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Chapter 12: How to Publish on the Web

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Church Worker Handbook
What You Didn't Learn in Bible College and Seminary

 

 

Non-technical (and non-html) guidelines on how to use off the shelf software to publish on the Web

Church Worker Handbook Table of Contents
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1996 G. Edwin Lint
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Table of Contents

 

Glossary

This glossary includes some terms which you must understand in order to get the most out of this chapter. Skim through these terms. If you do not understand the meaning of a term within the web publishing context, take a moment to learn its meaning before reading on.

Add or Submit: The process of registering your URL with a search engine in order that others may use it as a resource as a result of a search.

Adobe Acrobat: Software that can convert any high-end product such as a Microsoft Word file into a pdf [portable document format] file. Such a pdf file will retain all major formatting features of the original file and be suitable for distribution to Macintosh and Windows users via the free Adobe Reader.

Adobe Reader: A free product for using pdf files. Click to download a copy.

Anchors: An anchor lets the reader go from one point to another by clicking a link. This is especially useful for setting up a table of contents or for letting the reader go back to the top of the page with one click.

Browser: A software program that enables you to surf the web and visit different locations. Microsoft's Internet Explorer is probably the most popular browser.

Clipboard; cut, copy, paste: A portion of your computer's RAM (read only memory) which is reserved for the process of moving text or graphics within a document or between documents.

Create PDF Files on Line: For about $10 a month, you can upload your high-end files and have them converted to pdf files. Click for more information.

Domain name: A designation which is reserved for exclusive use by a person or organization throughout the Internet. In the URL: http://www.diskbooks.org/xxx.html, diskbooks.org is my domain name.

Dot com: The pronunciation of the following component of many commercial URLs: .com com represents the fact that the owner of the domain is a commercial organization. As a general rule, it is a good idea for churches to use a Dot Org [.org] domain name. Example: www.christchurchnashville.org

Download Delivery: The best way to distribute your product is to download it after a plastic credit transaction. Payloadz Express is the best method I have found for both the downloading phase and the payment phase. Click for more information.

Drag: Holding down the mouse button while moving a text block or object to another location.

Dreamweaver by Macromedia: An html translator which runs on Windows computers.

File transfer protocol (ftp): A software program which transfers files from your computer up to your server, or vice versa. Voyager is a good ftp program for Windows. Fetch is a popular ftp program for the Mac. (While Fetch is doing its thing, the mouse pointer becomes a little running dog with its tail wagging.) An ftp program may be stand-alone, like Voyager or Fetch. Or, it may be part of the HTML translator.

Hierarchical file structure (hfs): The file organization developed by Apple Computer for the Macintosh, and later adopted by Microsoft for Windows. HFS allows you to nest folders within folders and to view (sort) a window's contents by such variables as name, date, size, and kind.

Html (hypertext markup language): A simple programming language which is used to write files which are published on the Internet; when written as .html this is an extension to file names published on the Internet. .htm is sometimes used as an extension when a file is to be served from a server that does not tolerate 4-character extensions.

Html translator: A software program which allows the user to type in plain English and have the file saved in html format. Dreamweaver was used to finalize this page.

http: (Hypertext transfer protocol) Many URLs on the web begin with this acronym. Example: http://www.diskbooks.org

http://www.diskbooks.org/cw11.html

Internet Service Provider (ISP): A company that gives individuals and businesses access to the Internet via phone lines. Many ISPs charge about $20.00 a month for unlimited access via a local phone number or cable.

Key words: Words which represent the content of a web site so a user can find that web site by using a search engine.

Link: The relationship between one file on the Internet and another. Clicking a link in one file will cause the user to be transferred to the destination link, even though that destination is on the other side of the world. You may return to your original location by clicking the back button on your browser.

Mouse pointer: The arrow image which moves across the page when the mouse is moved. When the pointer moves across an area where text may be typed, it becomes an I-beam and will create an insertion point (with flashing cursor) when clicked. When the pointer moves across a clickable link in an Internet document, it becomes a pointing index finger and will send the user to the destination of that link when clicked.

PDF [portable document format]: A product created by Adobe Acrobat using the output of any high-end software such as Microsoft Word. Such a pdf file will maintain formatting of the original file.

Promote: Registering a URL with search engines so its location will be retrieved when a user is looking for that kind of resource.

Publish: Uploading a document to a server where it will be accessible on the Internet. This is easily done via ftp software.

