Now that you've set up and defined a Dreamweaver CS3 site using the manage sites dialog here, you're not quite ready to begin creating your website. First I recommend that you do some folder and file management, so this will be the topic of this movie. Let me go ahead and close out of the manage sites dialog and also minimize Dreamweaver. You're going to do this file and folder management initially outside of Dreamweaver in your operating system. Now, the site root folder is the one you've defined as your local root folder when you set up your site, so somewhere, located conveniently next to or near this site root folder, you'll want to set up a working folder. I highly recommend setting up this working folder and put working files in here that are not ready to go into your site, at least for your remote site. You want to keep your remote site and your local site pretty much identical, so things that are not quite ready, like PNG files in Fireworks or perhaps Photoshop files that you're editing, video files and audio files that are not quite ready yet, they're not compressed or edited, put those in your working folder. In the site root folder, I recommend setting up a series of sub-folders, one for your images. This will facilitate interaction and integration between Fireworks, in particular, and Dreamweaver. Fireworks will automatically, if you choose, put stuff, images that is, in a folder called images (with a lower case i). Library folder is good for library items that Dreamweaver will create. In fact, if you don't have a library folder, Dreamweaver will make one for you. It will also, give it a capital L at the beginning. As I'll discuss shortly, I don't like to use capital letters in any of my folder names and files, but Dreamweaver will insist, as it will with templates. If you work with templates, it'll create a folder called Templates for you with a capital T, so you might as well get prepared for that action and create your folders already. The last folder I recommend is perhaps one for videos. If you're going to be doing a lot of video work, these video files can be large and cumbersome, so you'll want to make a folder just for those video files. Besides sloppy folder management, another area that causes a lot of Dreamweaver problems with my students are poor file naming habits. In fact, between poor file names and sloppy folder management and sloppy file management, this is probably the majority of Dreamweaver problems that students will encounter later in their Dreamweaver career. So I'm going to give you some file-naming tips to really help you avoid many of the common problems that I see almost daily. First, do use lower case letters A-Z and numbers 1-9 only. File names containing upper case letters are hard to remember and do matter to most web servers. The problem is you'll forget whether you had a capital H on the HTML or lower case h. Do use descriptive names that are easier to remember. Don't use any of the following in your file names: special characters, such as !, @, #, &, $, and many others. Just keep it simple, A-Z, 1-9. Never use spaces in your names. Instead, string your words together or use underscores, such as here, my_First_File. Notice that the first example here, my_First_File, has a capital F for the First and capital F for the File, so you'll tend to forget those and if you enter your name or your link without that capital F, it'll break. Never use periods in your file or folder names, other than the 3-letter extension, so you'll never use a file name such as snow.boarder.htm. Instead, use snow_boarder.htm. Also, never use forward slashes. Forward slashes are misinterpreted as path locations on a hard drive. So, for example, my/new/index would be interpreted as the file named index.htm located in the new folder, located in the my folder. Let me conclude this movie with some general Dreamweaver CS3 site tips that will really avoid the majority of the problems that you will encounter and that I see almost every day that I work with my Dreamweaver students. (1) First and most importantly, set up a site first using file, new site. Never start working on a website until you've established a site with Dreamweaver. (2) Copy all files into the local root folder that you'll establish when you create the new site. (3) Never move or change folder names or file names outside of the files window. Later on, I'll cover the files window in more detail. Any changes that you do make in terms of moving files, changing file names, or changing folders or moving folders must be done in the file's window. (4) Use a remote site for your master files. (5) Use correct file naming and revision procedures. (6) Clean out old, unused files and folders. (7) Keep your site folder structure as simple as possible. This means having a flat folder structure. Don't have a lot of subfolders within other subfolders. Instead, have a lot of many folders on a very local level. So in other words, on the folder structure that I showed you previously, you'll have your site root folder and then perhaps only 4-5 major folders, such as images, videos, libraries, and templates, so that the majority of your HTML files will be in the very high level of your folder structure. (8) Lastly, back up your files and your folders frequently.
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