Support » Themes and Templates » Can I edit WP Theme in Dreamweaver?

  • Hi,
    New to WP, just installed V1.5. I would like to play with design options using some of the available WP templates.(Not just the 2 included)

    I am good with DW, good with html and somewhat familiar with CSS. Not at all familiar with PHP or blog code.

    Is it possible to open template files in DW and do some customizing and be able to see the results in the design mode and if so, what exact files from WP need to be loaded in DW?

    I prefer to experiment on my desktop with DW rather than playing with the live blog on my server. Multiple goofs are likely, no need to let the world watch.

    Thanks for any help with this,


Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • DW design mode is not much use when you are playing with css, and xhtml. The php shows as tiny icons.

    you won’t get much of an idea of the layout if you aren’t using tables (divs dont show with any degree of elegance in wysiwyg editors, really) everything will be lined up neatly in the order in which its written.

    Its best to concentrate on the code and just do many browser previews. I still use DW… but in only code edit mode because it knows a lot of css and that is extremely useful. Once the basic stuff is done, I revert to a text editor, because its faster than the very sluggish DW (on my Mac). Then once I have a useable site, I upload, and continue editing code within the WordPress dashboard until I have it just how I want it. Yes, it means that some is done on a live blog (i have a secondary test blog because I have my own domain and access to multiple databases. if you also have that, its worth having a second blog for testing).

    Of course now someone will post that the *latest* DW can do xhtml wysiwyg very nicely. I confess that mine is not the latest… in fact its quite old in software terms.


    I use DW, but only in code view for the same reasons kyte mentions. It’s very handy to have it prompt your CSS as you type, and then cmd-shift-U to quickly upload and test your changes.

    Unfortunately, there’s so much dynamic content in the templates that DW simply doesn’t know what half of the final markup is going to be before the server processes it.

    If you’re feeling adventurous, one option would be to setup a local apache/php/mysql test server and use Dreamweaver’s Test Server / Live View functions to work on the dynamically generated stuff.

    I agree with junap. That only way to go is set your home box as a server then experiment all you want offline.

    Here is the fast and easy way:

    BTW have a new install of WP I would suggest not even importing your blog database. Just install a new load of WP in your new Xampp setup.

    Don’t do it! 😀

    Just realized the solution to some problems with themes and adsense were directly caused by editing the PHP in Dreamweaver. Still not sure why, though…

    I doubt it was “caused” by Dreamweaver, kb3hfp. Most problems are “caused” by user error. DW in itself is a great program, I’ve been using it for years now (and as the others mention, in code view), never had a problem.

    I have to agree with kb3hfp–when I edit css and php files in DW8, they consistently cause errors in WP. But if I edit them in TextWrangler, they don’t. For instance, when I uploaded my css file after editing in DW, on the presentation page, the entire css file showed, instead of just the title. Similarly, I edited a plugin in DW8, and the entire file showed up on the plugins page, instead of just the title and description, even though I didn’t mess with that information.

    I would be interested to know which versions others who have posted are using–could it be a problem specific to DW8?

    Dreamweaver (in code view) is fantastic – I just copy the code from the text area on the Presenation admin page, paste it into DW, edit it and then paste it back. If anything, Dreamweaver has helped me clean up the code!

    Could it be something to do with the encoding DW uses? I’ve had encoding problems before with other editors…

    DW is the only thing that I’ve been editing on..very rarely but sometimes use notepad.

    Never had a problem…ever and the majority of the stuff has been php and CSS.

    Now MS frontpage….well…thats a whole other matter!!! 🙂

    Hmmm. Well, dw does it’s own insertion of crap code extras, depending on how you set it up.

    I’ve been writing html/css for years (first website in 1995 approx.) I wouldn’t give dw houseroom – for a variety of reasons.

    First one is cost. It does NOTHING special for the money you pay.

    Second one is the whole proprietary crap thing over again: how many people have railed at the fate that started them on the (older now) round of “I own a compaq, a gateway, etc. and I can only buy their version of whatever and it costs THREE TIMES what joeblow’s version does” (and macs are still somewhat in that phase)…. Well with dw, it’s “teaching” people to use stuff like .lib setups and “layers” and so on.

    Get a decent plain-vanilla editor like notepad++ or notepad2. Or if you MUST have some sort of visual (and I do myself use this…. though without bothering with the visual**), pay a LOT less and get TopStyle Pro from

    ** I have two side by side editor panes, and a very small display set up below both of them. The only thing I use it for is color comparison in the css file – which is open in the right pane while the html files are open in the left pane…. I “see” what I’m doing using XAMPP as local server, with the site under dev open in a browser window – all the browsers: FF, IE, Op and so on….

    DW8 seems to work fine in code view for me. I cannot figure out how to set up the testing server and http:// prefix to get wordpress to work properly (correct path structures, ftp and dynamic preview) so I cannot open index.php (in my theme) and have the includes and gets_ preview in design view, so I just don’t bother.

    but it doesn’t seem to modify the code or anything. I’ve managed to take a working layout (xhtml and css positioning) and divide it up into the various files (header, sidebar, index, footer, home and another column file include) and that seems to work.

    Now if I can just get my categories to work with the pvii tree menu I want to use…

    But DW works well for me. I could handcode but WHY? DW will add closing tags (or not) as I want, there are hints to not have to type everything… it writes valide xhtml and I can totally add as many snippets of code I want and insert them with a custom keyboard shortcut. I love DW. It’s my skill saw and I wouldn’t want to have to use a hand saw to build anything. But hey, garbage in, garbage out…

    it’s a tool. If you know your craft and you learn the tool, it works well. No one says you have to use all the widgets that are included.

    Yeah…. but you’re fairly unusual.

    and btw, it does nothing that is proprietary. that’s completely false. What you are calling proprietary are libitems and templates? don’t use them. I don’t. I use includes (nothing to do with dw). And actually, “layers” as you call them are the same everywhere… those are absolutely positioned elements… in some cases… written inline instead of in a style sheet…

    but if you know css at all, you can easily create any positioned element (relative, static, absolute) in DW without any problems.

    Like I said, don’t use the widgets if you don’t want to.

    it’s just a tool.

    you learn the tool, it works well…

    How true! That’s what I am always saying about WP, too – because WP is also just a tool – but everybody hates me for that 🙁

    IMO the best way is design a custom layout in Adobe Photoshop, slice and export the images and then try to position the graphics in Dreamweaver using CSS.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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