Chapter 6: Putting Your Pages on the Web
from the book: Creating Web Pages for Kids & Parents
>> This chapter has been viewed 1667 times.
In This Chapter:
Checking for obstacles and breaks in your chain of pages
Publishing new pages on GeoCities
Publishing your pages on America Online
Publishing your pages with an Internet Service Provider
After you create your own Web pages, you're bound to be eager to get them online. The good news is that getting them out and into the world of Cyberspace is really quite easy. You can be your own publisher in just a matter of minutes: Just check your work one last time and avoid certain little obstacles. This chapter explains how you can successfully move your pages from your computer to a place on the Web where they can be enjoyed by everyone.
Note: Before you begin this chapter, you may want to refer to Chapter 1, where you actually create a Web page, and Chapter 4, where you organize a group of pages into a Web site.
Get Those "Gotchas"
The prospect of getting your pages online is pretty exciting. Think about it: In only a matter of minutes, the world will be able to see a whole Web site devoted to you, your friends, your schoolmates, and all the things that are important to your "nearest and dearest." But please resist the temptation to shove your pages out the door before they're ready.
You want to create fully and double-check your pages on your computer before putting them online. It's a little like making sure your shoelaces are tied before you go shopping: You don't want to fall on your face in front of everyone. And believe me, it's better to find your own mistakes than to get e-mail from complete strangers who point out your boo-boos and gotchas.
How do you do all this? Open each of the Web pages you are planning to publish and look at them in a Web browser just as your visitors are going to do. If you're using a Mac, you can drag the icon for your Web page file right on top of the icon for your Web browser, and the file will open right away. Otherwise, you need to open the browser first. Then choose File-->Open. Navigate to the name of the page you want to open, select the file, and then click on Open to view your page in the browser window. Then do the following:
Test your pages. Be sure to read the words and catch any misspellings or any stray HTML instructions. Those often show up because you forgot to type the correct (<) or (>) symbol.
Test your links. Click on each of your links, and make sure they take folks where they're supposed to.
Test your graphics: Make sure your images appear on your pages where you want them to. Make your browser window narrower to ensure that photos or other images don't appear distorted.
Choose the best service provider: If you haven't done it yet, now's the time to choose a good Web service provider.
If you've been working on your pages a lot, you may be staring right at some misspellings or other gotchas without even seeing them. Do you have a brother who loves to point out the spinach between your teeth or a friend you trust to tell you if your new haircut looks good or not? This is a good time to call on one of them for help. Ask them to read your pages carefully to make sure everything is okay. Make a game out of it and read the text backwards; this is an old proofreader's trick.
Fix those broken images
"Houston, we've got a problem," as the astronauts say. If an image on one of your pages doesn't work, you don't see flashing lights on the panel of your spacecraft (translate that to on the screen of your computer). Instead, in place of the image you want, you see an icon that's broken in two pieces (which means the link to the image doesn't work, and the browser can't display the image) or the question mark icon shown in Figure 6-1.
Rejoin those broken links
Broken images are only one thing that can go wrong on a Web page. You may also come upon text that's highlighted as a clickable link, but upon clicking, you find that it doesn't take you where you want to go. These links can be links to other Web sites or to other pages on your Web site.
Click on all the links you added to your pages to make sure they refer to the right pages or Web sites. If you click on a link and see the error message shown in Figure 6-2, it means you have to remake that link.
If your link fails with flying colors, don't have a cow. Go back to your Web page editor and check the link for the document that contains the broken link (see the sections on "Absolute addresses" and "Relative addresses" in Chapter 15). Usually, the problem occurs when you forget to type a filename exactly right. Remember, if the file is grandpa.html, you can't type grandpa.htm or grandp.html and expect your link to work. Another classic mistake is using two dots instead of one (grandpa..html) or adding a blank space (grandpa .html). A Web page is pretty much like a robot in this respect: You have to type all the required characters in a filename just right, or it will let you down.
The software programs PageMill, World Wide Web Weaver, HomeSite, HotDog, Claris Home Page, and Web Workshop, all of which have versions included on the CD-ROM that comes with this book, let you preview your files before you send them to your ISP. When you use one of these programs and you see that all the images and links work correctly on your computer, chances are they'll work fine when your ISP posts them on a Web Server.
When you are sure everything works, don't move your files from folder to folder like a fussy mom rearranging the furniture just before your birthday party guests arrive. Remember that all your pages are linked together. If you have an image on a document named home.htm and you make a link to it on another document, moving the image into another folder at the last minute will break the link. For example, if you make a link on your Web page to a file named sofa.gif, that link will not continue to work if you move the file sofa.gif from its present directory to another one. If you really want to move this file to a new directory, you must rewrite the HTML coding in the document that contains the link -- you have to make the link reference the new location for sofa.gif. You find out more about making links in Chapter 15.
