View Full Version : Dreamweaver - Big Redesign

07-25-2011, 07:49 PM
I am hoping that I can get some help on where to start. I am redesigning our entire website from FrontPage 2003 to Dreamweaver CS3. Here is the link to my current web site http://www.co.greene.oh.us. I have approximately 42 different departments to redesign web pages for in DW. Some departments have a 3 -5 web pages while others have upto 50 web pages. Currently, each department has their own folders with all their info - web pages, forms and images. I created all the folders once I took over the website since the person before me had EVERYTHING in the root folder - it took me longer to find the file than to modify it plus I added about 30 departments to the website. Even though I am responsible for the website, other people update the web pages so I have to keep in mind if they can find and update the pages they need without them messing up the web page.

I need some advice/direction/help (anything!) in helping me start to redesign the site in DW. I have been browsing the web for several days but have not come across anything that discusses having so many different departments on a site with each having their own info - headers and menu links. My FrontPage web pages are based on tables which I know is not recommended in DW. I have been thinking about templates for our main web page and then separate templates for each department - Is this feasible? or is there a better way to do this. I am going to start with our Intranet first (smaller project) with about 10 departments. My boss wants drop down horizontal menus. I will only be able to use DW CS3 as our budget will not allow us to upgrade my software to Adobe Web Design 5.5 with all the wonderful integrated tools. I have been using HTML coding to make FrontPage do more things than FrontPage wants me to do. I was in my work life before web design, a mainframe programmer so coding in HTML is not a problem.

I would appreciate any advice/help/direction that anyone can give me. This is my first forum post so let me know if I need to do something different. Thanks!

07-25-2011, 08:13 PM
I'll have more comments later but I have to run to a meeting now. If you're company won't buy an update perhaps they would consider getting DW CS5.5 on a subscription basis: http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/cssubscription.html?promoid=INPKB

07-25-2011, 08:24 PM
I will be using CSS on this web redesign but would like to avoid restarting the project several times since I do not know what would be the best way to create the website in DW. Any help will appreciated.

07-25-2011, 08:55 PM
Programming is not Web Development so you might be in for a learning curve here.

My best advice would be to wireframe the whole site before you do anything in DW. Make sure you have an architecture that is agreed upon, and that how each page is supposed to be organized is agreed upon as well. The company I work for has done several county web sites, and they are notoriously difficult to organize. I have a full web team with decades of experience, and it's still some of our hardest (not largest) projects because of the nature of county departments.


07-26-2011, 05:45 AM
I'd be looking at a CMS (Content Management System) for organising your website right now.

07-26-2011, 05:48 PM
A cms might be the way to go. But whatever you do, I'd create one or two standard page layouts and customize them by swapping the header image and navigation. You don't want each department to have a unique look in fact they should all be very similar with just one or two elements that identify them as a specific department.

In DW you can have nested templates where "child" templates are based upon a "parent template." You can also have Editable attributes within a template which you can use to, for instance, change the banner image on a page-by-page basis (by having an editable src attribute).

With a CMS you would be able to use categories or folder names to customize pages for each department. You could also give people author or editor privileges on a sectional basis.

07-26-2011, 06:12 PM
With a CMS you would be able to use categories or folder names to customize pages for each department. You could also give people author or editor privileges on a sectional basis.

I think I'd go quietly (more) mental if I was trying to do this without a CMS.

07-26-2011, 06:29 PM
I agree with Toby... this is going to be a 'maintenance hell' even if you would use DW templates and try to keep the information architecture solid and simple at the same time.