XHTML Basics – Part 18
This is part 18 and the last part of the series, XHTML Basics. In this part of the series I
tell you how to copy your web pages from your computer to the server, for worldwide
The World Wide Web
The World Wide Web abbreviated, WWW is a network (connection) of computers all
over the world. It is also called the Internet. Each of these computers is called a Host.
Some of these computers are serving others. The ones that are serving are called servers.
The ones that are being served are called clients. If your computer at home is said to be
connected to the Internet, then that computer is a client.
A Web Site
A web site is a collection of related web pages. A web site to be seen by Internet client
computers is housed in a server. This housing is called Hosting. Remember that a web
page at the server is a file.
A typical Domain name is yahoo.com. A domain name refers to the most important page
of your web site, called the Home Page. The domain name means your web site. If you
type just “yahoo.com” in the address bar of your browser and click Go, the browser will
display the home page of the Yahoo search engine company. Strictly speaking, you
should type, http://www.yahoo.com at the address bar. http is abbreviation for the
technology the Internet uses to display web pages at the client from the server. “://” has to
follow http. Here www is a sub domain name. Sub domains break a big web site into
smaller web sites. The Yahoo Company has at least two sub domains, which are www
and mail. So you may hear of http://mail.yahoo.com. The mail sub domain is for Yahoo
The web page your domain name is referring to must be in the root directory of your web
site in the server. This page (home page) should have links to some pages of your web
site. The pages link to should have links to more pages. This is the normal way to link all
the pages of your web site. The home page must have the name, index.htm or index.html
or default.htm or default.html. You can create sub directories (folders) inside your root
directory and put some of your web pages in the sub directories.
Assume that you have a sub directory called, dir1 in your root directory and you have
another sub directory, called dir2 in dir1. Assume also that you have a web page file in
the directory, dir2, called myfile.htm. Assume as well that the name of your domain is
mysite.com. To access myfile.htm from the server in the directory, dir2, you should type
in the address bar of your browser:
If the file were in the root directory, to access it you would type:
ISP is abbreviation for Internet Service Provider. An Internet Service Provider is a
company that provides Internet Services. One of such services is web hosting, which this
last part of the series is about. When you contact an ISP he tells you how to get a domain
name and possibly a sub domain name. Your domain name must be unique in the world.
What you should note here is that the domain name you would want for your site might
have been taken by someone else. The good ISPs give you possible other names you can
choose from. In order for an ISP to host your site, you have to register with him and pay
The Design Phase
A question is, “How would you be sure if what you have design with your computer at
home or office would appear on the Internet as it appeared in your home or office?” The
answer to this question is that there are web servers (software) you can install in you
home or office computer. Software that can attend to different client computers is also
called a server. You can design and save your web pages in directories meant to be used
by such a server in your home or office computer. The thing to note with such servers in
your personal computer is, that there is only one possible domain name. This domain
name is, localhost. So the above URLs in your PC would become
An example of such a server (software) is Apache HTTP Server. This server is also used
in the Internet. Installing this server in your personal computer is easy; just read the
server’s documentation or readme file. You can download the server free from the
Internet. The documentation or readme file tells you where the root directory is (see
After using this server (software) to create your web site and everything is fine in your
PC, change all “localhost” in the links to www.mysite.com. After that you can upload the
files to the hosting server.
If you go into any computer pool, somebody will always point one of the physical
computers as the server. So we can say there are two kinds of servers. A software server
and a hardware server. A software server is a software package in any computer that can
serve different software (e.g. browsers) in different client computers. A hardware server
is a computer that serves other computers (clients) with computer network facilities (at
the end of the day, both types of servers are software servers, since it is software in the
hardware server that controls the network).
