Jerz: Writing for the Internet (EL236)


22 September 2004

Introduction to Web Authorship

Demonstration of the process of making a Web site.

Today you will download a simple web-authoring software (FrontPage Express), along with a tool that you will use to publish your web pages. You have already been given
space at firstnamelastname.setonhill.info -- if we have time today, I'll show you how to publish there.

If you have already learned a different web authoring tool, you're welcome to use it for your projects, but go ahead and install this version so you have ready access to it during class. You'll need about 7MB free on your I drive.

Downloading and Unzipping the Software

Click the link to download the file http://dennisjerz.setonhill.info/EL236.zip (4.63 MB). Save it to a portable drive (if you have one) or your student network space (usually your I drive).

With 20+ people downloading the file at once, it will probably take a long time. (If you're reading this message before class starts, please go ahead and start downloading -- it will save us all a bit of time.)

Unzip the folder (I'll show you how if you aren't sure; this, too, will take some time). It will create a "EL236" folder. Inside that folder will be two more folders -- FPE (for "FrontPage Express, a free version of a Microsoft web-authoring tool) and WS_FTP (the program you will use to upload your web pages.)

We will first create a very simple page, and then upload it. After that, if we have time, we will work on more complex tasks.

  1. Start FrontPage Express. (Look in the EL236/FPE folder, that was created on your I drive.) There are a ton of files in the FPE folder. The one you want is a red feather on a white notebook; the filename is "fpxpress.exe". There's also another red feather on a white notebook with the name "Fpxress.ico" (but that's nothing but the icon used by the previous file... very stupid and annoying, but the program is free).
  2. You will see what looks like a word processor with a gray background. Go ahead and type something -- "I am a Seton Hill University student" will do. Apply bold to "am" (select the word and click the "B" button) and make "Seton Hill University" a link to the SHU home page (select the phrase and click the blue planet with a chain link, just under the "B" button).
  3. To view the HTML code that FrontPage Express is generating, select "View" and "HTML..." A window will open. Close it when you have glanced at the code.
  4. Save your work. Click the disk icon. A dialog box will ask you to provide a title for your page. Come up with something at least a little more creative than "My test page". When you save your file, put it in the EL236 folder, under a new directory called "sample". Call your file "index.html". (The "l" at the end of the filename is important.)
  5. Now open the program WS_FTP95.exe, which is found in EL236/WS_FTP. (Note: If you are using Seton Hill as your internet service provider and dialing into Seton Hill's bank of telephone modems, you won't be able to FTP over a phone line.) "FTP" stands for "file transfer protocol. It simply means it's a tool that you can use make a copy of the "index.html" file that you just saved to your I drive, and to publish that copy on a website where others can view it. (Each time you make a change to your local web file, you will have to publish it again.)
  6. Open your remote file system (the place where you will publish your pages). A dialog box should have popped up when you opened WS_FTP.
    • If you haven't already created a profile, click "New".
    • Profile Name: "yourname.setonhill.info"
    • Host Name/Address: "yourname.setonhill.info"
    • Host Type "Automatic Detect"
    • User ID: "yourfirstnameyourlastname@setonhill.info" (It's different from your blog ID.)
    • Password: The numeric code on the piece of paper I handed you. (It's different from your blog password.)
    • Account: (leave blank.)
    • Press OK. (You will probably be asked for your password again... enter the number I handed you.)
  7. If all goes well, you should hear a train whistle sound (don't ask) and see the right hand side of the screen change. (Try clicking "Connect" at the bottom of the screen if nothing happens.)
  8. Now, select the pages to upload. In the left side of the WS_FTP screen, in the box where it says "Local System," navigate to the file you want to upload. (You can either enter the full path name of the file [such as "I:\EL236\sample\index.html"] or scroll down in the list of files on the left until you see the [-i-] icon for your I drive, and then click to the proper directory.
  9. When you have selected the files you want to publish, click the right arrow key to move a copy of your file from your local folder to the public one. Open a web browser, and type "http://firstnamelastname.setonhill.info". The web server will look for a page named "index.html" and automatically load it for you.
Other tasks:
  1. Using Front Page Explorer, create a new page called "links.htm". Save it in the same folder that has your local copy of "index.html". On that page, create a link to your page "index.html". (Select the text you want to turn into a link, click the blue ball with the link icon, and for the URL type "index.html" (without the "http://" or anything else.)
  2. Edit your local copy of "index.html" to include a link to "links.htm".
  3. Use WS_FTP to upload updated versions of both files to your website, and then click the links.
You should be able to: create a basic web page and publish it to the internet. Create links between local copies of web pages; publish those local pages to the internet; test that the links work properly.

Now that that you have the basic technological details down, we will examine some more basic principles of online writing. (Watch this space... what we don't cover we'll roll over into Friday's class.)

Due: Group Project Proposal