BEFORE YOU BEGIN
12 About Choosing a Hosting Service
20 Explore GeoCities
A web page sitting on your computer is no good to anyone . You can do all the hard work of coding you want, but if you can't post your site to the Web, no one will visit. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it truly fall?
We don't know the answer to that philosophical question, but we do know that if you don't post your website, it's as if it didn't exist.
In order for your site to be live, it has to be uploaded to a web serverthat is, all the files that make up your site, including the HTML files, graphics, and any other files, have to be sent from your computer to the computer on the hosting service that will have your files.
How you actually post your page will vary from site to site, and so there's no way to provide the exact details of how you post a web page here. Make sure that you write down all the information sent to you from your hosting service, including file directories and locations, passwords, and usernames.
But no matter how you post your page, there are a series of steps you should take before posting.
First, you should check whether there are errors in your HTML markup. No matter how careful you are, no matter how experienced , and no matter how many times you check your markup, you've probably made an error or two. Don't worry, you're not aloneeven the professionals make mistakes. And it's not as if HTML is a particularly logical language.
If you're using an HTML editing program, it may well have a feature that will automatically check your HTML for you. It will go through your HTML and check it for errors, bad syntax, and similar problems, and then recommend changes, or make the changes for you. These are incredibly helpful tools, so if you're using an HTML editing program, use that feature.
If it doesn't have that feature, you should preview all your pages and then go over them with a fine-toothed comb for errors.
It's not just your markup that can be a problem. It's also very easy to make errors when linking to files or graphics. So you should check your links as well, to make sure that they're not broken. You've no doubt clicked on dead links when surfing the Webremember how annoying that was? You don't want your visitors to be similarly frustrated. So check your links before posting.
Again, the better HTML editors include link-checking features. If you don't use an HTML editor, or yours doesn't have a link checker, click every link on every page, to make sure they work.
You can also download a free link-checking program that will check your pages for bad links. It's called Xenu's Link Sleuth, and is available for free at http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html.
There are a few other final checks you should make before publishing your site. First, check it for spelling and typographical errors. Many HTML editors include a built-in spell checker, so use it before posting. But don't rely solely on it, because it won't be able to catch misuses ( its for it's , for example). Check your punctuation as well, and give your pages a final read.
You should also view the final pages in both Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. (You may also want to check them on Opera and Firefox as well.) Pages coded properly for one browser might display incorrectly in another browser, so always preview your pages in both browsers. There are many versions of both browsers, but it's always best to preview your pages in the most recent versions.
For more details about publishing your site, see Chapter 12, "Publish Your Site."