I want to create an ecommerce site from scratch. I want it to be like sites such as Vans.com, Converse.com, etc. Am I able to create sites like those through DW or do they use a different software?
This is a broad question. And you are looking at it from only one perspective.
Do you know how you plan to accept payments?
Do you know anything about the server (php, asp, mySQL, MS SQL)?
Are you connecting an already existing system (ie: existing business) or starting the web business fresh?
Personally I think you should look towards a commercial solution and consider hiring outside help. As even if you go with a pre-built solution there can be a lot of hand coding involved and a lot of design work involved. DW can help you with the coding but it will not automate the entire process for you and it is not a graphic design tool like a Photoshop or a Fireworks. Even with solutions specific to DW like Cartweaver still require some work from the end user and coding depending on the level of customization you are looking for.
Start at the Bank. You'll need a Merchant Bank Account to accept on-line credit card payments as well as a payment Gateway to securely process card data. You may need to shop around. Some banks have very strict standards for shopping cart sites. Others are more realistic. Either way, you need to use a shopping cart that meets Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and is also compatible with your Gateway.
Some Card Processors to consider (there are others) ~
Google Checkout ~ http://checkout.google.com/sell/?
Authorize.net ~ http://www.authorize.net/
Some Shopping Cart Solutions:
Adobe Business Catalyst ~ Built-in turn-key e-commerce
Alt-Web Design & Publishing
Web | Graphics | Print | Media Specialists
Thank you guys for the input! Yes I understand the things i need to associate my site with such as php sql etc. My question is, How do sites such as, Vans or any name brand clothing sites create their sites? Is it possible to create something similar to theirs using DreamWeaver?
The Converse site no. Right click anywhere on that page. It's a Flash application. No good for mobile or anything. Really a bad move on their part by such a large corporation.
The Vans site is maintained by IBM Websphere Commerce platform: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/genservers/commerceproductline/ .
You can typically find out a lot about what a site is made of by viewing the source code. If you do not understand the source code, jumping to DW will be a huge leap.
Asking if Dreamweaver can build a site is like giving you an unlimited supply of lumber, a hammer and some nails and telling you to build a house. Some people could be a mansion with those while others might struggle to make a dog house. Dreamweaver is a tool. It is not a one-click solution to build those types of enterprise level sites. It can give you the tools to make skinning a content management platform easier. It can also make programming easier by giving you access to code hinting, code coloring and other features. So just think of it as a tool and not a solution, because if you believe it is a solution you will be greatly disappointed.
The applications Nancy mentioned will give you a good start because the platforms those comapnies are using could be out of your budget financially. Usually when companies don't even post prices to solutions online and tell you to call someone in sales, it's not cheap.
How do sites such as, Vans or any name brand clothing sites create their sites?
Most likely they have a resident team of professional web developers or they sub-contract out to professional firms.
Is it possible to create something similar to theirs using DreamWeaver?
Sure. In the same way that you can build a house with a hammer, nails & lumber. Tools don't build projects; people do. If you have the necessary skills, DW is very good tool.
If you're going to be using Dreamweaver, you really want to look at using Adobe Business Catalyst because it is an all-in-one ecommerce hosting solution that has been nicely integrated into Dreamweaver CS6.
So with BC, basically all you need to know is the front end coding part of building sites and you can do ecommerce sites in Dreamweaver. But like someone else said, Dreamweaver isn't going to build the site for you. The tools are there but it is up to you to know how to use them to their potential.
I did a new training course on this topic at Lynda.com - here's the URL: http://tinyurl.com/877vfsz
If you don't have a Lynda.com membership, they offer a 7 day free trail which give you plenty of time to go through this course and maybe a few others. Here's a url for that:http://tinyurl.com/7dqryy7
Hope you find this helpful.
Lawrence Cramer - *Adobe Community Professional*
PHP & ColdFusion Shopping Cart for Adobe Dreamweaver
Europe, Middle East and Africa