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Tips for Web Creation

by Rick Matthews

This page was at one time a fairly extensive guide to getting started writing web pages at WFU. If you are looking for that document see my old web tips page.

Fortunately, our tools have improved considerably since the old page was written. Authoring web pages is much easier than before, and Information Systems now has a nice page on getting started. So, here are my quick list of tips.

  1. See the IS Web Development Guide and Maintaining Personal Web Pages. These documents tell you how to get started, and describe how to add cool touches like access counters.
  2. Map \\acfiles\www-home as a network drive. That way you can save directly from Windows to your web page. (Do not try using \\acfiles\username\www-home or the permissions will be set incorrectly for the web.) Call the help desk if you do not know how.
  3. Visit "A Beginner's Guide to HTML" for a short course on writing raw HTML. Everyone needs to do a little with this, just to get a sense of how web pages work and what their limitations are. You can write such web pages in Notepad or Wordpad.
  4. Faculty and staff may download Dreamweaver off the WFU Install menu if you do not already have it. If you do have it, learn to use it. It is an absolutely wonderful web authoring tool. A free alternative is Kompozer. The University offers regular workshops on Dreamweaver.
  5. Respect users who have slow connections. Keep graphic sizes down. Except for pages for which images are the focus, I try to keep total image size below 80K. Most of my pages have total image sizes under 50K.
  6. Save photographic images as JPG files, and save line drawings and most computer art as GIF, or better, PNG images. For a discussion of why, see JPG vs. GIF.