Creating a Homepage
There are a number of providers of free home page sites, see CyberDesa.com - after you have read these first two paragraphs. I believe that creating your own homepage is the best way to learn about the Internet. By clicking on one of the free homepage provider options, and following the fairly simple instructions, you will soon have your own home-site. Don't worry too much about the decisions you make regarding defining your first page, everything can be easily edited later. The main thing is that you have an e-mail address before you begin. You will need this to obtain your password (which you should change) and other information. You can open free e-mail accounts at Hotmail or Yahoo.
If you are primarily interested in getting started quickly on producing a Web page (or student pages), you are most welcome to download my sample page, by clicking "File - Save As" on your browser, and saving it to your computer or floppy disk. Open the saved file in 'Notepad' and click on "Edit - Word Wrap". You will only need to replace the question marks (???) with your personal content, name, e-mail, personal information, etc. You may delete the link back to this site if you like, it's for my students, but it may be useful while you are constructing your page. The sample also contains information for searches on the Web (Meta) - at the top of the page. Add key words relating to your site so that your page can be more easily found by search engines. The pages will then be ready to upload to your site. You will need to re-name the files (either; index.html for uploading to a personal site, or anyname.html if you are a teacher planning to include it on your site).
You have probably heard of HyperText Markup Language, or HTML. You do not need to learn HTML immediately, although a little knowledge will make you feel more confident using the Web. It is fairly simple, and you will probably enjoy learning it because you can continually view your progress as you produce. It's sort of like watching your baby being born. However, you can create quite interesting pages using the 'editors' provided by the Website hosts.
Once you have your first Web page established (using the host's editor or my sample page above) you can then create extra pages, uploading them to your site following the instructions provided by your host. You can "link" (or connect) these pages by placing: <A HREF="name of file.html">Title of the target page</A> on your page/s. I have used "special (unseen) code here". If I had used "ordinary code or tags" as appears on your screen, the code would disappear and you would only see 'Title of the target page' in 'coloured HyperText'. This "LINKING" allows you to move freely between your pages. You can also create a link to another 'homepage or site' on your pages by inserting: <A HREF="URL (Site Address)">Site Name</A> on your page.
The link <A HREF="index.html">First Page</A> would take you back to my first page. Here is the link (without the special code) - "try it" and use "Back" on your browser to return to this page.
Similarly a link to AussieLearn.Com <A HREF="http://AussieLearn.Com">AussieLearn.Com</A>
Your first page is always called index.html. This is the file that will OPEN when people enter your homepage.
I don't intend to go into HTML here, but you can learn HTML through these interesting tutorials at Web Page 101 - Make Your Own Web Page. I just want to show you how simple it is to move around between pages. This feature gives the user considerable flexibility and control over the medium, and allows interactive responses and choices from the 'user' ('learner' when we use it as a teaching tool).
One of the best ways of learning about Web pages and how they are constructed is to view the actual HTML documents for the Web pages that you are browsing through and find interesting. You can do this by selecting 'View' near the top of your Web browser (Netscape or Internet Explorer), and clicking on 'View Source'. This will show all the HTML used to create that page, and this can be saved to your computer by selecting 'File - Save As' and sending it to a folder. Likewise, images can also be saved to your computer by placing your mouse prompt over the image and clicking the 'right button' and selecting 'Save As' with the 'left button' and sending it to a folder. Viewing the HTML in documents allows you to learn how other teachers are creating their materials. If you use these materials you should give credit to their originator, as with other forms of publication.
You can make your Web page more accessable by including it in the directory of various search engines (Yahoo, Lycos, AltaVista, Excite, GO.Com, HotBot, WebCrawler, Anzwers) 'click' and add the URL (URL - your page address) for your site.
Later you may be interested in including META information in your index.html page. This information is invisible when you are viewing your page, however, it provides information for searches which you may want your page to be found under.
Many language teachers are using 'creating a Web page' as a language learning exercise for their students. Enjoy creating your homepage, and happy net-surfing!
A Good Place to Start
Enjoy creating homepages!