3. Going public - Allowing others to browse and search your pages

[Previous] [Next] [Title]

3.1. Publishing your pages onto the web

3.1.1. Publishing your pages onto the web

The final step is to place your page onto a web server , so that it can be browsed from anywhere on the internet, and so that the pages can be searched by search engines.

13.2. Your web server, user name and password

For this tutorial, you will be able to publish your project pages onto a web server located at AustLII. Its address is 'student.austlii.edu.au', and it is also called `sandpit'.

Your username and your password will be told to you in class. Assume for this exercise that your username is 'tute99'.

13.3. Setting the publishing defaults

If you are publishing your pages from a computer that is used only be you, then you should set up publishing defaults so that your files will always be published to your correct directory on sandpit.

In Netscape Composer the selection [Edit | Preferences | Composer | Publishing] "Publish to (FTP or HTML)' box should be set to read


You should also complete the 'User Name' and 'Password' boxes below with your details, then OK to complete. Do not include these details on a computer which is used by others - just enter them every time you intend to publish new pages.

13.4. Publishing your pages to the web server

To publish the page you have created to your directory on sandpit, select the publish icon to open the 'Publish Files' window. Click on 'Use Default Location'. All of your details should appear. If they do not, complete or correct the boxes under 'Publishing location' manually. You must include your username and password. OK to complete. A message will appear to inform you whether or not you have successfully published your page to the sandpit server.

13.5. Testing your web page

Now use the browser to check that you have successfully published your page on the web. Save the location as a bookmark.

If you published a pages as:


then you browse the page as:

How to prevent pages being browsed (the index.html page) - for information only

It is possible to see what files are contained in someone's /public_html/ directory, or any sub-directories contained therein, even if there are no links to those pages from other pages.

For example, if you browse to Graham Greenleaf's /public_html/ directory on sandpit,


you would see the following automatically generated index, which allows access to all pages currently in my /public_html/ directory:

The proper way to stop this happening is to place a page called 'index.html' (or 'index.htm') in each directory or sub-directory. Each 'index.html' page should only contain links to those pages which you wish to allow to be browsed. The 'index.html' page stops an automatic index being generated.

2.6 Translating your page into other languages

Alta Vista provises the Systran translation software which allows you to provide your users with the option of translating your pages into a number of European languages.

For example, the URL http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate?urltext=http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham/ will give you the option to translate the home page of one of the authors of this Tutorial.

To create a translation option from your own page, create a link named something like 'Translate this page' and use to link it to

http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate?urltext=URLof my page

2.9 Checking your web pages for bad links and bad HTML

Once you have published your pages onto the web, there are various sites which enable you to test aspects of your pages.

NetMechanic offers various services but the two most fundamental are:

Use these features of NetMechanic to check your own page - try the - see the free sample page to test..

There are numerous other diagnostic tools listed on Yahoo's HTML Validation and Checkers page.

3.2. Searching student pages using SINO

The SINO search engine used on AustLII is available for you to use to search over your files on sandpit, and those of all other students doing the subject. For the purposes of the tutorial, SINO will search over all files created in the class as one database, so that you can gain some experience in how your pages behave when searched in combination with other pages, particularly in relation to relevance ranking.

Searching tutorial pages

The search page is at [URL TO BE PROVIDED] and the following search features are available:

3.2.1. Building a SINO index of your pages

When you add new pages to your sandpit directories, SINO is not able to search those pages automatically. You must first rebuild the word occurrence index (concordance) for the database. This is done simply by use of the button on the search engine page.

The Sinomake program responds with the message 'Now running sinomake', and a list of any pages that do not have proper titles.

Titles - necessary for meaningful search results

In order for the results of searches over the student pages to give lists of pages found which are meaningful, it is necessary for your pages to have titles (the words which appear in the blue bar at the top of the browser) which indicate the nature of the contents of each page. If a page has no title, the search results just list the file name. See Titles earlier in this Tutorial.

Each page should have a title which indicates both (i) the set of pages to which it belongs; (ii) how it differs from other pages in the set. For example, these three titles are helpful:

Basil's Bankruptcy Place: Overview
Basil's Bankruptcy Place: Legislation
Basil's Bankruptcy Place: Leading Cases

3.2.5. Embedding the SINO search form in your pages

You can embed the SINO search form in any of your own pages, using the same approach as to Copy HTML from other sources covered earlier in the Tutorial.

Open the search.html page in the Editor, and copy all the content of the page into memory. Then open one of your own pages in the Editor, and paste the content of the sinoform.html page into that page.

2.7. The META tag: Controlling how others index your page

You can control how your page is indexed by remote search engines that do robot indexing (eg Alta Vista), using the META tag to specify keywords to be indexed, and a short description of your page.

META tags contain both the name of the type of information that is contained in the tag, and the content of that information. For example:

<META  name="description" content="Graham's IP page - a ramble about the deficiencies of Australia's intellectual property laws.">
<META  name="keywords" content="copyright, intellectual property, moral rights">

Some search engines will then index both fields, so a search on either `IP' or `intellectual property' will match and will cause the page to have a higher ranking in the list of search results than it would otherwise. In some cases the description will be included in the search results. Otherwise, some search engines only show the first couple of lines of the page, or just the title.

2.7.1. Insert a META tag in your page

Meta-tags can be added using [Format | Page Properties | General].

[Previous] [Next] [Title]