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Store Your Web Page

 Storing Your Web Pages

In order for people to access your Web site, your pages must be available 24 hours a day somewhere on the Web so before you start making your pages you should talk to your internet service provider to see if they can store your Web pages on their machines. This is normally a standard service of the Internet Service Provider but here are some questions you may like to ask.

  • Is there are charge for this service?
  • How much space is available?
  • Is there direct FTP access? FTP is the quickest method of transferring files from your computer to your Internet Providers. Pages will be updated almost instantly.
  • If not, how long will it take the provider to implement changes?

If you are really keen you can also inquire about registering your own domain name, which is a unique name for the location of your site. (This might cost, depending on your service provider).

With a domain name you can type in an address like:

http://www.myschool.edu.au where myschool is the name of your school. Otherwise your Web site address will probably look like:

http://www.your service provider.net.au/~myschool where

your service provider is the name of your service provider and myschool is the name of your dial-up account.

It doesn't matter whether you register a domain name or not, but it is usually easier for people to remember a domain name address.

Free Web Pages

If your Internet Service Provider is unable to store your web pages, never fear there are a couple of alternatives. There are WWW sites that allow you to store your web pages with them, some are quite limited with space and restrictions and may require you to present their logo on your pages. There are several factors you should considering free web pages.

Amount of disk space

  • Is it enough for your requirements right now?
  • Can you see yourself needing more in the future?

Restrictions

  • If you need a commercial home page, is that allowed?
  • Conversely, if you need a personal home page, is that allowed?

Graphics

  • Do you require or want graphics on your site?
  • Can graphics be used?
  • Are there any graphics provided for you to choose from? Are you limited to them?
  • Can you upload your own graphics?

Audience

  • Is the page intended only for a specific audience (e.g. musicians, artists, etc.)?
  • Will it be available to all, not just the members of the service?
  • Is it a requirement to credit the service on your page? Do you mind?
  • Does your page meet all the guidelines?
  • Do you have any questions about the service? If so, e-mail them.
  • Will your page ever be removed without your knowledge?
  • Will the service ever begin charging for the placement of your page?
  • Make sure you ask about any additional charges that may come up also.

 


Designing Your Web Pages

Start collecting ideas for your home page (a home page is the very first page someone will see when they visit your site). Talk with your fellow teachers, students and the principal for ideas about what should be on your home page. You will need to liaise with these people as you are developing your ideas.

The best home pages are creative, original and fun! Try not to put too much text on the home page, save that for other files which you link from the home page. You will probably need at least a few links from the home page to other files on your Web site.

Once you have a good looking home page, work on the other pages; these have a lot more 'content' than the home page, so feel free to put more information in them.

Map your pages out. If you do not have a well-defined structure for the way a user will move through the webpages, both they and you will become lost.

  • Make sure it flows
  • Make it logical, easy to navigate
  • Split large pages into groups of smaller ones when appropriate
  • Leave room in your webspace structure for expansion later on
  • If you must have links to pages which are "under construction" [ie to help conceptualize the completed webspace or indicate what is coming], turn off those links until there is actually something where they are pointing, something, that is, other than a boring "under construction" notice!
  • Decide on filenames that are not too inflexible, as ALL the links to a page in the ENTIRE webspace will need to be changed if you need to rename it, say from KIDS97.HTM to KIDS98.HTM
  • Include links back to such places as the Home Page or the start of a section on each page
Publishing on the World Wide Web means that you need to balance the content of your page, with the design elements. There is little point in creating a beautiful graphic for your Home Page that is so large no one waits for it to download. On the other hand, a page of all text and little white space may have lots of information, but is not inviting enough to encourage people to read it. Although the web is a fairly new publishing medium, there are already some stylistic guide lines which may help you as you begin to design your page.

Keep in mind that unlike normal school publications which will probably have a fairly limited circulation in the classroom, school, or local community, when you are publishing on the World Wide Web, your audience is potentially the whole world. Obviously you will want to do your best to ensure that your web page is an accurate reflection of your school's standards. Spelling mistakes in particular, can attract adverse comment from the Web community, and errors of usage or fact can spoil the amount of work your school puts into its publishing effort. For more information about making sure that your web page is a good advertisement for your school see some of the examples from Why Schools Publish Web Pages.

You also need to remember that not everyone will have the same type of computer, browser or internet connection as you do, so you need to keep this in mind when designing your pages. For some tips on making your web page user-friendly, which is good "netiquette" read the World Wide Web guide from Arlene H. Rinaldi's excellent on-line guide to netiquette.

A fairly technical but very informative guide is the Web Style Manual from the Yale Center for Advanced Instructional Media. A shorter, but still useful guide is An HTML Style Sheet which not only gives you style guidelines, but has links to examples of good design on the web.

