Publishing Your HTML Pages
Here it is, the chapter you've been waiting for!
Your Web pages are ready for the world to see, and this chapter explains how to get them
to appear before the eyes of your intended audience.
The most obvious avenue for publishing Web pages is,
of course, the Internet. Yet you may want to limit the distribution of your pages to a
local intranet within your organization instead of making them available to the general
public. You may also choose to distribute your Web pages on CD-ROMs, floppy disks, Zip
disks, or the new DVD-ROM disks.
This chapter covers all of these options, and offers
advice on designing your pages to work best with the distribution method you choose.
New Term: An intranet is a private network
with access restricted to one organization, but which uses the same standards and
protocols as the global public Internet. To Do: Before you read about publishing your
pages, you should give some thought to which methods of distribution you will be using.
You probably already know if you're going to be publishing on a corporate intranet, but
the decision of whether to publish on the Internet or on disk can be harder to make.
- If you want your pages to be visible to as many
people as possible all over the world, Internet publishing is a must. But don't rule out
other distribution methods; you can easily adapt Internet-based pages for distribution on
disks and/or local networks.
- If you want to reach a specific group of people who
have computers, but may not be on the Internet yet, publish your pages on floppy disk (if
there aren't very many of them) or CD-ROM (if you have an extensive site). But first,
consider seriously whether you can present the same information on good old-fashioned
- If you want to provide very large graphics,
multimedia, or other content that would be too slow to transfer over today's modems,
consider publishing on a CD-ROM. You can easily link the CD-ROM to an Internet Web site,
and offer the CD-ROM to people who find you through the Internet, but want the "full
Web Pages on Disk
Unless you were hired to create documents for a
company intranet, you have probably assumed that the Internet is the best way to get your
pages in front of the eyes of the world. But there are three major incentives for
considering distribution on some form of disk instead:
- Currently, more people have disk drives than Internet
- Disks can deliver information to the computer screen
much faster than people can download it from the Internet.
- You can distribute disks to a select audience,
whether or not they are connected to the Internet or any particular intranet.
In the not-too-distant future, as Web-enabled
televisions and high-speed networks become more commonplace, these advantages may
disappear. But for now, publishing on disk can be an excellent way to provide a bigger,
faster, and more tightly targeted Web presentation than you could on today's Internet.
Publishing on 1.44MB floppy disks or 100MB Zip disks
is simply a matter of copying files from your hard disk with any file management program.
You just need to keep in mind that any links starting with http:// will only work
if and when someone reading your pages is also connected to the Internet. The cost is
currently about $0.50 per floppy disk, or $10 per Zip disk, plus any delivery or mailing
Time Saver: Never use drive letters (such as
C:) in <A HREF> link tags on your Web pages or they won't work when you
copy the files to a different disk. Refer back to Chapter 3, "Linking to Other Web
Pages," for more details on how to make links that will work both on disk and on the
Publishing on CD-ROM or the new DVD-ROM disks isn't
much more complicated; you either need a drive (and accompanying software) capable of
creating the disks, or you can send the files to a disk mastering and duplication company.
Costs for CD-ROM duplication vary a lot depending on how many disks you need. For less
than a hundred CD-ROMs, it may cost more than $10 per disk. But for thousands of copies,
expect to pay less than $1 each plus delivery or mailing costs. DVD-ROM pricing hasn't
settled down yet, but it will eventually be similar to CD-ROM pricing.
Setting Up an
Internet Web Site
To make an HTML page part of the publicly accessible
World Wide Web, you need to put it on a Web server (a computer permanently connected to
the Internet and equipped to send out Web pages upon request). If you run your own Web
server, this procedure is simply a matter of copying the file to the right directory. But
most people use a Web server run by an Internet service provider (ISP) to host their
Almost all service providers that offer Internet
access also offer space to place your own personal Web pages for little or no additional
cost. However, if you plan (or even hope) to attract large numbers of people, you should
pay a little more money to get a fully supported business site with a major Internet
Time Saver: Don't think that you have to use
the same local company that provides you with Internet access to host your pages. If you
run a busy business Web site, you may save a lot of money and get more reliable service
from a company in another city. For example, I use a company in Vermont to access the
Internet, but my Web site is hosted by a different company in Boston. To "comparison
shop" the hosting services offered by various Internet service providers, go to the
list of ISPs at: http://thelist.com/
Prices for a business site start well under $100 per
month, but you usually pay more when lots of people start viewing your pages. For a site
with about a hundred different Web pages, I have paid as little as $40 per month when a
few thousand people looked at my pages, and as much as $2,000 per month when hundreds of
thousands of people looked at my pages.
