Using Dreamweaver to Create your Site Layout

Having an easy and straight-forward website layout is key to achieving a great user experience. When users can navigate through your website with ease, they find the information they are looking for fast. When they have a positive experience with your site, they will return to it in the future and they are more likely to recommend that others do so as well. Dreamweaver makes it easy to organize your layout so that your users are happy and not confused as they browse through your site.


Plan Your Website Layout

 

Before you begin designing your website with Dreamweaver, it is a good idea to make a mock-up layout of your website somewhere else. Draw it out the old fashioned way on paper or use another program like Freehand or Fireworks to map it out. This will give you a foundation to use as you are designing different pages of your website.

It is also a good idea to gather and organize all of your images, logos, videos, and other media together before you begin the actual design in Dreamweaver. If you have other people designing these elements for you, then get them from that person before you begin designing. If you create them yourself, just make sure you have them all in one folder for quick access. This will make your design go much smoother as you will not have to stop each time to find an image.

Navigation & Search Features

Be sure to keep the same navigation features in the same place on each page of your website, as much as possible. Users will be pleased to know they can easily navigate between sections of your website while knowing where they are in relation to other pages.

Having a search or index also helps users feel comfortable with your site. If they are looking for something in particular, they always look for a search feature to find it quickly.

Style Sheets & Templates

Use CSS (cascading style sheets) within Dreamweaver to easily maintain the look and layout of your web pages.

With templates and libraries features, Dreamweaver allows you to recycle page layouts and page elements in different documents. You may have better success, though, by making new pages with templates and libraries as opposed to trying to apply those elements to existing pages. Then if you need to make changes to the layout or fonts, colors, etc., then you only need to make changes to that one template.

Templates were really designed to work with several users creating a website together. All users can design the same layout on different pages using templates. You may want to consider using libraries instead of templates if you are the only user; this may give you greater flexibility and freedom in your design.

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