What, exactly, does getting published mean? In the world of books, magazines, and other printed stuff, it means you find someone who will distribute your work so others can enjoy it. In the wide, wide world of the Web, getting published means that you send your images and carefully prepared HTML files across the Internet via a computer called a Web server.
HTML, which stands for Hypertext Markup Language, is the language, called code, that all word processors and text editors use. This code tells your browser just what to show on a computer screen. Every Web page that you create is actually an HTML file, plus the GIF and JPEG (graphics) files that you include in your page. You may want to check out Chapter 14 for information about HTML and Appendix B about Web authoring programs.
A Web server is like a friendly waiter who never goes off-duty. It's a computer that is connected to the Internet 24 hours a day and that can communicate with different kinds of Web browsers. The server's job is to store and maintain your Web files so that people around the world can see them anytime they want, day or night. Quite a task, isn't it? Actually, these tasks are carried out by someone called a Webmaster. A Webmaster is the person who makes sure that all the files on a Web server are up-to-date and the computer and the connection to the Internet are humming along without a hitch.
Posting your files on a Web server
When you pack up and label your files the right way, it's time to call in the Internet moving van -- a software program that uses File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to transfer files from your computer to your Web server.
A protocol is a language that computers use to transfer information on the Internet. FTP is similar to HTTP (Hypertext Transport Protocol, a communications language that lets you use your computer to transfer text, graphics, and other information displayed on Web pages), except that FTP enables you to transfer files from your computer to another computer (that is, a site on the Internet) and store them on the other site so that other people can go to that site and download the stored files.
You have several models of FTP moving van programs from which to choose, depending on the kind of service provider you select. In this chapter, you look at the following options for publishing your Web pages:
Free Web space services: These services are those like GeoCities, which -- at least for now -- lets you publish Web pages for free. These services usually supply you with software that will move your Web pages from your computer to the Web server.
Internet Service Provider (ISP): An ISP is a company that, for a fee, gives customers a way to connect to the Internet, send and receive e-mail, and publish Web pages. They give you access to the Internet, but, unlike some online services, ISPs leave it up to you to find your own discussion groups (also called newsgroups and news services) on the Internet. ISPs put some of the burden on you to find what you want. But, in return, you generally get a wider set of online information than you do with online services such as AOL and CompuServe. Some ISPs are nationwide companies such as Earthlink, Mindspan, and AT&T WorldNet Service, which is on the CD with this book. Others are local businesses with customers within a particular city or region.
Online services: These are the well-known online businesses that come with America Online (AOL), CompuServe, Prodigy, and the Microsoft Network programs. You pay online companies a monthly fee, and in return, they give you a way to connect to the Web. The account usually comes with an e-mail address and space on a Web server, too, for the same rate. You can use the software they provide to create your pages and get them online. Many of these services give you lots of chat rooms, discussion forums, and news services, as well as access to the Internet. Note: The difference between commercial online services and ISPs is becoming less distinct.
Calling in the Internet moving van
Online services, ISPs and free space providers, including those like GeoCities, let you publish your pages using FTP. The difference is in where you get the FTP software that you need to do the transferring and how easy it is to use. An ISP doesn't provide such programs. An ISP requires that you download FTP programs from sites on the Web. In contrast, services like GeoCities and AOL enable you to connect to their sites on the Web and use programs that reside on their sites' computers. The FTP programs these services provide are generally easier to use than the ones you download yourself from the Web. You read more about the kinds of FTP programs you use with an ISP later in this chapter.
Online services versus ISPs: Which is better?
All commercial online services (the main ones are AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy, sometimes called the Big Three) started out by offering only the content and activities provided on their particular site. For example, if you used AOL and wanted to get news reports or join a chat room, you were limited to AOL for these services.
However, these online services became more flexible as the Web became more popular and as people began switching to ISPs -- because although ISPs didn't (and still don't) provide flashy content or nice user interfaces, they did charge flat monthly fees for access to the Internet, and they let their customers use powerful Web browsers such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Today, all the online services offer their customers access to the Web, as well as space where their customers can publish their own home pages. The Big Three have their pros and cons. Here are some:
Pro -- Extra help: Online services give you plenty of tutorials, online support, and software to help you create and publish your pages.
Pro -- Free publishing: You don't have to spend extra money to publish your Web pages.
Pro -- Ready-made content: Because of the online services' GUIs (graphical user interfaces), you don't have to search very far to find things you're interested in. (You can check out AOL's GUI in the figure in this sidebar.) Online services have plenty of other ready-made content, for example, news services, discussion forums, and chat rooms.
Con -- Connectivity: An ISP typically gives you a wider range of local phone numbers you can call over your modem to connect to the Internet. So you get fewer busy signals than you do with, say, "America Almost-Always-Online."
