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Dreamweaver Templates

Have to create a website from scratch ...are templates good

4:26 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have to build a new website ...as of now i only have the structure drawn up on paper ..this is the first time i am going to use dreamweaver to build a site, hence wanted to clear some doubts before starting.....

1) Why are templates used: what i understand is :i should use a template when the pages of my website all have the same basic structure with only the main body text changing in each page! ....IS THAT CORRECT....

2) Once i create a basic page ..say my home page, i need to create editable text regions for all of the text which will change in each of the following pages?

3) Should the template page be named in some format or is it index.htm...and i use it to create the following pages

4) Do i need to remember anything specific while creating image links...and should the files (template ) and other pages saved in some specific folder....

I know these are a lot of questions....but i need help and am finding myself really confused...any help will be highly appreciated...



6:12 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Contentmaster, you can call your template file whatever you want. You can also have multiple templates on your site if you have different sections or kinds of pages, so I'd name your template something logical, like "main". When you save it as a template, DW will put it into a special templates directory.

You do need to define your editable regions. Content location is one, the titles/custom meta area could be another.

Using templates will save a lot of time when you make nav changes or other sitewide alterations. If your site grows larger, consider using server side includes for common elements like navbars - this will allow you to update & upload a single tiny file instead of regenerating every page on the site.

11:12 pm on Feb 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

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1)Templates save you a massive amount of time if you have to update part of the locked area eg if you wish to add an extra navigation button to a 200 page site, you amend only the template and on saving - all 200 pages are updated (as long as you have created them from the template) you have to ftp 200 amended files of course.

2)Not quite sure what you mean by this question but you may well find that you only need to create one editable region which contains all of the copy/pics etc applicable to that one page.

Note that Dreamweaver automatically creates a 'title' editable region so that you can alter the title of each derived page. You may wish to amend the content of this region so that meta tages for 'Description' and 'Key Words' are also included - assuming you want different key words and descriptions for each page. Best to do this before creating any pages from it - gets a bit cumbersome afterwards.

3)Templates are automatically named as .dwt on saving e.g. 'main.dwt' to use Rogerd's example. Dreamweaver will create a top level directory called 'Templates' upon you saving your first template.

4)You don't have to remember anything specific about image links. Dreamweaver will automatically alter the links so that they are correct from where you save the created file from to your image location - this is the clever bit. I have had one or two problems with this such that the link pointed to an incorrect route - I think it was when a link was wrapped up in javascript, can't quite remember. But even then you can get around it with 'Find and Replace' afterwards.


3:40 am on Feb 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It depends on how many pages are in your site.

I use templates for sites of upto 100 or so pages, after that I prefer to use SSI.

Some of my sites have thousands of pages, using templates for these would be a little unwieldy.

4:13 pm on Feb 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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When you use templates do you use absolute or relative URL's. With relative url's you need different templates for some subdirectories. Seems it would be easier to use absolute url's. Any reason I should not do this?
8:39 am on Mar 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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HOw do you use Editable regions?

Do you 1) create a main.dwt.php template and then resave to 1.php, 2.php, etc?

Then 2) when you edit outside the editable region in the template it will change all the other .php files automatcally upon save?

Also, what is an optional region or a repeating region?

8:31 am on Mar 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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As I understand it, you could update global navigation, eg, in a Library Item rather than doing it in a template. What would the considerations be in choosing between the two when setting up a site in Dreamweaver?
2:02 pm on Mar 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What would the considerations be in choosing between the two when setting up a site in Dreamweaver?

Don't choose between them! Use them in tandem. Until I discovered library's true functionality I was frustrated by the lack of template heirachy. for instance if, I wanted to make site wide changes to a number of templates I had to manually alter each element within each template. But with library items you can change one thing and it will update all the pages and templates that use them.

You can also drag and drop scripts, images, flash files, links, snippets etc. there is also a favourites pannel that will allow you to keep features that you use often in one group.

Templates are excellent for structuring sitewide changes, library items give you wider control of the template facility.



[edited by: limbo at 2:23 pm (utc) on Mar. 9, 2004]

2:23 pm on Mar 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What would the considerations be in choosing between the two when setting up a site in Dreamweaver?

I've struggled to find a use for the library facility but use the template facility extensively. If you design your site using a template then updating the 'common' aspects of each page on the site is straight forward. I've found that whenever I've considered using the Library facility - there's no need because I can carry out whatever I need within the main template. Consider the Library facility to be a mini template within a document.

I'm finding this difficult to explain. There no substite for 'haveing a go', Build a template, use it to create a few pages of a site then try out the Library facility within the template or within one of the editable areas of the created pages. You may well then find that you can do all you want to with the main template.

2:36 pm on Mar 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

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BTW, when you have your editable regions which are given names and you DO Decide to have more than one template as I do...then be sure to have sort of naming standard across the different templates.

This way, if you choose later on to switch the template on which one page is based to another, then switchover would go smoother.

For example, for one site I started out with 6 or more templates and knowing little back then (and before I got into SSI), I actually had a different name for the body (where the bulk of the pages were to go). Later in time, switching numbers of pages from one template to another became hellish since the names of the editable regions didn't match.

errrr, did I explain that well? (not sure that I did)


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