Just A Minute: One of the most important
choices you'll need to make when you set up a Web site is the name you want to use as the
address of the site. If you aren't willing to pay $100 up front and $50 a year to maintain
your own domain name, the address of your site will include the name of your Internet
service provider (example: http://www.shore.net/~smith/). If you're willing to
pay for it, you can pick any name that isn't already in use by another company (example:
http://mister-smith.com/) You can check to see if the name you want is already in use
at http://domain-registration.com/ (Or you
can just enter the name in your Web browser to see if you get a page.) Once you find a
name that isn't already taken, ask your Internet service provider to help you apply for
that name as soon as possible.
Pages to a Web Server
When a Web server computer sends Web pages to people
through the Internet, it uses an information exchange standard called Hypertext Transfer
Protocol (HTTP). To upload a page to your Web site, however, you need software that uses
an older communications standard called File Transfer Protocol (FTP).
New Term: File Transfer Protocol is the
standard that your file transfer software must adhere to when sending files to a Web
server. The server then sends those files out to anyone who asks for them using the
Hypertext Transfer Protocol.
Netscape Navigator can receive files using both the
HTTP and FTP standards. It can also send files using FTP, so you can use it to upload your
pages to a Web server. Follow these steps:
- 1. Enter the address of your Web directory in
Netscape Navigator's Location box, as in the following example:
- Put your username and password for accessing the site
instead of myname and mypassword, your Internet service provider's address instead of
myisp.net, and the top-level directory where your Web pages reside instead of /home/web/wherever/.
2. Drag the icons for the HTML and graphics files you want to upload from any Windows
95 file management program (such as Windows Explorer) into the Netscape Navigator window.
3. A dialog box appears and asks you whether you want to upload the files. Click
OK, and wait while the files are transferred.
4. Test your page by clicking on the HTML file you just uploaded in the FTP
directory listing (in the Netscape window). You're on the Web!
Even though Netscape Navigator 2.0 or 3.0 can send
files to any Web server on the Internet, specialized FTP programs such as WS_FTP or
CuteFTP offer much more control for managing your Web pages. For example, Navigator
doesn't give you any way to delete an old Web page that you want to get rid of, or change
the name of a Web page on the server computer. You'll definitely want a specialized FTP
program to maintain your Web site.
Figure 4.1 shows one of the most popular FTP
programs, CuteFTP for Windows. You can download a free copy of CuteFTP (see the following
"To Do:" section), though CuteFTP does require a modest registration fee for
business users. (See the documentation that comes with the program for details.)
Similar programs are available for Macintosh
computers (Fetch is a popular favorite), and FTP utilities come pre-installed on most UNIX
computers. You can find these and other FTP programs at http://www.shareware.com.
Figure 4.1. CuteFTP is a powerful and user-friendly
FTP program that individuals can use for free.
To Do: I recommend that you download CuteFTP now and use it to send some files to your own
Web site as you read on (if you have a Web site set up, that is).
- Go to the CuteFTP home page at http://www.cuteftp.com/
and follow the Download CuteFTP links.
- Once the download is complete, run the
self-extracting .exe program, which will install the CuteFTP program.
No matter which FTP program you choose, transferring
your Web pages to a Web server involves the following steps. (The steps are illustrated
here with CuteFTP, but other FTP programs work similarly.)
- 1. Before you can access the Web server, you
must tell your FTP program its address, as well as your account name and password. In
CuteFTP, select a category for your site in the FTP Site Manager window (Personal FTP
Sites in Figure 4.2), and click Add site to access the FTP Site Edit dialog box in Figure
Figure 4.2. CuteFTP includes an intuitive FTP Site
Manager, though most Web page authors only need a single FTP site entry.
Figure 4.3. Clicking on
Add site or Edit site in Figure 4.2 brings up this dialog box.
2. Here's how to fill in each of the items in Figure 4.3.
Site Label is the name you'll use to refer to your own site. Nobody else will see this
name, so enter whatever you want.
Host Address is the FTP address of the Web server that you need to send your Web pages to.
This usually (but not always) starts with ftp. Notice that it may or may not
resemble the address that other people will use to view your Web pages. The Internet
service provider that runs your Web server will be able to tell you the correct address to
User ID and Password are also issued by the company that runs the Web server. Be aware
that CuteFTP (and most other FTP programs) will remember your password automatically,
which means that anyone who has physical access to your computer may be able to modify
your Web site.
You should set the Login type to Normal unless somebody important tells you otherwise.
(The Anonymous setting is for downloading files from public FTP services that don't
require user IDs or passwords.)
