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Dreamweaver MX: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 21. Getting Started with Dynamic Web Sites

The Web pages described in this book so far are straightforward HTML, which you can immediately preview in a Web browser to see a finished design. These are often called static pages: they don’t change once you’ve finished them. For many Web sites, 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 18), building 10,000 pages is a lot of work!

Fortunately, Dreamweaver MX 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 implement with plain HTML pages. With Dreamweaver MX, 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: “Hello Dave, it’s been awhile since you’ve visited. Did you miss us?—Hal.”

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