Hi artgeek and LakeRat,
Thank you both for your quick responses! Let me try to be clearer about what I'm doing:
As artgeek says, I'm trying to change the php code from within the WordPress Dashboard using the editor feature. However, as I mentioned before, it tells me that I need to make the files writeable. I have researched CHMOD and tried to change the file through DreamHost so that I can edit it, but with no success. When I right-click on the file directory, it doesn't give me any control options.
I wish I knew how to edit my website without using the WordPress editor, but I have no idea how to create changes offline and then upload new files, as artgeek suggested. I've also tried to remedy some of my problems via a WordPress plug-in, but with no success.
I hope that makes things more clear....I'm kind of swimming without a life-preserver and looking for the shore!