Set the Transfer type to Auto-Detect. (This will automatically send HTML and other text
files using a slightly different protocol than images and other non-text files, to ensure
complete compatibility with all types of computers.)
For the Initial Remote Directory, fill in the name of the main directory folder on the Web
server where your Web pages will be located. The people who run your Web server will tell
you the name of that directory. (In some cases, you don't need to enter anything here,
because the Web server computer will automatically put you in the directory when you
connect to it.)
For the Initial Local Directory, enter the drive and directory folder on your computer's
hard drive, where you keep your Web pages.
Normally, you won't need to change the Port, Retry, Delay, Max Safe Index Size, and Host
Type settings unless you experience problems with your connection. If that happens, have
your service provider help you figure out the best settings. You should also make sure
that Use firewall and the other check box options are unchecked unless someone in the know
says to check them.
You can enter any Comments or reminders to yourself that you like. Only you will see them.
3. When you click OK, you'll go back to the window shown in Figure 4.2. Make sure you
are connected to the Internet, and click Connect to establish a connection with the Web
Most server computers issue a short message to everyone who connects to them. Many FTP
programs ignore this message, but CuteFTP presents it to you as shown in Figure 4.4. It
seldom says anything important, so just click OK.
Figure 4.4. CuteFTP displays the
"boilerplate" message that some server computers send whenever you connect to
4. Once you're connected to the server, you'll see two lists of files, as shown
earlier in Figure 4.1. The left window pane lists the files on your computer, while the
right pane lists the files on the server computer.
To transfer a Web page to the server, select the HTML file and any accompanying image
files in the left window. (Remember that you can hold down the Ctrl key and click the
mouse to select multiple files in any Windows program.) Then select Commands | Upload, as
in Figure 4.5, or click on the Upload button on the toolbar.
As you can see, the same menu contains commands to delete or rename files (on either your
computer or the server), as well as commands to make and change directory folders.
Time Saver: Most Web servers have a special
name for the file that should be sent if someone doesn't include a specific filename when
they request a page. For example, if you go to http://netletter.com/, my Web
server will automatically give you the welcome.asp file. Other Web servers use
different names for the default file, such as index.asp. Be sure to ask your
service provider the default filename so you can give your home page that name.
Figure 4.5. To send files to the server, select
Commands | Upload in CuteFTP.
5. That's all there is to it! In most cases, you can immediately view the page you
just put on the Web server using Netscape Navigator (see Figure 4.6) or Microsoft Internet
Figure 4.6. Most Web servers make pages immediately
available on the Internet seconds after you upload them.
- 6. When you're done sending and modifying
files on the Web server, select FTP | Disconnect to close the connection.
The next time you need to upload some Web pages, you
won't need to fill in all the information in step 2. You can just click Connect, select
the pages you want to send, and click on the Upload button.
Just A Minute: Most Web servers are set up so
that any documents placed onto them are immediately made available to the entire World
Wide Web. However, some require that users manually change file permission settings, which
control who is allowed to access individual files. Your Internet service provider can tell
you exactly how to change permission settings on their server and whether it's necessary
to do so.
Pages on an Intranet
The procedure outlined above for sending pages to a
public Internet server is fairly standard. But the internal workings of private corporate
intranets vary considerably from company to company. In some cases, you may need to use an
FTP program to send files to an intranet server. In others, you may be able to transfer
files using the same file management program you use on your own computer. You may also
need to adjust permission settings, or make special allowances for the firewall that
insulates a private intranet from the public Internet.
About all I can tell you here in this guide about
putting files on your company's intranet is to consult with your systems administrator. He
can help you put your Web pages on the company server in the way that best ensures their
accessibility and security.
Whenever you transfer Web pages to a disk, Internet
site, or intranet server, you should immediately test every page thoroughly.
The following checklist will help you make sure
everything on your pages behaves the way you expected.
- 1. Before you transfer the pages, follow all
of these ten steps to test the pages while they're on your hard drive. After you transfer
the pages to the master disk or Web server, test them again--preferably through a 28.8Kbps
modem connection, if your pages are on the Internet.
2. Do each of the following steps with the latest version of Netscape Navigator, the
latest Microsoft Internet Explorer, and at least one older browser such as DOS Lynx or
Netscape Navigator 2.0.
3. Make sure the computer you're testing with is set to a 16-color video mode, or at
most a 256-color mode. (Pages look better in higher color modes, but you want to see the
"bad news" of how they'll look to most people.)
