see the main features the new version of Dreamweaver includes:

RSS Integration: with Dreamweaver 8 you can integrate RSS feeds from other pages just setting the source and drag-and-droping the fields you want to appear. This way you would insert XML data easily.

CSS improvement: in this latest version the compatibility and handling of CSS styles have improved considerably. The CSS styles has been remade for a faster access to the page's style, and includes a new grid from which you will be able to modify the properties of every aspect of the style. Moreover, Dreamweaver 8 adds a new toolbar that helps you to set differents styles deppending on the kind of media the pages is being visualizing (screen, printerm webTV, PDAs...) .

Accessibility: Dreamweaver 8 incorporates an evaluation tool that supports the new WCAG/W3C Priority 2 checkpoints.

File Transfer: Now with Dreamweaver 8 you could keep on working with your files while the program uploads you recent modified files to your server. Its synchronization has been improved in a way that will allow you to manage the file changes and block/unblock files to avoid overwriting.

Improved Interface: The users with visual problems could access to a new Zoom option of the Design View in order to work comfortably and help them to work easily with nested tables. Also the inclusion of rules will help to the measuring of the elements pixel to pixel.

New toolbar: A new toolbar has been added in Dreamweaver 8, you will find it in the left side of the Code View, and it will help you to make the code more accessible since it allows us to browse the code by tags or even to collapse them. You can even add comments with just one click!

Compatibility: We have to mention also the new added compatibility with PHP%, Coldfusion 8 7 and Video Flash.


Editing a Web Page


Any text editor allows you to create web Pages. It's only necessary to create documents with HTML or HTM extensions, there you'll have to include the HTML code that you want. Even the Notepad can be used to do it.

Creating Web Pages with a text editor (and thus adding all the HTML code manually) requires more effort than using a graphical editor. If you don't use a graphical editor is much more difficult to insert each one of the elements of the Page, and at the same time it is more complicated to create a professional appearance for the Page.

Nowadays a wide range of web Page editors exists. One of the most commonly used, and emphasized by its simplicity and the numerous features that it includes, is Macromedia Dreamweaver.



In addition to Dreamweaver, another series of good Web Pages Editors exists, such as Microsoft FrontPage, Adobe Pagemill, Adobe GoLive, NetObjects Fusion, CutePage, HotDog Proffesional, Netscape Composer and Arachnophilia, some of which have the advantage of being free.

Planning your site online


In order to be able to upload a web Page to the Internet, it's necessary to hire a web hosting company to make your web site available to others on the internet 24 hours a day. The price to have your own space on their servers will depend on the company, the space on disk you need, the volume of transference and many other options that you can ask for.

There are companies that offer this service for free, but with certain limitations: justa a few disk space, slowness and a name for our Page preceded by their own etc... It's also necessary to consider that these companies must generate income in some way it is the reason why they are dedicated to sell advertising spaces within your Pages, ads that we'll not be able to avoid including in our web Pages.

For these reasons, it is not recommended to use a free hosting for a bussiness Page, although it is acceptable for a personal one.

When we are going to hire a web hosting service it is necessary to also contract a domain, a task which usually is in charge of the hosting company. To register a domain consists of registering a name for our Page. This name cannot be repeated in Internet, has to be unique, as happens with the names of the companies. It's possible to register the same name with different extensions, like for example, .net, .org, .biz or .com.

In the case of free hosting it isn't necessary to register a domain, since our Page will not be more than a file within the one of the hired company.

At the time of hiring a web hosting service it is also necessary to consider the number of email accounts and if we are going to need a database, although this last one will only be useful for advanced users.

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