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If you are new to web site creation you should save this page using another file name to your computer or print it out.

Your Homepage : Understanding why it is good to use a special name for your homepage
Because this web page is one a linux box, the linux apache server will by default automatically look for a page called index.html in every folder and attempt to open it. This little piece of information about the server which your web page is one will enable you to shorten the url for your home page.

If you were to give the filename of your homepage welcome.html then the url for your homepage would be

http://richie.idc.ul.ie/~username/welcome.html

but if you were to give the filename of your homepage index.html

then your url would be

http://richie.idc.ul.ie/~username/index.html

But because this server will automatically look for a file called index.html in every folder then you can leave out any mention of the index.html file name so now your url has shortened to

http://richie.idc.ul.ie/~username/

 

These notes are the main items which many books seem to leave out. Remember that no matter what the question is that some one somewhere has already answered it , so google your question and the answer is often further down on the same page.

If you only learn what you are taught then you may always be looking for a teacher. If you learn how to learn, then your information will never be out of date and oftentimes you will become the teacher.

 

 

 

Web Folder

Your web folder is placed inside your FTP account. When connecting via your FTP account to you web site it is a good idea to include the name of your web folder when defining your connection, as this ensure that your web site is placed inside your web folder. On web servers the name of your web folder is usually called either www or public_html, on this server it is called public_html. Items outside of this folders are only visible within your FTP account, while all items inside the public_html folder are visible to very one in the world.

 

Creating your web site

Step 1 : Decide where on your own computer you would like this folder to exist, if you think you would like to have several web sites inside the same web account i.e. my practice web site, my real web site ... then create a different folder for each web site.

Step 2 :Next from within your web management utility define the location of your web site from within that utility, some utilities dislike it if you define one web site inside another, so if you are planning on creating a practice site then a real site then sue different folders side by side.

Step 3 : Test your connection to your server
Within Dreamweaver this is part of the web site definition process, the below are the common FTP details for accessing this machine.

Hostname richie.idc.ul.ie

Host Directory : public_html

username : will be provided to you

password : will be provided to you

SFTP is required ( Secure FTP)

 


The size of your web account

The quota size of your web account is limited to 2 gig, but it should never really be more than 100-200Mb, unless you have a lot of
your own video work uploaded to your account. remember this is not the place for HD quality avi files, small files means that the viewer can download the files quickly.

The Back End : I want more bells and whistles ?

This refers to the utilities which are available to you from which this server. For the most part you will be solely implementing web sites using hotshot flash html if you would like a full access to additional resources then please obtain an account with Skynet, the UL computer society who provide a great student service for a few euros in cost.

 

Problem files on richie
Should any offending material be found it will be removed along with the account, this includes any copy right protected material.
in this regard we rarely have enough time to ask even why. It will take a request from your course director to obtain a replacement account.

 

Monitoring your Account

Everything which is one the web server should be mirrored on your own computer, check the size of your web folder on your local machine to keep track of your web account. Also your own machine acts as a back up for the web server.

 

The structure of your web site
The only reason a structure of folders exists in a web site is to make it easier to keep things organised. Most web sites have a folder called images where they store images.

The images folder could be called any thing. It is just another folder which you can create rename or delete at will.
The folder "images" is just a standard name of a folder where images for a web site are stored.

he structure off your account is as follows is

T account plan

 

Common Errors to avoid

  1. Until you know better
    Avoid using any spaces in your file names
    Only use lower case letters, while your computer may forgive any upper lower case differences when you name files the web server will not
  2. When creating links between your web pages ensure that they are relative links and not absolute links.
    If you are unsure what the words "relative" and "absolute" mean then now would be a good time to use a search engine to find out. http://www.google.com
  3. After uploading your web site, ensure that it looks ok from a different computer and from within different browsers.
  4. Remember to give your web pages a title in the html code, do a search in google for the phrase Untitled Document and to see how many dot.com web sties have that name.

 

HTML Resources on the web

One good place to start is http://webmonkey.wired.com/webmonkey/ which has many multimedia tutorials , but probable the most useful resources of all are the search engines.

TIP : The course code for first year courses in the USA is 101, so if you are looking for a tutorial on "html" or "flash" or "Modern History" just use the subject name followed by the numbers 101 and you'll be redirected to the course notes by some university on that topic. For more advance tutorials use the course code 201

In fact if you have a question about anything you are unsure about, a good place to start is with Google, some one, some where will already have had the problem and have asked the question some where on the web and as such the answer will be lower down on the same page.

 

Tables or Boxes

Since 2003 graphical design layout should not be implemented using tables, but instead using div tags and CSS. It an EU law which I have as yet still to track down.

 

How wide should my web page be ?

Your web pages should not be wider than the screens of your target audience.

Many web sites use free statistic counter which you can use to see the screen sizes of the viewer looking at their web site.

i.e. google ( the previous word was used as a verb) ULSSC and go to the bottom their homepage page where you will find and icon which looks like a planet, select it and then select System Tracking which will tell you the screen sizes of the different poeple viewing this web site.

Note : You design different CSS style sheets for different viewers, so that if some one is viewing your web site from a pda / iphone then your web with will provide a suitable css style for the screen viewing your web page.

Some Notes for None beginners
First create a page which can be promoted easily, ( a lot of relevant text) edit your title, insert meaning full meta tags for keywords and description and insure that the above information is repeated somewhere on your web page. Include your physical address including the word "Ireland" if you are based in Ireland at present. Next search google for "Add URL to Google" and complete that page. After about a week you can google and find the above page then you can replace this page with what ever graphically design page you want , but keeping the same meta tags and title.

Flash and iphones
Note at present (Sept 2009) there is no flash player on an iphone.

The favicon.ico
This is the little icon which appears along side your URL on many browsers, if your page is book marked by the user, this icon can help to make the bookmark of your url stand out. It is a nice final touch to a web site but it is not essential. As the icon is so tiny it is often difficult to design a nice and relevant logo for a site many people leave it out. Search google for favicon.ico to learn how to use photoshop to design this logo.

 

 

Have fun.