A web page is an electronic document written in a computer language called HTML, short for Hypertext Markup Language. Each web page has a unique address, called a URL, short for Uniform Resource Locator, which identifies its location on the network.
A website has one or more related web pages, depending on how it’s designed. Web pages on a website are linked together through a system of hyperlinks, so that you can jump between them by clicking on a link. On the Web, you navigate, popularly knowing as surfing, through pages of information based on what interests you at that particular moment.
When you browse the World Wide Web you’ll see the term home page quite a lot. Think of a home page as the starting point of a website. Like the table of contents of a book or magazine, the home page in most cases gives an overview of what you’ll find at the website. A website can have one page, many pages or a few long ones, depending on how it’s designed. If there isn’t a lot of information, the home page may be the only page. But usually you will find at least a few other pages.
Web pages vary wildly in their design and content, but most use a traditional magazine format. At the top of the page is a masthead or banner graphic. Then there’s a list of items, such as articles, often with a brief description. The items in the list are usually hot, meaning that they are linked to other pages in the website or to other websites. Sometimes these links are highlighted words in the body of the text or are arranged in a list, just like an index. They can also be a combination of both. A web page can also have images that link to other content.
Designing the structure of your Web site
Designing your Web site begins with planning the purpose of the site, what the content will be, and how you want it to be structured. A well-designed Web site can make it easy for your audience to navigate and get the information you want them to receive. It can also make it easier for you to manage and update later on.
Planning the purpose and content of the site
Perhaps the most important consideration is figuring out how your site will serve your intended audience. Your site may provide entertainment, or a special service, such as access to reference materials, advertising, or sales of goods and services. Your site could include a questionnaire that solicits information from your viewers. Knowing what information your viewers want and how often you should update that information will help you maintain your site so that it’s fresh and useful. The more you know about your audience, the better you can serve them with your site.
When you plan your site, you may want to experiment with several designs for organizing information, and consider multiple ways people can navigate to the individual pages in your site. Most people will experience your site one page at a time with the home page as the starting page. The home page will often have some sort of table of contents that describes what’s on the site. Sketching an outline or flow chart of your site can illustrate the home page and how it will link to the other pages in the site. You can resolve any design issues and change the overall structure of the site before you create the actual pages and links in Home Page.
It’s always possible that someone may arrive at another page in your site first. For example, someone using a search engine such as Yahoo or Alta Vista may search for a keyword that appears somewhere within your site, but not on the home page. For this reason, it’s a good idea to include a link on all of the pages in your site that goes back to the home page.
Deciding what to include in your Web pages
Home Page provides several ways to display information in your Web pages. The options you use depend on the type of information you want to include. Deciding what to include in your Web page can also depend on who your audience is and which browsers they’ll be using. Older browsers that don’t support the current version of HTML won’t necessarily support all of the latest options, such as tables, frames, text fonts and color, or plug-ins for databases, movies, sound, and applets.
Using common elements to create a theme
Repeating common elements in your site can be effective for tying information together and communicating the main message of your site. Using logos, slogans, mottos, and special graphics are good examples of this. You can also take this a step further and use art for the background of your pages, special images for buttons, and color schemes for text and images. More subtle effects for creating a unifying theme across your Web pages include naming your links consistently, having special placement of text and images, and using bold and italics in your pages.
You can create your own Home Page libraries to save these special design effects and common elements and then use them for each new page you create. In addition, you can save any page you create as an HTML template, and use this template to create more pages for your site.
Including text and images in your pages
Text and images are the basic visual elements you see in most Web Text and images are the basic visual elements you see in most Web sites and are supported by all versions of HTML. Home Page provides ways to use text and images to build a Web site easily. In Home Page, you can type text as you would in a word processor, and the appropriate HTML is inserted for you. If you want to include some special characters, such as the copyright symbol, in your site, you can use Home Page to format the symbols as HTML so that they appear in all browsers. You can also bring text you created in another application into a Web page and easily apply HTML formatting styles to it.
When you use images other than JPEG or GIF, Home Page converts them, if possible, to GIF format, one of the standard image formats recognized by Web browsers. Home Page includes libraries of GIF images you can use in your pages. You may decide to use images instead of text for your links in a table of contents or navigational list, so that you associate information graphically to other pages in your site. When selecting images for your site, keep in mind that larger, complex images that incorporate many colors and textures, can significantly add to the download time of a page. You can easily get an estimate for download time of your pages using the Document Statistics feature.
Using tables or frames for page layout
In addition to using tables for organizing information into rows and columns, you can hide the borders and use tables to design the page layout. You can simulate tabs and margins in HTML by placing text and images in table cells that are uniformly spaced apart. You can then use this table for all pages in your site.
A frame page is another useful way for controlling how information is displayed in your site. You can use frames to display simultaneous views of your Web pages, so that your viewers can navigate through your site in the same window. The disadvantage in using frames, however, is that not all browsers support frames. If you decide to use frames, consider setting up alternate pages for those browsers that don’t support them.
Horizontal rules also offer alternative ways of controlling the layout of your Web page. Horizontal rules are objects you can use to divide your pages into sections. You can align them to the right, left and center of the page and change their length, width, and shading.
Including forms or a database on your site
Home Page 3.0 supports making your Web site interactive through the use of forms in your pages. You can use forms to solicit information from your viewers, whether you are prompting them to sign a guest book, to fill out a questionnaire, or to search your database of goods so they can place an order. To use forms, you will need a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) script to process data back and forth between your viewer’s browser and the Web server where your site is published.
Home Page also lets you link to a FileMaker Pro 4.0 database in your page, so that you can use the integrated Web server capabilities of FileMaker Pro, instead of a CGI script, to process form data. Use the FileMaker Connection Assistant and FileMaker form libraries to create form pages that readily connect to the database.
A web browser is the software program you use to access the World Wide Web, the graphical portion of the Internet. The first browser, called NCSA Mosaic, was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in the early ’90s. The easy-to-use point-and-click interface helped popularize the Web, although few then could imagine the explosive growth that would soon occur.
The World Wide Web is by far the most popular part of the Internet. Once you spend time on the Web, the graphical portion of the Internet, you will begin to feel like there is no limit to what you can do. The Web allows rich and diverse communication by displaying text, graphics, animation, photos, sound and video.
The glue that holds the Web together is called hypertext andhyperlinks. This feature allow electronic files on the Web to be linkedso that you can easily jump between them. On the Web, you navigatethrough pages of information based on what interests you at thatparticular moment. This is commonly known as browsing or surfing theNet.
Library & Information Science: Citation Guides for Homepage Documents.
International Federation of Library Associations. August 12, 1998.
9 Nov. 1998