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Defining the Site

In this task, you will define the site using Dreamweaver MX's new Site Definition wizard. Many Web-development software packages let you create pages one at a time, just as you work on one document at a time in a word processor. Dreamweaver is different in this regard, because it forces you up front to define the site. By defining the site, you specify the site's root folder, which enables Dreamweaver to correctly create and maintain links within your site, including links to other HTML files, embedded images and Flash movies, and CSS styles. The Site Definition wizard also lets you specify different folders for the site in development (the local version of the site) and in production (the remote version of the site). This in turn makes uploading files to production a one-click process—no more confusing FTP software!

One consequence of defining a site is that you also usually elaborate your site structure, or logic, at the same time. Too many people do this haphazardly, making it up as they go along. How well you can maintain the site in the long run, or how smoothly you can collaborate with team members (if you have any) in large part depends on how well you define the site's logic. Will site subsections go in their own folders? Will there be a default image directory? If subsections are in their own folders, will these folders have their own default image directories? And so on.


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