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Site Building

Publishing your information is actually fairly easy. It's especially easy if you already know how to write Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). If you don't know HTML don't worry. Most people can learn basic HTML in just a few hours.

Create Your Content

The first step is to create the html content. Most sites today are created using one of the many Web Site design and publishing applications. Applications such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, NetObjects Fusion, or Microsoft FrontPage all offer easy to use graphical page design and management features. These applications also make site management very simple with easy to use file upload and download capabilities. You can also create your html content on your local system using any text editor. Once the page is complete you would then use ftp it to transfer the data to the NetGate server.

Another option available to you is the ability to interact with the live data via the UNIX host. With our hosting accounts we offer telnet and SSH access to the UNIX hosting server allowing you the ability to manage the live content on the NetGate server using standard UNIX utilities . To create or manage the content on the NetGate server you'll need to know how to use one of the UNIX shells and associated tools such as "vi". It's your choice but it's probably easier to create the initial content on your local system and then transfer (ftp) the files to the NetGate server. If you create the content on your local system you can even test it on your local system before actually making it visible to the world by using the "file" URL.

Other Web Site Building Resources:

Sites:
CNET's Builder.com
WebMonkey
WebDeveloper
WebReference

Reference:
Ask Dr. Web
Netscape HTML Reference

JavaScript Reference and Scripts:
ScriptSearch
The JavaScript Source

Most browsers will allow you to load local files using a pull down menu option or via an open file button. If you then enable "show paths" in your browser it allows you to is load the file from the menu and verify the local path.


Transfer your Documents

Your html documents, images, and associated files will reside in a subdirectory named "www" located in your home directory on the host specified when your account was setup. All documents that are to be accessible via your web site must reside under the "www" directory hierarchy. You are free to use whatever organizational structure appropriate for your directories and files under the "www" directory. We have set up a default directory structure under your www directory which includes a directory for images, and map files but you're free to use whatever structure works best for you.

If you have created your html content on your local system:

  1. Use your favorite ftp application to connect to the host where your account resides.
  2. Login using your username and password.
  3. Transfer all your HTML, GIF, etc. files to your www directory.

If you would like to create your html content on our system:

  1. Use your favorite telnet application to connect to the host where your account resides.
  2. Login using your username and password.
  3. Use vi, emacs, or the editor of your choice to create your content.

Your documents must use standard mailcap extensions (GIF files should end with the suffix of ".gif", HTML files should end with a suffix of ".html" or ".htm", etc.) so that the correct mime "Content Type" can be sent to the browser when the data is requested.

Additional references to MIME information are available from the Netscape mime information page.

The Default Page -- Your Home Page

The server automatically looks in the www directory within your home directory for the file "index.html, index.htm, index.shtml, or index.php" and loads it as your home page. The server will also look in that directory for any other html files you specify. For example:

(Virtual Site)
<http://www.yourdomain.com>

(Non Virtual Site)
<http://www.netgate.net/~yourloginname/>
       
(server reads the "index.html" file stored in your www directory)

If you create subdirectories under your www directory you can place an "index.html" file in those directories and use a URL such as:

<http://www.netgate.net/~yourloginname/mycar/>
(server reads the "index.html" file stored in the directory "www/mycar")

You do not need to specify the "www" directory in any paths, the server will append it to any URLs that point to your login directory by default.

What's Next

We've set up a directory within your home directory (~your_login_name) called "www". Within that directory you'll find two sample files, one named "index.html" and the other named "example.html". You can start to create your own pages by building from these examples or you can start from scratch.

The "index.html" file gets loaded when a user uses a URL such as:

<http://www.netgate.net/>

It's the default document that gets loaded by the server if they don't specify an html document. The "example.html" file is an example of a file that you could either call from within your index.html doc, or specifically via a URL you advertise, such as:

(Virtual Site)
http://www.netgate.net/example.html

(Non Virtual Site)
http://www.netgate.net/~your_login_name/example.html