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Dreamweaver MX: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 18. Templates

Some Web designers handcraft sites with loving care, changing layouts, colors, fonts, banners, and navigation from page to page. But that approach isn’t always practical—or desirable. Consistency is a good thing. Web pages that look and act similarly reassure visitors; when only important material changes from page to page, readers can concentrate on finding the information they want. Even more important, a handcrafted approach is often unrealistic when you’re designing on a deadline.

This is where templates come in. Frequently, the underlying design of many pages on many Web sites is identical (see Figure 18-1). For instance, a company Web site with an employee directory may dedicate a single Web page to each employee. Each employee page probably has the same navigation bar, banner, footer, and layout. Only a few particulars differ, such as the employee name, photo, and contact information.

These three Web pages are part of a section of a Web site dedicated to answering frequently asked questions. The pages each provide the answer to a different question, but are otherwise identical, sharing the same banner, navigation buttons, sidebar, and footer. This is a common scenario for most Web sites that include news stories, employee profiles, product pages, or press releases. In fact, it’s so common that Dreamweaver has a special feature—Templates—to help you build such pages.

Figure 18-1. These three Web pages are part of a section of a Web site dedicated to answering frequently asked questions. The pages each provide the answer to a different question, but are otherwise identical, sharing the same banner, navigation buttons, sidebar, and footer. This is a common scenario for most Web sites that include news stories, employee profiles, product pages, or press releases. In fact, it’s so common that Dreamweaver has a special feature—Templates—to ...

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