Personal Web Space vs. Hosting Account | Personal Web Space Registration | Domain Registration | FTP Client Setup and Usage | Creating the webpage | Hand Coding | Learning HTML | How To Access Your Pages
This guide will help you get started with using the personal web space that is made available to you with us. We do not offer direct support for using your web space other than basic support if you have ftp problems; however, we have put this together to get you pointed in the right direction. It is only the tip of the iceberg where web page creation is concerned, but can help you to get going.
What does the URL for a personal web space account look like compared to a domain? For our Internet customers you received up 50MBs of personal web space through us. This is different from having a domain hosted in that your web space will be accessed with a specific pre-assigned user URL while a hosted domain will be a name you choose and register. Your personal space URL will be:
The username in both cases will be your personal username you use for connecting with us.
A hosting account domain, however, is different as they vary depending on the owner and the name they register for use. Examples of a domain URL based on a few common ones are:
What can you do with your personal web space? You can do anything you'd like as long as it remains within the terms of service and the law; though many advanced features are not supported such as MySQL, java support, shopping carts, etc. You can use it to create basic web pages, show pictures, temporary file storage, and more with it.
What can you do with a domain hosting account? You can do anything you normally would need to do with a hosted domain space. This includes all the features of what you can do with personal web space. It also allows you further creative potential for your site. You can create and use java scripting to enhance your page, you have access to MySQL databases so you can create forums, you can have secure shopping carts to provide sales, and more.
You do not need to do anything special to register for your personal web space. It becomes available as soon as your Internet account is activated. It will remain available as long as the account is active.
The first thing to do if you are planning on arranging to have us host your domain is to register, renew, or transfer your domain. If you wish to purchase a new domain name, you may do so through OWC.NET by going to our signup page at signup.fastermac.net. If you already own a domain, you can also elect to transfer or renew your domain if you wish. Once you have registered your domain, we can assist you with associating a hosting package, or you can simply purchase a hosting package at the signup page. If you simply want to use our hosting package with your current domain arrangements, you will need to configure your domain name servers to ns1.owcdns.net and ns2.owcdns.net. Additional assistance can be provided by contacting our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (800) 869-9152.
What is FTP?
It refers to what you do when you are transferring files to and from your web space on the server.
There are numerous FTP clients available for use on both the Mac and PC; freeware, shareware, and commercial. Some software for designing your pages may also allow you to arrange for FTPing through them.
This section will discuss a few options of free/shareware FTP clients that many people use and how to set them up. The others will require a similar setup, though may vary slightly.
There are numerous ftp clients available for the download. One that is recommended is Coffee Cup FTP or Cyberduck for Mac users. You can download the latest version of this software from http://www.coffeecup.com/free-ftp/ or for Mac Cyberduck http://cyberduck.ch/ .
1. After installing and opening CoffeeCup FTP you will get a screen as shown below.
2. Click on the +Add button in the lower left corner under "My Sites" to open the wizard to setup your FTP connection.
3. Step 1 of 5: For Profile Name put in your domain name or something descriptive so you know what that one is setup for in the white box and then click next.
4. Step 2 of 5: In the username box put your login username. For password put your password. You can uncheck "Save Password" if you want to enter it whenever you try to access your hosting space.
5. Step 3 of 5: For hostname put:
For Fastermac customer: web.fastermac.net
Hosting customer: this would be your domain name
6. Default folder you can leave blank or put "public_html".
7. Step 4 of 5: Click on the button "No, I don't even know what that is"
8. Step 5 of 5: Click the Finish button
9. Now you will see your site listed on the list. With it highlighted under My Sites click on the Connect button.
10. Once it connects your system is shown on the left side and your web space is shown on the right. If you put "public_html" as the default folder you will see that is the directory you are in when you connect. If you don't then you will need to open the public_html folder.
11. Anything you want to be publicly visible will need to go in to the public_html folder. If you want to store a file, but not have it visible to anyone except by logging in to your ftp place it outside the public_html folder.
12. To transfer files to your space you can just drag and drop the individual files and/or folders from the right side of CoffeeCup FTP to the left side.
Now that you have the software for uploading your files it is time to create a webpage. There are numerous resources for learning how to code HTML if you're interested, but if you don't have an interest in doing so you can always use a WYSIWIG Editor.
