Templates let you build pages that share a similar structure and graphic identity, quickly and without having to worry about accidentally deleting or changing elements. Templates come in very handy when you design a site where other, less Dreamweaver-savvy, individuals will build the individual pages. By using a template, you, the godlike Dreamweaver guru, can limit the areas that these underlings can modify in each page.
Adobe Contribute, a simple, word processor–like program for updating websites, works very well with sites built using Dreamweaver templates. If you build sites that people who don’t know the first thing about Dreamweaver or building web pages will update, Contribute can help. Contribute even lets novices update pages on their sites through their own web browser. You can learn more about Contribute at Adobe’s website: www.adobe.com/products/contribute.
A new page based on a template—also called a template instance, or child page—looks just like the template, except that page authors can edit only designated areas of the page, called, logically enough, editable regions. In the example in Figure 20-1, you can see that the question-and-answer text is an editable region; the rest of the page remains consistent (and is, in fact, locked).
A Dreamweaver template can be very basic: you can create one where a page author can change one or more areas of a page built from the template (the editable regions), but he can’t edit other areas (the locked regions ...