Web Publishing FAQ

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How do I make web pages?

In order to make a web page for others to view on the internet, the following steps need to be taken:

The rest of this document is intended to help you with each of these three steps.

How do I make an HTML document?

An HTML document is a text file that contains both the text that you wish to have appear when people view your page and indications of how that text should be formatted. The indications for layout and other considerations take the form of tags, which are strings of text surrounded by an opening angle-bracket (<) and a closing angle-bracket (>). Comprehensive listings of these tags, their functions, and how they should be placed in the HTML file can be found at a variety of sites on the web. The following are a few of the many free references available on the internet:

All that is necessary to create HTML files is a text editor. Any program that can save files as plain text will suffice. There are also a number of programs available that can make the creation of HTML files much easier. Discussion of the merits of these programs is beyond the scope of this document.

How do I get my files to Sonic.net?

Once you have created your HTML document, it is necessary to place it on a public web server in order for the public to view it. First, ensure that your web directory has been enabled on your Sonic.net account. This can be done through the Server Directories Tool in our Member Tools page. You will need to provide your Sonic.net login name and password to access this tool. When your web directory has been created, use an FTP client (example [/support/ss/windows/xp/ftp/ Windows] | [/support/ss/mac/osx/tiger/ftp/ Macintosh]) to connect to ftp.sonic.net, again using your Sonic.net login name and password. Change directories to /home/WWW_pages/login/ (where "login" is your Sonic.net login name. Some clients prefer /nfs/WWW_pages/login). Use your FTP client's "put" command to place your HTML file or files into your web directory. In many FTP clients, this can be accomplished by dragging the file or files into the FTP client's window. These files should be available on the world wide web immediately after the transfer is complete. It may be necessary to place files other than the HTML file. If there are any images or other media files associated with your web page, these should also be transferred to the Sonic.net web server. If you have Value Hosting or Basic Hosting service for a domain name, you should have a separate directory for that domain name. For example, if your domain name is "example.com," you should place your file or files in /home/WWW_pages/login/example.com/ (again, where login is your Sonic.net login name).

How do I see my web page?

Once you have written your HTML file and placed it in your web directory, you can immediately view your web page. Open your web browser, type http://login.users.sonic.net/ (where login is your Sonic.net login name) into the address field and hit Enter. If your page does not load, you may wish to doublecheck that you placed your file or files in the correct directory on the Sonic.net servers. If you have Value Hosting or Basic Hosting service for a domain name, you should instead enter your domain name. For example, if your domain name is "example.com," you should type http://www.example.com/ to view your web page.

Common Problems

A number of problems can occur while publishing web content, most of which have simple workarounds:

Future Home Of...

If you have already uploaded your HTML and related files, but still see the default space-holder webpage when browsing to your domain name, try deleting the file named INDEX.HTML (in all uppercase). If you are using a main index file with a name other than index.html, the default space-holder webpage may take precedence as the displayed index for your site. Deleting that default file will remedy this.

Page Cannot Be Found

If you enter http://login.users.sonic.net/ in your browser (or http://www.example.com/ for Value Hosting or Basic Hosting services), but your page does not appear, there are two common causes:

  • The files are not in the proper directory. Confirm that you have placed your HTML files and related other files in the /home/WWW_pages/login/ directory on the Sonic.net servers (/home/WWW_pages/login/example.com/ for Value Hosting or Basic Hosting services).
  • The files are improperly named. Confirm that your HTML files are named such that your name page is named "index.html," "index.htm," or "index.shtml"

Images are broken

If your web page loads (such that you are able to see the text) but one or more of the associated images either do not appear at all or show as a "broken image" icon, there are three common causes:

  • The files are not in the proper directory. Confirm that you have placed your image files in the /home/WWW_pages/login/ directory on the Sonic.net servers (/home/WWW_pages/login/example.com/ for Value Hosting or Basic Hosting services).
  • The files are improperly named. Confirm that your image files are named such that they exactly match the names used in the HTML file. If your image is named "image01.jpg" but your HTML document references "<img src="image01.JPG"...> it will not display properly. File names are case-sensitive on Sonic.net's web servers.
  • The HTML file itself may be formatted incorrectly. The proper syntax for placing an image in an HTML document is an opening angle bracket (<) followed by "img" and the following pieces of information (formally knowns as attributes), in no particular order, followed by a closing angle bracket (>).
src="URL OF IMAGE"

This is the most important piece of information for the tag, as it tells the web browser where to find the image file. Note that the URL of the image is case-sensitive.

alt="SOME DESCRIPTIVE TEXT"

This is optional but is important for conveying the purpose of the image in the event that the person reading your web page cannot, for some reason, load images.

height="HEIGHT OF IMAGE"

This is optional but can, along with the Width attribute, help maintain the layout of your web page while a web browser is still downloading the image.

width="WIDTH OF IMAGE"

As with the height attribute, this is optional, but sometimes useful.

  • There are a variety of other attributes that can be added to an image tag, but their use is beyond the scope of this document.

An example of a well-formed image tag is <img src="http://www.sonic.net/images/logo.gif" alt="The Sonic.net Logo" height="110px" width="400px" />. The forward-slash (/) before the closing angle-bracket (>) is a convention of the XHTML language, which is the version of HTML used for the creation of the Sonic.net company website, and is not necessary for basic HTML. When placed in an HTML document, this image tag will look like this: The Sonic.net Logo

How do I get a web directory on sonic.net?

You can use the Servers Directories page to make your WWW, CGI, FTP and RealMedia directories. More information can also be found in the Directories documentation.

What is my web page address?

If you have a [ww1 Web directory] and have [FTP uploaded your Web pages] to sonic.net then you can view your pages with a Web browser. Your Web page address is called a [ww4 URL]. Your default URL is http://login.users.sonic.net/
Where login is your login name on sonic.net.

What is a URL?

A URL is a Uniform Resource Locator. URLs are used by Web browsers to find Web pages. A typical URL looks like: http://www.sonic.net/index.shtml

  • http

This is the protocol, Hypertext Transfer Protocol

  • www.sonic.net

This is the domain where the page is stored, in this case you see the domain sonic.net

  • /help

A directory on sonic.net.

  • /faq.html

The HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) page in the /help directory.

What should I name my home page file?

If you name your home page index.html then the page will load automatically when a browser goes to your URL.

Can I use FrontPage to make my web site?

UNIX support for Microsoft Frontpage Extensions hit end-of-life as a service of the Microsoft Corporation on June 30, 2006. Sonic.net, Inc. does not provide new Frontpage server extensions at this time.