Dreamweaver Class Notes, Day 1…the basics

December 3, 2008 at 4:35 pm Leave a comment

Sadly, this is the 3rd time I have taken this class. (Apparently, it has become my holiday tradition.) I really want to believe that building html will be like designing for print, but alas, it isn’t to be. I get all rev’d up to build sites, then when I start, I want to pull out my hair, stop, and then forget.

Things that I really want to remember this time:

Fun facts:
– 54% of web users are still using internet explorer 98. 24% are still dial up.
– One reason why we love style sheets:
– 12 points on a mac reads 12 pt.
– 12 pt on a pc is reads 16 pt (so be sure not to over adjust to smaller)
– 72 ppi on a mac is 72 ppi visually, 72 ppi on a pc is 96 ppi
style sheets are universal (they will adjust it to accommodate the visual difference)
– 80% of all research is done on google
– google owns firefox


Side notes:
Check out Adobe CS4
– Apparently they have re-done all of the navs to be cross-program. Instead of Macromedia fitting into Adobe, they fit each other. In other words, the hex colors, are more robust in dreamweaver. No longer do I need to go to photoshop to find the hex number for a pms color.
– need a dedicated server for streaming a lot of video clips, otherwise the site will be painfully slow

No duh and best practices:
– Of course, always be sure to test your site on every browser and platform (pc & mac)
– be sure the ftp disconnects after 30 minutes
– Default sizes: use 800 x 600
– always remember to start every link with http://
– be sure to have your navigation at the footer as well as the header. be sure that it is in text
– all web sites should be copyrighted
– all sites should have a policy privacy, terms of use, contact us and “a way back home”
– keywords, description and first paragraph are the main 3 areas that spiders look at – these should be at the very top of the code.
Blogs
– blog about topics relevant to your website, and provide links back to your website

Setting up your preferences:
Basic rule: If you do NOT have a document open, any preference change saved will be universal. If you DO have a document open, any preference change saved will be for that document only.

New document
– use the setting XHTML 1.o Transitional…works with CSS and HTML (the majority of web browsers are compatible with this

Site:
– always work on the local file, NOT remote (live)
– if you are working with a team or with Contribute, be sure to check “prompt on get/check out” (getting from the host, and checking it out) check “prompt on put/check in” you can find who did what, in case something goes awry or a file goes missing
– “put options” reminds you to save
– “move options” moving files within the dreamweaver program, like moving a graphic to a new folder, it will remind you to be sure to amend the file path


In the code:
Comments:
To add a comment in the code, so you can find stuff, remind yourself:
( is the comment code close) There also is a button on the program’s top nav bar that will insert a comment symbols in the code. All you do is type in between the –s.

Metadata:
– Always goes at the top or right after the head.
– Always be sure your cursor is in the right place when you click on something to be inserted, like keywords, description, etc. Always return to the next line. You can insert comments in the metadata.

Editing images :
– decide what program you want to be your default editing program
– it will be on the bottom graphics bar. select image that you want to amend and click on the program icon



Using the program:
Work space:

– On the menu, go to window, pull down to insert and it gives you the top nav bar
– on the far right of the nav bar, a fly-out menu and click on tabs to get a tabbed nav (I like this)
– right click on “favorites” to put in the things you use the most

Using spry menus
– all searchable
– you can customize the menus
– more attractive than drop downs


Text and glyphs
– drop down menus will eliminate the issue with needing special characters that aren’t universal on all keyboard, such as copyright, dashes, etc.

– to get more space (since you are only “allowed” one space, not multiples) click on the “other characters” in the drop down menu. (I sometimes want a line break, but not all of the big fat leading that a hard return gives you, and would like to just add a few more spaces to force a soft line break….now I can using in the code)

Optimizing images
– images are edited in either fireworks or photoshop
– .gif – solid, plain color (can’t make a photographic gif) transparent backgrounds
– .png24 – aspects of a .jpg but with a transparent background…this is the ideal file type when saving for a powerpoint presentation
– .jpg – best for photographic images, smaller than .pngs

Web 2.0
– Google “owns” 2.0
– all keywords need to be relevant…the more you put in that is redundant, the lower you you go.
– 12-15 keywords max.
– description has some key words that are also in the first paragraph. (you can just copy your intro)
– blogs are the best way to get referrals back to your site, but they must be relevant. Be sure to include your website’s name and URL.
– Link sharing is history. Unless they are relevant.
– Having more links on your site to other sites doesn’t really help you, although if you are relevant to them, it will help them.
– flash has nothing that search engines look for, but if you put your copy in as an alt tag, then the spiders will be able to read it.
– keywords, description and first paragraph are the main 3 areas that spiders look at – these should be at the very top of the code.
– it also help that if the buttons also match the keywords (sprinkles on the cupcake)
– it will take 6-8 weeks to see any changes in the google listing
– do a blog that is relevant to your website’s subject



To do on my detourart.com site:
– review tags and keywords, get rid of redundancy (ie: outsider art, folk art, self-taught art should be outsider, folk, self-taught)
– update the opening paragraph and a description
– move the description back up to the top to be the opener.
– repeat the nav at the bottom in all text
– add privacy and terms of use as well as a contact us
– in my design website, I should add my phone number in the title, so that when it is bookmarked, my phone number will be there as well. (only for ludwig-design.com)

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Entry filed under: beginner, dreamweaver class notes, mac tips, river city solutions.

Dreamweaver Class Notes, Day 1…the basics Dreamweaver Class Notes, Day 2…organizing the site

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