Sales Link: If you wish to sell your publication to the general public you will need a Sales Page and a Sales Link. The sales link should enable you to accept plastic payment.

Search engine: A searchable database of information about many Web pages, and software to conduct the search.

Server: Computer hardware and software capable of storing many files and making them accessible to users on the Internet. Web hosting companies rent space on their large servers to individuals and businesses. A block of 30 megs should cost about $10.00 a month. You can have your web files on your own computer but upload [save them] onto your server where they will be available to the world. It's usually a good practice to have your files in two locations, as a backup. If a catastrophe strikes the server you are renting and all your files are lost, the files on your own computer will be your backup. The converse of this is true.

Softspider: A program which lets you enter key words and other important information about your site one time, then crawls around the Internet and registers this information with many search engines. Traffic Seeker is a good program for Windows.

Surf: Traveling to various locations on the Internet. Similar to channel surfing on your cable TV set.

URL: Universal Resource Locator: The URL which represents this file is: http://www.diskbooks.org/cw11.html

Web: The Internet; the worldwide network of phone lines which connotes computers and servers.

World Wide Web: In a URL, www. represents World Wide Web.

WYSIWYG: An acronym used in desktop publishing (DTP), for the phrase "What you see is what you get." A true desktop publishing WYSIWYG program like PageMaker really does let you see it on the screen before you put it on paper. However, WYSIWYG should not be used in connection with html translators because what you see on the HTML translator screen may be quite a bit different from what a web user will see on a browser screen while on line.

The Purpose of These Guidelines

This chapter is designed to augment, not supplant, the documentation which comes with your html translator and word processor. If something in this chapter is in conflict with what your html translator provides, this chapter yields in every instance.

Why Publish on the Web?

I publish on the Web for the following reasons:

1.      Publication can be fairly instant. I can write something this minute and within the hour, it can be available for the whole computer world to read and download.

2.      I, and only I (and my wife), decide what I am going to publish and not publish. I don't have to read rejection letters from publishers who for whatever reasons don't want to publish my work. I am renting 35 megs of storage space on a server on Long Island. If it will fit in that amount of space, I can publish it. By the way, the amount of publishing I have done to date, as outlined above, fits in 35 megs storage space on the server, with room to spare. If I want to publish more, I can rent more.

3.      I have the potential of worldwide distribution. According to the last monthly report from my server, my files were accessed by readers in 50 countries.

Introduction
When I retired from 37 years in public education in December, 1994, I had a major retirement goal: to publish on the World Wide Web of the Internet. I had already written two full-length novels with one of them in hard copy. Both of them were on disk. In addition, I had a number of other educational and inspirational writings on disk. I wanted the world to be able to know and read what I had written and would write.

The Life Story of a Novel
The first full-length book I wrote was a novel about the rapture of Jesus Christ, titled Gone. Gone was written in the late 70s on an IBM Selectric typewriter. Imagine typing a 200-page novel on a typewriter! I submitted my proposal to publishers great and small and accumulated a fat file of rejection notices.

Gone was revised and retyped in 1984 on my then-new Apple IIe computer using the AppleWorks word processing module. Now I had a novel on disk. The publishers weren't impressed, though. More rejection notices.

In 1986, I imported the Gone files into a Macintosh using Microsoft Word word processing software. The desktop publishing revolution had arrived. Now I had the capability to produce camera-ready originals of publication quality using a laser printer. I contracted with a publishing company in Michigan to print and bind 3,000 copies of Gone.

However, I lacked the distribution contacts and some of that original run is still in storage.

In March of 1996, I published Gone on the Web. The files which had been typed on an IBM Selectric typewriter, been retyped on an Apple IIe, imported into a Macintosh, and copied to a html translator, were now available to the world! As of November 1, 1997, the Gone Home Page had been hit 5703 times.

The extent to which I have achieved my retirement goal of publishing on the Web can be viewed at the following URL:

http://www.diskbooks.org

I am a teacher and an author but I am not a computer programmer. I know next to nothing about writing in hypertext markup language (html) or any other Internet language. However, I have been able to utilize my user-friendly Macintosh computer and user-friendly html translators such as Dreamweaver. I have now gone on to Windows XP. [Not as user friendly as the Mac but much more so than Windows 3.1, the first version of Windows I used.]

