Creating a Web Site
Yes, You Can
Creating a web site
isnt as daunting as it might seem. You just
need the right tools.
Creating a web site, or just a
simple web page, may be something youve
considered but quickly forgotten about. After all,
its complicated. And, hey, there are already an
abundance of web sites out there
Well, one more
potentially excellent resource, for starters.
Other than a
computer and a relatively fast connection to the
Internet, there isnt much you need to get
started. Of course, you will need to establish a
relationship with an Internet Service Provider
either in your community or perhaps your school
board. Youll also want to consider if an HTML
(Hypertext Markup Language) editor is the way to go,
or if youd prefer to code your web pages using
what Ill call "raw HTML."
HTML is a
programming language a very simple one, really
that makes the web possible. There are other
programming considerations, such as CGI scripts, Java
and VRML, and while they enhance a site, you can
worry about them later. They arent necessary in
the early stages.
The one simple
difference between a web "site" and a web
"page" are the number of pages, or files, a
site contains. A web page is, well, one page or file.
A web site is simply more than one page or file. In
short, some excellent web pages can be created if the
information youre conveying fits just the one
pages on your site are worth a look. Heres why.
Consider your audience and the type of hardware they
might be running. A 14.4 bps modem, 8 meg of RAM,
maybe only 16 colours of video
one large web
page can take minutes to load. And minutes can seem
an eternity to the average surfer, forcing them to
click away from your site. Thats a no-no in web
There are some
superb resources on-line, as you might expect. One
trick while scouring the web you may happen
upon a particular site you like. In your web browser
either Netscape or Explorer click View,
then Document Source or Source, depending on the
browser. There you will see HTML in all its glory.
While respecting copyright, take a look at how the
site is coded. Theres a pattern, and its
HTML Tutorials by John C.
John Gilson, a teacher at Pauline Johnson Collegiate
in Brantford, has developed this remarkable HTML
primer. If you know nothing about HTML, I suggest a
tour of Gilsons site. If, later, you decide an
HTML editor is what you prefer, youll have lost
nothing, as having the rudiments of HTML will always
be helpful. This site paves the way for the web site
This URL is now
updated. Shortly after the print version of Professionally
Speaking went to press, the
folks at Microsoft decided to change the file name
for this particular site. Thanks to Brian
bringing this to my attention.
so whats an HTML editor? Its simply a
piece of software that helps you create web pages
without all the coding it codes for you,
letting you concentrate on content and design. Like
all software, each editor has its own unique
qualities that you may or may not like, or may or may
not ever use. Here at the College, I use
Microsofts FrontPage because it integrates well
with the Office suite we use. But there are many
editors out there that work just as well. If an
Internet Service Provider is hosting your site, talk
to them first to ensure your choice of editor is
compatible with their systems.
Clip Art Searcher
Should your web site have graphics? Yes. Do they need
to be original, artist-rendered-just-for-my-site? No.
While a scanner is always a nice piece of hardware to
have, it isnt absolutely necessary. The Clip
Art Searcher is a search engine of graphic files,
free for your use on your web site. While you may
need to have a logo scanned, most desktop publishing
and graphic software has the ability to output
graphic files. These files can easily be mounted as
images on your site, just as the ones you come across
on this search engine can.
If youre going to spend time, effort and money
on creating a web site, you want people to know it
exists. SubmitIt is a free service that allows you,
in a few simple steps, to make your web site known to
some of the most popular search engines on the web.
When surfers go looking for keywords, you want your
sites existence to be known. This site also
offers a host of other services, including some
useful marketing tips.
Brad Ross is associate editor
of Professionally Speaking and the Colleges web
editor. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org