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How do I upload my web pages? How do I manage my site?

Early in 2002 I received a letter from a person obviously perplexed over lack of info on the Internet regarding HOW to upload web pages to his site.

I include this info as e-mailed to me and answered almost as is so it can be read more from a beginner web designers point of view (although this person apparently knows web design quite well, just didn't know how to post the pages - a puzzle!).

> .........
> Message: I am resonably proficient at the use of HTML and the
> various web design type programs. My problem is this-- I try to
> find specific info on the task of actually publishing a document
> to the web and all I get is
*expletive*. I have spent the last
> three hours surfing trying to find info specifically relative to
> getting my page on the web and all that comes up is stuff I
> already know.

Don't know about the expletive bit but perhaps adding something about that is worthwhile - even if it is just as follows.

**Generally when you obtain your own web site the HOST will supply links to methods used on their web servers in the form of simple tutes or help areas. That is a fair assumption on any tutorials part (personally I have never seen a host that doesn't).

Perhaps some tute sites do mention it but one has to read amongst the stuff "you already know", an error on the part of many students rather than maximising learning by pulling out handy new info amongst the known wherever they go....

Probably most beginners obtain a "free" web site which most always vary as to how pages are published via their own (the hosts) interface. In those scenarios it is "impossible" to tell people what to do as compared to "real" web sites it will just confuse.

These days beginners mostly grab some you-beaut wysiwyg html editor before learning what the html code is all about. SUCH PROGRAMS CONTAIN THEIR OWN "site/page upload" or "site/page posting" options.

So the user has to use the manuals or help files OF EACH/ANY specific wysiwyg editor program to perform that function. HTML tutes cannot cover the increasing huge number of those ever changing programs too!!! ...added - throughout this site such backwards learning of wysiwyg before learning code basics is NOT condoned.

> What I want to know is How do I upload it. What files/info do I
> need to include, should this info be segregated into different
> folders or all in the one. In short could you or some one else
> publish a step by step guide to getting what one wants out there
> or is everybody only concerned with expousing their knowledge.

Added - even one simple default "index.html" page DOES constitute a web site with content!

As above it is fair to assume knowledge of the upload or posting processes required for a given hosted web site and/or the programs used to create the pages on the PC. Because of diversity such is beyond the scope of any html tutorial. Specific PC wysiwyg editor programs will invariably have their own support web sites specialising on those programs and how they work internally.

As you should now accept from all above not offering such advice on html tutorials does NOT constitute every body (the tutorial site authors) just wanting to "espouse their knowledge".

Obviously they (the tute site authors) DO have that knowledge from their own experience on their web sites. Just realise perhaps why it is not mentioned very often. The problem has never arisen through dtp-aus.com before and it has been a popular site since '97.

SO, site management.....
People will always follow the same disciplines they use, or lack, on their own personal PC.

I have seen many sites that are just a nightmare to navigate with images and html pages and sound files all mixed in one large directory (installing my CGI programs around the world we are given access to the internals of many web sites)

wysiwyg html editors allow you to create your "site" layout as you play with the wysiwyg program on your PC. Just how anyone does that is entirely dependant on their own ideas of "discipline" and organisation and perhaps loosely, tidiness - you can go overboard!.

Often one can see an evolved pattern within a web site; which I made the mistake of following very early on with my first simple web sites many years back even though I had been teaching "systems management"......

As one "plays" on the PC the pages become THE web pages posted to the web site. Then more is added in that early process to a point where little planning has been involved and it becomes too much of a hassle to later "rearrange" everything; links, files, URLs - especially if one has jumped in too early to submit the site to the search engines which may have "indexed" that early sloppy layout ...which in turn one then has to stick with.

But how do you plan what you don't yet realise?.... very difficult for some.... but as above one has the experience of ones own computer and a web site server is just the same - a bunch of files and directories on a computer; ie consider the sites "root" htmldocs directory as "C:\" or "D:\" etc on your own PC.

It is logical to divide site "areas" in to root level sub directories (the "root" being common reference to the base "htmldocs" (html documents) directory of the web site - ie where "http://www.yourdomain/" files are accessed.

Specific areas of interest are easily placed in sub dirs because as the site grows YOU readily identify where what is found for whatever subject or "area" - even months or years later.

General images should logically be placed in something like "images" or "pics" (long directory and file names only make long difficult URLs, character case is important on popular Unix computers as are spaces in names not acceptable).

If one day you progress to Javascript roll over image buttons for menus etc then it is good house keeping to add those images to say a "buttons" directory - easily found.

An area directory of say "holidays" may have a sub directory named "pics" also, so only the "holidays" images are found easily in that root sub directory site areas own images sub directory.

Added - later when advancing to interactive CGI programs, admin access forms and other private stuff should be placed in a sub dir, named perhaps "admin", which can then have server controlled ".htaccess" password protection activated.

No matter what one might TELL people to do specifically in that regard it will be ignored. Only the idea of planning can be suggested with room to expand for future unknown stuff.

File types.
One should only be concerned with two file "types".
• TEXT which is anything created/edited as a simple text file. HTML pages are "TEXT" files.
• Second are images. They are referred to as "BINARY" files because their internal structure is such that they cannot be edited manually by a text editor (.zip, MSWord .doc, sound files, .pdf, etc, are all "Binary").

Each file must be uploaded or posted as either type "ASCII Text" OR "Binary" - which is very important to get right. wysiwyg html editor programs have internal management of the basic file types and will hopefully "post" the files accordingly.

FTP
Advanced web site management comes with the use of programs called "FTP" programs. The File Transport Protocol is a standard by which a special program can change the hidden line endings of ASCII Text files created on your PC to those required by the server kind the files are being posted (transported) to.

Therefore via an FTP program Win PC, Mac, Lynx, created files can be "converted" as they are transported (posted) to a server of whatever kind the server is (the "hidden" line ending characters are automatically changed). FTP programs allow you to nominate what file type a file with a new or rare file extension might be, keeping the FTP programs "auto" function accurate.

Readily available, FTP programs are again all different in how their menu and option systems work and are beyond the scope of an html tutes site. Many so-called free web sites do not allow FTP access to your site.

The important thing to know is that FTP programs are designed to have full "control" of file and directory management, AND important for the most secure and popular UNIX type web servers is FTP programs also allow full management of networking directory and file "access permissions" - the latter being an advanced requirement of web site management especially for CGInterface installations, but generally of no real concern for just basic html pages and images which the server manages automatically (defaults).

regards, ....

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e-mail 1997 '98. Last Revised:  Friday, 31 October 2003 22:04