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  • Hello. I’ve got a blog and website started up, currently using iWeb. I’m starting to hate iWeb. I’m a graphic design, not much of a web designer, but I have enough knowledge to find that iWeb is pretty limited if you want to do much customization.

    I’m thinking of switching to WordPress for my blog, and using Dreamweaver for the main part of my site. Is this a good plan? I have built a few sites in Dreamweaver and so have some experience. What I really want is a simple solution that will give me flexibility without having to be too much of a web expert.


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  • Your plan, essentially, is to build two independent things, the main site and the blog. If that’s what you really want (i.e., if the independence and the related difference in the look-and-feel is desirable), you can do it. Often, however, people don’t realize that WordPress has a facility called Pages, which exist outside of the blog flow and form a hierarchy of their own, so you can use Pages to build your “main site”. If you do, you only have one application to maintain, the look-and-feel is uniform, and any changes you make impact both the blog and the “main site” uniformly and simultaneously…

    That’s interesting – I wasn’t aware of the Pages feature. However as I’m a graphic designer I’d like my main site to showcase my own work, so I will probably keep the blog independent. What I’d like to know is how customizable the WordPress themes are for a person without much web experience.


    (just don’t use DW when editing the WP files…)



    What I’d like to know is how customizable the WordPress themes are for a person without much web experience.

    My experience is that I could grasp basic HTML and CSS fairly quickly, but the PHP coding blew way over me. And other than the Style sheet, pretty much everything in WordPress is managed via PHP. So I found an existing theme that was mostly close to what I wanted, then styled it to get ‘the look’. Then I hired someone really good at PHP to take it to the finish line.

    After seeing how they worked, I’m able to move certain elements around but I’m still not comfortable writing the PHP code itself. Once you recognize the beginning and ending of a PHP element, then it’s not hard to rearrange things. I kinda sorta understand what this is doing:

    <?php previous_post_link('<div class="alignleft"> &laquo; %link </div>'); ?>

    But the most important thing to me, if I want to put that element somewhere else on the page, is to be sure to cut and paste everything including and between <?php and ?> because that’s a complete PHP statement.

    I have Dreamweaver but I don’t use it for editing the Dashboard>Design>Theme Editor files, I just edit in Theme Editor. Except… When I make a really big mistake and get the WSOD, then I use Winsyntax (a free HTML editor) to put things back. You also need a FTP client to transfer files after you’ve locked yourself out of your site because of a blunder.

    I have used Dreamweaver for my main site and than have a wordpress blog as well. Used a free template for everything and made it all match. Once I get the hang of PHP I will try for designing it all myself. There is a plug-in available to edit wordpress files with in DW, but I have not used it. It is called Themeweaver. My site is

    Actually its called ThemeDreamer (as opposed to ‘weaver’ – it can shave off minutes, hours, and eventually days depending on how often you work with WordPress themes.

    Moderator kmessinger


    You can edit wp files directly in Dreamweaver without any plugin. I do it for 2 sites.

    Maybe if you have a complicated theme you might need a plugin but for me, using the default theme, Dreamweaver works perfectly for editing wp php files.

    I edited my and my clients blog using dreamweaver and it helped me a lot. I dont think anything that dreamweaver will harm your design. lol

    [link moderated]

    Moshu, I use Dreamweaver code view all the time to edit files for WordPress. I do most of my work in it, though I will say I don’t use the design view, EXCEPT when I initially build out a site layout — which I do statically. When I have what I want, I build out template files (header, footer, etc) putting the appropriate containers and markup where they are needed.

    What a lot of folks don’t realize is that you *don’t* even have to stick with WordPress’s markup to use it — as long as you understand what the loop does and such. You *can* build a totally custom layout for index, page, category, etc AS LONG as you don’t plan to drop a theme on it.

    so, DevonAnne, yes, you CAN use Dreamweaver, but don’t expect it to do much in design view. If you are comfortable with code view, it’s fine… I use the CS3 and CS4 versions on Windows XP and Windows Vista.

    I agree with MoonbatWingnut, too — it’s NOT that hard to move the logic around if you understand some basics of ANY conditional logic… if, else, elseif, etc. Next is understanding the use of includes and getting familiar with the most used functions in WordPress itself. After a while, you find you know more than you think. Then, it doesn’t matter what layout you use, assuming you aren’t just theming your site(s).

    It’s no different than building any php or asp site in the sense that you simply have to understand the recognized functions, logic and methods to tap into them.

    I LOVE WordPress as a CMS and I LOVE the community that stands behind it – keeping it user-friendly and secure…

    Just my two cents. I truly dislike themes as a starting point because you NEVER know what nastiness someone could put into them. Roll ‘yer own, I say!

    I have a Dream Weaver site hosted by Go Daddy. I want to add a blog also hosted by them and ideally work on the blog within DW. I would also like to allow images in my readers comments is that possible?

    What are my first steps?
    Will I need to pay WP?

    Thank you so much for any help you can give.
    Terry Kate
    Romance in the Backseat

    What are my first steps?

    Install WP in a subdirectory on your site.

    Will I need to pay WP?

    No…WP is open source.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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