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Plan

All GHC faculty members need an easily-accessible web site whch can be navigated to from the official GHC web site. Students thinking about taking a course section should be able to get in touch with you, find your office hours, and learn about what you do in your section. Although many GHC faculty members have a site separate from the GHC site, everybody should also maintain a basic site that students can access from the main GHC site.

Using the GHC Website Management System
The method you use to build a site depends on your needs. You can examine various approaches by going to to the "Design" section for some options. Whichever design option you choose, however, you will need a way to build your pages.

The easiest method is to use The GHC Website Management System, built specifically to make web pages for GHC faculty. Doing this allows you to work in a familiar environment, while producing easy-to-read and quick-to-display web pages. It also allows you to edit and update your site easily. Examples of GHC faculty sites built with the Website Mangement System. This example shows that using The GHC Website Management System, you are not restricted to "plain vanilla!

So, to establish a basic web site within the official GHC site, with a home page and perhaps a few pages for each course you teach, use the GHC Faculty Website Management System. Stephen Souders has done a great job of making this easy, and has provided excellent documentation.

To get started, first READ, and then follow the steps below:

1. Log on to GHC Connect using your GHC network credentials. Be sure to select FACULTY from the pulldown menu.
2. From the orange menu on the GHC Connect page, select Web/SFTP.
3. If this is the first time you have used the system, click Activate your account now.
4. When your site is active, you will see two options: Manage your website, and View your website.
5. The Manage your website option takes you to Administration Mode where you can:Edit your Home and Contact pages, upload a picture to replace the GHC logo, edit site settings, add or remove pages, and upload files.
6. The View your website link takes you to the generic site, pre-built, and ready for you to edit and expand.
7. Before you start building your site, however, click the Documentation/Help link for a simple, step-by-step guide (6-pages).

 

Fig. 1: Home page from a faculty site built with the Management System.


ample site

Design considerations

 

To develop a web page or site

If you want to develop a site without using the The GHC Website Management System, consisting of a simple home page, or a site with a home page, graphics, and links to more pages, use SeaMonkey Composer, part of the free Mozilla SeaMonkey suite. Composer is an easy-to-use, what-you-see-is-what-you-get HTML editor (HTML is the language that makes web pages work).

One advantage of using the the SeaMonkey suite is that you also get the Mozilla browser. This allows you to switch between the page-design view (Composer) and the browser view (Mozilla) with a single command.

Seamonkey is easy to use, and there is a good and short tutorial. You need to get Seamonkey and follow the steps in the tutorial, which show you how to open, edit and format a web page. Seamonkey Tutorial.

To develop a site on a Mac

To develop and publish a home page and additional pages using a Mac (not a Mac running Windows), use iWeb, an excellent and free web-publishing application available on all Macs.

iWeb has easy-to-use and well-designed site- and page-templates that makes preparing pages and sites very easy. Example of site produced with iWeb.

To develop more advanced web sites

To develop and publish more extensive or complex web pages and sites, use a web-editing application like Dreamweaver. You can download a 30-day trial version of Adobe Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver was used to make the site you are on.

To develop a single web page

It is possible to convert a Word document to a web page. However, web pages generated with Word are hard to edit, slow to download, and unnecessarily complex. This method is NOT recommended. A much better solution is to use the "Word-like" text editor built into The GHC Website Management System (see the Plan section for instructions).

However, if you insist on using Word, use it only when you want a single page and keep it very, very simple. Avoid all formatting —no indents, bullets, tables, pictures, etc.

When you have prepared your page in Word, save it as "Web Page Filtered," and if it is your home page, make sure the file name is "index.htm" (this is very important!).

Even if you have avoided any formatting, you should submit the web page to the Word html Cleaner site, which will strip out the unnecessary Microsoft code when you upload your page. Directions are on the site.

Build

Home page
If you are using The GHC Website Management System your Home page is set up already, and you just have to add and edit information. If you are using SeaMonkey, Dreamweaver or iWeb, you'll need to prepare your home page. Before you name and save the home page, you have to set up a single directory (a folder) on your PC where you will store each page and graphic in your site. Never move anything in your site out of this directory. Do not move the directory when you have set it up. Read on...

Set up site root directory
Set up a folder for your site on your PC, where ALL the pages in your site must be saved. This is your site "root-directory."

DO NOT move pages or anything you want on your site (graphics, sound files, movies, etc) out of the site root directory. You can name the root directory whatever you like, but it makes sense to call it by the site's name (GHC Faculty Site, for example).

Do not chage the name of the root directory.

Save the home page
Save your site home page file to the site root directory as index.htm

This is very important.

When a person visiting your site enters the site URL (http://www.highlands.edu/irc, for example) in a web browser, the browser looks for a page named "index.htm" and displays it.

Do not rename or move the index.htm file from the site root directory on your PC, or the site root-directory on the GHC webserver after you upload it.

View pages in browser
You need to see how your home page looks in a browser. You can open the index.htm file you just saved to your PC and view the "local" version (local being the version on your computer). If you are using Mozilla's Seamonkey suite, and you built your page in Composer, just switch to the view from Composer.

Open a web browser and navigate on your PC to the index.htm page in your site root directory.

Inspect the page in at least 2 different web browsers in case your page looks different in IE and Firefox, for example.

Open and inspect all other pages you created on your site. Test links if you have any.

Modify or edit your site pages locally (i.e. on your PC) before you publish pages to the remote location (i.e. the GHC webserver.

Always test everything locally before you publish to the remote location.

Publish

Set up connections and publish a page
Before you can publish your index.htm page so visitors can see it on the web, you need to set up the connection between your PC and the GHC Web server to publish your home page so a visitor to your site can see the home page in a web browser.

Follow the instructions in this step-by-step tutorial about how to get a free file transfer program (WSCP) so that you can publish and update pages on a website to the GHC webserver.

For background about file-transfer you might also want to read this FTP New User Guide.

View site online
If you followed the directions in the tutorial, your index.htm page should now be available on the web. To check, open a web browser and enter the URL to your site.

If the home page does not appear, wait a few minutes (there are actually 2 GHC web servers, and sometimes they take a few mintes to register a new page or changes).

Problems and solutions

Frequently encounterted "gotchas."

1. My site or updated page does not appear!
—Refresh your browser to make sure you're seeing the latest version of your pages on the web server rather than an old version from 'cache' (i.e. memory) on your PC.

2. I can't publish to my root directory on the server!

—Make sure you have the correct path to your directory.
—Make sure you have the correct permissions.

3. My graphics and pictures don't show in the browser.
— You have to upload everyhing in the site root directory on your PC to the corresponding root directory on the wen server.

4. My Home page doesn't show up in the browser.

—The first page of your site be saved as "index.htm"

Page last updated: March 11, 2010