Now is a good time to give a moment’s thought about where you want to store work-in progress. When you’re creating web design, such as HTML files, the norm always of working is to create and edit the files on your computer, and only to upload them to the web server (and thus make them available to the public) when they’re finished. This has a number of advantages. Primarily, it means you always have backup copies of your pages, because there’s the version on the server and the version on your PC. Also, it means that information which you haven’t finished writing or checking can’t be Accessed by anyone except you. If your company is about to launch a new product, for Example, uploading unfinished, unannounced details on the web site for Google (and thus the world in general) to find is unwise.
You need a folder on your computer to store your web work. For the purposes of this book, I’ll assume that this folder is on your desktop and is called Web Work. If you want to create It somewhere else, or give it a different name, that’s fine. There’s yet another way to create web pages, and that’s to write the text with a word processor such as Microsoft Word or pen Office Writer and then use the “save as web page” feature to create files which you can put online. This is often a tempting option, because a) it looks to be very easy, and b) lots of people write documents with a word processor and then realize that they’d actually quite like to publish them online.
If you do have some Word documents that you want to put online, there are some excellent third-party products available to do the conversion for you. My favorite is “Click to Convert”, which is what I use to create the web-based preview version of this book. All of the pages in the online preview are automatically generated from a master Microsoft Word document in just a couple of minutes. If you’ve bought a hosting package and a domain name, and you’re not quite sure what to do With it, one of the quick-start pages as mentioned above is better than nothing at all. But if You really want to make the most of the web, there really is no substitute for learning how to do it properly, and that’s what you’ll do if you continue reading.