What is HTML?
All you need to know for the basics is that it is the coding behind your web page. It is the language that marks up the text on the page.
What is WYSIWIG?
Essentially a WYSIWIG Editor allows you to create a web page design by typing it as you want it to be seen and adding pictures, tables, lists, etc. without any knowledge of HTML.
There are a number of WYSIWIG editors available and you can search for them with Google or other means. For this tutorial I have located one that will work on Macs and PCs equally with the same layout for both. It writes the code in HTML 4.01 strict which helps ensure web browsers have an easier time bringing your page up as you intended it to look.
While this quick start tutorial covers KompoZer, which is an open source editor many other editors will also work in the same way, though you will find differences in how they do so. If you find you prefer something else feel free to use it.
You can get the most recent version of KompoZer at http://www.kompozer.net/ .
When you first open composer you will get the KompoZer tips window open with it. If you want tips to show up next time you open the program you can leave the box checked for them or to disable them uncheck the box and hit close.
You are presented with the main composer window and a blank slate. Since this is your first page you'll be set to start right away. If you want to edit a page previously designed you can go to file and open the page in question.
The main thing web pages have is text. To add texts to your page just start typing where your cursor is. There are cases where you will want to edit your font, enlarge it, emphasize it, or other things and this is easily done through the font menu.
All of the font changes to the text were done with the Format toolbar 2 which is circled in the image above. From left to right it allows you to select a font type, change font color, change font size, emphasis, and alignment.
Now that you have the basics started you will want to save the page so you do not lose any changes to the new document thus far. It is recommended the main page you want to display when people go to your URL be labeled index.html. To save these go to File and Save. You will get a window that pops up asking what you want to save it as and type in the name for the page. In this case we want it to be called "index". It will then follow up with a window asking where you want to save it on your computer. Select your location and click Save.
Now if you want to add a picture to the page you can easily do so by dragging the picture file over the composer window and drop it. You can then resize it by clicking on it and dragging the appropriate arrows that show up or align it using the toolbar.
You can go forward from there adding more text, pictures, etc.
KompoZer does have options for helping to add links to other pages, tables, charts, basic web forms, and more to your page as well. You can check the help documentation and their site for help if you have questions on how certain things might work.
Remember to save as you go!
What is CSS?
CSS is used to help maintain a look across several pages of the same site and helps dictate the overall format of the page. CSS is a more advanced way of coding to reduce the work in producing multiple pages, but is not going to be covered here. You can use KompoZer to help create a CSS sheet.
Hand coding your pages does take more time, but can also give you a cleaner end product in coding if done properly as well as a little more flexibility once you know how. To hand code you want to make sure you use a basic text editor such as Notepad in Windows or TextEdit in Mac OS (if used make sure to set to plain text). Never use a rich text editor as Rich Text uses additional coding that will cause problems with your pages showing up properly.
One good site which may help is http://www.htmlgoodies.com . That site is user friendly on the descriptions of how to go about doing the different coding and has examples shown.
For books, one you may find good if you are just learning HTML is "Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML" by Elisabeth Freeman, Eric Freeman. This book and series in general takes a different approach on teaching the topic that can help a lot of people understand what they are doing as they go through the material.
For reference once you have a grasp on the topic you might consider picking up the O'Reilly pocket reference guides to HTML and CSS. These are for quick reference to the different tags and what how they interact.
To access your uploaded files there are a few different things you need to know.
If a user just types in the first part of your URL they will bring up whatever you have assigned as your index.html page. If no index.html page is present they will get a page with a directory listing giving them access to whatever files you may have stored in your public_html folder. It is highly recommended you create an index.html page.
If you want an user to get to a specific page that is not your index you need to add the name of that file to the end of your url. Example: http://web.fastermac.net/~username/page2.html would be the URL needed to reach the second page instead of the first and would serve as the link needed to create a cross reference link on your index to direct them there.
If you want to link to a picture you would follow the same general link as above, but insert the picture name instead of the html page file.
You can create sub directories to help keep your stuff organized, but that also affects the file path. Example: http://web.fastermac.net/~username/subd1/page.html. Subd1 represents a sub-directory and you can go multiple levels deep, but for each level you would add another / directory name before you get to the final file.