After registering with your ISP he will give you a password or you will choose one
depending on him. To access your site in his server, you must use this password. Another
thing you must use in order to access your site is a user name (login name). Note that this
name can be an email address that both of you will decide on. There are at least three
items to use in order to access your site at the server. I have given you two. The last item
is called the FTP Host name. The FTP host name might be something like this:
You use at least these three items to have your access opened to a web site of an Internet
server. Both you and the ISP can decide on these three values. Just after registering with
the ISP, the ISP establishes these items for you. He also creates a directory for your web
site in his server. Now, we said that the XHTML file for your home page has to be in the
root directory of your web site at the server. Well, the ISP actually hosts many sites in
one hard disk. So he configures his server computer in such a way that you may thing
your home page is at his root directory. After registration, he should indicate to you how
to get to your directory (when the access is opened).
You need an uploading program to upload your files from your home or personal
computer to the server of the Internet. One of the ones I have is called, Core FTP LE.
This is free. You can go to the Internet, search for the program and download it. If you
want some other program or if you want to buy an equivalent program from the Internet,
search for “FTP upload program”. If you go to Google.com for example and type, “FTP
upload program” without the quotes, then click Search, you would see a list of them
displayed in front of you.
The program I have, mentioned above is easy to use; just go to its HELP. When you start
the program, a main window opens and a smaller one with the title, “Site Manager” also
opens. The Help button is on the main window. In order to click the Help button, you
have to dismiss the Site Manager window first. You do this by clicking the Close button
of the Site Manager window.
While reading the Help document, do not forget to find out where (the control fields) you
would type the password, the login (user name) and FTP Host name.
I have given you the basics on File Upload for your web site.
We are at the end of this part and at the end of the series. It was a long ride. It was surely
worth it. You should now be able to design functional web sites. Read the next section to
know what to do after this.
Where to go from Here
XHTML is one of the best (if not the best) computer languages to start with if you want
to study programming. If you have gone through the course successfully, you would have
realized that you needed very little mathematical knowledge to understand it. So far as
programming is concerned, you are already into the logic of programming; that is good. I
suggest you carry on.
Knowing XHTML alone is not enough to do web design works. It is true that at the
moment you can design a web site that functions. What about esthetics (presentation or
looks) of the web site. The customer will always want a web site that looks beautiful. In
our parlance we say you need to be able to design a web site that has a professional look
and feel. In order to design a web site with good presentation, you need to study
Cascaded Style Sheet, abbreviated, CSS.
After studying CSS you will be able to design web sites with a professional look and feel.
You will be able to design web sites for your friends and relatives. That is still not
enough even though you will be able to impress an employer. In practice an employer
needs more than these two skills. At this level, your web pages are not interactive. For
example in some web pages when you click a button, a picture will appear somewhere on
the same page. You would not yet know how to do that.
In order to make your web page interactive you will need to learn a Script language. The
order to work as a web site designer.
What are the prerequisites of these languages? The main problem would be your level of
mathematics. To learn XHTML, elementary school mathematics is enough. To learn
middle school mathematics; do not get frightened, you do not have to go back to school;
there is a way out. There is a web site with URL, http://www.cool-mathematics.com . At
the web site, you are thought middle school mathematics in a very convenient way. You
can do the mathematics course for as short as 3 months. You have up to a maximum of
10 months to do the course. Go to the web site and have a look; you can actually test the
This is what I suggest you do. You have just completed the basics of XHTML. Start CSS
and at the same time start the mathematics course. By the time you are finishing CSS you
might have done a considerable amount (or even all, if you are fast) of the mathematics
had not already done so. Of course if you passed in middle school mathematics, you do
not have to do the course.
Middle School Mathematic is what is called in Britain, Ordinary Level Mathematics. Of
course, learning anything needs practice and experience.
And this is the end of the series.
To arrive at any of the parts of this series, just type the corresponding title below in the
Search Box of this page and click Search (use menu if available):
Getting Started with XHTML
XHTML Elements for Beginners
XHTML Tags and Attributes
Formatting Text in XHTML
XHTML Character Entities
XHTML Hyperlink Basics
XHTML Style Attribute
XHTML SPAN and DIV Elements
Inline and Block-Level Elements
XHTML Table Basics
XHTML Basic Input Controls
Basics of XHTML Form Controls
Designing an XHTML Form
Guide to XHTML Layout in Containing Blocks
Hosting your Web Site