Over the past few weeks, I’ve been writing some interesting tutorial based articles on various aspects of design, mostly with Macromedia products. Now, I’d like to try and explain how to combine these tools and methods to streamline your work.
First of all, if you don’t already have them, get Fireworks and Dreamweaver. I understand that it may be a bit pricey for a lot of folks, and to those folks, I say download the trial. It functions for 30 days, which is plenty of time to build a good website. The trials can be found here:
Ok, now that we’re all on the same page, let’s begin.
The first thing you need to do is “set-up” your site in Dreamweaver. The handy site tool can keep track of all your pages, images, and FTP them all to a remote server.
1. In the menubar, click Site/New Site.
2. In the Local Info dialog, give your site a name, and if you haven’t already, create a local directory specifically for your site, and select it as the Local Root Folder. It’s also a good idea to specify your HTTP address, as Dreamweaver will check for broken links.
3. Click on the Remote Info category. Specify which type of server access you have. If you have to FTP everything to your server, select FTP. However, if you have network access to the hosting web server, select Local/Network.
4. Depending on what you select, you’ll have to fill in different information. If you’re FTPing, make sure you know the FTP address, username, and password ahead of time. If you’re using a LAN, make sure you have access to the webserver, and have permission to write files.
5. We can bypass the Design Notes category for now, but if you’re working with a group of people on a web project, my advice would be to enable Design Notes. It allows you to attach comments to files for sharing with other designers. Very helpful.
6. The other categories aren’t that important to setting up your site, so click OK to finish setting up your site. Your site should now pop up in the Site window.
This is the first step to streamlining your website. Very important. Next week, we’ll talk about creating page templates, and creating template type graphics in Fireworks!
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