As always, we wrap up the lesson with a few questions, quizzes, and exercises. Here are some pointers and refreshers on how to promote your website.
I've published my pages at an ISP I really like. The URL is something like http://www.thebestisp.com/users/mypages/. Instead of this URL, I'd like to have my own hostnamesomething like http://www.mypages.com/. How can I do this?
You have two choices. The easiest way is to ask your ISP whether you're allowed to have your own domain name. Many ISPs have a method for setting up your domain so that you can still use their services and work with themit's only your URL that changes. Note that having your own hostname might cost more money, but it's the way to go if you really must have that URL. Many web hosting services have plans starting as low as $5 a month for this type of service, and it currently costs as little as $16 to register your domain for two years.
The other option is to set up your own server with your own domain name. This option could be significantly more expensive than working with an ISP, and it requires at least some background in basic network administration.
There are so many of those search engines! Do I have to add my URL to all of them?
No, you don't have to, but think of the (vastly overused) analogy of the Internet as a superhighway. When you're driving down a real highway, there's usually a clutter of billboards that are clamoring for your attention. How many of them do you really notice, though? You remember the ones you see most frequently. Likewise, listing your page on multiple search engines makes it more visible.
In regard to web rings, what if I can't find a suitable place for the code that they want me to place on my home page? What alternatives do I have?
It depends on the web ring and the person who runs it. Each web ring has a list of instructions that tell you how to add the code to your pages. Some of them are very particular about where you place it (for example, it must be on your home page), whereas others let you place it on any prominent page in your site. Others allow you to include graphics or just make a text-only mention of the web rings.
If your ringleader allows you to place the web ring code on a page other than your home page, be sure to provide a link to your web ring page on your home page. A simple text link such as "For a listing of the web rings to which this site belongs, please visit my Web Ring page" should do it.
What's the basic function of a web server?
How can you obtain an Internet connection?
What are default index files, and what's the advantage of using them in all directories?
What are some things that you should check immediately after you upload your web pages?
Name some of the ways that you can promote your website.
What's a hit?
What are the advantages of using an all-in-one submission page to promote your site?
A web server is a program that sits on a machine on the Internet (or an intranet). It determines where to find files on a website and keeps track of where those files are going.
You can obtain an Internet connection through school, work, or commercial Internet or web services, or you can set up your own web server.
The default index file is loaded when a URL ends with a directory name rather than a filename. Typical examples of default index files are index.html, index.htm, and default.htm. If you use default filenames, you can use a URL such as http://www.mysite.com/ rather than http://www.mysite.com/index.html to get to the home page in the directory.
Make sure that your browser can reach your web pages on the server, that you can access the files on your website, and that your links and images work as expected. After you've determined that everything appears the way you think it should, have your friends and family test your pages in other browsers.
Some ways you can promote your site include major web directories and search engines, listings on business cards and other promotional materials, and web rings.
A hit is a request for any file from your website.
An all-in-one submission page enables you to submit your URL to several different site promotion areas and web robots at once. Some provide a small number of submissions for free and a larger number of submissions for an additional fee.
Start shopping around and consider where you want to store your website. Call two or more places to determine what benefits you'll get if you locate your web pages on their servers.
Upload and test a practice page to learn the process, even if it's just a blank page that you'll add content to later. You might work out a few kinks this way before you actually upload all your hard work on the Web.
Visit some of the search engines listed in this lesson to obtain a list of the sites where you want to promote your web page. Review each of the choices to see whether there are special requirements for listing your page.
Design a new business card or brochure that advertises your company and your website.