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Web Projects: Publishing the Site

Publishing the Site

Once your site is ready to be published on the Web for the world to see, you need to copy the pages to a Web server. (This step is not necessary if you are using one of the Web-based applications discussed in the Models of Development section, which publish the pages for you automatically.)

As noted earlier, a Web server is a computer connected to the Internet with software specifically designed to make Web sites accessible to others on the Web. If you have a Web server at your school or program, you'll need to contact the individual who maintains that server (often referred to as the webmaster) to see how you can get your files on the Web. If you do not have access to a server at work or school, you may need to contact a local Internet Service Provider (ISP) that will post your files on a server for a fee.

Copying your files to a Web server is usually as simple as copying files in any other situation. The diagram below illustrates the basic concept. The webmaster, or whoever is responsible for the Web server you will be using, will provide the details for how you will copy your files to the Web server. You will likely need an FTP (stands for File transfer Protocol) program to do this. (There are several free FTP programs available and many Web design programs have built-in FTP software.)

Diagram of computer files going to Web server to Web

The details depend on how your computer is set up and how your server is set up. Again, we strongly advise that you obtain your server space and consult the webmaster at the outset for details on how to manage files and transfer them between your machine and the server.

If you have been keeping your files organized in special folders (for example, you might decide to keep all of your illustrations in a folder named "images"), be sure that the copies on your Web server "mirror" this structure--in other words, if you have been using an "images" folder while developing the site, make sure that there is an "images" folder on the Web server for the copies of those files as well.

Publishing the Site

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Last Updated October 23, 2003