Getting Started

Naming Pages
by Allen

Your first page, that "index" file that everyone seems to be fretting about, can have any of three designations:

Most web page servers aren't so generous, but Leigh assures us that the RW server is configured to handle this. These are the file names which allow you to shorten your URL from:
to simply

(By the way, that .shtml suffix means "secure html". If you're going to be selling pot holders or Cadillacs from your page you'll want to know about that in some detail, otherwise it may not be something you want to mess with.)

Other pages on your site can be named almost anything you want. From a web page you can call image files (JPG, GIF, etc) or text file (TXT) or, as I discovered through trial and error, even Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Non-HTML text files show up as unadorned text.

You can call all the rest of your web pages either .htm or .html as you wish. My own convention (which works well with my editor) is to only use the 4-letter suffix on index.html and everything else has the 3-letter one.


When you list a site in places such as email you can *usually* skip at least part of the beginning of the URL. By this I mean that is equivalent to . Don't do this in links! The result can be, at best, unpredictable. This is only in correspondence and similar textual incidences.

For most sites when you're typing the address into your browser's location window you can skip the www part. If the site doesn't have the www as part of its address (like the Internet Movie Database - you're saved the trouble. This isn't something you can get away with anywhere except in that one box. This is because of the way the net works. Mysterious names are passed higher and higher up the chain until at some level a bot knows what it might be. To see this at work open your browser and type simply "cnn" or "ford" into the location box.

There is a fairly new wrinkle to this for Netscape users that's called "keyword browsing." You can get a (very) quick peek at this working if you enter something like "mango" in the location box.

(If you've accessed, Ford Motor Co., or Mango Software previously your browser may have the name in it's "type ahead" cache in which case it'll finish the address before you're done typing. That's not the same thing.)