Table of Contents

Publishing on the Web is a multistep process. Each step in this process will be explained in this chapter, as listed below:

A. Subscribe to an Internet Service Provider

B. Learn to use an html translator

C. Organize your work on your hard drive.

D. Write in Microsoft Word word processor

E. Export Your Work in Word html format

F. Format your page in the html program

G. Rent space on a server

I. Test your page with a browser

J. Publish your page

K. Publicize your page

L. Selling and Downloading

Here is a brief explanation of the steps in the publishing process:

A. Subscribe to an Internet Service Provider (ISP) which gives you unlimited access for a flat rate via a local phone number, if you haven't already done so. I use Comcast.Net , which charges about $20.00 a month for cable access. I also use NETGEAR Wireless Access Point router which gives me wireless Internet access throughout the building.

B. Learn to use an html translator, such as Dreamweaver, if you haven't already done so. A translator like this lets you type in plain English and automatically converts what you type into hypertext markup language (html). Microsoft makes FrontPage (Windows) and Claris makes an html program also.

Before you start to type in a word processor, learn the formatting features of your html program. Some indenting, hanging, and nesting features which you take for granted in your word processor may not be available in your html program. With Dreamweaver, you can export a Microsoft Word file in html format and import this file into Dreamweaver. Virtually all formatting will remain intact, including tables!

Sometimes, an html translator is referred to as a WYSIWYG html program. Such a program does not exactly show you on the screen what a web client will see on the browser screen while on line. Therefore, you must keep checking your work with a web browser before it leaves your desktop and gets published to the whole world.

C. Organize your work on your hard drive. Dreamweaver can manage your site files and synchronize them with your server. However, I have found it just as easy to manage my own sites. I keep over 300 pages (files) I have on the Internet in a single folder on my hard drive, and in a single folder up on my server.

D. Write in Microsoft Word word processor.

The combination of Dreamweaver and Microsoft Word will let us export Word as html. Dreamweaver will import the Word html file intact.

However, other word processors and html combinations may not be so kind. You may have to observe the following cautions: Don't use the option key to create special characters, with the exception of OPTION-G to make the symbol. When in doubt, create a test page with your html translator and use a web browser to see what happens when you use the option key with certain characters.

Don't use "smart quotes". This is a feature with some word processors which makes quotation marks and apostrophes look more professional. When you are preparing text for or e-mail or your html translator, it will be necessary to turn off smart quotes. Quotation marks and apostrophes may be transmitted as strange characters, if you do not turn off smart quotes.

Special Note: If you do use smart quotes or the option key, the worst that will happen is you will get strange characters. When you check your creation with a browser, watch for any bugs that need further editing.

Special Note: Make sure you know how to use your computer's clipboard to copy and paste.

This link will help.

E. With Dreamweaver and MS Word, you will export the Word document as an html file.

Then, in Dreamweaver, you will import the Word html document with all formatting intact, including tables.

With other word processor and html programs, you may need to copy your work to your html program with the clipboard.

F. Format your page in the html program. You may continue to edit and fine tune the file while in Dreamweaver.

Setting anchors. An anchor lets the reader go from one point to another by clicking a link. This is especially useful for setting up a table of contents or for letting the reader go back to the top of the page with one click.

Placing graphics in your document:
Use graphics sparingly. I suggest their use be limited to logos and photos of principals in your document. Any use of graphics will slow the loading of your file to some extent.

G. Rent space on a server. You will need to rent space on a server. Here's the best price I have found. Click to learn more. BizLand.Com gives an excellent balance of economy and technical support.

Before you spend money on server rental, check and see if you ISP will give you a complimentary storage space. It will probably be relatively small but if you are just getting started, it will be enough to store a sales page with a sales link.

H. Consider getting your own domain name. This seems a little extreme at first. However, when you consider you can keep it for life at $35 per year, the cost is minimal. The biggest advantage of having your own domain is that you can keep it forever and never have to change your file names if you change your server. I just went through a server change a few years ago and I hope to never go through that again. If you use BizLand, you can select your own domain name [assuming it's not already taken].

My home page file name is

http://www.diskbooks.org

No one else in the world can call themselves diskbooks.org If I move all my files to a server in California tomorrow, all my business will follow me from Long Island right across the country to the Pacific coast.

The full name of a file on the Internet is called a URL, for Universal Resource Locator. The periods are pronounced as dot and are as important as any other part of the URL. By the way, absolutely no typos are allowed when typing a URL. A single character can make the difference between the file you want and a File Not Found message from the server. Case (upper or lower) is also critical. On some servers, such as mine which runs under UNIX, the wrong case can give you an error message. Develop the habit of typing file names in all lower case characters; most people do.

