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Chapter 19. Publishing a Web to a Server... > The Basics of Web Publishing

The Basics of Web Publishing

A web can be made available to the public if its files are placed in a publicly accessible directory on a computer that is connected to the Internet and is running Web server (HTTP server) software. Your web will be available even if you don't have a home page available. In server-speak, the home page is simply the page that loads by default when a user types in the root directory's URL. Your users need know only the filenames of the documents you want them to see. If your server software is set to allow directory listings, your users can select whichever file they prefer.

The complexities of web publishing come into play with issues such as scripting, proprietary features, and hyperlinking. First of all, the server must be capable of handling scripts and (particularly in the case of Microsoft servers) proprietary features. If you're running early versions of Netscape, Apache, or Microsoft servers, you won't be able to use Java applets or JavaScript scripts, and you won't be able to serve Dynamic HTML or Cascading Style Sheets unless you're using the most recent server packages. The first thing to be aware of when publishing your webs is what your server is capable of doing.


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