Let me now review the very important process of setting up a Dreamweaver site. Before doing any work on a site, including creating documents, inserting media such as pictures and text, or certainly before you try to link any content to that page or pages or link one page to another or even link a site to an external website, you'll want to first set up a site. This involves first defining a site and you'll do that right here from the welcome screen before you even create any new documents here. I'm going to choose from the main menu, site, new site. That will bring up the very important site definition window or dialog. This is quite an involved dialog, but I'm just going to kind of cover the most important components here. This is divided into two tabs. There's a basic tab which will take you step by step through like a wizard, guiding you through the creation and setting up of a site. I actually prefer the advanced tab. Even with beginners, I find that this is a little bit easier. Notice that on the left you have categories, such as local info, remote info, testing server, cloaking, design notes, site map, layout, file view columns, contribute templates, and Spry. I'm just going to cover the first two categories in this tutorial and that will be enough to get your site up and working. First is local info. You'll want to give your site a descriptive name. I'm going to call this sample site. This will be something that you'll recognize in Dreamweaver so you can have spaces and capitalization here, if you wish. This is just an identifier. Perhaps the single most important step to make sure that you do correctly as the next one is the local root folder. You need to define a local root folder on your local machine, where all your site files will be located. This will include all of your HTML Dreamweaver documents, your graphics, your videos, your cascading style sheets, everything that will end up going up onto your host. I usually put everything here in my local root, except for my working files, such as Photoshop files or perhaps Fireworks PNG files, uncompressed video files that I'm still working on. You can also designate a default images folder. I usually create a folder in my site called images with a lower case i. I will be talking more about how to set up your folders and files in the next tutorial. You want to set your links relative to document. You can put your http address here, if you have one. If you have a domain name or a host where you're going to put this, you'll put the URL here. Most likely you'll want to enable use case sensitive link checking. Many host are case sensitive, host servers, so you'll need to check for that and you'll definitely want to enable the cache. As the description here states, the cache maintains file and asset information in the site. This is Dreamweaver's way of helping you check and correct potential link mistakes from names that have changes or files that have been moved. Next you'll go to the remote info category and here your access options are FTP, local area network, web DAV, RDS, or Microsoft Visual Source Safe. Usually we're going to be working with FTP or, if you're on a local area network, that option. Let me demonstrate the most common option and that is to access via FTP through a host. You'll need to get three pieces of information from your host provider. That is your FTP address. That is usually something like FTP.domain_name. So, for example, if your domain name is GeekManuals.com, like mine, your FTP host would usually be something like FTP.GeekManuals.com, but you want to check with your provider to get the exact URL for your host, so that would be domain_name.com. Of all the problems my students encounter in the first several weeks of class, this FTP host is always the most difficult. They have trouble getting the correct URL here. Again, you'll need to contact your hosting service provider to get this information. Next you'll do your login and password. Usually you can skip the host directory, although if your host does give you a host directory, enter that in there. Then, most importantly, after you get your login and password information entered, click on the test button to make sure that it is working. That's a relatively new feature in the last several versions of Dreamweaver and it's a very handy feature. They make sure that you've got these three pieces of information correct. You'll also probably want to save that information so you don't have to enter it in and go look up your FTP host, login and password again after you've got this set up. You may also find that using passive FTP will give you better results. If you have trouble during the test, try the use passive FTP and see if that fixes it.
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