Con -- Lack of flexibility: Online services sometimes require you to use software that you might not choose because it doesn't meet your needs or is difficult to use. With ISPs, you select the software yourself, and you can usually do a lot more with the Web pages you publish on an ISP's server.
Con -- Popularity: AOL is so popular that many of its customers are finding it difficult to connect at certain times during the day or week.
Con -- Reliability and technical support: Unlike ISPs, online services aren't quick to fix equipment or provide tech support, and they don't have backup systems in place in case of trouble with the network. ISPs often have people on call providing tech support seven days a week, day or night.
The bottom line is this: If you're happy with your online service and know how to use its resources, there's no reason to move to another service. Each one of the online services has its own way of letting its customers create Web pages and publish them on a Web server. If you get really serious about maintaining a Web site and maybe even start a business, you're better off switching from one of the online services to an ISP.
If you want to sign on with an online service just to post Web pages and occasionally send and receive e-mail, you don't need to pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited access. You might save a few bucks by opting for an hourly fee -- typically, you get five free hours of connection time each month and pay a few dollars for every hour thereafter. But this won't be an advantage if you have a son or daughter who's likely to be connected for many hours each day.
Windows users will find a program called WS_FTP on this book's CD. You might start by calling your provider's customer service representative or reading any online documentation that explains how to get space on a Web server. Usually, the process works like this: You are assigned a username and a password (generally, the same username and password you enter when you connect to the Internet), so only you have access to your files on the server. Your provider will tell you whether you need to name your files a certain way (whether your Web page documents should end in .htm or .html, for example).
Each of the services described in this chapter provides software that you can use to create your Web pages. These services also give you other software programs that act as moving vans.
Publishing with GeoCities
In Chapter 1, you find out how to get a simple Web page on GeoCities' free Web page service by using its Web page creation software. Now you find out how to publish a whole suite of files on your homestead (the place where your Web page files reside) in your GeoCities neighborhood (an area set aside for Web publishers with similar interests). You accomplish this task by using GeoCities software packages that enable you to publish files on the Web and organize them after they are online.
GeoCities isn't the only free Web page service around. If you use Web Workshop to create a page (as described later in this chapter), you can send your pages to the VividPost Web site run by the company that makes Web Workshop, Vividus Corporation (http://www.vividpost.com). You can access this service only if you use Web Workshop to create a Web page and click on Web Workshop's Publish button. Web Workshop connects you to the VividPost Web site and provides you with instructions about how to publish your Web page.
If you are concerned about mounting phone bills brought about by family members calling into the Internet several times a day to work on their Web pages or to check e-mail, ask your telephone company if there's a way to reduce the charges. Ameritech, for example, has instituted "Call Packs" that allow you to pay a set fee for phone calls. Currently I pay $10 a month for 200 local phone calls: That's five cents per call, and it doesn't matter how long I am connected. I pay five cents whether I am connected five minutes or five hours. Ask your telephone company if it has a similar arrangement.
Using the GeoCities File Manager
After you create one or more Web pages and publish them on GeoCities, you can add more pages or revise your existing work by using the GeoCities File Manager. You can get to the File Manager directly by pointing your Web browser to the URL http://www.GeoCities.com/homestead/file_manager.html.
Note: See Chapter 1 for a detailed description of how to create a Web page and publish it on GeoCities.
Scroll down the page and enter your GeoCities member name and password. (Don't worry about the checkboxes that ask you about showing files with extensions like .gif, .jpg, and .html. Leave them all checked for now.) Then click on Submit. The File Manager page appears with your GeoCities member name and the URL for the Web page you created and published on GeoCities at the top of the page.
Now that you have connected to the GeoCities File Manager page, you can take new Web pages and publish them -- that is, you can use the File Manager page to move them from your computer to the GeoCities site. To do this, scroll down the File Manager page to the section labeled EZ File Upload. The options in this part of that page are described in the following section.
Move 'em out with EZ File Upload
EZ File Upload is GeoCities' version of the Web file moving van that I referred to earlier in this chapter. Its job is not to create Web pages (files) but to move the pages to the directory or folder that has been set up on your Web server. You pack 'em up, label 'em correctly, and EZ File Upload moves 'em out.
Note: The word upload is computer-speak. It's the opposite of download, which, of course, is copying files from a Web server to your own computer. Instead of downloading a file or a computer program from a Web site to your computer, you upload a file from your computer to a location on the Web, in this case to your Web service provider's site.
Your Web browser should be displaying the EZ File Upload section of the GeoCities File Manager page. Note: The first checkbox in the EZ File Upload section offers some help in changing your Web page filenames to lowercase. The case of the filenames is important for some kinds of Web servers, particularly those that use the UNIX operating system. If you think you may have made such a mistake in linking one page to another or in inserting an image on a page, click on the box next to Automatically convert filenames to lowercase (see Figure 6-3). Otherwise, leave it unchecked. Because you've already checked your pages, this isn't a problem . . . right?
