STEP 4

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How to go live

You are now ready to go live with your site.

Upload your code to your Web Server

The first thing you need to do is to have a web hosting provider and that your web hosting provider is setup to "host your site linked to your domain name" as we saw during the Domain Name and Web Hosting sections of Step 1.

Afterwards, you need to upload all of the files in the proper directory structure which comprise your website (i.e. all your HTML, CSS, Javascript, image, other files). The ways to upload your website files to the web hosting hosting provider are via:

  • A file manager tool which your web hosting provider usually gives you access to (Brinkster provides a very intuitive and useful web-based file manager application where you are presented of a windows-like interface of your web server's directory and file structure and you can drag and drop stuff. In addition, it provides a more basic file manager tool)
  • Ftp (stands for File Transfer Protocol and is being used to transfer files to and from another computer which has granted you access to do so) which is actually a way which I prefer since it is faster and you can do bulk transfers usually easier. The web address of your web server, as well as your login information to the server, so you can set up your ftp connection, is provided to you by your web hosting provider. A program which I really like using for my ftp transfers is the Windows Total Commander which you can download from http://www.ghisler.com.

Don't forget to exactly mirror your local directory structure you have built for your site with the one on the web server.

Your main page

As you learned during my Introduction to HTML section, you should be naming your main (home) page of your website "index.html" which is the name of file a web server is looking for by default when a visitor does not specify a particular file, but gives a URL to his browser.

If for instance your domain name is www.cooking-for-fun.com, then when your visitor enters that address (with or without http:// infront) to his browser, then your web server by default will look for the file www.cooking-for-fun.com/index.html (there is also a way to tell the web server to look for a different file, but for now just name your home page "index.html").

A good idea is to also have a file which you can use at times where you take down your site for instance for maintenance reasons and which will be, each time this occurs, replacing your index.html file, notifying your visitor that your site is down for maintenance (or other reason).

Once all your files are propertly uploaded, your site is LIVE! Don't forget to go over all of your site's pages as a sanity check that everything is ok and to re-test your site once it is live.

Now that your site is up and running, let's move on to see how to track its performance! Are you ready?

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