Navigating your way
| Designing a web page is a creative process. The page gives
you the opportunity to express yourself or convey information using an
interesting array of options including text, graphics, photos, video,
sound, and animation.
Like most creative endeavors, however, the process is not linear or step-by-step. Therefore, it's best to understand the elements necessary to create a page and then find the way that works best for you.
Your page will change many times as your idea evolves into the final product. To begin, don't be afraid to keep it simple. Create a page with just text and a graphic to get a feel for how it all works. Then, once you are familiar with the process, look at the other links on the web creation site to learn how to expand the page by including more sophisticated elements, such as tables, frames, and forms.
I. Pick a starting pointSo where do you begin? It is best to begin by planning and exploring. See web options in action by browsing the web and looking at what others have done.
Once you have an idea for the page you would like to create, you can get down to work and begin to create the text file that will be the foundation for your page. The text file will contain the HTML codes that make it all happen.
Having a basic understanding of how the HTML codes work is very important. Even if you use a web editor to create your page, you will, at some point, need to correct the coding or go beyond the capabilities of the editor to customize your page. If you know how the codes work, the task won't seem so daunting.
To help you in this effort, the other pages at this web site offer an overview of how HTML works. In particular, see the Creating your HTML file web page. This page shows a sample web page that offers advice on the options you have for creating an HTML file. It also links to another web page that shows the underlying codes for the sample page with an explanation of how the codes work and additional codes that you can use. For a list of basic HTML codes, you can also see the Commonly used HTML codes web page. You can create a simple page of your own from the instructions on these pages. If you have a graphic that you would like to include, see the Using graphics web page for advice on the file formats accepted by the web.
When you save your HTML file, be sure to name it index.html. When you upload this file to your Unix account, this file will automatically display as your opening web page. If you subsequently create other pages that you wish to link to your main page, you can call those pages whatever you want. The filename, however, cannot contain spaces or special characters and it must end in .html or .htm (such as report.html or report.htm).
II. Evaluate your progressCheck the progress of your page as you go along by saving the file and then opening it in a web browser, such as Netscape. You don't have to be connected to the Internet to view your page.
In Netscape, simply go under the File menu, select Open File or Open Page and then Choose File, and select your HTML file to see how it looks in a web browser. In Internet Explorer, go under the File menu and select Open. Then click on Browse, select your HTML file, click on Open, and then click on OK.
(Note: If you are viewing your page locally and it includes graphics, the graphics must be in the same directory as your HTML file in order for you to see them. Also, links to other web sites will not work until you first connect to the Internet.)
When you are satisfied with your page, you can make it public by uploading the index.html file and any associated files to your Unix account as explained on the Making your files public web page.
III. Going beyond the basics
Once you have created a simple page, you may want to expand it. For web design advice, see the Tips for online design web page. Finally, if you have problems creating your page, take a look at the Frequently asked questions web page for advice on common web creation problems.