The following steps explain how to use EZ File Upload to do some uploading to your spot on GeoCities:
1.If your Web page documents end with .html, check the box next to Automatically change ".htm" extensions to ".html."
GeoCities' Web server apparently recognizes only Web page files that end in .html, so it helps users by automatically changing the filenames to the form it prefers.
2.If you have several files to upload, click on the Show More Input Lines button.
Keep in mind that every object and file, including image files, sound files, and Web pages, must be uploaded separately. Image filenames end in .gif, .jpg, or .jpeg. I suggest that you keep track of what you've uploaded by including a text box for each file.
3.If you know the exact names of your files, enter the filenames in the text boxes (beside the Browse buttons).
Remember, though, that you must type everything just right My advice is to click on the Browse button to access your hard drive and locate the file you want. Then double-click on the filename to enter it in a text box.
4.When your files are entered, click on Upload Files.
After a few seconds, the File Manager screen reloads in your Web browser and reports what was uploaded.
5.Select File-->Open Location, enter the URL for your Web site, and click on Open to see your page on the Web.
Congratulations on a successful move!
Free Web sites are great, but remember that you're a homesteader; that is, you're occupying Web space for free, with no guarantee that this service will be free forever. So at some point, you may want to move your files to another location on the Web. The rest of this chapter examines your publishing options with a commercial online service and ISPs.
Publishing with America Online
AOL is a pretty good service to use for creating and publishing your Web pages. Like GeoCities, AOL provides its members with a tool called My Home Page (not available to Mac users) for creating simple home pages. AOL also gives members free Web server space where you can post Web pages that you created with a program other than My Home Page. These pages can be for business or personal use. AOL also provides its members with Frequently Asked Questions and step-by-step tutorials that lead you through the process of creating and publishing Web pages (something GeoCities doesn't provide).
Here are some important resources that AOL provides for Web publishers:
My Home Page: My Home Page is an easy-to-use tool that lets you create simple Web pages and post them on one of AOL's Web servers. AOL gives you the option of choosing who will actually see the information you enter using My Home Page: only you, only other AOL members, or anyone on the Web.
My Place: If you have an account with AOL, you can prepare your Web files using a Web page authoring program like World Wide Web Weaver (which is available for the Mac) or HomeSite (for Windows users) and upload them to a directory (which will have the same name as your screen name) that AOL sets aside for your Web pages: Each AOL screen name has a directory with 2MB of free space on which you can post your documents.
EZScan: If you don't have access to a scanner and want to put photos on your Web page, AOL will do it for you for a fee of $2.50 per photo (at least, that was the rate when this book was written).
AOL provides 2MB of Web server space for each member based on his or her screen name. Two megabytes is a lot of disk space and should be enough to hold at least a dozen or more Web pages and their associated graphics. However, if you need more space, you can create up to four additional screen names for yourself, publish 2MB of Web files for each screen name, and then link the pages together. (Just don't tell AOL I told you to do this!)
World Wide Web Weaver, HomeSite, and other programs such as PageMill, Claris Home Page, and HotDog are included on the CD that accompanies this book. Some of these programs are tryout versions that you can use for a limited period of time or have some features disabled. Others are fully functioning versions. See Appendix D for more details.
AOL has an easy Web page publishing program called Personal Publisher that's a rough equivalent of the GeoCities Basic Home Page Editor. You must use Personal Publisher to get your files on AOL; you can't use any other kind of "moving van" software. AOL, as I mentioned, also gives you Frequently Asked Questions, tutorials, and lots of other helpful support along with the Web page creation tool.
Using My Home Page
To get into My Home Page, follow these steps:
1.Sign onto AOL by double-clicking on the icon for AOL's software, entering your password, and clicking on Sign On.
When you are connected, the AOL welcome page window appears.
2.Press Ctrl+K (for Keyword).
The Keyword dialog box appears.
3.Type Personal Publisher, and click on Go.
AOL may have you download some Personal Publisher software at this point, which takes a minute or so. The Personal Publisher welcome page appears.
4.Scroll through the list of options, and double-click on the option To Access Personal Publisher.
The Personal Publisher page appears (see Figure 6-4).
5.Click on the button Create/Edit My Home Page.
A screen entitled (surprise, surprise!) Create/Edit My Home Page appears.
6.Scroll to the bottom of the Create/Edit My Home Page screen, and click on
Entering your personal information
With My Home Page, Windows users can quickly create a page that appears only to other AOL members or to everyone on the Web. You can format this page with headings and graphics as you do any Web page, but there's a catch. AOL requires you to include some private information -- for example, your birth date (you kids may not be bothered about this, but some of you parents may), your AOL screen name, and other member information, all of which can look really ugly when it's attached to the rest of My Home Page. If you want to avoid this member section, you can always create your page with another Web page editor (which I cover later in this chapter) and then upload it to AOL (see "Uploading to My Place").
