These instructions are just an overview. You will need to learn how to use several programs to do this - one to create HTML files, one to do FTP, and a web browser (which you can probably already use if you're reading this!) There are many different programs you could use for these tasks, so we can't give you detailed instructions. The procedures described here are the same whether you make your pages with WebEdit on a Windows PC, or PageSpinner on a Mac. And remember, if all this seems too hard, there are a number of professional webpage designers who will do the whole job for you.
Here are the general steps involved:
First, decide what you want to put on your web page, and how you want to arrange it. This is probably the same thing you would do to plan any publication, brochure, assignment, homework, etc. Write the text, collect any graphics and scanned pictures you want to include. Well-organised pages, with interesting content, are much more pleasant to visit!
If you don't know how to write documents in the language used for Web pages, HTML (HyperText Markup Language), there are some good pointers at the end of this document. HTML is not hard to learn. But you may not need to - read on:
If you have Netscape Gold or Composer, you can use the Page Design Assistant on Netscape's web site. It will lead you through making your first web page. Follow the instructions there carefully.
You can create your web pages using whatever text editor you like. HTML files are plain text files. On Windows PCs, you can use the notepad or a dedicated HTML editor to create HTML files.
There are many specialist HTML editors. (See the section Where do I get...?) When you use some of these, you have to type in the HTML codes (e.g. for Windows, HomeSite, Luckman WebEdit). Some don't expect you to understand HTML (e.g. Microsoft Front Page). Also, many recent word-processing and publishing programs can output HTML files.
NOTE: The first file accessed when a user looks in your home directory will be "index.html" or "index.htm". Unless you want others to see a listing of the files in your directory, you will need to create "index.html" as your main webpage.
If you're using a computer which can't make a file called index.html, such as Windows 3 or earlier, just make sure there's one called index.htm
Let's say you've created a HTML page called "index.htm", in your directory "C:\WEB\HTML". To try the page out locally in Netscape, choose "open file in browser" from the File menu, and select the file.
Alternatively you could type in the URL
This will load the page and allow you to use it the same as if it were being sent from a Web server. Beware - if you click on any links that do not go to local files, Netscape will try to make a connection! You can check these links by pointing to them with the mouse, but not clicking - Netscape's status bar, at the bottom of the screen, shows you where that link will go.
Putting your new pages on the webserver
Note! With Riverland Internet closed, this service is no longer available. Riverland Web and Email can help you with hosting a webpage.
Once you've created your web pages and checked them locally with Netscape, you use an FTP program to log into ftp.riverland.net.au and send the files to your public_html directory.
NOTE: When logging in with your FTP program, you must log in with your own username and password, not as user "anonymous". If you log in as "anonymous", you will not have access to your home directory.
Once connected with FTP, change to your public_html directory. With many FTP clients, you would double-click the icon labelled:
Transfer (put) all of the HTML and graphics files from your computer to ftp.riverland.net.au.
Looking at your pages from the Internet
The URL for your new home page is
Welcome to to the world of publishing on the Web!
If you wish, you can ask us to put a link to your page on our list of members' homepages, or be listed in the business directory. If so, or if you have any questions, you can email the webmaster.
There are a large number of pages with HTML authoring info on the Internet. A good list for beginners is on Yahoo. Some other places to start are on Netscape's site, Web Building, or the Page Wizard which will lead you through making a single-page website.
There is a lot of practical information on the Web about designing web pages - just search with any of the search engines!
One of the best ways to learn about HTML is to look at other people's work. Most browsers allow you to view the source file of a Webpage; this shows you the actual text of the web page as it was sent to your computer. In NetScape, go to the View menu and select Source.... You can even save the source file to disk.
Where do I get software to do that?
Many of the programs mentioned here are commercial software - you have to buy them. For many people, this is the best way to go, because commercial software usually includes printed manuals and tutorials to get you started.
If you have more time to spend and less money, you may be able to get the job done with shareware or freeware programs which you download from the net. These programs are of variable quality - some are great, some aren't, and many don't include any, or enough, documentation. A good place to look for shareware is Tucows.
A good FTP program is available from www.coreftp.com. The free version has worked fine for me.
(Based on a document by Ballarat NetConnect)
Suggestions or questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated 2nd August 1998