 


Child Safety

For schools publishing on the web, as in other media, student and staff safety must be of paramount importance. This includes such obvious things as not publishing personal addresses and telephone numbers, and not publishing details which might enable the identification of individual staff and students. Where your school's home page provides an e-mail link to the school, the mailbox should be checked first by teachers. Schools who wish to publish student photographs or student work on the Web need to make sure that they get signed permission from parents using a release form.

SOFWeb recommends some simple steps to protect students when publishing student images or work on the web.

  • Do not publish student's last names or other information which might make students individually identifiable.
  • Do not publish student's personal contact details, i.e. home phone numbers, addresses or personal email addresses. Where contact details are to be included use class email addresses or the school's telephone number.
  • Where possible publish group photographs rather than individual images of students. Schools might publish the image of a class or other group activity, and identify students generically by class or activity, i.e. "Grade 4A", or the "Year 7 hockey team".

For further resources about student safety on the Internet, please see SOFWeb's Taking Care on the Internet, which provides detailed advice for schools, as well as links to a range of useful resources..

 


Your Audience

Who Is Your Audience?

There are an estimated 30 million web users, so your first answer might be, "the world"! Realistically though the whole world won't visit your Home Page, so you need to think about who you are writing for. Your audience might include:

  • your own school
  • the wider school community
  • the local area, i.e. your geographic region.
  • other students both local, national and international
  • colleagues and others who might be interested in your school's work

How are you going to attract an audience?

There are a great many web pages in the world, in order to bring people to your page and to keep them returning to it, you need to think carefully about what you are going to offer the Internet community. Some of the elements you might include are:

The 5 second grab

If you hope to influence viewers to actually read your webpages, you will need to arrest their attention within a very short time - remember that we now have several generations limited to a thirty second attention span as maximum. If you don't have their interest in the first five seconds, they are gone!

  • The page should get attention immediately, either through 'eye candy' [graphics] or compelling content
  • The page should offer the specific audience something appealing, ideally something which will make them want to come back to the page again
  • The first screen [what appears in the browser window when the page first loads] should have enough in it to identify the interesting aspects of the page
  • Too many graphics can actually lose your audience, as the Internet can be slow and graphics slow it down more. People [especially children] lose patience and move on
  • Cut down on any unnecessary introductory pages where possible - get straight to the point

 


Learning HTML

HTML, or Hyper Text Markup Language, is the language of the World Wide Web. You use it to format text and graphics into files ready for the Web. HTML consists of additional formatting in a text file, called TAGS. If you select Document Source from the View menu in Netscape (or the equivalent command in your browser) you will see the contents of the HTML file you are browsing.

All of the text inside less than (<) and greater than (>) characters are called TAGS. Once you learn what these tags mean, you can add them to a text file to create a HTML file ready for the Web.

Although HTML Editors are available it is worthwhile becoming familiar with the actual tags. HTML Programs can't do everything you want them to and if you have an understanding of HTML code you are able to both fix up errors and make quick edits in a text package like simple text on the Mac, or NotePad or WordPad on the PC. Also some of the html editors available have a tendency to load in extra code making files twice the time, sometimes three times the file size they would have been had you hand coded them. This means that your files will take twice to three times longer to download.

Once you are ready to start coding you can use SOFWeb's Beginners HTML Guide for an informative guide on creating your web pages which includes all basic necessary tags for your web pages.

Some other guides include Teach Yourself Hypertext from Macquarie University. This tutorial will take you from beginning HTML to Frames and beyond to Shockwave and Java.

A Beginner's Guide to HTML is a plain vanilla HTML tutorial, but for all it's lack of gloss it is very thorough and worth a look.

HTML Crash Course for Educators is designed for teachers. This tutorial is a nice, clear, introduction to HTML, with an interactive HTML quiz at the end of each section to test you.

Introduction to HTML offers a good introduction to HTML and then, when you are comfortable with the basics you can go on to Intermediate HTML to refine your skills.

If you are would like to download tutorials from the Sunrise site.

If you are interested in the technical aspects of HTML, including official code and developments, then you need to look at HTML, hyper-text markup language

HTML editing programs

An HTML Editor is a software program which has been especially designed to make writing HTML easier. There are many of these editors available as shareware, for both PCs and Macintosh computers. Shareware means that after you are able to download the program for a trial run but are expected to pay for it after you have used it. The evaluation period is normally 30 days.

PC users can download a copy of Hotdog. This is no longer free to schools but has the standard 30 day evaluation period. Macintosh users can download PageSpinner.

