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Building Your Own Web Page

Josh Harris • Archives • January 1, 2000

The single most influential technology factor affecting all ofus today is the Internet. It is rapidly changing how we dobusiness, communicate and plan, and even use our leisuretime. Recently, my future daughter in-law planned a visitfrom Utah to Denver over Christmas vacation. She went on-lineand purchased a round trip airlines ticket from their Web page foronly $99, while travel agents could do no better than $300 for thesame ticket on the same flight. Economically, the World-Wide Webportion of the Internet is an incredible area for purchasing’ sellingproducts. It is also a great opportunity for local, state, regional,national, and worldwide publicity. As music educators, we need totake advantage of the Internet as we attempt to better promote ourmusic programs as the world is literally our potential audience.(For an example of this, check out Arapahoe High School’s active instrumental music program in Littleton, Colorado on the Internet at: www.warriorband.org and peruse their calendar of events. Their Web site has made a tremendous difference in sharing ideas with parents, directors, students, and instructors from all over the world with lots of feedback as well.)

The Internet is also redefining our audience. Avery successful music program that is taking advantage of the Internetto promote its instrumental music programs and expand its audienceis New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois at: http:I Intjazz.comand http:ll ntjazz.comIchinatour. The New Trier High School “LiveFall Jazz Concert” was broadcast for two hours on the Internet inDecember via video streaming featuring four jazz ensembles and ablue grass band.

To better understand a basic Web page design, go to my own Web page at:<http://home.earthlink.net./—jkuzmich>. Once there, you will see a sim-ple cover page with only four choices. Before selecting any of the fouroptions, youll note there are four Web page characteristics:

1.Simple graphics (photo of John Kuzmich, Jr.)

2.Hypertext links (“Meet John Kuzmich, Jr.,” “Meet the Kuzmich Family,”and “Kuzmich Family History”)

3.Welcome message in audio format (“welcome message”)

4.Direct e-mail link (“How To Contact Us!”) (Example #1: homel.gif)

If you select item number one (“Meet John Kuzmich”) on my cover Webpage, you go to a specific page (home2.gif) dealing with 10 choices fromJohn Kuzmich, Jr. “live” to published books/articles. You can “hot” link andread published articles by John Kuzmich, Jr. on other Web sites, and visitselected reviews of V.I.P. Computer Music Technology Manufacturers.Further exploration on any of the ten headings will give you more in-depthinformation. For example, in “Current Clinic Handouts” you will gain accessto numerous clinic handouts on jazz, computer music, Internet and video-conferencing workshops. (html_page1.txt).

My latest Web adventure involved creating my class Web page on ourschools Web site with a calendar so all of my students and parents can accessmy current curriculum plans and all assignments. My 1999 Mid West Band Orchestra Clinic on December 16, 1999 had four clinic hand-outs allfound on my Web page at: <http://home.earthlink.net/—jkuzmich/hand-outs.html> including two PowerPoint presentations. That saved a lot ofmoney not having to duplicate 500 copies of each hand-out required at theMid-West clinicians! I only needed to give out a single page with all of theWeb URLs and pertinent information contained in each one.

Whats A Good Web Page Design?
Good Web site design eliminatesclutter and gives the user many opportu-nities to find important information.Besides text data, a good Web pagemight include audio clips, graphic illus-trations, video clips, animated graphics,hot links within the Web site, as well aslinks to other helpful sites on theInternet. For good examples of somehigh-profile Web sites, take a look at thecollege music programs at the Universityof Miami (http://music.miami.edu), of Southern California (http://www.usc.edu/schools/music/), Indiana University (http://www.music.indiana.edu), University of North Texas (http://www.music.unt.edu) or Eastman School of Music (http://www.rochester.edu/Eastman/). You will get a betterunderstanding about how powerful Webpages can be. Web pages can be a vitallink to recruiting students and faculty aswell as promoting curriculum andevents. Many school districts have theirown Internet access accounts on whichfaculty members can post school ordepartment Web pages. Basically, theresno cost for a Web page, and designingand posting your first Web page is not ahassle any more because of availableuser-friendly software programs.

Creating Web Pages:A Beginning!
In order to create Web pages, youneed to eventually compose informa-tion into HTML (HyperText MarkupLanguage), a computer language thatallows a file to be read by both Macand PC computers. HTML is a com-puter language unique for describingstructured documents and initially itcan be confusing when you see its cod-ing. Fortunately, you dont have towrite the Web pages in HTML any-more because there are a number ofgood software products that allow youto compose the layout on a wordprocessor in which you can see it asyou create it; the file is then easily con-verted to HTML. Ultimately, however,it might be helpful to also learn how toedit in HTML programs because Webdesigns might not always create HTML documents perfectly and some HTMLediting skills will be helpful.

HTML documents will display accu-rately on the Internet regardless if youare using a PC or a MAC. While even-tually it is important to have the abilityto make final edits easily and powerfullyin HTML, I strongly recommend thatyou initially design your Web pages withsome Web-featured word processorssuch as Microsoft Word Office 2000 or Corel WordPerfect 2000. You may alsoconsider using a home page softwareproduct, such as FrontPage 2000 byMicrosoft or FastPage by Lotus whichcan comprehensively handle graphicsand text for slick Web page layoutdesigns. Each product is powerful forproducing HTML based-documentssuitable for posting on a Web page.

To better understand what HTMLis all about as a universal program-ming language for the Internet via a Web browser, use a Web browser such as Microsoft Explorer or Netscape’s Navigator. Then, go to the view menuand select the “Page Source” in Netscape or “Text Source” in Microsoft’s Explorer and you will see the actual HTML language codesused on a specific Web page. Most HTML codes are written in matching pairs beginning and end of text. Forexample, to center your text, the HTML code would appear like this: <‘center> your text here <‘/center>

Simple Starting Introductions
The intent of this section is to givethe first time Web page designer a brief outline of the necessary steps to getyour Web design ideas on screen andviewed in an HTML format. By fol-lowing these steps, you will gain a bet-ter understanding of how the HTMLlanguage actually works. And moreimportantly, you will not hesitate todesign, create and edit your very ownschool Web pages. At the end of thisarticle, there are some highly recom-mended books and Web sites that offerHTML tutorial training that can guideand direct you to becoming a success-ful Web designer.

The No-Nonsense Approach

  1. Go to a school’s Web page
  2. View its HTML code, copy and paste it into your own wordprocessor
  3. Substitute in your own text copy
  4. Save as an HTML file
  5. View the file in a Web browser
  6. Fastest edit: use Netscape Navigatorin edit mode or FrontPage 2000!
  7. View edited/created work in Webbrowser and then make adjustments.
  8. When satisfied, post to Web pagevia an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) editor software program.

The More Advanced Approach
The best way to create your own Web page is to write HTML with auser-friendly editor like the ones mentioned above. Netscape’s Editor offers

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