4. If possible, use a computer with 800x600 resolution for testing purposes, but
adjust the size of the browser window to exactly 640x480 pixels. On each page, use the
Maximize button on the corner of the window to switch back and forth between full 800x600
resolution and 640x480 resolution. If pages look good at these two resolutions, they'll
probably look fine at larger resolutions, too. (Additional testing at 1024x768 or
1600x1200 resolution isn't a bad idea, though.)
5. Turn off auto image loading in Netscape Navigator before you start testing, so you
can see what each page looks like without the graphics. Check your ALT tag
messages, then hit the Load Images button on the toolbar to load the graphics and review
the page carefully again.
6. Use Microsoft Internet Explorer's Font Size button (the big A on the toolbar) to
look at each page at all font sizes, to ensure that your careful layout doesn't fall to
7. Start at the home page and systematically follow every link. (Use the Back button
to return after each link, then click the next link on the page.)
8. Wait for each page to completely finish loading, and scroll down all the way to
make sure all images appear where they should.
9. If you have a complex site, it may help to make a checklist of all the pages on
your site to make sure they are all tested.
10. Time how long it takes each page to load through a 28.8Kbps modem, preferably when
connected through a different Internet service provider than the one who runs the Web
server. Then multiply that time by two to find out how long 14.4Kbps modem users will need
to wait to see the page. Is the information on that page valuable enough to keep them from
hitting the Stop button and going elsewhere before the page finishes loading?
If your pages pass all those tests, then you can be
pretty certain that they'll look great to every Internet surfer in the world.
This chapter gave you the basic knowledge you need
to choose between the most common distribution methods for Web pages. It also guided you
through the process of placing Web pages on a Web server computer using freely available
file transfer software. Finally, it offered a checklist to help you thoroughly test your
Web pages once they are in place.
- Q When I try to send pages to my Web site from
home, it works fine, but when I try it from the computer at work, I get error messages.
Any idea what the problem might be?
A The company where you work probably has a firewall, which is a layer of security
protecting their local network from tampering via the Internet. You will need to set some
special configuration options in your FTP program to help it get through the firewall when
you send files. Your company's network administrator can help you with the details.
Q I don't know which Internet service provider to pick to host my pages--there are so
many! How do I choose?
A Obviously, you should compare prices of the companies listed at http://thelist.com
that provide hosting services, but you should also ask for the names of some customers
with sites about the same size as you plan yours to be, and ask them (via e-mail) how
happy they are with the company's service and support. Also, make sure that your provider
has at least two major (T3 or bigger) links to the Internet, preferably provided to them
by two different network companies.
Q All the tests you recommend would take longer than creating my pages! Can't I get away
with less testing?
A If your pages aren't intended to make money or provide an important service, then
it's probably not a big deal if they look funny to some people or produce errors once in a
while. In that case, just test each page with a couple of different window and font sizes
and call it good. However, if you need to project a professional image, there is no
substitute for rigorous testing.
Q I wanted to name my site jockitch.com, but Proctor and Gamble beat me to it. Is there
anything I can do?
A Well, if your company was named Jockitch, Inc., before Proctor and Gamble registered
the word as a trademark, you could always try suing them. (Good luck.) Yet even if you
don't have the budget to take on their lawyer army, there may be hope. Many new
three-letter extensions for site names will probably soon be approved for use, so you may
be able to get jockitch.inc or jockitch.biz (if P&G doesn't scoop
- 1. How do you put a few Web pages on a floppy
2. Suppose your Internet service provider tells you to put your pages in the /top/user/~elroy
directory at ftp.bigisp.net, your username is elroy, and your password is rastro.
You have the Web pages all ready to go in the \webpages folder on your C drive.
Where do you put all that information in CuteFTP so you can get the files on the Internet?
3. What address would you enter in Netscape Navigator to view the Web pages you
uploaded in Question 2?
4. If the following Web page is named mypage.asp, which files would you need
to transfer to the Web server to put it on the Internet?
<IMG SRC="me.jpg" ALIGN="right">
<H1>My Web Page</H1> Oh happy joy I have a page on the Web!<P>
<A HREF="otherpage.asp">Click here for my other page.</A>
- 1. Just copy the HTML files and image files
from your hard drive to the disk. Anyone can then insert the disk in his computer, start
his Web browser, and open the pages right from the floppy.
2. Click Add site in the FTP Site Manager window.
3. You can't tell from the information given in Question 2. A good guess would be http://www.bigisp.net/~elroy/,
but you might choose a completely different domain name, such as http://elroy-and-astro.com/.
4. You would need to transfer all three of the following files into the same directory
on the Web server:
- If you want the link on that page to work, you must
also transfer otherpage.asp (and any image files that are referred to in that