If you would like to try some other HTML editors check out the TUCOWs software archives.

With a HTML Editor you can learn what the HTML tags are, and how to use them. These programs allow you to enter text and the appropriate HTML TAGS to create a HTML file. You do not have to rely on them to produce the code but use them as an extra in your learning.


Adding Color To Your Web Pages

If you are using Netscape version 1.1 or above, you can use color codes to control the color of your page background, text color, link color and visited link color. And, although it is not official HTML coding, later versions of Netscape will also allow you to specify the color of your text. You can do this by specifying the color by name or by RGB code. For example, if you wish to create color text, such as the heading above you can use the HTML code, <FONT COLOR=BLUE>. As usual you will need to turn the color off by using the </FONT> command. Note that you need to use the spelling "color" rather than "color" otherwise Netscape won't recognize the command. There are some colors you can use by name, otherwise you need to use the color codes.


Adding Multimedia To Your Web Pages

With the World Wide Web you don't need to be restricted to simply using text and pictures. You can use other media, for example you can add animation, sound and movies to your web pages.

Try these links for some more information.

 


More resources

Here are some other collections of on-line resources to help you publish on the World Wide Web.

Collections of resources
Robyn's Road to Web Page Builder Resources is an excellent collection of links to on-line resources to do with all facets of building a web page and publishing on the web. webreference.com has a wealth of information about the Internet, from learning how to use it, to advanced web design.

Advanced HTML tutorials
How do they do that with HTML? is a collection of tips, from the simple to the bizarre, for HTML.

Frames
To learn about frames, have a look at Netscape's Frames: an introduction or So you want some frames, huh? is an entertaining and useful introduction to putting frames around your web pages.

Java and Java Script
An Introduction to Java Script.

Netscape plug-ins
Plug-ins are software programs that extend the capability of Netscape, for example, allowing you to play sound or movies, view 3D or animation. The number of available plug-ins are increasing every week. Check the official Netscape Navigator Components Page to find out about, and download the latest plug-ins.


Testing And Approval Of Your Web Pages

Now that you have finished your site, you're probably excited and want to publish it straight away. Hang on a minute.

Your World Wide Web page has a potential audience of millions of people! It is therefore important that you make every effort to ensure that your page is not only well designed, but that it is correctly spelled, that factual information is accurate, that you have tested your page by clicking on every link and made sure all the graphics work.

Remember that your are presenting this information to the whole world, so you want it to work well with no errors in it.

One important aspect of quality control is ensuring that you have appropriate guidelines for publishing and an acceptable procedure for signing the pages off before publication. This might mean that you form a publication committee which is finally responsible for signing off all electronic publishing. This committee could consist of students, teachers, parents and members of the wider school community. One of the responsibilities of such a committee would be developing guidelines for electronic publication.

It is important that all information published by a school should be signed off by the principal or appropriate publishing committee. Before signing off any publishing ensure that all copyright is respected. In the case of student work this means that an appropriate model release form is signed. For other materials you need to ensure that you are not abusing their copyright. You need to ensure if the images, text or other material you publish is not copyright free you have permission to use it.

If you are not sure you need to check SOFWeb's Copyright Statement. Be aware that many large corporations are aggressive about any contravention of their copyright, especially the use of well known corporate symbols and logos.

Sometimes it is appropriate to use copyrighted material if you provide appropriate acknowledgement of your sources. This is called referencing, and there are ways of referencing both text-based and electronic material. Remember that using material which is not your own without appropriate acknowledgement or permission is called plagiarism and is illegal and unethical. See SOFWeb's guide to Plagiarism and Referencing for more information.


Sending your website live to the World

Now its time to transfer all your files to your web site, probably using an FTP program. Use an FTP program (FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol) to log on to your website, then transfer all the necessary files and directories onto your service providers machine.

If you can't figure out what to do, call your service provider for further instructions.


Registering Your Web Pages

When you are sure that your pages are ready for publication, register them with an ISP, so that you can share all your hard work with others.

 


Start All Over Again! - Maintenance

The maintenance of the site can often take up more time than the original design. You have to ensure that information you have included is still up to date and that web sites you have linked to are still there. You should enter a date on your pages whenever you revise them so that people can tell how old the material is.

When you put pages up on the web you have to be committed to their upkeep otherwise they might be beautiful on day one but if not maintained they can become worthless pieces of cyberjunk.

Try to include links to sites home pages where you can, rather than actual pages on their site, this gives them more chance of not being altered in a hurry. Also you can ask website managers to advise you of any alterations to their site.


© State of Victoria (Department of Education, Employment & Training)
Initiative of the SOFWeb Project

Contact: SOFWeb

Last Updated: August 11, 2000
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