Setting Up a Site in Dreamweaver

In some circles Dreamweaver isn’t the “in” tool to use, but for general everyday HTML editing it’s hard to beat Adobe’s WYSIWIG tool.  Setting up a local site is very easy and straightforward, but connecting to a remote server can be a bit challenging for a newcomer, so I’ve decided to write a guide on how to do just that.

If You Already Have a Site Profile

If you haven’t created the site locally yet, please ignore this section and skip to step 1.

If you already have a site created in Dreamweaver and just need to add a remote server, click on the Site menu, then Manage Sites, and then double-click the site profile you have already created.  After you’ve completed this, skip over step one and proceed to step 2.

Step 1 – Creating the Site & Local Settings

Launch Dreamweaver then click on the Site menu then click New Site and you’ll be presented with the new site dialog.  For the site name, enter the name of your site.  I generally go by the friendly name (for example, OCS Solutions instead of, but it really doesn’t matter).  For the local site folder pick a folder on your hard drive that you want to use to store a local copy of the site.  I like to put it in the Websites folder that I have in Dropbox for instant backup and quick-and-dirty version control (I use Git for version control but Dropbox works well here for a simple HTML site).

Step 2 – Setting Server Settings

Click on the Servers tab on the side of the Site Setup dialog and click the plus sign.  It’s in a strange, out of the way location so I’ve highlighted it with my mouse in this screenshot.

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When you click the plus sign you’ll see the FTP settings.  If you host with OCS Solutions, you’ll use SFTP so make sure you change the Connect Using dropdown to SFTP.  You may have to ask your host for the server name (though you can usually find this in your control panel), but the username and password you’ll likely already know.  With OCS they are the same as your cPanel username and password.  The root directory will usually be:


Where username is your username.  Once you’re done click Test and if it passes you can click Save to save the settings.

That’s it – you’re finished setting up a Dreamweaver site with a remote server.  Now you can click the Local View drop down box to switch between the file view of local and the remote server.

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To upload a file, use the up and down arrows while highlighting a file.  To edit a remote file, double click the file on the remote server view.

I hope this quick guide helps you with starting a simple site with Dreamweaver.


Do You Need a Responsive Website?

Happy New Year!

I’m asked about responsive websites quite a bit so I decided to answer for everyone in a blog post.  Before I answer, I should define the term responsive website.  A responsive website is simply a site design that adjusts automatically to any kind of device, including phones, tablets, laptops, and even larger desktop screens.

To answer the question – yes, in most cases, your website needs to be responsive.  While I know some people may question my recommendation and suggest that your site should always be responsive, I believe that it strongly depends on your target audience.

For most websites, more than half of your visitors will be accessing it via a phone or tablet. Laptop and desktop viewers are now a minority.  However, this does not hold true for absolutely every demographic of visitor or niche.

If your website targets markets that are less likely to surf on their phone then it may not be necessary to move to a responsive design at this point. A simpler or legacy format might be essential for some embedded markets that cannot take advantage of modern browsers.  Also, genres of websites like video gaming, for example, may be accessed more on desktops than on phones.

Having said that, everyone should be considering moving to a responsive website at some point in the future.  If you don’t have a very specific niche as mentioned above, then you already need to be responsive.  If you aren’t, you will suffer a penalty in search results with Google and mobile visitors will have a harder time using your site.

At OCS we use Twitter Bootstrap for our responsive web design.  We’ve found it to be the easiest, most compatible responsive framework to use.  If you choose to use WordPress instead of a pure-HTML or PHP/ASP.NET based design, we recommend ensuring that the theme uses Bootstrap for maximum compatibility.