Here is a relatively inexpensive place to get your own domain name; click here:
Have Your Own Domain Name for $10 per Month

http://www. This is the standard prefix for all http URLs on the Web.

diskbooks This is the name I have chosen for my domain.

.org This is the fact that this is an organization. edu would indicate an educational entity. gov would be a government entity. Of course, .com is for commercial enterprises and therefore should not be used by churches. [My personal opinion.]

cw11. This is the file name for this chapter.

html The fact that this file is written (by the html translator) in hypertext markup language.

Reminder: when you are linking a file to another file in your account folder on your server, you only need to use the file name plus the .html extension; when you are linking to a file outside your server, you need the full URL.

File names should be short because they will be part of the URL. And, they must always end with the extension .html [Some servers require you to use .htm as your file extension. Be sure you know which to use before you continue.]

Warning: Don't forget the dot before the html and make sure the last character of the extension is a lower case l and not a numeral 1.

For example, the URL for the Home Page of Church Worker Handbook is shown below.

http://www.diskbooks.org/cw.html

If you're careful, you may be able to type this error free one time (I couldn't). However, if you copy it to your clipboard and then paste it into the Link window of your html translator, it will be error-free time after time.

You may be wondering how you can get a copy of a URL for your clipboard. There are two common sources:

  1. If you visit a page on the web which you want to link to, the URL will appear at the top of the page, in what Microsoft Internet Explorer calls the Address: When it's selected (highlighted), use the copy command. Clicking alternately in the page and the Address window will select and deselect the URL.

  2. When you see a link on the web you would like to copy to your clipboard, click and hold the mouse button while the pointer is a pointing finger over this link. (On a Mac, click and hold the single mouse button; on a Windows PC, click and hold the right mouse button.) A little menu will appear and one of your choices is to copy this link. Once it's on your clipboard, you can paste it into the Link To: window. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

I. Test your page with a web browser while your file is on your desktop. If you are linking between two pages on your hard drive, the links will work on your desktop just like on the web, only faster.


To use a web browser to check the output of your html translator, follow these steps.

1. Save your most recent changes with the html translator.

2.    Open the web browser, pull down File, and select Open. Then use your dialog box to find the file you have been working on.

3.      Compare what you see on the translator screen with what you see on the browser screen. You will be most likely to see discrepancies in line and paragraph spacing.

J. Publish your page by copying (uploading) your completed page onto your server. The best way to copy a single file is with a file transfer protocol (ftp) program such as Fetch for the Mac or Voyager for Windows. You should be able to drag the file icon into the window of the ftp browser.

K. Publicize (Promote) your page by submitting it to as many search engines as possible. [See below.]

L. Selling and Downloading: You may want to give away what you write or you may want to sell it to cover expenses or make a profit.

Free Downloads. Anyone who knows how, can download what you have published on the web for free. Or, you can convert a Microsoft Word version of your publication to a pdf file with a free-standing copy Adobe Acrobat or the online-version of Adobe Acrobat. You can place downloads links in the text of the website or you can create a download inventory of all your available publications. The download link for Church Workers Handbook is http://www.diskbooks.org/cw.pdf Notice that all pdf files have .pdf as their extension.

Click to see the my Free Download Inventory. This inventory would not fit on my free ISP complimentary space. I have it con a commercial server.

Selling Downloads. Since I am not selling any of these items [other than the PennSTAR Master Curriculum], I do not need to worry about anyone stealing these publications; I want them to download them.

One month, I had 1127 free sample PennSTAR downloads.

That same month I had 149 regular PennSTAR downloads. You would think the free samples were doing their job.

 

At $17 a pop, 149 downloads should have netted me $2533. However, I didn't get anywhere near that amount. Some person or persons was ripping me off.

 

The next day, I took the following steps to put a stop to this:


  1. I no longer had pstar.pdf on my server where people can find out the file name and steal it.

  2. I found a reasonable service called Payloadz Express to store, sell, and download the PennSTAR Master Curriculum. This service is free for the first month Then. $15.00 USD for each month thereafter.
    http://express.payloadz.com/code.asp?id=329296

  3. I uploaded the full file of pstar.pdf to their server and that is the only place I have put it!

  4. Payloadz gave me a sales link to put on all the PennSTAR pages. When someone clicks one of these sales links, a PayPal window comes up and they can pay $20 from their PayPal account or credit card to download it from the Payloadz server. 

