Web Page Design: Setting up a Web Site 01

When it is time that you think you want a web site, here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Find a Domain Name for your Web Site. Let's say you want: "CANNON-BALL.COM". Check to see if it has been taken or reserved. You can do this from a Unix shell, using the 'whois' command, or use the form at the Internic web site ( http://rs.internic.net).
  2. Typing the command, you find:
    % whois cannon-ball.com
    No match for "CANNON-BALL.COM".
    The InterNIC Registration Services database contains ONLY
    non-military and non-US Government Domains and contacts.
    Other associated whois servers:
       American Registry for Internet Numbers - whois.arin.net
       European IP Address Allocations        - whois.ripe.net
       Asia Pacific IP Address Allocations    - whois.apnic.net
       US Military                            - whois.nic.mil
       US Government                          - whois.nic.gov
  3. Since it's free, you can work with your ISP provider to acquire the domain. There are forms at the Internic, or your ISP will have one. You will need to provide an Administrative contact (you) and a billing address. Your ISP provider will supply a Technical contact and 2 Domain Name Servers which will be authoritative for your domain name.
  4. The ISP technical contact will send the forms to the Internic, and within a few hours, your domain will be established. At first, you will have only local domain service, it takes a few days for the rest of the Internet to get updated with your domain name.
  5. The Internic will bill you for two years of Domain Name registration services. Currently the charges are $35.00 per year. Your ISP may charge a nominal handling fee for the setup work.
  6. The ISP technical contact will ask you for an account name (for e-mail and system access). You make one up that is easy to remember, like "cannon-ball". There will be a setup charge and monthly fees for this service. Many ISPs have several grades of service based on web site size, e-mail volume, and traffic.
  7. When your account is set up, the ISP will tell you where your FTP and WWW pages are to go. Typically, you will have a directory structure that looks something like this (most web sites are on Unix machines):
                   Put your FTP files here
                   Put your Web pages here, making subdirectories 
                   as you need them. This is your web site.
  8. The ISP will configure their server to respond to your web host name: www.cannon-ball.com and send the server file requests to your directory. A URL like: "http://www.cannon-ball.com/home.html" will get mapped to the file "/user/ftp/public/cannonball/www/home.html"
  9. Make sure you set up your file and directory permissions for world readable access (but NOT world writable!). Think about your site directory layout. Don't just put all your files in one directory.
  10. You will be sending your web pages to the ISP via FTP. Get a simple Unix book to learn how to operate the shell and FTP.
  11. There are also tools that will let you make your web site on your local computer and automatically publish changes to your ISP web site. Netscape Composer is free, and it does a decent job. Microsoft Frontpage Express is another popular tool. Macromedia Dreamweaver is an excellent, but expensive tool for web site management.
  12. As you write your web pages, test them using Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator to find irregularities. Try different window sizes, color schemes and font sizes, your viewers will. Finally test your HTML and style sheets against a validator. You can submit HTML to the W3C validator at http://validator.w3.org/ and submit style sheets to http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/validator-uri.html.

This is the end of this section.

Go to Contents Copyright 1999 by Jim Hurley. All rights reserved.