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HTML Section: Publishing

Once you've developed your documents, you're ready to upload them to the web server. What's the process for getting your documents from your hard drive to your web server? You need to start with acquiring a web server or web server space.

This page contains two elements: hosting and ftp.

Hosting

Once you've got all your web materials in a single directory or folder, you're ready to place them on a web server so they can be viewed by the world. How do you decide where your website will reside?

You have three choices: free services, template-driven websites, and hosting services.

If you're a student at IUPUI, you have access to web server space through your university account. I would suggest using this option for the purposes of this course. You can store files within Oncourse or using your university storage space. Keep in mind that these sites will disappear when you leave the university.

Free Services

There are many websites that provide free web hosting. Unfortunately, the days of free space without ads is gone. Websites such as Bravenet (http://www.bravenet.com/) and Webs (http://webs.com) provide ad-supported hosting, but the ads can be very distracting. Whenever you use a web hosting service, be sure to save a backup of your web page. Some of these free services may either disappear or become subscription services.

For ad-free space, the first place to check is your local, state, or national service provider. You may already have free space available through your Internet service provider, state library or district website.

Template Driven Websites

In this class you'll be designing your own website from scratching using XHTML and CSS. Beyond this class, you may wish to use some of the template-driven websites. These services provide the framework for a website, but are limited in terms of editing.

Wikispaces is useful for creating your own wiki. 
Ning is a great service for producing a social network. 
Google Sites is a template-based service that includes web pages and wiki-type options. 
Weebly is a site that provides free website and blog hosting. 
Wix is also a popular "drag and drop" website builder.
Wordpress is an effective tool for creating blogs.

Web Hosting Services

Although a free service is cheap, the advertisements, lack of support, or other constraints quickly convince most people to move to an established hosting service. Whether you're using a hosting service or are given space on a web server, the procedure is generally the same.

Popular web hosting services are available to anyone for personal or professional use. Some of these sites provide templates for creating web pages, while others simply provide space to upload web pages and files. These services vary in cost depending on the service starting at around $5 per month.

For the eduScapes website, we've been using Spunkyworld (http://www.spunkyworld.com/) for many years and are very happy with the service and support. We experience very little down time and have very fast download / page view speeds.

If you're not planning to do anything fancy, any hosting service will work. If you want to use FrontPage extensions, develop server-side databases, or do anything involving specific applications that must be installed on the server, you'll want to ask about these services before committing to a provider.

Domain Names

In most cases, you'll want to get your own domain name. If you're already a member of a larger organization such as a school or library system, this name may be assigned. For example, many states use an address system for schools such as http://www1.ccs.k12.in.us/ . They may also provide your server space.

If no service is available, you'll need to register your own domain. Go to a domain server such as Network Solutions (http://www.networksolutions.com/). You can enter a domain name and see if it's currently being used. It costs around $20 per year to register your domain name. More information about a website can be found by completing aWHOIS Search (http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp).

try itTry It!
Go to Network Solutions and have some fun trying domain names. Try your own name such as annettelamb.com.

readRead!
Hassler, Carol (2012). Changing your domain name in 25 nail-biting steps. Computers in Libraries, 13-18.

 

Hosting Service

Next, you'll need a hosting service provider. You can find dozens of hosting services on the web. You'll want to check on the following services:

* Web server space - How much space do you have to store files?
* Bandwidth - How much traffic can I have at the website?
* Email accounts - How many email addresses do you need?
* Server-Side Software and Extensions - What do you want to do with applications such as forms, FrontPage extensions, and databases?
* Web Control Panel - What kind of control do you want over the website? What website statistics do you need?

Explore some hosting services and compare a few below:

SpunkyWorld (http://spunkyworld.com/) - We use Spunkyworld for the eduScapes, escrapbooking, and 42explore websites. Use it as your basis for making comparisons.

Directing to Your IP to Your Domain Name

The last step is to direct your new domain name to your website. In other words, your hosting service will provide you with a primary and secondary IP address for your site. Once you've uploaded your web pages you can use the numbers to access your website. To be able to use your domain name, you'll need to let your domain name provider know your IP addresses so they can send all your users to the correct IP address. Some hosting services also provide domain name services so they can handle this for you. It can take about 24-48 hours for your website to propagate via the Web. In other words, it takes time for all the networks around the world to see your website.

Dedicated Servers

Some people like owning and maintaining their own servers. Many school districts and large libraries buy their own computers that are used for networking within the school or library as well as other functions such as a web server. However, keep in mind that these servers will require hardware and software upgrades and ongoing maintenance. For example, who is responsible for resetting the server when it goes down in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

If you already have a technical person on staff, it may be cost effective to run your own server, if not consider a hosting service. Years ago, dedicated servers were the only option, however today's hosting services are low-cost and maintenance-free. Unless you have a specific need for a dedicated server, stick to a web hosting service.

If you plan to run your own dedicated servers, you'll need the hardware and software as well as the data line. If you already have a high speed line into your school or center, you may be able to use this.

readRead!
Skim the Web Hosting Tutorial from w3schools.
Think about both personal and professional options for web hosting.


FTP

After you develop your web pages, you'll need a way upload them to a web server. In other words, instead of being saved on your computer, the pages need to be saved on a computer that serves web pages.

File Transfer Protocol is a method used to copy a file from one host to another over the Internet.

MacOS and WindowsXP now have built-in software to FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Dreamweaver, FrontPage, and other web development tools also have built-in software.

If you use some services, they provide an automated FTP system that runs from their website. For instance, the Oncourse course management system has a way to upload files into the system.

In some cases you'll want or need to use stand-alone FTP software. For example, some security systems require special software. You can download shareware or inexpensive software for FTP. It works very similar to the way you copy files from your hard drive to a disk. In the case of the web, you're copying files from the hard drive to the remote web server

Uploading Files

Once you've created your account with a web hosting service, they will email you the directions needed to FTP (upload) your files to your server space. You will need the location, directory, username, and password.

Software Options

Cyberduck is a favorite choice for both platforms.

Fetch is another choice for the Mac OS.

FilezillaFTP Explorer, and WS_FTP are other choices for the Windows OS.

Learn More

If you want to explore the possibilities for FTP, check them out at Submitting Feeds via FTP at Google.

Go to Teacher Tap: FTP Software for some resources.

Resources

Library Web Manager's Reference Center - explore their resources for web development for libraries.

Web4Lib listserv.


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