Making Your Own Web Site... It may be easier than you think!
Several members have asked me about putting up their own websites on the Internet. I will try to give a quick overview of what is required to put up a simple website. Once you have accomplished this, then you can decide what you want to do with it. It can be as complex or a simple as you desire. Of course, the more complex it becomes, the more deeply you will need to delve into the mechanics of using html code and java. The former I am quite familiar with and the latter, I do not know very much about at all.
The requirements to get started are:
Access to the Internet.
Web space on the Internet ( lots of free space is available.)
Web page authoring tools (freeware, shareware or commercial software)
A program capable of FTP (File Transfer Protocol)
A Purpose or Theme for your page (This can come later after you have mastered the basics)
ACCESS TO THE INTERNET
No explanation needed here, if you are on the internet you have met the first requirement.
WEB SPACE ON THE INTERNET
Your ISP may offer you free space as part of your membership plan. If this is not the case, there are plenty of sites out there on the web begging for you to sign up and put your creation on-line. The main SCARA web area is found here at http://www.k2br.com . However, for radio amateurs, one of my favorite web areas is found at http://www.qsl.net Radio amateurs are eligible for free web space and your URL will end in your callsign. Sign up info is found on their home page.
WEB AUTHORING TOOLS
Web authoring tools can include books and/or software. To write HTML (Hyper text markup language), you don't need anything more than the note pad accessory that come with Windows (any version). A book that helped me to get started is "HTML for Dummies." It takes you through the basics and I highly recommend it. You have to walk before you can run as the old saying goes.
If you do not want to learn HTML, (it is not that difficult to learn the basics) then there is a lot of freeware, shareware and commercial programs out there to help you create your web pages and build your web site. The page you are reading now was generated using COREL Web Designer 5.0 and although it does not have all the features available to generate the more elaborate web pages, it is certainly full featured enough to get you started with HTML programming.
The purpose of this 'how to' is not to teach you how to write HTML code but I would be remiss if I did not at least briefly touch on the subject of TAGS. Tags are the dividers that tell the browser what to do and how to display things on your computer screen. The most important TAGS are:
- HTML This marks the beginning of your web page
- BODY This marks the beginning of the main portion or the "Meat" of the page
- Your text and pictures go in here in the body of the webpage.
- P this one just starts a new paragraph
- CENTER This line of text would be centered on the page /CENTER
- B This line of text would be bold /B
- I This line would be italic /I
- IMG SRC="picture.jpg" (this line inserts a picture on your page)
- A HREF="some URL" Hyperlink or jump to location /A
- /BODY End of the body of the document (note the forward slash)
- /HTML End of your web page, always the last part of your HTML code.
NOTE: The TAGS shown above, if you were actually writing the HTML code would be enclosed in brackets of this type:
As you can see, TAGS are used as operators on what is between them. Most TAGS have a start form and an end form. The ending form has the / (foward slash) included. TAGS themselves never appear on your web page. They show only in the HTML source code. To see the source code of this page, click on your browser's view- source option. To learn more about HTML source code, search the web or visit your local library or book store and you will find more information than you will probably ever need.
Depending upon where you put up your website, you may or may not need an FTP program. Some ISPs include file management applications that allow you to easily upload files to your web site. Once again you will find all the online help you need to get your files up on the web. The two mains types of files you will be uploading, are ASCII or text/ html files and image files of the type gif or jpg. These types of image files are desirable because of the file compression involved. Try not to use bmp type image files, as your viewers may fall asleep waiting for them to load in.
There is a program called WS_FTP available for download from a link at the previously mentioned qsl.net web area. If you sign up there ( it is easy to do), you will receive by e-mail your password and information about putting up your site. The WS_FTP program or its equivalent is needed there to upload your files to your new site. Your "placeholder" page will be created until you get around to putting your real page up on your website. Setting up the WS_FTP program might seem a little tricky at first, but once you get it set up properly, it makes it easy to maintain and update your site.
A THEME FOR YOUR PAGE
This is something you can do now or later. Initially, you may just get the page up and put some data on there about yourself and your hobbies or interests. However, if you wish to keep people coming back to your site, it is a good idea to have a theme or purpose for your page. There will be time enough to work on that after you have put up a basic page and you have become comfortable with the HTML programming language. It is amazing and interesting to see all the different topics and interest which are available for exploration and learning on the World Wide Web. You can be sure, that whatever your interests are, there are others out there who share them and we can all learn from each other.
I hope that this has been of some small help to some of you who have been thinking about putting up a web site for amateur radio or any other interest you may have. Maintain your site and update it periodically and you and your visitors will enjoy it very much.
Last Updated... December 1, 2013 0030 UTC