Consider keeping an eye on your kids as they fill out the personal information on My Home Page. In case you're squeamish about having them provide a potentially wide audience of strangers with their age, sex, and other details, you can tell them to leave some spaces blank. If you get to Create/Edit My Home Page and see the member information for one of your parents, don't alter the information. You want to be creating your own new My Home Page, not editing someone else's. Instead, get your own screen name, free of charge. That way, you can have your own My Home Page, password, and e-mail address, too. And it's this easy to do:
Begin filling out the fields under the heading Enter Information About Me.
Anything you enter automatically updates your Profile in your AOL Member Directory. You don't have to fill out all of these fields. The fields you fill out include the following:
Screen name: Your AOL screen name.
This name is the name that AOL will use to direct mail to your account. Your screen name is part of your AOL e-mail address, which has the form firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member name: This is the name you want visitors to know, as opposed to your AOL screen name. You can't be as creative here as with your screen name. You can use your real name or an alias; be sure to choose a name that's easy for you and your visitors to remember.
Location: Where you live.
Birth date: Yup, you get to tell the world how old you are.
Sex: Male or female, that is (which you can leave blank, if you wish).
Marital status: Why do you want to tell strangers about this? Beats me. Leave it blank.
Computers: What kind of computer you use.
Hobbies: People might actually use this field to contact you or look at your pages, so enter something interesting here.
Occupation: When in doubt, enter Webmaster.
Quote: A snappy phrase you like or that you just made up.
Searchable by: This lets you specify who can see your home page -- AOL users and Internet users, AOL members only, or only you.
Designating that only you will be able to see your home page gives you the chance to review and correct the information. When you're ready, you can change this option to give only AOL members or all Internet users access to your information.
Creating your home page
After you go through these fields, you actually begin to create your home page, as follows:
1.Click on the Add button at the bottom of the screen.
The heading at the top of the Create/Edit My Home Page window changes from Information about me to Adding to Home Page for [your AOL member name]. In this window, you can add text and graphics to your home page.
2.Scroll down to the Add Text area of the Adding to Home Page window, and type the text you want to enter, or copy it from a word-processing file and paste it in this area.
3.To add a link, scroll a little farther down the same page to the Add Link area.
See Chapter 15 for more about links and how they work.
4.To select the kind of link you want to add, click on the arrow next to the box labeled Select the type of link you want to add (a Web URL, an Inline Image URL, or an AOL keyword).
An inline image URL is a link to a graphics file, such as photo.gif. An AOL keyword is the name of a keyword leading to another location on AOL.
5.Enter the URL or keyword in the text box labeled Type in Web URL or AOL keyword in box.
6.Type a description in the text box labeled Type in a description about this place.
You can help your readers by including information about why you provide a link to a particular location and why they might like to visit this location.
7.Click on Save Changes.
8.Click on Edit to make changes to information you entered, click on Add to continue adding to your home page, or click on Save Changes if you're done.
When you click on Save Changes, your home page is saved. AOL then tells you your home page address, which is pretty easy to remember, for example:
If you want to add some images to your page, close the Personal Publisher window by clicking in the X in the upper-right corner of the page. Click on the button Home Page Graphics to go to the Home Page Graphics window. There you can find some clip art to add to your page, as well as an intriguing service called PicturePlace that allows you to send up to two photos, slides, or drawings to AOL to be scanned for free. You can then add the scanned files to your Web pages. AOL provides the exact steps you need to follow to download the clip art or send your images to PicturePlace.
Using My Place
Whether you use Personal Publisher or another Web page tool to create your Web pages, you move your pages to your Web site on AOL by using software called My Place. In fact when moving pages to AOL, you must use this software, which is provided for free by AOL, to upload your files; you can't use other programs. You don't have to copy the software to your computer; you connect to AOL and then use it. Here's how to do it:
1.Write the exact names of the files you are going to upload on a piece of paper.
This step is very important and will come in handy when you get to Step 8.
2.Connect to AOL as described in Step 1 in the section "Using My Home Page."
3.Select Go To-->Keyword.
The Keyword dialog box appears.
4.Enter the keywords My Place.
5.Click on Go.
The My Place window opens.
6.Click on the icon with the caption Go to My Place.
A window with a techie-looking title (members.aol.com/[your AOL screen name]) opens. This is the name of the directory in which your Web page documents will reside after you transfer them. This window contains a list showing the contents of your directory (see an example in Figure 6-5).
7.Click on the Upload icon at the bottom of the dialog box.
A dialog box entitled members.aol.com appears containing a single large text box labeled Remote filename in which you enter the name of the file you want to send to the server.
8.Enter the exact name of the file you want to send to the server.
If you are uploading a text file (which ends in .html or .htm), make sure you click on the ASCII (text documents) button. If you are uploading an image file (which may end in .gif or .jpeg, for example), make sure you click on the Binary (programs and graphics) button.
