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Site Management

Think of your company's Web site as the central hub of a complex wheel. Spokes from the hub are channels of specialization. The hub itself allows the wheel to move. Because all channels connect to the hub (the Web site), this is where Macromedia starts, by "binding" Studio 8 applications to the site.

Dreamweaver 1 introduced the concept of site management: the ability to create a profile that links all the parts of a site. That is, before you build anything for the Web site, you define where the site will be located, where the images will be placed, where the local files will be found, and so on. With this preparation, you can easily define any number of sites; when you access the site definition, you're accessing all of the files for that specific site. The concept is clearly demonstrated when you begin to construct applications written with PHP, ColdFusion, or ASP.NET.

Macromedia has extended the principle beyond Dreamweaver; both Flash and Fireworks now support the ability to define a Web site. The advantage? For example, the designer can create graphics and move them directly to the site, without using an FTP program, Dreamweaver, or email. At the same time, the Web developer can create Web pages that use the newly added graphics. The designer and developer in this example don't need to be in the same location—or even the same country. All they need is the connection to the same Web site.

Dreamweaver can set up a site profile to work directly with Contribute. This is important for your content specialist, who can browse the Web site through Contribute, select the Edit feature, and begin adding and editing written content. There's no confusion, no potential for lost email, no requirement for learning additional tools. The content contributor is able to work on the site simultaneously with other members.

Through site management, Web developers, graphics designers, animators, and content contributors work in their own familiar environments, using only tools with which they're already comfortable. This setup enables you to save the time required to learn new products and increase the speed with which a site can be deployed to the Internet.

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