Dreamweaver Asset Maintenance in a New Site Build

I’ve recently found a whole bunch of tips, tricks and just plain common sense articles and snippets I wrote over a decade ago in relation to Macromedia Dreamweaver. Whilst they may be a slightly archaic, they are still relevant to this day in CS6 and CC versions.

The following lists suggests several ways to get the most out of existing assets during a site redesign without letting those assets undermine your ability to create a new site optimized for maintenance.

Don’t throw everything that came before away: instead, try to salvage as much as possible from your existing site.
Don’t use the same site definition: create a new site definition pointing to a new root folder and bring old content into this space in a subfolder.
If possible, bring old content into your new file logic and naming conventions: don’t try to change the existing framework with content already a part of it.
Experiment early; if you are still not sure of your layout and requirements, work with a small part of a site, a handful of pages at most.
Be consistent; don’t change your naming and coding style halfway through building a website.
Never use absolute links within the site; always use relative links: Dreamweaver’s powerful site manager excels when you use relative links. Absolute links just get forgotten about and create dead links in your site.

There are a few exceptions where you might not want to keep the file names descriptively long, such as downloadable files, including ZIP, HQX, SIT and PDF file types. These files don’t always need to have the same naming system as your site, but you have to ask yourself if it isn’t such a bad idea to name these files in a similar fashion. Even if somebody with an old PC downloaded long file names, these would be truncated to an 8.3 name anyway.