Penn Computing
Computing Menu Computing A-Z
Computing Home Information Systems & Computing Penn
How to begin
Now that you have some background on page design, you're ready to construct your Web site and publish documents. This section provides basic "how to" instructions on creating and publishing pages for your Web site.

The steps below present a high-level overview; for pointers to HTML tutorials, editors, graphic design references, and other tools, see the General Resources section of this guide.

1. Structure information.

Consider the information you want to present in your Web site and answer the following questions:

  • What information should appear on the main page?
  • What is an appropriate structure for the information (i.e., should it be organized by functional categories, alphabetically, etc.)?
  • Does the structure allow for growth?
  • What links will appear on the main page?
  • Will the links go to secondary menu pages or to end documents or both?
Once you've answered these questions, sketch out a diagram that shows the hierarchy of pages and what information will appear on each page within your Web site.

2. Create the HTML and graphics files for the site.

Documents must be in ASCII or "plain text" format. All formatting (italics, bold, etc.) must be removed. You can use either a word processing program or an HTML editor to tag and save files as text only or ASCII. The naming convention for text files is "document.html."

Graphics for banners, buttons, or other inline images must be in GIF or JPEG format. Use a graphics program to convert images from other formats. The naming convention for graphics files is "graphic.gif."

3. Mark up pages with HTML code.

The following is a sample template for a main page that uses a menu (list) structure. When linked, the items in the bulleted list will go to (1) secondary menu pages or (2) end documents.

<html><head><title>Document Title</title></head>


<h1>Heading for this document</h1>

<li> Secondary menu page
<li> End document
<li> Secondary menu page
<li> End document


Creating entity <br>
University or organization home page <br>
Date of last revision <br>
URL (Web address of this page) <br>
E-mail address or other contact information


Click here to see the page created by the above template.

4. Add links.

Link items on your main page to their associated secondary pages or end documents. The HTML code for a link is as follows:

<A HREF="document.html">Item to be linked</A>

In the above example, "Item to be linked" is the link within the Web page that will open the document "document.html" when selected.

5. Test Web site locally.

On your machine, test your Web site with the supported graphical browser (Netscape). Test links, navigational aids, and the speed and resolution of graphics. Then double-check all HTML code.

IMPORTANT: If you've used any Netscape extensions, test your Web site with other graphical browsers like Mosaic.

NOTE: You cannot test your Web site with a text-only browser like Lynx until your files are posted on a Web server.

6. Post files on a Web server.

Procedures for posting files will vary among Schools, centers, and departments. Consult your Web server administrator for further instructions.

7. Test Web site with text-only browser.

After your files are posted on a Web server, you can test your Web site with a text-only browser like Lynx. Especially check to see how ALT (alternative) HTML tags, which take the place of graphics, are displayed. For information on ALT tags, see the Visual elements: Graphics section of this guide.

8. Make Web site "live."

After testing is complete, alert your Web server administrator. He or she will create a link from an existing Web document to the main page of your Web site.

Contents * Previous * Next


Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
Comments & Questions

University of Pennsylvania Penn Computing University of Pennsylvania Information Systems & Computing (ISC)
Information Systems and Computing, University of Pennsylvania