IT Services

Dreamweaver Configuration for Traditional Webserver

Unfortunately, there are some odd and fussy configuration details that we need to take care of before we can actually put a web page up for people to see. It's essentially a matter of telling Dreamweaver how our system here at Amherst works and where we want to put our files. Since this information is stored as a tiny configuration file on your computer, you should export it to a file so that you don't neeed to do it over again if you work on a different computer.

LINE BREAKS

The first thing is simple. There is one configuration option that should be set prior to using Dreamweaver. While it will not affect plain web pages, it will affect scripts, such as those used to process online forms. It's best to set this configuration now at the beginning, instead of trying to remember to do it later.

Go to the Edit menu, then Preferences. Select Code Format and set the Line Feed to Unix Line Feed. From the File menu select Save, so that this preference is stored. That's it.

MANAGING SITES

Creating a web site is something that is usually done over a period of time, just like writing a longish document. Unlike a longish document, however, web sites are visible to all. We need to be able to create and revise web sites in private and then release them to the world only when we're ready. The way we do this at Amherst is to have a working version of the site that is never visible to the public but is just for us to work on, and then the real web site. Periodically we put a copy of the working version of the site onto the web server.

At first, defining these two sites and understanding how to work with them may seem more confusing and difficult than actually creating a simple web site. However, the Amherst network is complicated, and if we don't do this right, the web site won't work. And it really isn't difficult at all, once you've done it a couple times.

DEFINING A SITE

From the Site menu select Manage Sites.

 Click the New... button and select New Site. Click the Advanced Tab if it is not selected. Shown below is the top section of the window used to define your site.

Now:

  • Make sure Local Info is highlighted on the left--if it isn't, select it.
  • Fill in the Site name field with a name of your choice. Spaces are just fine--this is the name that will appear in the list of sites.
  • In the Local root folder field enter the folder that you will use to store the working copy of your web site. Typically this will be a folder on your U drive. If you are creating a department site, it might be on a departmental drive. If this will be a new folder, click the yellow folder icon, browse to your U drive and click the new folder icon and create it.

Ignore the rest of the fields.

Now select the Remote Info tab on the left to define the real web site--also called the remote site. (The reason this is thought of as the remote site, is that some people put the working web site on their C drive, but make use of a web server that is somewhere on the internet, possibly very remote from where they are sitting.)

In the Access field, select FTP.

  • Enter remus.amherst.edu in the FTP host field.
  • Enter public_html in the Host directory field
  • Enter your username or your department name in the Login field.
  • Enter the password.
  • Click Use Secure FTP (SFTP).

Ignore the rest of the fields.

Now you can click Done.