  5. I then replaced the pstar.pdf file on my server with a copy of the Free Sample file. Now, when people think they are downloading the whole program, all they get is the sample with sales links! Try it and see: http://www.diskbooks.org/pstar.pdf
This may not increase my income to $2533 per month, but it should keep people from downloading it for free, posting it on bulletin boards, or telling people by e-mail how to download it.


Organize Your Work on Your Hard Drive

This section requires some understanding of the Mac and Windows hierarchical file structure (hfs) I recommend that you keep all your html files in a single folder, both on your hard drive and on your server.

Each file you publish may exist in at least two versions on your hard drive, as listed below:

A. The original version of a file as typed in your word processor.

B. The html version of this file which has been created by your html translator. This version of your file should be in the same folder with all your other web files.

Promote Your New Website

After you've set up your Website, make sure you promote it by registering it with as many search engines and link lists as possible. Many are free, so all it takes is a little boring work. You can have the best Website in the world, but if no one knows about it, what good can it do?

If you're running Windows 95/98 or higher, you have the option of buying a program known as Traffic Seeker. This program will let you enter key words and other important information about your site one time. Then, the software crawls all over the web and registers your site in thousands of locations. If you have more time than money, you will need to spend hours on the Internet, going from search engine to search engine, and registering your page. At this writing, TrafficSeeker costs a mere $50 for the regular version, and $100 for the professional version.

You can download an examination version of TrafficSeeker at the following URL:

http://www.trafficseeker.com/

Whether you work manually or automatically with TrafficSeeker, it won't hurt for you to understand a little of what happens when you register your website.

Search Engines

A search engine is a searchable database of information about many Web pages, and software to conduct the search. Your job is to get listed in those searchable databases. A good starting place is Google.

Here's a few pointers:

1. Make a simple text file which contains key information about your page. As a minimum, this file should include:

         Complete URL (spelled correctly)

         Your e-mail address

         A title for your site. It will be ideal if this title can include one or two key words that a search engine will look for during a search.

         A short paragraph that describes your site.

2. Place this file on your desktop and shrink it down to the minimum size possible.

3. As a registration form comes up, use the clipboard to copy key information from your simple text file to the form. This is absolutely essential when entering your URL. Don't trust your ability to type that URL correctly. I never do. Simple things like your name or phone number may be typed faster from the keyboard. But never your URL.

Sometimes you will have a hard time finding a form to use when you want to enter information. All you can find is a way to do a search. The key words you are looking for are Add or Submit, or any of their synonyms. For some reason, the Add and Submit links are sometimes in very fine print. If you can't find a way to submit a URL, look for a mailto link and amyl the information from your text file: (mailto:gel1934@comcast.net is my mailto: link) If you can find neither a place to submit your URL or a mailto: link, skip that one and go to the next one.

Some search engines give you a chance to verify your link before the submission is finalized. If you get that chance, take it. This way you can be sure that your URL has been entered correctly. Your page should come to the screen when you click the test link.

You may have to wait two or three weeks or more before you are able to find your page with a search engine. Be patient. Keep on registering your page in as many places as you can. After a while, people will start hitting your page.

Link Lists

When you have gotten your page listed with as many search engines as possible, then start with the link lists. For some reason, some people like to maintain lists of links, often called free-for-all lists [FFA]. Use the same simple text file as you used for the search engines and start listing. Makes a good rainy (or snowy) day activity. By the way, this activity is time-consuming and boring. If you don't have an Internet Service Provider which gives you unlimited access via a local phone number, you better start looking for one before you launch a major publicizing project.

Reciprocal Links

Sometimes when you're visiting a search engine or link list, you'll see an offer to place you on a link list if you will link your page to their location. You need to set up a page of links to other pages. I call mine Links to Other Resources. You can visit it and see how I have set mine up.

Good luck in your web publishing venture. There may never be another activity in your life whereby you will make a greater impact on a larger number of people with a smaller amount of effort.

Links to Other Resources

Church Worker Handbook Table of Contents
Disclaimer
About the DiskBooks copyright
How to Download Church Worker Handbook Files
Return to Church Worker Handbook Home Page
Return to DiskBooks Home Page
Free Downloads

Teachers and parents who are homeschooling :
Download the PennSTAR Master Curriculum

 

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This product is an excellent tool for creating IEPs and curricula. It consists of the following components:

  • 16 Subject Areas
  • 105 Goal Areas under the Subject Areas
  • 4,830 Objectives under the Goal Areas
  • 2,719 Suggested Activities for achieving the objectives.