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Extra Bits

get a web host p. 94

  • Questions that you should ask a prospective web host include how much they charge each month, how much they charge for “setup”, if they have a money-back guarantee, if they have toll-free or email tech support, what their guaranteed uptime is (the percentage they are actually connected to the Internet serving your files), how much space you have on the server, and how many gigabytes you’re allowed to serve each month (then divide this by the total size of all your web site files to determine how many users you’ll be allowed to have).

get a web domain p. 95

  • For a non-professional site, the most important reason to get your own domain name is so that you don’t have to change your site’s address (or your email) should you decide to change your web host (or ISP). I highly recommend it.
  • There used to be only one company that could register domains: Network Solutions. That’s no longer the case, and you can often get a better deal by going to the competition.

set up the ftp program p. 96

  • Only your web host can tell you what the FTP address is for your site. If you get web space from your ISP, they often have this information on their web site.
  • Your web host is also the only one who will know what your user name and password are (though it’s often the same as what you use to get your email).
  • Fetch for Macintosh is an excellent FTP program. Cute FTP also has a Macintosh version. And there’s also WS_FTP for Windows, from Ipswitch.com, among many other possibilities.

transfer files to server p. 97

  • As long as the files on the server have the same relative location with respect to the other files, all the links and images will continue to work. So, if index.html and ceramics.html were in the same sarahs_website folder on your computer, they should be in the same folder on your server. In the same way, since the link images were in the little folder on your computer, they should also be in a little folder on the server.
  • Transferring files with other FTP programs is virtually the same as with Cute FTP. The basic process is setup, connect, and transfer.
  • Some FTP programs require you to set the upload format. In that case use ASCII for text (HTML and CSS files) and Binary for images.

test pages online p. 98

  • Missing images is one of the most common problems with a web page. (Remember that we duplicated the links to prepare for this eventuality.) The images may not have been uploaded, may not have been uploaded to the proper folder, or may not have been uploaded properly (images must be uploaded in binary format, and not all FTP programs do that automatically). Another common problem with images is that the file name in the src attribute of the img element does not exactly match the file name of the actual image, including upper and lowercase letters.
  • It’s also not a bad idea to test your web pages on a variety of browsers and platforms (Windows, Macintosh, Unix). While browsers have begun to embrace the standards that will make such testing unnecessary, there are still important differences, especially with older browsers in wide use (particularly Internet Explorer 5.5 for Windows).
  • My number one tip for trouble-shooting is to check the easy things first. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent hours going over some new tricky technique just to find that the problem was that I misspelled the file name, or a too familiar attribute. Once you’ve ruled out the obvious culprits, then you can look for more complicated answers.

get indexed p. 100

  • There are people who make a living by getting web sites indexed. There are three important techniques: 1. Use the words that people will search for in order to find you (called keywords) throughout your site and in a meaningful way, especially in the title, headers, and first paragraph. 2. Get linked from other sites. 3. Submit your site to Google.
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