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Importing existing website into Dreamweaver help

Jun 1, 2010 9:24 PM

What is the proper method to download an existing website and import it into DW to where all the links, CSS, image etc work properly?


I have downloaded an existing website via Filezilla to my hard drive.  In DW, I went to Manage Sites>New and browsed to the site.  When I open the index.html page in DW, the images and links are not linking correctly.  When I upload it to a test folder on my server (ex., if I click on a navigation link, it takes me to instead of


I also tried to create a new site with Manage Sites, set the FTP within DW and connect to the remote computer and "GET" the website files to download them to my hard drive.  Same results.


I even tried to create a New Site within DW, open up windows explorer and drag and drop into DW but that didn't work as well.


I've recently switched from Golive to DW and am still learning the differences on how to do what I knew how to do in GoLive.





  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2010 9:55 PM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    I'm guessing you did things correctly but are running into a DW bug in which it captures one directly below the directory you browse to when setting up your site. The workaround is to either manually type in the real site root path, or browse one level below the actual site root.


    What version of DW and OS are you running?

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    Jun 2, 2010 7:44 AM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    It looks to me that you set up the site incorrectly based on the steps you took. Please also show us your local and remote site definitions (minus user credentials).

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    Jun 2, 2010 9:56 AM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    > What is the process that I should have done?


    These are the parts that are probably the problem


    >Within DW's "Files" panel, I moved the site files from

    >within the  public_html folder to the root folder.


    You should not have to move anything within the site. The structure on your remote should match your local site.



    >Went back into Manage  Site and changed FTP to a folder

    >within my website  (


    The site root is even if you are only working within the happykids folder. Are you trying to create a subdomain?


    If you use site root relative links, then you must tell DW the actual root of the domain, even if you are only working within the sub folder.

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    Jun 2, 2010 1:25 PM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    Dear Micheal,




    I am also in the process of converting a Go Live site to DW. It is not so painless as Adobe would lead us to believe and as you have found out.


    Try the following link for the 9 step process to convert your site


    Adobe GoLive-To-Dreamweaver
    Web Site Migration Bible



    I hope this helps.


    As for myself I decided to just back into Go Live and strip out as much JS "Actions" that I may have put in because DW will just litter your pages with loads of dead JS artifacts. I will then re-convert the site to see if that cleans up the code a somewhat. Then I will make a new template from scratch and apply it to the pages. Or I may just copy and paste into the pages created by the template in order to have clean pages. Though this is a lot of work it is better to have something clean than full dead code that just clutters, confuses and does nothing.


    The reality is that the conversion tool provided by Adobe is pretty much useless. One would think that Adobe could provide a tool that would acurately convert Adobe code to Adobe code.


    VL Branko

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    Jun 7, 2010 8:53 PM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    All links are relative (unless you use absolute links to another site). The question is whether they are document relative or site root relative.


    >so when you click on  the navigation links, shouldn't they go to

    >the subdirectory instead of  to the main root directory?


    Links that start with a forward slash are site root relative so /bouncers.html refers to a file in the root directory.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2010 9:09 PM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    If you want to use site root relative links, then your local site structure must mirror your remote site. That is, your local site must contain a site root and then have the happy kids subdirectory below it. Otherwise, DW won't have any way to know to put the happy kids directory in the path.


    You can use document relative links with either structure.

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    Jun 7, 2010 10:56 PM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    >Is it just not possible to make this work without

    >changing the links on  every page within the website?


    You will need to change all links that were previously created. You can either do this manually, or let DW do this for you. Start with the original files in the local site root. Create the happy kids subdirectory. Then within the DW file panel, move the files from the root to the subdir. DW will prompt you to update the links.

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    Jun 8, 2010 11:29 AM   in reply to StudentsofShiloh

    What you did is you did not correctly specify the root folder.


    Your root folder should be /public_html/ which is the root for most Linux/Apache systems. When you did your initial "get" that was the beginning of the end for you.


    When you re-uploaded, your links were changed with respect to the root folder and that started a cascade of problems.


    You are going to need to manually change all links until they are correct on your website. Or else, set the root folder correctly and then correct everything from within Dreamweaver, checking all links locally (which won't work if you need a testing server) in your browser on your computer.


    That should work.

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