Have you been thinking about creating a personal webpage, but putting it off because you don't know where to start? Or maybe you are hesitant to spend time and money on an authoring program that you might use only once? Read on, and learn how you can create webpages using standard software that comes with your computer!
You need just four items to create and put a webpage on the Internet:
So, if you have Windows 95, Windows 98, or a later version of Windows, you already have all the software you'll need. You should find your ISP-specific information on their website. If not, an E-mail or phone call to your ISP's help desk will get it for you.
The basic process for creating a webpage is:
The basic framework for any webpage is these few lines:
<TITLE>Title of Your Webpage</TITLE>
Contents of Your Webpage
A couple of comments before we jump into writing HTML. Many servers run Unix, so filenames may be case-sensitive. Create all files and enter all filenames in lowercase, using a-z and 0-9. Make your HTML easier to read by entering HTML commands and modifiers in uppercase, using A-Z and 0-9.
The contents of your webpage will be text mixed with HTML commands. Most HTML commands take the form <COMMAND>object</COMMAND> or <COMMAND MODIFIERS>object</COMMAND>
You may string HTML commands together like this: <COMMAND1>object1</COMMAND1> <COMMAND2>object2</COMMAND2>
Or you may embed HTML commands inside other HTML commands like this: <COMMAND1><COMMAND2>object1&2 </COMMAND2></COMMAND1>
It is very important to have <COMMAND> followed by the corresponding </COMMAND>. So I find it easiest to write HTML from the outside in:
The contents of your webpage may be any desired mixture of:
Unless told otherwise, the browser will just concatenate text, ignoring tabs and multiple spaces. To end a line, put in a <BR> break command. To end a line and force a blank line for spacing, put in a <P> paragraph command. These commands do not have an object, so they do not require an ending </BR> or </P>.
You can emphasize text by making it a header. <H1>text</H1> makes the tallest, widest headers. <H2>text</H2> is a little smaller, going on down to <H6>text</H6> which is about the same size as regular text. Headers automatically put a blank line before the following text or images.
The two most-common types of lists are:
Unordered lists begin each entry with a bullet (circle, square, or
disk depending on the depth of sublists). The basic HTML is:
Ordered lists begin each entry with a number. The basic HTML is:
You can embed a .gif (GIF89a format) or a .jpg image into your webpage with a <IMG SRC="url"> or <IMG SRC="url" ALT="description"> command. The URL can be just filename.extension if the .gif or .jpg file will be in the same directory as the webpage. .gif files are usually created with a paint program. .jpg files are usually scanned or downloaded from a digital camera. If you search the Internet for Clipart or "Clip Art", you can find large collections of images that you may use for free.
Links are one of the most powerful and useful features of HTML. To link to another webpage, use a <A HREF="url">description</A> command. To link to another spot within your own webpage, use a <A HREF="#anchor">description</A> command. The target of the link, or "anchor", is marked with a <A NAME="anchor">text/image</A> command.
Tables are an excellent way to organize large amounts of data. The HTML for tables, additional types of lists, and other options for making text stand out will be discussed in part 2 of this article.
Once you are satisfied with the webpage on your own computer, you need to ftp the webpage and any associated files to your ISP's server. Using ftp in the MS-DOS window:
Turn on your computer and try your own hand at creating a webpage! If I have piqued your curiosity, and you would like to read the next part, click on this link.