Have you ever been in the position of having to choose a technology to create a website and someone mentions Dreamweaver templates?
If you decide to use this technology, there are a couple of things you should know. The template addition to Dreamweaver might come in handy if you plan on keeping your website simple and have a general idea of exactly which areas of your site will be editable regions, meaning that those areas can be editable in each corresponding page, and which will only be allowed to change on the template itself. The uses of templates are a great help when updating non-editable regions since they update all the pages that are using the template, which can save you a lot of time if you are using them the right way.
A very important thing to keep in mind is to know which information you would like to display on all of the pages, usually a main menu, logo or any other information you place on your site that will be repeated in multiple pages, and which information will be displayed only in individual pages.
The only problem that I have faced with customizing a Dreamweaver template is that it can be quite cumbersome, especially if you need to update information in multiple pages that are not part of a non-editable region of a template or that are not part of a library. The use of libraries, which allow you to place information into a separate file, are a great help since they can be added by the means of a library object to a template of the site and help structure your site better.
If you decide to create a website with a Dreamweaver template, make sure that you use libraries for those areas that will be repeated in various pages. Create multiple templates if you have different side menus or images being used on specific pages, even if it just has a minor difference from other templates since this will save you time in the future when updating the website. I would also recommend using CSS to create the styles for the templates because this will make any changes for the template regarding to styles of the site a lot easier.
We are often asked to implement new navigation on sites that have poor optimized rankings. Many times, this is due to an image-based navigation, or a navigation structure that has been poorly designed.
While we understand that everyone wants an attractive and interesting site, a CSS, text-based navigation is a must-have for almost every website. It is your choice whether or not you want to give up looks for optimization, but in most cases, the text-based navigation looks just as good as an image-based one.
Here is the SEO difference. Image based navigations display all the ‘words’ of page names inside an image (a gif, jpg or png) and while that allows for a multitude of style options, the search spiders can not read your image. It only sees an image, and perhaps an alt tag. Text-based navigations, however, have the navigation (page names) in the code, so the spider reads it as plain language, and therefore, can follow links and index pages with better accuracy.
For a huge selection of menu code, and great design ideas, visit this CSS Showcase page.