9.Click on Continue.
The Upload File dialog box appears.
10.Click on Select file.
A standard Windows file selection dialog box entitled Attach File appears. This dialog box lists the contents of your hard drive. The directories in your hard drive are in the right half of the dialog box. The files contained in a selected directory appear in the left half of the dialog box.
11.To navigate to the file you want to upload, select a disk drive letter and a directory name in the right half of the Attach file dialog box, and then click on the filename in the left half of the Attach File dialog box to select the file.
You're looking for the filename that you just entered. The filename is still visible in the members.aol.com dialog box mentioned in Step 7. To see the filename more easily, click on the title bar of the Attach File dialog box, and drag it to the side of your screen.
12.Click on OK.
The Attach File dialog box closes. The Upload File dialog box now contains the name of the file you just selected, in the text box labeled File (see Figure 6-6).
13.Click on the Send button in the Upload File dialog box.
This step uploads the file to AOL. When the transfer is complete, a dialog box appears informing you of that fact. If you have sound turned on, a voice says, "File's done!"
14.Click on OK.
You return to the members.aol.com/[your AOL screen name] dialog box mentioned in Step 6 showing the file you just added to your directory on AOL's Web server.
If you want to upload another file, click on the Upload icon again, and repeat Steps 8 through 14. You have to upload each file one at a time.
15.After you upload all of your files, close the members.aol.com/[your AOL screen name] dialog box by clicking on the Close box in the upper-right corner of the dialog box.
You return to the My Place window.
16.Close the My Place window by clicking on the Close box in the upper-right corner.
You return to the main AOL screen.
17.Click on Internet Connection to open AOL's Internet Connection window.
18.Click on World Wide Web to launch AOL's Web browser.
19.Enter the URL for your Web site in the browser window, and go to your site so that you can check to see if all the files appear the way you want.
Voilą! You've uploaded, and you're on AOL. Congratulations!
Publishing with an ISP
An ISP is much like an online service but with some notable differences. So before continuing, you may want to review the sidebar "Online services versus ISPs: Which is better?" Two other big differences are the following:
Limited content provided: You don't get all the content that an online service provides, such as the service's bulletin boards, forums, clubs, and so on. So although you have the whole Internet at your disposal, you have to surf around on your own and find the groups and sites that get your juices flowing.
No GUI provided: In other words, an ISP doesn't have a graphical user interface that makes it easy to find things. An ISP's main purpose is to give you an Internet connection. The Web browser you choose is your GUI gateway to the Web.
Plenty of lists on the Web can help you find Internet providers in your area. Of course, you must already be on the Internet in order to read those lists, but you might be able to find a list at school or at your local library. One list called (guess what?) The List, which presents the names of providers sorted by area code or region of the country, is at http://thelist.com/. Another list, POCIA (Providers of Commercial Internet Access), is at http://www.celestin.com/pocia/index.html. Remember, too, you can get connected via AT&T WorldNet Service, which is on the CD-ROM that comes with this book.
Creating a Web page with an ISP
When it comes to creating your Web page, if you or your parents have an account with an ISP, you can use any Web page authoring tool you want. That's a nice way of saying that it's up to you to install and locate a tool to work with. You can find a list of Web page authoring tools in Appendix B, and several different sample/demo versions of easy-to-use programs are on the CD that comes with this book. You will use Web Workshop in this section.
Getting started with Web Workshop
Web Workshop, by Vividus Corporation, is tailored especially to young Web page authors. After you install the program from the CD, double-click on the Web Workshop icon to start up the program. (See Appendix D for information about installing and starting up the program.) You see a splash screen (an initial screen that appears only a few seconds) reminding you that this program is only a 30-day trial version. Click on Start to open a blank
Untitled Page so you can begin working.
Note: The graphics in this example (see Figure 6-7) were taken on a Macintosh, but Web Workshop is available for Windows 95 users, too.
You should now have Web Workshop's window open on your screen. The title bar at the top of the window says Trial:Untitled Page because you haven't started working. Notice that when you click on any of the items in the purple boxes on the left side of your screen, the options at the top of the Untitled Page change in order to give you more ways to add graphics, work with links, and open pages.
1.Click on the button Open Pages, which is one of the five icons at the left of the Untitled Page.
Four tabs run across the top of the window. My Page is where you create your Web page.
2.Click on Samples.
You see a stamp-sized version of a completed Web page. Click on the miniature Web page; it fills the screen enabling you to see it better.
To create a new page, do the following:
1.After you check out the sample completed Web page to get an idea of what you can do with Web Workshop, start creating your own page by clicking on the New Page button.
A blank Untitled Page appears. Don't let the empty space frighten you!
2.Click on the Type & Paint button.
A new set of buttons appears at the top of the window. These buttons (Text, Paint, Voice, and E-Mail) let you add text and images to your page.
