Thursday, 25 April 2013

An Easy Guide on How to Use Dreamweaver to Create a Website

For the novice, the topic on how to use Dreamweaver to create a website might sound alien or strange. Above all, it might sound too technical hence hard. There is nothing further from the truth; anybody can learn how to create a website using the program! In light of this, it is essential to have the necessary tools to do the job. This article takes you through the process in detail and many will be surprised to see how easy it can be. First though, why would you want to build a website? Apart from creating a voice online, a good site can be optimized to help you sell products translating into a better income for your business. A website is a business tool that connects you to the world and with this respect, a website is mandatory in the modern business world.

So what do you need and how do you begin with Dreamweaver? First, Dreamweaver is a commercial web editor that is fully-featured to provide you necessary flexibility to not only create but to manage both simple and complex websites. There are various versions of Dreamweaver in the market; the newest version having more features and versatility. In this article, you will learn the steps to operate the program and this means that you can tackle various versions. A standard compliant code will be generated meaning that version upgrades will not ruin your website. Are you ready to create your first website? This is how to do it;

The things you need

1. As hinted above, you need a Dreamweaver program on your computer. This will aid in the creation of the site because it is the 'work area' that will allow you to craft a site.

2. You need a web hosting account. This account is provided from companies that have servers and their purpose will be to ensure that your web pages are transferred and kept online. Web hosts are companies that have computers always connected to the Internet through servers. Simply do a quick online search to find an ideal web hosting service.

Things you want to achieve with the process
Designing your website on Dreamweaver will give you the results you want according to your goals. For example, you can design a two column website that has various pages and links. Some of the most important pages are about us, feedback form and sitemap. Therefore, it is critical to visualize the end result before starting. This will give you the necessary focus. The following is a step by step guide on how to use Dreamweaver to create a website.

Beginning with Dreamweaver

Step 1
The first thing is to set up your website on the editor. When you launch your program, you will be greeted by a tutorial as well as a line of options on the menu bar. Some of the options on the menu include File, Edit, Site Window, Commands and others. Do not be distracted by these options. Start by defining your site on the Site Manager and to do this, click on the option 'Site' on the menu and it will give you a drop down menu. Choose 'New Site' and click on it.

Step 2
'Site definition for untitled site 1' will come up in a dialog box after you have done the above. Next, click on 'basic' at the top of the dialog box. The edit box will also give you a chance to type a name for your site by asking the question, 'what would you like to name your site?' At this point, if you are not sure, simply type your domain name which you purchased from a web host.

Step 3
You will then be required to enter your web address on the box that comes up. Make sure to type in your full site address starting with HTTP. A 'next' button will come up; click on it to move on.

Step 4
You will be asked if you wish to use a server technology but use the default instead and decline this option; click 'next'. Here, you will be required to choose the location in which to store your file. Always have a copy saved on your computer. You can also save it at your preferred location. After you have chosen, click 'next' where you will be asked about how you want to connect to your remote server. From the drop down menu, select 'none' and move on.

Step 5
Finally in this section, you will be given a summary of your site definition and all you have to do is click 'Done'.

Design your website
It is easy to start with a two column website which has a side menu bar as well as a section for the main content. Simply go to 'File' and choose 'New'. You will be choosing a new document. Go to 'layout' and locate the option of '2 column liquid, left sidebar footer and header'. Choose by clicking on it. On the same window, choose 'Layout CSS' and then choose 'New File'. At this point Dreamweaver will save a copy just in case you need to create a similar page in future.

The next step is to hit the 'create ' button which allows you to save style sheet; do not change the default name provided while you save. Your page will be created with some dummy content which you need to replace with proper content later.

Your home page preamble
Your home page is the first thing that visitors see when they land on your site. It should contain basic information about your product or service in an inviting manner. The links should also be clear to direct visitors. For this reason, take time to know how you want to optimally design this section then follow the guide below.

Step 1
You can resize the columns provided and widen the main content section while you narrow your side bar. This will ensure a balanced outlook. Additionally, you can enter your site content at this point. Do these by clicking on the words you wish to remove then delete as you wish using your normal commands. At the header, replace the words 'untitled' and give it a name. This should be your company name that search engines will pick as they avail your website online.

Step 2
After adding your main content on the main document, the sidebar should be left alone because it will contain the navigation menu and links to be filled later.

Step 3
Fill in footer information by deleting what is contained and adding copyright information as desired.

Step 4
After you are done, an option to save will come up. Save as 'index.html' without the quotes and make sure that your file name is as given here. It plays a critical role in displaying your pages online.

Publishing your web page
At this point, the page is not totally complete but it needs to be published. This is to ensure that Dreamweaver works correctly because it needs to pick actual information from your web address for it to work optimally. The following are the steps to follow to publish the Dreamweaver site you have created.

Step 1
Go to Site Manager and choose to edit your site. Choose the one you have created and hit the 'edit' button.

Step 2
You will be asked how you want to connect to your remote serve and this time, choose 'FTP'.

Step 3
You will be required to enter your FTP address and you will get it from your web host. When you created an account with your host, you were given this information and you need to enter this information here. The address is basically prefixed by 'ftp' then your domain address.

Step 4
You will then be required to specify the folder on server in which to save your file. Here, choose the option specified by your web host. If none, leave it blank. The next thing is to login using your FTP password as provided by the host.

Step 5
There is an option to test whether your information is correct and when all is good, click 'Done' to complete the process. Finally, click on 'Site' then 'Put'; answer yes for 'put dependent files'.

Test your web page
By typing out your address on a web browser, you can get to test whether your page is now visible; it should be. Congratulations, you have managed to create a website using Dreamweaver. If there are errors, simply go to edit and check again. Otherwise if your domain is new, it takes about 2 days to have it up and running globally; so be patient. This is how to use Dreamweaver to create a website.