This website helps print-based graphic designers and website novices to plan, design and build a fully functional website using Dreamweaver.
The easy-to-follow website design tutorials on this website were originally created for folks who have an eye for design, but no idea about how to implement those ideas into the framework and functionality of a website. My motivation for creating it came from a graphic design training website that I write for, which focuses specifically on design for print. After numerous requests for similar, easy-to-follow web based articles, I began developing this website.
This website focuses primarily on creating a 'static' website rather than a content managed website. However, I still use Dreamweaver when working with dynamic sites - and WordPress is my CMS of choice.
WordPress is by far the most used content management system on the planet - and if you want to dip your toe into creating database-driven websites, this is the one I'd suggest you use. In order to side-step overly complex coding, I use Toolset plugins to help me create complex functionality without worrying about how to code. I highly recommend you check them out if you want to move to WordPress development and you're concerned about PHP coding.
There are plenty of designers and Photoshop-savvy publishers out there who, after years of creating work for the print medium (either at home or professionally), need to expand their horizons and create for the web, which inevitably means learning and using Dreamweaver. I was one of those people.
I spent years working as a print-based graphic designer in the New Forest UK, and as time passed it became increasingly necessary to transfer what I’d learnt to the Internet. The first website design software I used was Adobe Pagemill after its release in 1994. The design company I worked for was (like most studios at that time) entirely print-based, and learning Pagemill was strictly on my own time. Things have moved along a bit since then...
Website design and build processes have inevitably transformed as well. HTML has endured because it’s so easy to understand (even for graphic designers), but these days, if you even think about creating a web page with tables on it instead of DIV tags, you have to endure a barrage of abuse from purists who write HTML pages in notepad linking all design elements to highly efficient CSS (cascading style sheet) documents.
Well help is here. I’ve been through all this and come out the other side - and I’m still human. That means I can still write a comprehensible step-by-step guide without (hopefully) descending into jargon. Hopefully these tutorials aren’t just for designers - anyone who wants (or needs) to start using Dreamweaver will find all they need to get started, from setting up a Photoshop visual to publishing a simple website.
When I started creating this site Adobe CS5 (and therefore Dreamweaver CS5) had not been released, so all the screenshots have been made of CS4. Don't let this worry you - there is very little difference between the versions (so far) and everything I've written applies to all subsequent versions of Dreamweaver to date.
This site is designed so that you can pretty much jump to any section at any time and it will (hopefully!) make sense. However, if you're starting completely from scratch, it'll be best to go through the Planning, Designing and Building sections in the order they're presented. The submenu on the left presents the articles in order.
Nick B-D got his first graphic design job in 1988, working as a paste-up artist, helping to create the Friday Ad publication at UPP Design & Print in Uckfield, East Sussex. Today he is Director of Tinstar Design, a graphic design and web design studio in Lymington, Hampshire. Tinstar produces everything from logos, stationery, brochures, ads, magazines, catalogues and year planners to content managed, responsive websites and e-commerce shops.