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Dreamweaver CS5.5: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Chapter 24. Getting Started with Dynamic Websites

So far in this book, you’ve learned to build and maintain websites by using Dreamweaver’s powerful design, coding, and site-management tools. The pages you’ve created use straightforward HTML, which you can immediately preview in a web browser to see a finished design. The web cognoscenti often call these kinds of pages static, since they don’t change once you finish building them (unless you edit them later, of course). For many websites, especially those where you carefully handcraft the design and content on a page-by-page basis, 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 21), building 10,000 pages is a lot of work!

Fortunately, Dreamweaver offers a better and faster way to deal with this problem. Its dynamic website creation tools let you take advantage of a variety of powerful techniques that would be difficult or impossible with plain old HTML. With Dreamweaver, 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 site login so you can hide particular areas from prying eyes.

  • Collect and store information from visitors ...

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