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paint brush Website Design Tutorial

By Alan Flum
of Celestial Graphics Inc.
Links To This Guide: Getting Started | What Makes a Good Site | Plan Your Site | Design and Layout | How to Create Your Web Pages | How to Put Your Site on the Net |
How to Put Your Site On the Net

In this last installment of our web site design tutorial we will talk about how to take the site you just created and put it up on the Internet. If you have come to this page first, you may want to go back to the Getting Started section of this tutorial.

How Do I Put My Pages On the Web?

Are you confused about how to put your pages on the web? Well, you are not alone. This is probably the number one mystery for most people when they create their first web site. Actually, put your site on the web is really not that difficult. Here is what is required:

  1. You need to know the address of the where your site is hosted.
  2. You need to know the username and password necessary to add and remove files at that location.
  3. You need software that lets you transfer files to and from that location.

Lets look at each of these one by one.


Address of Where is Your Web Site Located

Just like your house has an address that makes it easy to locate, your web site needs an address for people to view pages and an address for you to place your files.

Notice that browsing pages and loading your files require two different addresses. Why? Because they serve different purposes. Visitors to your site retrieve your web pages (html pages and their associated images) in order to view them in their browser. Your goal is place or retrieve the files to and from your web site. Each of these requires a different method of accessing the place where your web pages are stored. Certainly, you would not want visitors to your modifying, adding or removing your web pages or images!

Lets look at the sample site below for an example.


This shows the structure of a simple web site from the visitors point of view. When the visitor types in www.yoursite.com in their browser, the web server automatically sends them the page called index.html (index.html is usually the default name that most web servers expect you to call your home page).

Here is the actual file structure of the site from your point of view. When you go to up load and download files, you use a method called file transfer protocol or FTP. Your site will have a FTP address assigned by the Internet service provider hosting your site.

The site will generally have a folder assigned by your Internet Service Provider where you place all of your web pages. This is called the site root folder. In this example, the root folder is called web. This is the name generally used by Acquired Knowledge Systems. Another common root folder name is public_html.

Your Internet Service Provider will provide you with your FTP address. This could be something like ftp://ftp.mywebsite.com or just ftp://mywebsite.com . Almost all programs that allow you to do file transfer protocol omit the ftp:// so that ftp://ftp.mywebsite.com becomes ftp.mywebsite.com and ftp://mywebsite.com becomes mywebsite.com.

Your User Name and Password.

In order to have FTP access to your web site, your Internet Service Provider will give you a user name and password. This makes sure that only you will be allow to add or modify files on your web site.

Software to Transfer Files to Your Site.

You will need software that allows you to send files to your site. This software allows you to send files using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) described in the last section. Here are a few options:

Dedicated FTP software-- There are programs whose only job in life to to send and retrieve files using file transfer protocol. Many of these are free or shareware. One of the most popular is called WS_FTP. This software is available free for noncommercial use or for a small fee for commercial use. It can be downloaded from any shareware site such as cnet.com .

Web Site Design Programs-- Most Web site design programs have some type of site management feature that allows you to FTP files to your site and retrieve files for editing. Even the simplest free program such as Netscape Composer allows you to "publish" your site or send individual pages by FTP.

On-line Site Builders-- On line site builders automatically place your pages in the correct location. Since these site builders reside on your Internet Service Provider's computers, they know based on your user name password and domain name, exactly where to place your web pages. Acquired Knowledge Systems is in the process of developing an on-line site builder in order to make it easy for you to create and maintain your web pages.

Last Word

This concludes the web site design tutorial. We hope you found it helpful for more information about web site design, see our recommended reading list, visit our html tutorial or read our e-commerce planning guide. We hope that we you decide to host your web site that you will consider Acquired Knowledge Systems!

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