Entering the world of building the internet...
By Red Squirrel
To make a website, you need to know what html is, and it is good to understand it. You can’t just make it in Word Perfect and put it on the net! It isn’t going to happen. Sure you can put any files on the internet, but to have an actual website, you need to use an html document. HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. HTTP (the protocol used for the internet) stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. So basically the Internet is a protocol that transfers hyper text to viewers. For example, the page you are viewing right now is hyper text that was transferred to you when you requested it – by clicking the link. Every web site you visit is made with this hyper text. Html is the most common way to make a web page, but there are many others such as php and java, but html is what is used for static pages, pages that don’t change (unless updated). Php can by used for making dynamic pages, pages that change. For example, a forum is dynamic, if someone makes a post, it changes the data that is sent. Most forums are programmed with cgi or php, but we will not get to that. We will stick with html in this tutorial.
Html is very simple. It is text, with simple “commands” called tags. A basic html tag looks like this <tag function=”value”> </tag>.
Whoa! Did I lose you? Ok, I’ll explain all those parts. First, tag is the name of the tag. For example, if you want to change the font, you would use the <font> tag. To change the color you would use the color function in the font tag, so you would use <font color=”red”> to make it red. Tags have many functions. For example, if you want a word to be red and use the font arial with a size of 4 (we will get to font sizes shortly), you would type <font face=”arial” color=”red” size=”4”>this is red</font>. Notice the </font>, when you put a / in a tag, it closes it. The text after that would be the same as before the <font face=”arial” color=”red” size=”4”> part.
There are also simpler tags such as <I>, <b> and <u>. <I> makes the text italic, so you would type <I>this is italic</I> to make the text italic, again, we closed the tag using the forward slash and the name of the tag. <b> would make the text bold, and <u> would underline it. You can also combine tags. Here is a simple html document:
would show up as:
Html does not care how you place your text, you can put everything on one line, or press enter after each character, or separated with lot of spaces. Only the first space matters, but if you add more it does not change a thing. To skip a line, you use the "BR" tag. This tag does not need to be close like most do. Simply add it and it acts as pressing enter.
This is very basic html but enough to make you understand how it works. There are many tutorials available on the internet, and this article will focus mostly on how to make a site on the internet, as I’m sure you experimented with the few tags that were showed to you, but wonder how you would put it on the internet!
To publish your documents on the internet, you need to have a website. You can get a free website on places such as geocities, tripod etc. There, you simply choose your username, and they will give you a web address in which your site will be accessed from. Your files will be stored on their web server, and available through your account.
Most website providers have bad limits, such as how much files you can put, how much data you can transfer per month (aka how many people can view it per month) and others. Not only that, but they usually add banners and popups. They are paying big bucks to have a connection fast enough to host everyone’s websites, and own very powerful servers to host them!
HTTP is a read only protocol (technically it is not, but we will only stay on the read only side of it) which means you can see a site, but you can’t modify it. I can’t help but laugh when someone tries to correct a spelling mistake directly on their browser. You can’t do that, if you could, imagine how many people would mess up other people’s web sites! It would be crazy out there!
To put your pages on your website account (assuming you opened it and know your username and password), you can’t do it “just like that”. You must use a completely different protocol then HTTP called FTP, which stands for File Transfer Protocol. This protocol enables you to connect to your web space account and upload your files to it. Uploading is the opposite of downloading, instead of downloading a file from a server, you are putting a file on the server from your computer. For example, if your site address is Reliexec.dynu.net/ and you upload a file called mystuff.zip, anyone can access it by typing www.reliexec.dynu.net/mystuff.zip. Most web servers have a default filename, which is usually index.html. If you upload a file called that, you do not need to type it in, you would just type www.reliexec.dynu.net/ and it would automatically open index.html.
Basically, this is how you make a website, you type up your pages using html, open a web account and upload the file to your account! It’s as simple as that! You do not actually need to learn html to make a web site, you can get a html editor and it will be as easy to use as any word processor such as Ms Word. A popular one is Microsoft Front Page, which comes with the Microsoft office suite along with Word, Excel etc. Some word processors can also generate html, but what you have to know is how to safe it. If you save it just like any other document, you can just upload it and call it index! The user would be prompted to download it like you would download a game.
I hope that this article helped you understand the concept behind building a website! This article goes through many aspects, but is very basic. If you have any questions about anything, please don’t hesitate and ask them on our forum!
I hope you enjoyed this article!
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