So you want to make your own homepage?
What is a Homepage?
A homepage (or any other web page, for that matter), is just a
document with text and formatting commands combined. The web
browser, such as Netscape, Mosaic, Lynx, WebExplorer, reads this
text and outputs the pretty formatted document you see.
This system is similar to a page produced by a word processor, where
you add special formatting commands such as bold, tables, etc. The
difference is that in most word processors you don't see the formatting
commands, just the effect of the commands (i.e. WYSIWYG), the
resultant document is not a text document, and the formatting commands
are not meant to be read directly by people.
HTML documents are more similar to (La)Tex or nroff/troff, in that the
formatting commands are just normal, human-readable text, and in that
one runs some other program that reads in what you wrote and outputs
formatted text. For example, in HTML, to put text in bold, you would
just type <B>this is bold</B>.
Of course, there is a major difference: Web documents can contain
links to other documents, sound, and movies.
How do I make a Homepage?
You need to do the following three steps:
- Ask your Internet provider for instructions
- Learn HTML
- Make your page.
Ask your Internet provider for instructions
You need to find out from your Internet provider (the company that
gave you your Internet account) the details such as what to call the
file, where to put them, etc.
If your Internet provider does not allow personal homepages, all is
not lost. The following places will give a homepage to anyone, just
for asking. Thanks to Kathleen Clark for telling me about most of
these, and for the descriptions. [My comments are in .]
Which one to recommend? That's a tough one. The ones that give you the
most editing and graphics options (Kamtec, LookUP), also give you LESS
free space to work with than the others (BHI, AngelFire). So it's a
tossup. It also depends how html intensive you want to get.
- Geocities. I love
browsing the GeoCities and how they give you a "house" in an actual
neighborhood. I'm gradually moving things out of there onto the other
pages and will make the GeoCities address more of a personal page
(biography, links to other people, etc.). They have a strange editor.
You have to be real inventive in how you sneak in your html.
- I guess I like Angelfire the
best. That was the quickest one for me to get up.
- Lookup. I wish
LookUp would give us more free space. They've got the most extensive
graphic archive. Talk about giving candy to a baby and then taking it
away. But beggars can't be choosers. It's free, so I'll take what
they give me. [I don't like this site because you have to register to
- Kamtec. I love
the graphics at Kamtec and LookUP. I edit Kamtec daily since I'm
trying to keep my daily meditation going (with my job I need it).
Gives you the most interesting "starting" page (under construction
graphic, a start up set of hot links, rules, bullets, etc.) so that's
nice for someone who wants to get into html a bit more. The page is
already started for you. Some of the other places tell you not to
post your page until you've finalized it. [Slow.]
- Roboweb. Limited, with
little room for using html in their editor. RoboWEB just has you fill
in a form and limits you to 250 characters the couple places where
html is allowed (and you're asked to pick backgrounds, bars, etc.). So
that's a good place for beginners.
- Homepages for the Homeless.
[Not recommended, as it is not being maintained at all.]
- I'd LOVE to get into Phrantic. Looks like they only have
one neighborhood that isn't full, but their free home page editor has
been "temporarily down" permanently since I've started looking at it.
There are many sources for learning HTML; below are two that might be useful. (As there are Purdue links, some of the info might be Purdue specific.)
But I feel the best way to learn HTML is to look at how other people
have done it. The only problem with that way is not everyone does it
right. So to make sure you got it right, send it through Hal's Validation Program or
If you don't want to learn HTML, there are editors that look like word
processors but can output HTML. I haven't used any, so I can't
comment. (With the exception of WordPerfect 7.0, which seems to work
Make your page!
The easiest way to make your own page is to find another page that (1)
you like the layout and (2) provides information similar to what you
want to provide. Simply save the source of that page and edit it
Another option is The-Inter.net
will make a page for you, but I've never tried it so I don't know how
good it it. Or take a look at a colection of templeates.
And when you like how your page looks, make sure to submit it to Make