In This Chapter
Defining a dynamic Web site
Going over the basic terminology
Choosing the dynamic development technology
Setting up your computer for dynamic Web pages
Creating a data connection
The most sophisticated Web sites on the Internet, such as Amazon.com or CNN.com, were created using complex programming and databases. Combining a database that records information about users with the capability to generate pages automatically is what enables Amazon to greet you by name when you return to its site, track your orders, and even make recommendations based on your previous purchases.
Static Web sites, which you can build using the instructions in the rest of this book, work well for many Web sites (including my own at
www.JCWarner.com). But for anyone creating a really large, content-heavy site, such as a magazine or a newspaper Web site or large e-commerce sites where you need to track inventory and want users to be able to search through products, dynamic Web sites are a better choice.
Before you even start down this path, let me warn you of two things. First, creating a dynamic Web site is far, far more complex than creating the kinds of static page Web sites described in the earlier chapters of this book. Second, the most sophisticated sites on the Web, such as Amazon and CNN, use highly customized systems that require teams of very experienced programmers to create.
That said, Dreamweaver does include dynamic development ...