What’s new in this edition?

Lots of stuff. We cover the new features not just from Dreamweaver CS6, but also from Dreamweaver CS5.5, including that version’s added support for HTML5 and multiscreen preview (making it easier to design layouts for different screen resolutions, such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones). For Dreamweaver CS6, we cover the new support for Fluid Grid Layouts; the enhanced and improved Live View; even more improvements to Multiscreen Preview; support for CSS transitions; the return of page validation, this time through the good offices of the W3C; and the improved code edition for CSS, JavaScript, browser-specific properties, jQuery, and PHP. We also made a bunch of smaller changes, as well as the usual updating of screenshots to match the current Dreamweaver interface. Speaking of which, this is the first edition of the book to show those screenshots in beautiful full color, rather than grayscale. It’s a big change for the better.

And of course, we also built upon the different approach to teaching Dreamweaver that we introduced in the previous editions of the book.

What kind of approach is that?

We revamped the book from head to toe to get rid of old Web practices, such as tables for layout and styling text with HTML tags. Those methods aren’t appropriate anymore, especially because Dreamweaver has great tools for creating and using CSS. So our book walks readers through building sites the modern way, respecting Web standards throughout. On rare occasion, we still show people how to do things the old-fashioned ways (because some people have special requirements for using those methods), but we focus on teaching modern methods and using best practices. In this and the CS5 edition, based on reader feedback, we reworked the CSS chapters to make it even easier to understand and use CSS for styling and layout.

You don’t recommend a Web hosting company in the book. Can you?

We don’t recommend a hosting company in the book because the subject is kind of a can of worms; everyone has their own reasons for choosing a hosting company. Many (most, it seems) people are price-conscious above all other considerations. Some prefer reliability over price. Some folks prefer lots of support and handholding; others don’t need that.

That said, we’re happy to recommend two Web hosting companies. The first is the Web host that we’re using for this site and most of our other newer sites, Dreamhost. We’re migrating our sites there because we’ve gotten good service and because Dreamhost provides a tremendous amount of services and value for a very reasonable price. We’ve found them to be reliable and quick with tech support when needed. They offer a very good set of configuration tools and control panels, and we especially like the 1-click installation of software like WordPress (which runs this site), MediaWiki (used by Wikipedia), ZenCart, and much more. If you click the Dreamhost affiliate link above, you’ll get 25% off one or two year’s hosting fees. That brings the monthly cost for their shared hosting plan down to less than $7/month. You’ll also get a 2 week free trial, so you can try it out and see what you’re getting into.

The other hosting company we like is the one we’ve used for more than a decade, Pair Networks (aka Pair.com). That’s also an affiliate link, but we don’t suggest Pair because we get a small commission on people we refer. No, it’s because we’re very happy customers. We’re much more interested in reliability than anything else. We have multiple Web sites, and we have little tolerance for downtime. In the whole time we’ve been with Pair, we’ve experienced virtually no unexpected downtime. We don’t need a lot of support, and Pair doesn’t have the kind of fancy configuration control panels that some other hosts offer, so Pair is really best suited for more experienced site builders. Pair isn’t the cheapest, but we think they are among the best.

Here’s a hint when you go looking for a Web hosting company: do a Google search like this: “[name of hosting company] sucks”. Make sure you include the quotes around the query. If many people have had problems with a particular host, you’ll get lots of results. And if you do, maybe that host is not a great choice.

Can I ask you questions?

Sure you can, as long as they’re about things in our book that weren’t clear or sometimes (like in the hosting question above) that we left out. All we ask is that you actually own our book (Adobe has a big tech support staff, and we can’t compete with them), and that you send us email at the book’s email address listed in the book’s Introduction. We regret that because of the large volume of email that we get, we cannot, and will not, answer email about the book sent to our personal email addresses. Unfortunately, due to the danger of computer viruses being spread with e-mail attachments, we cannot accept any messages with attachments.

I didn’t buy your book. I bought somebody else’s book instead. Can I ask you about the one that I bought?

Sorry, no. Go talk to the author of the other book. Similarly, we don’t recommend that you ask them questions about our book, either.