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BASIC WEB-PAGE DESIGN
USING NETSCAPE COMPOSER

 Review by Marsha Brandsdorfer Marsha On January 23, 1999, Lee Hill, San Francisco Peninsula Computer Club's Web Page Master decided to share information with fellow computer club members by providing a free beginner's web page designer workshop.  As Lee explained to the group, there are many very good programs available to the general public in aiding web design, but he stated that his favorite is the user friendly "Netscape Composer" provided by Netscape Communicator (Netscape version 4.0).  To obtain Netscape Composer, one needs to have access to Netscape Communicator.  You can download Netscape Communicator from their web page: http://www.netscape.com  or you may get this program through an internet service provider (ISP) that uses Netscape as their primary web browser, such as http://www.earthlink.com, or you can buy it at a computer store or computer show.  Once you have Netscape Communicator, you go to the menu bar and click on "communicator" and then you will see "page composer" or "composer."  Click on this and you will be able to write your new web page.

What's great about Netscape Composer is that you type your text in a regular format and the Netscape Composer software will add in the Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) code for you automatically.  HTML code is needed when designing a web site for the browser to be able to read it.

With Netscape Composer, you can write your page off-line, so you don't have to tie up those phone lines.

Lee explained that in designing a web page, you need to know what type of page you want to create: a business page or a personal page.  Who are your viewers?  Let's assume we are putting together a personal page.   We can write "Marsha's  Personal Web Page" in bold (by clicking on our LARGE Letter A in the menu bar, make it the color blue, by clicking on the colors options on the menu bar and and make it blink, by clinking on "Format", clicking "Character Properties", and then "blinking

."

By getting acquainted with Composer's menu and icons, you will discover that there are many other things you can do with your page.

For instance you can add a link.  For instance, lets say we want to add the universal web site for book buying, http://www.amazon.com, we would do the following:

Type "amazon.com," highlight it, select the icon "link," type out "http://www.amazon.com" and it will add the site as link.  Or for our club site, type "sfpcc.org," highlight it, select the icon "link," type out  "http://www.sfpcc.org," and the site will be added as a link.

Book Club Buying on the internet                                                 amazon.com
San Francisco Peninsula Computer Club's Web Page                   sfpcc.org

To add an e-mail address, highlight "sfpcc.org" and then select the icon "link," type "mailto:sfpcc@sfpcc.org."

Computer club's general web site e-mail address                          sfpcc.org
Marsha's email address                                                                Marsha

Try adding an image to make your page more attractive and interesting, but don't be too complex so that it will not be difficult or take too long for others to download, especially if they have slower modems than you.:
 
Adding a background color  is optional.  I made my background color by going into "Format," "Page Properties" and "Background" and then clicked on the color I wanted.

As you can see, you can play around with Netscape Composer and you can find different ways to be creative and make your page interesting to your reader.  If you forget how to do something, there is a handy "HELP" icon in the menu bar.  Don't be afraid to use it.!

When you are done, Lee says you can "preview" your site, by clicking on the "preview" icon and it will get you into Netscape Navigator, even if you are off-line, to show you how it will look when you "publish" it.  When you are ready to come back to Netscape Composer, just click on "Communicator" and then "Page Composer."  If you want to see what your HTML code looks like, click on "view" and then "page source."

To Publish your web-page (transferring page to a service provider), you need to click on the "publish" icon and then type in the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) or File Transfer Protocol (FTP) location which you need to get from your internet service provider (ISP).  You may have to call the technical service department of your ISP to find out what this location is.  Once you "publish" your page to the internet, you can still maintenance your page, which means making changes, adding links, etc.

So, as you can see, Lee's introductory workshop to club members regarding basic web page design was very informative.  He tried to explain to club members that using the Netscape Composer software for building a page is very user friendly.  This review was made using Netscape Composer by Marsha Brandsdorfer.


In future workshops, Lee would like to review the basic tools, discuss making tables on your web page, producing commercial sites, critique each others pages, and improve upon each other's artistic skills with suggestions and observations.  We hope that you can join us!

If you are interested in joining a future workshop, please e-mail Lee and let him know and he will send you some more information.

Lee, Sign me Up! 
  Partcipants in website worshop
Larry Welling took this Photo using his new Kodak 210 digital camera


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