Though we didn't do any of the "sexy" or "cool" stuff in this chapter, we showed you how to lay the foundations for a successful site. At this stage of the process, the designs are moving from paper and coming to life on the computer.
We started off the chapter by reviewing how to create and define a new site in Dreamweaver MX 2004. This started with a discussion of Dreamweaver's capability to connect to a variety of web servers for local and remote testing purposes. From there, we moved into the process of defining a site in Dreamweaver MX 2004. As we point out, it is a relatively simple three-step process:
Create and define a folder on your hard drive to hold and manage the working files.
Define a folder for the final files that is located on a local or remote server.
Tell Dreamweaver MX 2004 where the dynamic pages are to be processed.
One of the great productivity enhancements available to you in a development environment is the use of a template. We discussed in great depth the various template creation tools available to you and then showed you how to build a template based on an HTML page.
As the developer world moves closer to fully embracing Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, this latest release of Dreamweaver not only embraces CSS, it becomes even more closely identified with the standard. There are several new or improved tools and methods of CSS production in Dreamweaver MX 2004, and we review many of them.
With the elements of dynamic design in place, you can now turn your attention to a technology that makes a site dynamic: the database. You can design templates and manage the content through CSS or table-based layouts. Still, if you don't have a database holding the content, then your site simply won't function.