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Creating and managing sites in Dreamweaver is done through the Site > Manage Sites command. Setting up each site's options is done in the Site Definition dialog box.
To create a new site or change the settings of an existing site, use the Site Definition dialog box. Choose Site > Manage Sites (or, in the Site panel toolbar, choose Manage Sites from the site drop-down menu). This opens the Manage Sites dialog box. This dialog box is the central launching point from which you can click New to create a new site or Edit to change the settings for an existing site (see Figure 17.1).
The Site Definition dialog box offers two modes for setting up your site information: Basic mode (also known as the Site Wizard) and Advanced mode. Unless you're very new to creating websites , Advanced mode is much more efficient to use. It allows you to set all the same basic information that the Site Wizard collects, plus many more options. The information is presented in logical categories, but without the friendly question-and-answer approach of the wizard.
To define a local site using the Advanced method, start by accessing the Site Definition dialog box (Site > New Site or Site > Manage Sites > New) and clicking the Advanced tab to make it active. The site information is divided into categories covering all aspects of static and dynamic sites. To define a local site, only the information in the Local Info category (shown in Figure 17.2) needs to be filled in, and only two items from this category are absolutely required to define a site.
Required information in the Local Info category (this information is also collected by the Site Wizard) is as follows :
Site Name This enables you to specify the name with which Dreamweaver will associate with your site.
Local Root Folder This sets the local folder on your computer that will be used as the root for your site. Click the Browse button to select this folder.
Optional information in the Local Info category (this information cannot be set in the Site Wizard) is as follows:
HTTP Address Enter the complete HTTP address that your site will eventually have as its root when it is uploaded to the web serverfor example, http://www.mydomain.com . If your site uses absolute links between site documents, Dreamweaver can use this information to verify these links when you perform link-checking operations. If you won't be using absolute links for internal site navigation, you can leave this field alone. (See the section "Managing Links," later in this chapter, for more information on this.) If you have used the Site Wizard to define your site, this address defaults to http:// .
Enable Cache As discussed earlier, Dreamweaver automatically keeps track of file and asset information for your local site as you work. It does this by maintaining a site cache , or temporary storage area, in your computer's memory. For small to medium sites, using the cache can significantly speed up site-wide operations such as Find and Replace, spell checking, and link management. For very large sites, the site cache can actually slow these operations (because there's too much information for Dreamweaver to remember). A good general strategy is to enable the cache when you first define a site; if you later notice that site-wide operations are sluggish , try disabling it.
Dreamweaver lets you create as many sites as you need. Each site must have at least its local information specified, although it can also include remote and other information.
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