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Chapter 15. Working with Templates > Understanding Dreamweaver Templates

Understanding Dreamweaver Templates

Although the concept of templates can seem like a broad term, thinking analogously can aid in understanding the framework behind Dreamweaver templates. Think of professions in the real world as examples. For instance, furniture makers use templates to duplicate furniture based on a master design. To add uniqueness to each furniture piece, they may use different dyes or leather colors. Clothing manufacturers create one pattern and base future clothing pieces from the master pattern. Welders create jigs as a way of precisely duplicating curves when welding medal. The list goes on and on. Templates are simply a way for individuals to create a master design or pattern and then derive future designs from that master, effectively ensuring consistency and uniformity across future versions of that design.

The profession of web development is no different. Using the Dorknozzle organization as an example, assume that our organization has numerous departments. Also assume that each department wants to create their own web presence in the Dorknozzle intranet site. Although the overall framework of the site must remain the same, each department is certainly welcome to customize the content that appears on their particular page. This is where templates become useful. As the webmaster, your task is to create one master template file. When that master template file is done, we can base other pages off of that master. For instance, we could create the main page, the help desk page, the employee store page, the company directory page, and the admin page. Even better, we could allow the web developers from each department to derive their own pages off of our template for each of their own department sites. Of course, the obvious benefit here is that this will ensure a consistent look and feel throughout the entire intranet site. The major benefit goes beyond consistency and uniformity and includes maintainability.


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