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WHERE TO GET A SITE & UPLOAD IT TO THE INTERNET

 

Ok, you're now wondering, "Where the heck do I put up a homepage so everybody else can see it?". Basically, you need to store it on a web server (computer with special software) that's constantly hooked up to the Internet through a fast dedicated line. So what options do you have? Where can you find this service? Fortunately you have several options...

But before we talk about this, let's touch upon several things you need to be aware of. One is the transfer rate. This is the amount of data going out from your web page to anyone looking at (accessing) your homepage. ie. when your homepage is displayed on someone's computer the data is going OUT from the server computer through the big white cloud (as computer people like to draw on their fancy white boards). Someone has to maintain these line connections, so they cost money. Your web service provider leases these lines for $$$. Just keep in mind that the higher the transfer rate someone allows you to have (before they start charging you money) the better for you! Example: Some may offer 2.5 Gigabytes of transfer rate PER MONTH, and anything above that you may need to pay (for example) 10 cents a meg. Now, if you have a million visitors per month you will go broke pretty quickly. Some web service providers have an unlimited transfer rate...but
read the fine print!

Ok, here are your options:

OPTION 1 : ISP

When you sign up with an ISP (Internet Service Provider) to dial in to the Internet, they usually give you some space on their server where you can upload your homepage to. Usually, the transfer rate is very low as is the disk space.
Your homepage address will look something like: www.yourprovider.com/~myid/
For example, my OLD homepage was: www.interlog.com/~meil/



OPTION 2: FREE SITES

Free sites: Yup, that's right...there are free sites you can get. The catch usually is that they force you to put banner advertisements on your homepage...

Here are a few places you can go to for a free homepage: www.geocities.com, www.tripod.com, www.xoom.com, theglobe.com. As of this writing Xoom gives you 11 megs as of this writing.
Your homepage address will look something like: http://members.xoom.com/anyname/

OPTION 3 : REGISTER YOUR DOMAIN (URL), THEN GET A WEB SERVICE PROVIDER

Ok, so you want your own domain (like www.myname.com). Where do you go to REGISTER it? Simple: GoDaddy (www.godaddy.com).

Getting a .COM name is not free (too bad, huh? It used to be free in the good old days). As of this writing, it costs $9 for 1 year. Remember, what I said...you've just registered the name. That company does not give you any disk space for your homepage.

BE AWARE OF: You may also want to register your domain name with the .ORG and .NET extention. You can have these as "aliases" and point to your .COM domain.

Ok, now that you've got your name registered you need to have a place to put your web site on. What you need is a web service provider (or web presence provider). These types of companies (usually) don't offer dial-up service. They just offer you space on their server (computer) to store your homepage to. ACTUALLY...before you register with Godaddy, you need to get a web service provider for your homepage because Godaddy has to "point" your homepage to your providers server. ALSO, usually your provider will register your domain with Godaddy themselves, saving you all the hassles...

Remember what I said about bandwidth above when choosing a provider. Also, keep in mind what connection they have to the internet. If all they have is one T1 line, or even multiple ones, then the response times won't be so good. Have you ever tried accessing a homepage with your browser, and you just wait..and wait...and wait? Make sure they have at least a T3 line.

e-mail: the beauty of getting your own domain is that you also get your own e-mail address stored on your providers computer.

Here are some web service providers you can check out:

PowWeb.com

| www.powweb.com | www.interland.net | home.clever.net | www.simplenet.com | www.imconline.net | www.aitcom.net | www.infoboard.com | animus.net | www.best.com | world.topchoice.com | www.wipc.net | www.9netave.net | www.valueweb.net | www.hostpro.net | www.uu.net | www.anawave.com |

TIP: Go to these service providers to get tips on homepages, e-mail, tools, etc.

REMEMBER THIS: It doesn't matter where the company is physically located because you will not be dialing in (as in a phone call connection) to update your homepage. Rather, you will use a program called FTP which is explained further on.

Remember we talked about the transfer rate? There's one company, www.best.com that allows you a generous amount of transfer rate per day. If you would hit the maximum for that day then they automatically run another page, like limit.html, where you can tell everyone that you've hit your daily limit. This way you won't have to pay any money for any excessive transfer rate.

Another company, www.simplenet.com, allows you unlimited transfer rate AND unlimited disk space...so check them out.


OPTION 4: CO-LOCATION

Ok, most likely you won't get into this, but just that you know...If you have your own domain, or even multiple domain's, you can also have co-location for your web pages. This basically means that you still go through a web service provider, but you BUY (or lease, or rent) your own PC and it's kept in their location. It's basically your own server, running web server software. You will be basically like a service provider except the computer is stored in someone else's location. If you're technically inclined and you have a huge web site to maintain then this is for you! Ofcourse you need to be aware of other issues such as booting the server, making tape backups, security, getting insurance in case the server is destroyed, etc etc etc... Some web service providers above offer this co-location service.

UPLOADING YOUR HOMEPAGE TO THE SERVER

You use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to transfer your html and all other files to the server. Netscape Composer/Communicator (I believe) has one built in, but if you need a standalone package, try WS_FTP
from www.ipswitch.com. For other FTP programs go to www.zdnet.com or www.shareware.com and do search for "FTP".

Most likely your web service provider's server is Unix-based. Don't let this scare you. You're probably seeing images of the DOS Command Prompt floating in your head! Fear not! You don't need to learn the Unix Operating System to have a homepage. Using the FTP software mentioned above you can do all the basic tasks you require, like copying the files from your PC to the server (or vice-versa), navigating directories, creating directories, etc. You can also get a listing of all your files on the server and save that list on your
PC as a text file.

If you require, for some reason, to have access to the Unix command prompt then you need to use a program called Telnet to access this "Unix Shell". Telnet allows you to log on to the server, provided your web service provider allows you to do this, and from there you can issue your Unix commands. You can obtain a Telnet program at www.zdnet.com or at www.shareware.com.

One instance where you may use Telnet is to check your e-mail BEFORE you download it to your PC. If someone sends you a large e-mail file attachment you may just delete it on the server and not bother
waiting for a long download. To do this after you log on with Telnet you would run a program called "PINE". If this is not available then ask your web provider which program to run, or it could be that they've automated this to such an extent that you can do this from a web browser!

REMEMBER THIS: If the server you are uploading is running the Unix operating System then the capitalizations of filenames does matter. ie. "This.txt" is not the same as "this.txt". So, if an image in your html code is referenced as myfoto.jpg and on your hard disk it's saved as myfoto.JPG, then when you upload this to the server this image won't display because it can't be found. On your Windows 95 PC it works fine, but until you upload it to a Unix environment only then will you know that it won't work! If there are any PC tools to check this please drop me a note. To be on the safe side, just make everything lower case!

ALSO NOTE THIS: Although this has nothing to do with creating homepages it is for your information. You can get a free e-mail account. This means that you can view your e-mail with a web browser as opposed to an
e-mail package. The catch here is that in your outgoing e-mails there's usually a small advertisement. Some free e-mail services are:


Creating a Homepage

Promoting your site




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