If you are one of the many People that are interested in building and publishing their own Website, but don’t want to spend hundreds to thousands of Dollars on Web designers or Marketing Companies then you have doubtlessly checked into Software that will permit you to design, edit, publish and maintain an amateur to professional Website.
I am a self taught web designer with no degree or formal Schooling in Webdesigning. My HTML Skills are minimal at best and what I know about search engine optimization and Meta tagging comes from mistakes, books and online tutorials. With that in mind, I had to find Software that is easy to use and lets you build professional looking WebPages. I checked into several Software Programs from web development companies which I found on Freebie Download sites, but of them where to limited or did not give me the desired results. My next try was FrontPage. Most of us have had some experience with it. I found that is was crashing my computer a lot, was not adaptable to all web hosting sites and seemed to be more difficult to update and maintain. After about 6 month of trials and errors I finally gave in and spend some bigger money. I purchased the best Software I could possibly ask for. I am talking about Dreamweaver of course. I have been using Dreamweaver Macromedia MX for a little over 1 year now and couldn’t be more pleased. If you are just starting out like I was or have Dreamweaver for a while already you know that this is one of the easiest to learn, work and updateable Software available. You can find hundreds of free plug-ins, Templates, Tutorials and yes even demo upgrades.
Getting to know your Dreamweaver Macromedia Software
No matter which version of Dreamweaver you have chosen, it is always advisable to learn as much about your new software as you can. I learned through a combination of Tutorials and Books. Follow the following links to various “free for you” tutorials and in some cases even Products.
Photoshopsupport.com offers you a free way to get a Dreamweaver Macromedia 8 for free including shipping and handling. Tutorials on how to use Rollovers in Dreamweaver, Using Frames and Tables in Dreamweaver, complete Dreamweaver 8 tutorials and more.
Dreamweaver-Templates offers you free Dreamweaver Tutorials, Templates and Resources.
CBT Café: Is a wonderful Tutorial Site for many different types of Software. Most of the time you are working with at least one Photo Editing Software when you working with a Webdesigning Software. I recommend Adobe Elements or Ulead Photo Editor. (I personally use both of them) You can find Tutorials for both of these here as well.
Designer Info Frameset is a great tutorial Site for both beginners and advanced Dreamweaver users. I would highly recommend reading their articles. It is well worth your time.
Now that you have some basic Tutorials for information lets get on with the fun Stuff.
How and where can I find free Goodies for Dreamweaver?
No worries, Dreamweaver freebies are all over the Web. Most of them are easy to work with and are easily edited to your requirements. Make sure you know which kind of Template you need and if the Template has editable Regions and which ones they are. In some cases you will have multiple choices in colors and sizes as well. Always make certain that your chosen template is right for the version of Dreamweaver installed on your Computer. Most will work with just about every Version, however ever so often you come across one that refuses to do so.
Here is a list of Sites and what they can offer you:
Snakeeye Website Templates has some interesting Templates available. Their Templates were created using a combination of Dreamweaver and Fireworks. He offers personal, generic and professional Templates for you to download. He offers several links as well to many other Template Sites. This is a good starting and link jumping Portal.
Dreamweaver.org: What can I possibly say about this Website that would do it justice? Not only does it have free Templates, Resources, Bullets, Web graphics and Trial Softwares for both Dreamweaver and Photoshop, but it lets you submit your own created Templates as well. Why not show off your talents once you have become proficent at building your own?
Etheos offers you a ton of free Templates for Dreamweaver and Photoshop, plus Tutorials, Web games, Backgrounds and more. Well worth your time. However, be vigilant not all of the Templates are free on this site. They do offer professionally build Template Packages.
Buy Templates offers both Templates for sale and free. If you scroll half down the Page you will get to a long list of free downloads for Dreamweaver, Fireworks and many more.
Keep in mind that as you visit each Site in turn they offer multiple links to other free template sites. So make sure to Bookmark them and check back often.
Plug me in, Plug me in.
All joking aside. For fancy and flashy Websites you will need to use Plug-ins. Dreamweaver already comes with its fair share of them in the software Package, but I am sure you will want advanced ones in good time. Again, education is the key and reliable sites to download from. Another list for you to follow to some of the better Websites I found on the Internet.
Usable Net: Here you not only find Plug-ins, but Articles telling you how to use them and about their use. In my opinion, a very important feature.
Smart Webby: Learn how to use your plug-ins to add Sound/ Music to your website. Which plug-in to use, plus links to more free templates, plug-ins and tutorials.
Thanks for the Templates, what is next?
Next you have to install them. Most of the templates come with their own explanation, but just in case they didn’t here is a quick run down.
Make sure you have the latest Version of the EM (Extension Manager) installed or you could potentionaly run into some difficulties. That is no Problem however; you can it right at the Macromedia Website (simple click the link it will take you right to it). Make sure you download it to your hard drive it does not install via FTP or http extension. If you have the MX version like my-self, you have to be certain that the EM has the MX extension otherwise you will have tons of errors when you try to run your Dreamweaver MX again. So remember, the extension MX for Dreamweaver MX Version is extremely important. All other Versions should be just fine. Once you have your EM installed on your computer, start it up. Choose the proper application, select file and hit install extension. Browse to where you have saved your Template or other application to and click on the Template desired. Depress the Install Button. From there it will guide you through the rest of the process. Just follow the directions.
If you have multiple versions of Dreamweaver installed on your Computer or are interested in Related Extensions you can find more information on how to download your Templates, plug-ins and more on multiple Dreamweaver Version by clicking here. This will take you to a very informative website with step by step instructions.
You are ready to build the Webpage of your Dreams, remember that it takes time to learn any new Program and Dreamweaver is no different. For more information on Dreamweaver, Search Engine Optimization or very simple Beginners Website Building Information you may wish to check into the following Books. You can find them easily in any Bookstore, Online-Bookseller, and Auction Site like Ebay or at your local Library.
Dreamweaver MX in easy Steps by Nick Vandone (If found this Book at Barnes and Nobles for $9.95) It is easy to understand and has many illustrations to help you along.
Dreamweaver for Dummies (No need to introduce this Book Series). This Book usually runs around $24.99 brand new, but you can get them used on Ebay or Amazon.
The Non-Designer’s Web Book by Robin Williams and John Tollett. This Book is so easy to understand and was a great help to me in the beginning. Normally it runs $34.99 brand new, but if you keep your eyes out you can find it on sale ever so often at Waldenbooks or Borders.
Search Engine Optimization for Dummies ~ you have to get this Book at the very start. If you are building Websites for Business reasons you can not afford to overlook the Search Engines. The more you build your Website with Search Engines in mind, the easier it will be for you to submit them later and a good ranking. It is all about Traffic, Traffic, and Traffic.