Learn the site testing guidelines and use reports to test your Dreamweaver site before you upload your site.

Site testing guidelines

Before uploading your site to a server and declaring it ready for viewing, it’s a good idea to test it locally. (In fact, it’s a good idea to test and troubleshoot your site frequently throughout its construction—you can catch problems early and avoid repeating them.)

You should make sure that your pages look and work as expected in the browsers you’re targeting, that there are no broken links, and that the pages don’t take too long to download. You can also test and troubleshoot your entire site by running a site report.

The following guidelines will help you create a good experience for visitors to your site:

Make sure your pages function in the browsers you’re targeting.

Your pages should be legible and functional in browsers that do not support styles, layers, plug‑ins, or JavaScript. For pages that fail badly in older browsers, consider using the Check Browser behavior to automatically redirect visitors to another page.

Preview your pages in different browsers and platforms.

This gives you an opportunity to see differences in layout, color, font sizes, and default browser window size that cannot be predicted in a target browser check.

Check your site for broken links and fix them.

Other sites undergo redesign and reorganization too, and the page you’re linking to may have been moved or deleted. You can run a link check report to test your links.

Monitor the file size of your pages and the time they take to download.

Keep in mind that if a page consists of one large table, in some browsers, visitors will see nothing until the entire table finishes loading. Consider breaking up large tables; if this is not possible, consider putting a small amount of content—such as a welcome message or an advertising banner—outside the table at the top of the page so users can view this material while the table downloads.

Run a few site reports to test and troubleshoot the entire site.

You can check your entire site for problems, such as untitled documents, empty tags, and redundant nested tags.

Validate your code to locate tag or syntax errors.

Update and maintain the site after its published.

Publishing your site—that is, making it live—can be accomplished in several ways and is an ongoing process. An important part of the process is defining and implementing a version-control system, either with the tools Dreamweaver includes or through an external version-control application.

Use the discussion forums.

The Dreamweaver discussion forums can be found on the Adobe website at www.adobe.com/go/dreamweaver_newsgroup.

The forums are a great resource for getting information on different browsers, platforms, and so on. You can also discuss technical issues and share helpful hints with other Dreamweaver users.

For a tutorial on troubleshooting publishing problems, see www.adobe.com/go/vid0164.

Use reports to test your site

You can run site reports on workflow or HTML attributes. You can also use the Reports command to check links in your site.

Workflow reports can improve collaboration among members of a web team. You can run workflow reports that display who has checked out a file, which files have Design Notes associated with them, and which files have been modified recently. You can further refine Design Note reports by specifying name/value parameters.


You must have a remote site connection defined to run the workflow reports.

HTML reports enable you to compile and generate reports for several HTML attributes. You can check combinable nested font tags, missing Alt text, redundant nested tags, removable empty tags, and untitled documents.

After you run a report, you can save it as an XML file, then import it into a template instance or a database or spreadsheet and print it, or display it on a website.


You can also add different report types to Dreamweaver through the Adobe Dreamweaver Exchange website.

Run reports to test a site

  1. Select Site > Reports.
  2. Select what to report on from the Report On pop‑up menu and set any of the report types to run (workflow or HTML).

    You cannot run a Selected Files In Site report unless you have already selected files in the Files panel.

  3. If you selected a workflow report, click Report Settings. Otherwise, skip this step.


    If you selected more than one workflow report, you need to click the Report Settings button for each report. Select a report, click Report Settings, and enter settings; then, repeat the process for any other workflow reports.

    Checked Out By

    Creates a report listing all documents checked out by a specific team member. Enter the name of a team member, and then click OK to return to the Reports dialog box.

    Design Notes

    Creates a report listing all Design Notes for selected documents or for the site. Enter one or more name and value pairs, then select comparison values from the corresponding pop‑up menus. Click OK to return to the Reports dialog box.

    Recently Modified

    Creates a report listing files that have changed during a specified time frame. Enter date ranges and location for the files you want to view.

  4. If you selected an HTML report, select from the following reports:

    Combinable Nested Font Tags

    Creates a report that lists all nested font tags that can be combined to clean up the code.

    For example, <font color="#FF0000"><font size="4">STOP!</font></font> is reported.

    Missing Alt Text

    Creates a report listing all the img tags that don’t have alternate text.

    Alternate text appears in place of images for text-only browsers or for browsers that have been set to download images manually. Screen readers read alternate text, and some browsers display alternate text when the user mouses over the image.

    Redundant Nested Tags

    Creates a report detailing nested tags that should be cleaned up.

    For example, <i> The rain <i> in</i> Spain stays mainly in the plain</i> is reported.

    Removable Empty Tags

    Creates a report detailing all empty tags that can be removed to clean up the HTML code.

    For example, you may have deleted an item or image in Code view, but left behind the tags that applied to that item.

    Untitled Documents

    Creates a report listing all the untitled documents found within the selected parameters. Dreamweaver reports all documents with default titles, multiple title tags, or missing title tags.

  5. Click Run to create the report.

    Depending on the type of report you run, you might be prompted to save your file, define your site, or select a folder (if you haven’t already done so).

    A list of results appears in the Site Reports panel (in the Results panel group).

Use and save a report

  1. Run a report (see the previous procedure).
  2. In the Site Reports panel, do any of the following to view the report:
    • Click the column heading you want to sort results by.

      You can sort by filename, line number, or description. You can also run several different reports and keep the different reports open.

    • Select any line in the report, then click the More Info button on the left side of the Site Reports panel for a description of the problem.

    • Double-click any line in the report to view the corresponding code in the Document window.


    If you are in Design view, Dreamweaver changes the display to split view to show the reported problem in code.

  3. Click Save Report to save the report.

    When you save a report, you can import it into an existing template file. You can then import the file into a database or spreadsheet and print it, or use the file to display the report on a website.


    After running HTML reports, use the Clean Up HTML command to correct any HTML errors the reports listed.