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Dreamweaver 8: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 20. Getting Started with Dynamic Web Sites

So far in this book, you've learned to build and maintain Web sites using Dreamweaver's powerful design, coding, and site management tools. The pages you've created are straightforward HTML, which you can immediately preview in a Web browser to see a finished design. These kinds of pages are often called static, since they don't change once you've finished creating them. For many Web sites, especially ones where you carefully handcraft the design and content on a page-by-page basis, static Web pages are the way to go.

But imagine landing a contract to build an online catalog of 10,000 products. After the initial excitement disappears (along with your plans for that trip to Hawaii), you realize that even using Dreamweaver's Template tool (Chapter 17), building 10,000 pages is a lot of work!

Fortunately, Dreamweaver offers a better and faster way to deal with this problem. Its dynamic Web site creation tools let you take advantage of a variety of powerful techniques that would be difficult or impossible to use with plain HTML pages. With Dreamweaver, you can build pages that:

  • Display listings of products or other items like your record collection, your company's staff directory, or your mother's library of prized recipes.

  • Search through a database of information and display the results.

  • Require login so you can hide particular areas from prying eyes.

  • Collect and store information from visitors to your site.

  • Personalize your visitors' experience: ...

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