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Organizing Your Files

After all this planning, you are probably itching to start cranking out page after page of your upcoming masterpiece. That’s fine; but where are you going to put these files? You have already figured out how the site should be structured visually; now it’s time to think about how you should physically create the directories and files that you’ll need.

When you create a site with Dreamweaver, you start by creating a local version of the site on your hard drive. In fact, this is how you should always start a site. First define the local root folder within Dreamweaver, and then create the site itself. Dreamweaver is not designed to maintain local sites that aren’t on your local machine or mapped network drive, so you must have a local copy. This is called a local site, and it should have the exact same file and directory hierarchy as the public or remote site. Keeping them the same will make it easier for you and others to understand. In fact, doing this will prevent major problems with future site maintenance. It also will enable you to utilize some of Dreamweaver’s site-management features, such as tracking links and the Synchronize command. This, of course, has been said tongue in cheek. There is not always a requirement to have the local and remote site exactly the same, and there are situations when you shouldn’t have them the same. For instance, if you are a lone developer, do not upload your _notes, Templates, or Library folders (doing so could allow people to steal your source files if they find them), but if you are collaborating with someone in another city, then you might have to upload these referenced source files so that the job can be completed. It can be said that the cgi-bin folder does not need to reside on your local machine, but it is better to have duplication that can be used as a backup than not have it at all and have to start from scratch when your server or local hard drive dies.


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