3.Click on the Text button.
The text button turns a darker color to indicate that it has been selected.
4.Move your mouse into the blank part of the window, and click anywhere near the top of the window.
A text box appears with a text cursor (a short vertical line) blinking within the box.
5.Type a title for your home page.
The Text menu option (which only appears when you click on the Text button) contains choices for selecting particular fonts and changing font size and styles (for example, from normal to bold or italics).
6.Click anywhere on the blank page to delete the text box.
7.Click on the text you typed in Step 5, and handles appear around the words you typed.
You can use these handles to drag the text around the window and place it anywhere you want. If you click on one of the handles, press on your mouse button, and drag, you can resize the text box so that it's narrower or wider. Try it!
To add some eye candy, you do the following:
1.Viewing your Untitled Page, which contains the title text you just typed, click
on the Add Graphics button.
A new set of options appears at the top of the window: three tabs called Backgrounds, Dividers, and Pictures. Clicking on Backgrounds presents you with some nice background designs that you can use on your page; Dividers lets you select a line that runs horizontally across the screen; Pictures gives you some simple clip art that you can add.
2.Click on Backgrounds.
The Backgrounds page jumps to the front of the Web Workshop window. It has 15 small rectangles, each containing a different background pattern.
3.Select a background pattern by clicking on its small rectangle.
If you don't like the one you selected, click on Background again and select a different
4.Click on Dividers if you want to add a line under your page title.
The Dividers page jumps to the front of the Web Workshop window with ten small rectangles, each containing a different divider. You don't have to add a divider if you don't want to.
5.Click on Pictures to select a drawing for your page.
The Pictures page jumps to the front of the Web Workshop window containing lots of small rectangles, with a different image for each one. When you click on one of these images, a little "stamp pad" tool appears on your window; click where you'd like the image to go. (You can click on the image later and move it somewhere else.) Part of the fun of Web Workshop is that you can construct your own drawing and make text and pictures go wherever you want.
Linking your page to other Web sites
If you want to make a link, do the following:
1.Click on the Link to button on the left side of the Web Workshop window.
Four new tabs appear at the top of the Web Workshop window (called My Project, Yahooligans!, Cool Sites, and Kids Clubs).
2.Click on the three rightmost tabs, one after another.
Each time you click on a tab, its page jumps to the front of the Web Workshop window. Each page contains a series of rectangles. Each of these rectangles represents a link to a site on the Internet.
3.If you see a link you want to include on your page, click anywhere in the rectangle that contains the link.
When you click on a link's rectangle, two things happen: Your mouse arrow turns into a little stamp pad icon, and your Web page-in-progress jumps to the Web Workshop window.
4.Click anywhere within your page's window to add the link to your page.
Do you have a microphone installed on your computer? If so, do the following to make your page speak:
1.Click on the Type & Paint button on the left side of the Web Workshop window.
Four buttons (Text, Paint, Voice, and E-Mail) appear at the top of the Web Workshop window.
2.Click on the Voice button.
A dialog box appears enabling you record a two-second audio message that will be "attached" to your page. Give it a try:
1. Click on the Record button, and start talking.
2. When you finish talking, click on Stop.
3. To hear your message, click on Play.
4. If you're happy with the message, click on Save. If you're not happy, click on Record to record another message.
5. Then click somewhere on your Web page to add the sound icon visitors can click on to hear your message (refer to Figure 6-7).
3.When you're done, select Publish from the Web Workshop File menu.
A dialog box appears asking you to name your file (see Chapter 5 for information about naming files).
4.If this is to be your home page, name the file index, and click on Save.
Web Workshop stores your files in a folder called Trial until you're ready to put them on the Web. Web Workshop gives you the option of publishing your files for free on the VividPost Web site. If you want to do this, you just need to get an account name and password with VividPost. To find out how to do this, you can go to Vividus Corporation's online Web Workshop Manual (http://www.vividus.com/help/manual/toc.htm). Scroll down the table of contents page and click on the link under Chapter 4 labeled Publishing on VividPost. You'll be taken to a page that contains detailed instructions on how to publish your page.
5.To send your files to your existing ISP, click on Cancel.
Uploading your files with ISPs
To get your page on the Web where everyone can see it, you must have a way to move the page and all graphics on that page from your computer to a Web server. The Web space services discussed earlier in this chapter, GeoCities and AOL, provide you with a way of moving your files to their Web servers. As you may recall, you don't have to download a special program to move the files; you use programs that are contained on GeoCities' and AOL's computers. The GeoCities program is EZ File Upload, and the AOL program is My Place. (Because these services transfer files via FTP, even though they don't really use the term FTP -- they're trying to be user-friendly -- you may want to refer to the earlier sections in this chapter about FTP, EZ File Upload, and My Place.)
