10 Resources You May Need to Finish Your Dreamweaver Site
Although Dreamweaver is a wonderful tool for creating websites, it can’t do everything you need to put a site online. For example, you can’t register a domain name using Dreamweaver and you can’t create a favicon. These resources should help you put the finishing touches on your site.
Register a domain name
Even before you start building your website, you should register your own domain name. The process costs less than $10 per year at most registrars, but it can take from a few hours to a few days for the domain registration process to be completed.
Just visit any domain registrar, such as godaddy.com or 1and1.com, and enter the domain name you want in the search field on the main page of the registrar’s site. If the name you want is no longer available, most registration services will give you a list of recommended alternatives.
Dress up the address bar with a favicon
You can use several online services to create favicons. A popular service is available at Favicon.com. To use the service, open the main page of the Favicon.com site in a web browser and upload a graphic. It will be automatically converted into a favicon with the .ico extension for free. Then you download the new image to your hard drive, and upload it to the root level of your website.
Add forms with online services
On the web, many of the most advanced and interactive features you can add to a web page require forms — structures for collecting information that can then be used in a variety of ways.
Dreamweaver makes it relatively easy to create form elements, such as check boxes, radio buttons and drop-down lists, but if you want your form to actually do something, you have to pair it with a program on your web server.
Here are two of the most popular ways to set up forms on a website:
To use these services, set up an account, choose the type of form you want to create, and then copy and paste a little code into the HTML of your website.
Sell stuff on the web
At the simple end of the spectrum, you can add a purchase button or a simple e-commerce shopping cart with the services offered at PayPal and Google. These services require no upfront costs and are easy to use, but they are suited only for relatively small shopping carts. For a slightly more advanced, Dreamweaver-compatible solution, consider cartweaver.
If you’re selling hundreds of products, you’ll want to move up the scale in complexity and choose a service such as shopify.com. At the high end of the shopping service, you could create a site as complex as Amazon.com with the tools offered at Magento.com.
Share your computer screen remotely
At the high-end of the spectrum, Adobe Connect provides a collaborative sharing environment with chat features and the capability to moderate questions, making it ideal for large presentations and online classes and webinars.
The latest version of Skype includes a Share my Screen option that is free and super easy to use. After you’ve logged in and initiated a call between your two computers, click the Sharing icon and choose Share my Screen from the pop-up window.
Another useful sharing service can be found at join.me, a quick and easy-to-use service that works on Mac and Windows computers, as well as many mobile devices.
Keep track of traffic
Most web-hosting services provide basic log reports and traffic information, but if you want more detailed reports about how people are finding your website and what they’re doing after they arrive, consider using a service such as Google Analytics, StatCounter.com, or webSTAT.com.
To use any of these services, set up an account and copy a bit of code from the site to your web pages. These services then use that bit of code to track your traffic.
Take your site’s temperature with a heat map
Adding a heat map to your website is a great way to discover what people find most interesting on each page of your site. A heat map shows you the popularity of the different elements on each page of your website.
When you add a heat map to your site, you get a visual snapshot showing “hot areas” — the links, text, images, and other elements on a page that attract the most attention from your visitors. To learn more about how heat maps work, visit crazyegg.com.
Survey your visitors
With SurveyMonkey, you can create free surveys using a web browser and link to it from your website. The site then automatically tallies the results and presents them in a series of reports and pie charts.
Prefer to create an interactive quiz that you can embed directly into the pages of your site? QuizRevolution allows you to design quizzes with a service that automatically scores each quiz taker and includes the option to add bonus instructions or tips.
Keep up with web standards at W3.org
If you want to keep up with the latest developments in web design and make sure you’re following standards, you’ll find no better place than W3.org, the official website of the organization that sets web standards.
Extend Dreamweaver at Adobe.com
Visit the Dreamweaver Exchange Site to find a vast collection of extensions you can use to add behaviors and other features to Dreamweaver. To install them, use Extension Manager.
While you’re at the site, check out the growing collection of Adobe tutorials, updates, and resources. Among the resources, check out the new CSS section, where you’ll find the latest in CSS tips, tricks, and workarounds.