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Introduction to Dynamic Web Templates

Support > DWT (Dynamic Web Template) 101

You've heard the rumors. You've seen the products and the posts. Well here is the low down on FrontPage 2003 Dynamic Web Templates!

What are dynamic web templates?

Dynamic web templates, or DWT's, are a new option available to users of FrontPage 2003. Users of PowerPoint are most likely familiar with the idea of a "master slide." Make a change to the master slide and every page in your PowerPoint presentation that relies on that master slide gets updated automatically. The basic idea is you have a "base template" (in .dwt format) that defines the underlying design of a site.

Within the DWTs, there are designated "editable regions." These are regions that will change from page to page. You, as the end-user, will create HTML pages based on these DWTs. When the HTML pages are open in FrontPage (or Dreamweaver), you may only edit the "editable regions." Outside of the defined editable regions, the underlying design is "non-editable" - on the HTML pages, anyway. This protects you from inadvertently dragging on a table line and messing up the layout!

The phrase "non-editable" is a bit misleading. Actually, you may open the .dwt file, make a change to the underlying design (such as inserting your logo, tagline, or modifying the copyright statement), and all HTML pages based on that DWT will be automatically updated. It's like an include page - one change, and all associated pages are updated.

What's even more remarkable about using DWTs is that it makes it easy to apply a whole new "look" to a web site by attaching a new DWT to the pages. If a user has a DWT-based web site, attaching a new DWT to a page will simply replace that "base layout." Imagine... you could instantly redesign your entire site with the click of a button (or two)!

Want to test drive a DWT for FrontPage 2003 before tackling the process of building your own? No problem! BAC Web Design offers over 300 FrontPage 2003 Dynamic Web Templates for as little as $5.00.