Learning Dreamweaver

Since starting the website design assignment for TW5212, I have been very anxious about whether or not I could learn enough about using Dreamweaver to create even a basic site. Honestly, it seemed (and seems) very ‘fiddly’ to me, and the whole CSS system is annoying, though I can see how eventually it would become a useful system once mastered.
The way I approached this assignment was basically to write the content for each of my 10 pages in Microsoft Word, then when I had it all written, images and media sourced, I would worry about the technical side. However, I finished this over a week ago and am still trying to get to grips with Dreamweaver. Despite our lab sheets and information on the net, I just couldn’t find a good starting point for myself, all the different approaches confused me, the new terminologies, html code, servers, root folders-all new to me and really frustrating.
These were some ofthe initial things I found confusing when starting Dreamweaver:

Where are all the files stored? What is the difference between the folders (root, site etc)?
Why can I preview my pages in the browser sometimes, and other times all I can see is code? (still don’t understand that actaully…)
How do I manipulate divs?
Is it better to use a template, make my own template, use frames as a template or use embedded templates?
Do I have to create a CSS for EVERY bit of text I write?

Those were my initial problems, but I more or less have gotten over those now (and other ones have developed). The past few days I have definitely made progress, I have spent days trying to get to grips with it and finally have maybe half of my site done. Whereas I began by trying to use embedded templates, I eventually found that creating my own template using divs was the easiest way for me to begin. Once I got my head around ‘creating editable regions’ and FINALLY became comfortable the css system, I feel a litle better. I still have to work on some sort of navigation system, and I’m finding inserting images slightly dodgy but hopefully I’ll figure it out.

Here is a youtube tutorial video I found helpful as it shows how to create pages from templates you have created yourself;

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John Rainsford
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 17:13:19

    I agree Dreamweaver is problematic, Katrina, I wonder do you feel that more time should have been spent on the HTML coding exercises. It might be a paradox but many of our colleagues seem to be working with the code to develop their web pages. That’s strange considering all the talk about how easy Dreamweaver was as a web page creating tool.

    Reply

  2. el6082katrina
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 16:21:06

    Hi John,
    I think HTML makes it easier to create websites on Dreamweaver. I had lots of problems trying to create my site, since I had no experience of anything like that either, I was nervous. Maybe those that have some programming/website experience found it easier but thats just the way it goes. My website ended up very basic, and there was lots I would have liked to change but was I was nervous to start adding/changing things once I had it created it, in case I messed something up. But I am glad I had the assignment though, dreamweaver is tough to grasp (for me anyway) but I can see its potential. I wouldn’t describe it as ‘easy’ but once you get over the initial strangeness of it, it becomes easier but only with a LOT of practise and effort.

    Reply

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