Summary of Steps for Making a Web Page: Managing the Files

Comments on the Process and Why the Order of the Steps is Important are below.

The Steps

  1. Make http subdirectories-see below. (Do this once.)
  2. Create the main page and save to the hard drive (HD), no pictures yet. Save right away even though the page isn't done yet.
  3. To put graphics on the page.
    1. Save the graphic to the http subdirectory first (or to a subdirectory inside http) on your HD.
    2. Insert the image second (back on your web page). Use "browse" or "choose file" to select the file*.
  4. Create other pages you want on your site and save them (do this before making links between your pages).
  5. Once your pages are saved (note they aren't completely done yet, but they have a place/location on your HD), you can create links between pages. To create links between pages on your web site, insert link then use "browse" or "choose file."*
  6. Upload to the server. This can be done two ways as follows. There are advantages to each method.
      1. Use WinSCP (free download at to transfer files from your local machine to the server. This is an FTP program, which stands for File Transfer Protocol.
      1. Use FTP (File Transfer Protocol):
        1. In your browser (e.g., Internet Explorer), type in the URL
        2. Then click File|log in as... and login.
        3. Then you can drag and drop (I recommend with the right click) files to your http directory on the server.(You can drag and drop entire subdirectories as well.) Make sure to copy your graphics as well. Tip: You can select all, then drag and drop.
      2. There may be a way using the webpage building software to publish the file to the server.
  7. Test your web pages in the browser. I highly recommend that you also test your web pages using a computer other than your own (sometimes web pages look fine on your own computer, but if the links were not set up correctly it may be pulling the graphics, for example, from the HD, and since the graphics wouldn't be on someone else's HD the page won't load correctly on another machine).

The Process

The process I am describing here creates the entire web site on your hard drive. Then the web site is ftp'd (transferred) to the server. To update the site, update the HD first then ftp the changes (or everything) to the server. While this process is a procedural set of steps, it is equally important to understand the process conceptually. You need to understand how files interact with one another and know, at any given moment, where your files are.

Here's Why the Order of the Steps is Important

Internet connections are based on file locations (and you create a location by saving the file). For example, a html page goes and gets a graphic from the Internet. It does this by going and getting the graphic file from a location. Therefore, when you are creating the html page and you want to use a graphic, the graphic must have a location (i.e., already be saved first) before you can have your page go and get it. Similarly, before you can link from page 1 to page 2, page 2 has to have a location (i.e., already be saved).

*The Importance of Using "browse" or "choose file"

This makes the links (to other pages or to graphics) relative. This way they will work when viewing the pages from your HD and they will work when viewing the pages from the Internet.

Step 0 (you do all this once).

  1. Create an http subdirectory on your hard drive (HD).
  2. Create an http subdirectory on the server. You can do this using as in step 5 above.
  3. Set the permissions on the http subdirectory on the server. At WIU we GUAVA (under webmail on

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James R. Olsen, Western Illinois University
updated September 18, 2008 1:41 PM