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Support for APS DDP Course (RTP 6020) - Before you start

Before you start building your web site - some important details

There are some very important details that you need to keep clearly in your mind before starting to construct your web site.

What is a web site?

A web site is similar to a spiders web. A spider makes an orderly web from strands of silk linked together where one strand crosses another. An internet web site consists of many strands of information linked together and organised into a an orderly structure, in such a way that a site visitor can locate and quickly move to the information of interest. To make this possible, the site author has to follow some simple rules.

The first rule... Managing your files.

It is essential that you first make a folder on your hard disk in which to save all of the files associated with your web site. This folder needs to be easy to locate and preferably located in the 'My Documents' folder. Give this folder a simple name using lower case letters only, for example 'glyns-website' (substitute your own name for glyn) . This folder will be used as a container to hold all of the files (pages, images, backgrounds, graphics etc.)that you use on you web site. Here is a list of main file types that may be used on your web site.

The Web Pages - these have the extension .html = hyper text mark-up language.

Photographic images - have the extension .jpg = joint photographic-expert group.

Diagrams, simple graphics, animations - have the extension .gif = graphics interchange format.

Adobe Acrobat documents - have the file extension .pdf = portable document format.

Text files - not actually used on your web site, but used as working document files for the basic text of your web site pages.

The second rule.... Use lowercase letters only.

Web sites are unlike any other collections of files. It is most important that you take great care when naming each file used in your web site. Remember that the University Web Server is not based upon Microsoft Window - it uses the UNIX operating system and UNIX is very much more critical of the characters used in file names. For this reason use only lower case letters for your file names.

Characters that you may also use in file names include:

The lower case letters a to z

The numbers 0-9

The hyphen or dash character -

If you try to use any other characters, your file will probably not be recognised by the web server. The 'space character' (space-bar) and punctuation characters should NEVER be used in a file name!

If you are re-using files that you have saved previously, check before you use them on your web site that their file name does follow the above rules - if they don't....... rename them!


Here are some examples of correct filenames


lower case letters, correct extension


lower case letters, dash, numbers, correct extension


lowercase letters, dash and correct extension


And... examples of incorrect file names and the reasons why they are incorrect

tree root.jpg

Incorrect - space in filename


Incorrect - capital letters used - no file extension


Incorrect - underscore used - tif extension not allowed


Incorrect - illegal character '/' used

stream. JPG

Incorrect - space and capitalised filename extension


Incorrect - extension should be html


When your web site is complete

When your web site is complete, you will need to copy the contents of your web site folder to a removable USB memory drive.

I will upload your files from your USB memory drive to the University Web Server (located in CiCS), using an ftp (File Transfer Protocol) link from a computer located in my office. Your web site will be then be 'live' on the internet. It will be linked from the Postgraduate Student List Page of the APS Web Site.

Web Page Design Guidelines

Some very useful advice and guidelines to help you to construct a web site for maximum usability and ease of navigation can be found here at Student Services

Web Page Design Guidelines


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