I have checked that this extra dumb question has not been asked before - and I can't find it exactly so here goes!

I am using Dreamweaver 8, I have created a dummy website using the tutorials, I also have bought two books on Dreamweaver. BUT when I go to begin my own site I don't know where to start after opening a new page. It's like something is missing in my brain!

I have created a banner and buttons in Fireworks, so I have graphics to add - but if I start a new page in Dreamweaver - is that the page? The tutorials all get you to download graphics to create the page... is that what you do or can you just make the background colour the one you want and you go from there - adding graphics such as banners and buttons only, not filling in all the gaps?

And if you do that, if you create a 'new page' are the dimensions automatically what you want or do you need to go and set them?

I really appreciate any help... its a 'getting started' question for sure.

Thanks in advance!

When creating new page/document you have option to choose from different formats HTML,PHP, ASP, CSS and others. In your case as you just starting just select HTML. New document is created for you and you can either type or use drag and drop option (first would be recommended as you should learn HTML first).
You can have background of your choice and it can be different from element to element in acordance to your taste.
Page dimension is one of the things you have to take into acount when creating new page as people have different size of monitors and resolutions so it will look different from pc to pc, but do not worry if your books are any good they will explain this

Well from your post it seems to be that you are yet to learn HTML.

Therefore i would recommend you to go through this PDF file. Learn HTML in 7 days. Its really simple, teaches you all the main basics and free too!

Here is the link

Learn HTML in 7 Days - Download.com


Not sure if I understand your question but let me give it a bash.

In the line of work I am in, I usually have to roll out atleast 2 websites a week (HTML & CSS - So it is usually quick). This forces me to start a new website every second day basically.

So this is what workes for me.

I can't stress how inportant this is. Do the COMPLETE layout (or atleast the index in PS or Corel (which ever dtp application you prefer). Don't worry about content too much, all we doing here is positioning and planning where (or how) everything is going to come together.

One of the first things I learn was the rule of thirds. (View layout_1.jpg)
NB:With this layout I used a canvas of 800x700
This may not look like much, but with this simple layout I will be able to create a half decent site quickly.

Take a look at layout_1b.jpg. Can you see that im following my initial plan!? This is not a tutorial on design, so I'm not going to get into this much. If you would like to see the final concept view layout_1c.jpg.

Now with all this in front of you, you can decide how you going to tackle the coding.

CODING: (Brief look)

If you followed your the rule of thirds, this shouldnt be too hard. So I would start with the container.

#container {width:800px; margin: 0 auto; height: 700px; }

Remember, the canvas size i used.

With that done, Now I would focus on creating and positioning my DIVs to match the concept. Layout_1.jpg thats how I want it to look, before populating content. I normally code CSS, but i would sugguest, start with tables, get comfortable, then move to CSS.

Helpful Links

Dummy text - Lipsum
This will help you out when creating the layout, dont stress about content just design.

CSS - w3schools
A good place to start

Help - Daniweb
Usually, when you stumped, this is the place you WILL get answers

Scripts - Hot Scripts
Go ahead. CHEAT!! - Just playing, but if you don't have the time, there's no reason not to use previously developed scripts.

Hope this helped you out, If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.