In order to start creating Web documents, you need to be able to create computer files and place them on a computer called a Web server where your files will be viewable by anyone with a Web browser. (You should familiarize yourself with Web terms.)
There is an extremely diverse number of ways that you can accomplish these tasks:
- create computer files;
- access the Internet; and
- place the files on a Web server.
The key is for you to discover the way that works best for you and become adept at it.
Creating Web Documents
How to Create Computer Files
On your computer, you probably already have a simple text editor that will allow you to type in characters and save what you type into a file. This is all you need to create Web documents.
To manage the files you create on your computer, you'll have to know something about the operating system that you have on your computer. If you are using a Windows personal computer, your operating system might be Windows 95, or Windows 98, or Windows ME.
Other kinds of operating systems include: Unix, Linux, Macintosh, and etc.
With your operating system, you can create files, create directories, and move files among the directories.
How to Use the Internet
Once you are comfortable with creating and managing files on your computer, the next step is accessing the Internet.
You may already have Internet access through your organization. If not, you can use this list to sign up for an Internet Service Provider. Look for an Internet Service Provider who will allow you to have "Web space" or create your own "home page."
How to Put Files on Your Web Server
Once you have Internet access, you'll need a place to put the Web documents you create on a Web server. This place is called your Web space.
Many times when you sign up for or have an Internet account, you will automatically be given Web space. This is the Internet Service provider's way of giving you some space on the Web server they provide for their customers to use. The Internet service provider might call this Web space your "home page" or some other term.It might be the case that you create files directly in your Web space, without first creating them on your personal computer.
You'll have to know the following about your Web space. Your Internet Service Provider will likely provide you with complete instructions that cover all of these points.
- How to get files into your Web space.
- How people who want to view files in your Web space reference those files. The file referencing method on the World Wide Web involves Uniform Resource Locators, or URLs.
- How to create directories and manage the files in your Web space. A common operating system to do this is a Unix-like operating system.
Putting it All Together
- Create a simple file called "mystart.txt" on your computer or directly in your Web space. Type into it any characters you would like and save it.
- If mystart.txt is not already in your Web space, transfer the mystart.txt file to your Web space.
- Use the URL of your Web space followed by mystart.txt to view your file in a Web browser.
Once you discover a way to do these steps efficiently, you'll have all you need to begin learning how to create Web documents.
Exercise: Practice making files and sending email
Prepare a simple text file (with the file extension "txt) on your computer and place it in your Web server's space. Send your instructor an email message with the location of the file.