How to Download an Existing Website in Dreamweaver - dummies

How to Download an Existing Website in Dreamweaver

By Janine Warner

If you want to work on an existing website and you don’t already have a copy of it on your computer, you can use Dreamweaver to download any or all files in any website (that you have the login information to access).

Then you can edit the existing pages, add new pages, or use any of Dreamweaver’s other features to check links and manage the site’s further development. The first step is to get a copy of the site onto your computer by downloading it from the server.

To download an existing website, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new folder on your computer to store the existing site.

  2. Use Dreamweaver’s site setup features to specify this folder as the local site folder.

  3. Enter the FTP settings in the Basic server dialog box.

  4. Connect to the remote site by clicking the tiny Connect to Remote Server icon, which looks like the ends of two cables, in the Files panel.

  5. Click the Get Files icon, which looks like a down arrow, to download the entire site to your local drive.

    Sometimes your web host has files on the remote server that you don’t need to download. If you want to download only specific files or folders from the site, select only those files or folders in the Remote Site pane of the Files panel and click the Get Files icon.

    Re-creating the folder structure on your local computer is important because Dreamweaver needs to know the relative location of all the files in your site to set links properly. The safest option is to download the entire site; but if you’re working on a large web project, downloading part of the structure will enable you to work on a section of the site without downloading it all.

    If you’re working on only one page or section of a site, you should choose to include dependent files, meaning any files linked from those pages, as you download them. Choosing this option ensures that the links are set properly when you make changes and that all related files are downloaded to your hard drive.

  6. After you download the site or specific files or folders, you can edit them as you do any other file in Dreamweaver.