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Lesson 1. Learning the Basics > Defining a Local Site

Defining a Local Site

Before you begin to create individual Web pages, you need to create the site that contains those pages. This local site on your hard disk mirrors the actual pages on the Web server. The local site is the structure you set up within the local root folder; it is where you do all your initial development and testing. To set up a local site, you need to create a folder on your hard drive.

Copy the DW4_Intro folder from the CD-ROM to your hard drive.

This folder contains all the files and folders you will use for the lessons in this book, and it will be the root folder of your local site. When you begin work on other sites, you will want to create individual root folders for each of those sites. The names of those folders can be the names of the sites or any names you choose.


You should not save your local folder within the Dreamweaver application folder. If you ever needed to reinstall Dreamweaver, your work would be overwritten and lost.

Choose Site > Define Sites.

The Define Sites dialog box opens. The dialog box displays all the sites you may have defined and lets you create new ones. You can also edit existing sites through this dialog box.

Click New to create a new site.

The Site Definition dialog box appears.

Type the name of the site in the Site Name text box.

The names you assign to your sites can be anything that identifies them. The names are for your reference only. For the purposes of this lesson, type DW4 Intro in the Site Name text box.

Click the folder icon next to the Local Root Folder text box.

The Local Root Folder text box specifies the folder on your hard drive where the files for this site are stored. This folder is the local equivalent of the root folder on the remote site. Dreamweaver will use this local root folder to determine the paths for documents, images, and links in your site. You will learn about paths and links in Lesson 3.

Locate the DW4_Intro folder on your hard drive.

For Windows: Select the DW4_Intro folder and click Open. Then click Select to use the DW4_Intro folder as your root folder.

For Macintosh: Select the DW4_Intro folder and click Select.

In the Site Definition dialog box, select Refresh Local File List Automatically.

When you check this checkbox, Dreamweaver updates the site list whenever you add a new file to the site folder. If you don't check this checkbox, you'll need to refresh the local files manually.

Select Enable Cache and click OK.

When you check the Enable Cache checkbox, a local cache is created, improving the speed of linking and site-management tasks. Although you usually will want to select this option, keep in mind that re-creating the cache can slow operations on very large sites.

If a message box appears, click OK; then click Done to close the Site Definition dialog box.

You should always create and work within local sites. If you don't, you may have problems with links, paths, and file management. (Dreamweaver's tools for these features are covered in later chapters of this book.) You can create a site by creating a new folder and designating it as your root folder, or you can create a copy of an existing site by selecting and designating as the root the main folder that contains the entire site.



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