This page is designed to help beginners in basic Web page building while providing links for further instruction. Among the topics covered are obtaining Web space, using HTML and Web editors, using an FTP client, and other ways of improving your Web page. These instructions are just the basics you will need to get started. For further information, follow the links to the HTML tutorials. They will guide you through more advanced techniques.
Before you begin building your Web page, 4Help encourages you to read the Acceptable Use Guidelines which will inform you of the responsibilities and obligations associated with the use of Virginia Tech's computing resources.
Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students may obtain Web space at no charge with Filebox. See the Filebox documentation for instructions on setting up your page. Filebox gives you 30 MB of space. Your URL (Web address) will be "filebox.vt.edu/users/[Your PID]".
Note: Your own PID will appear in place of [Your PID].
There are also many free Web hosting services provided by organizations not affiliated with Virginia Tech, such as:
Note: 4Help does not provide support for outside Web space providers.
Suppose you have built your Web page using a free Web host (not Virginia Tech's Filebox) and have moved into your site. Your Web address could be long and hard to remember. If you are doing a page for an organization, you will want a URL (Web address) that is easy to remember. One option is to register a URL with a Domain Name Registrar such as Verisign. There is usually a yearly fee for this service.
HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language) is the language used to write Web pages. Perhaps you do not know HTML, or you are just beginning to learn. Do not worry. With the aid of Web editors, you do not need to know HTML to create a great Web page. A Web editor is a program that will write the code for you. You just tell it what you want to see.
There are many tutorials available on the Web. Here are two suggestions:
Many Web space providers including Virginia Tech's Filebox provide tools for publishing your Web pages within their sites. This eliminates the need for a separate file transfer program on your computer. Check your provider's documentation for details.
To set up a Web Folder to connect to your filebox or hosting site in Windows, see Adding a Web Folder to Connect to Filebox or the Web Hosting Service in Windows XP.
To use your Web Folder, once it is set up, to manage your Filebox files, see the appropriate knowledge base article:
Filebox supports the WebDAV protocol for transferring your files to your Web space on Filebox and Web Hosting. The WebDAV protocol is more secure than the older File Transfer Protocol (FTP) used by many Web providers. Virginia Tech affiliates can download a WebDAV client for Windows or Mac OS X. For instructions, for Windows see Downloading and Installing WebDrive for Windows XP/Vista/7 or for Mac OS X see Downloading and Configuring Cyberduck to Connect to a Filebox in Mac OS X v10.6/10.7.
FTP is another, older method by which files are sent through the Internet. For security reasons, many Web hosting services including Virginia Tech's Filebox, have discontinued the use of FTP for their services. If you are not using Virginia Tech's Filebox, you might want to visit the Ipswitch Web site for Windows or the Fetch Softworks site for Mac OS for information on FTP clients.
If you want people to find your Web site, try to think of the terms that people will be entering into search engines and include those words on your Web pages. This will increase your chances of reaching a wider audience.
In addition, use appropriate meta tags in your pages. Many search engines rate a site higher if it has a word in a meta tag compared to just the body of the text. For more information on meta tags, visit A Proposed Convention for Embedding Metadata in HTML.
A WWW robot is a software program that searches the Internet looking for Web sites and all related files, and the robot indexes them so that people can find them using search engines.
Robots (also known as spiders, crawlers, or Web wanderers) are harmless. If you do not want them to index your site, you can create a robots.txt file with instructions for robots to follow, such as disallowing indexing of particular files on your site. Robots look for this file first before indexing the rest of your site.
For more information about WWW robots, refer to The Web Robots Pages.