As noted earlier, if you sign up for an account with an ISP that is not one of the commercial online services like AOL, you gain a lot of freedom and flexibility. You can use whatever software you want to browse the Web and send or receive e-mail, for example. If you want to publish your Web pages on your ISP's Web server, you need to find a program that transfers the files using FTP. Sometimes your ISP will provide the software. Otherwise, you can download a program yourself from the Web. FTP is a relatively easy way to move files from one computer to another. Although using an FTP program may be new to you, it's pretty easy to do (see the sidebar " Transferring files with FTP").
Macintosh users can use a program called Fetch and will have no problem finding it. It's a very popular program and is available on a shareware basis (you can try the program out for free, but must pay a $25 fee to keep it) at many sites on the Internet that offer Macintosh software. Fetch was developed at Dartmouth University. You can download it by opening your Web browser, selecting File-->Open or File-->Open Location, and entering the address
Transferring files with FTP
After you install Fetch or WS_FTP on your computer, you can use the program to transfer files to a Web server easily. The key thing is to get the following information: your username, your password, the hostname of your Web server, and the name of your directory on that server. The first two items are easy: You choose a username and password when you first sign up for an account. The server hostname and directory name may be contained in the READ ME files that come with the software your ISP gave you when you first signed up. The easiest thing may be to call your ISP and ask its support personnel for instructions.
The address of your Web server may look like this: homepage.interaccess.com. (Even though a Web server is connected to the Web, it doesn't have to begin with the characters www.) Many directory names begin with a character called a tilde (~) followed by your username, like this: ~gholden.
After you have this information, here's how to connect to your server and upload your files. Note: The following steps are specifically written to work with Fetch, but they apply to other FTP programs as well.
1.Connect to the Internet.
2.Start your FTP program.
A connection dialog box appears (in Fetch, this dialog box is called New Connection).
3.Enter the hostname.
In Fetch, you enter this in the Host text box. This is the hostname of the Web server that will hold your Web pages. Often, hostnames begin with ftp, as in ftp.mysite.com.
4.Enter your user name.
In Fetch, you enter this name in the User ID text box.
5.Enter your password.
This word goes in the Password text box.
6.Enter the directory into which you want to transfer your files.
You can also go to the correct directory after you connect, but the process works more quickly if you enter the directory name up front.
7.After you are connected, click on one of the three options for the files you want to transfer.
If you are transferring HTML text documents, select Text. For graphics and multimedia files, select Binary (see the figure in this sidebar). If you are sending a combination of both types, select Automatic, and the server will try to figure out which is which. Note: Your files will transfer more reliably if you transfer your files one at a time, however.
8.Click on Put File to start the process of transferring your file.
Other FTP programs may call this something else (Send, for example).
9.In the dialog box that appears, locate the file you want to send by finding its directory on your hard disk, and single-click on the name of the file you want to transfer.
10.Click on OK.
The file is transferred. You see a cute little dog icon running in place as your file is sent on its way.
11.Repeat Steps 7 through 10 for each file you want to transfer.
12.When you're done, select Quit from the File menu to quit using Fetch.
After you have put your files online, don't forget to test your pages to make sure all the links work and all your graphics show up correctly, as mentioned in Chapter 5. Tell your friends, and pat yourself on the back: You're a Web publisher. But this is by no means the end of your publishing experience; the fact is, it's probably just the beginning. Chances are that before long you'll be revising your Web pages and transferring more graphics and HTML files from your computer to your Web server. That's what Web publishing is all about: You can make corrections and improve your work at any time to reflect your new interests, new activities, and your growing expertise. Look at your Web page publishing efforts as work in progress: Get feedback from your family and friends, and keep on growing!
One kid's opinion
I made my first Web page about a year ago, when I was 13. I started creating Web pages because my friends had their own pages, and I wanted to have one, too. Most of my friends learn how to put things on their pages by looking around the Web for a while. If they find something they like, they make a note of it so that they can do something similar. I had a lot of stuff about myself that I wanted to put on the Web, like my stories and poems and my Star Wars information. I want to be a writer, and I thought this would be a way to get helpful criticism about my work.
I use Netscape Navigator as my browser, and I usually use an FTP program (Fetch) to send my files to GeoCities. Sometimes I also use GeoCities' program called EZ File Upload so they can get the files on the server hassle-free. It works just fine!
I've been getting feedback on my stories, but it's not criticism -- mostly it's from people wanting to know when the next installment of my "Star Wars" story is coming out! Sometimes people suggest things I can put on my Web pages. They'll ask me, "Have you ever thought about putting your stories online? It would be really cool."
The other day I had the ultimate thrill: I was surfing around the Web, and I found a Web page by a person I had never heard of, and that page had a link to my own page! I thought, "Wow, this is really cool. People are actually making links to my page; my page is actually going somewhere." I've had 350 visitors on my page so far.
© Copyright, IDG Books. All rights reserved.