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This chapter is from the book

Understanding Publishing

You don't learn all the ins and outs of publishing your page online until Part VI of this book, "Getting It Online." But right now is a good time to begin learning what publishing is all about.

In a nutshell, publishing a Web page is a simple matter of uploading all the files that make up the page into a designated directory on a Web server (or intranet server, if you intend for your document to be used just by folks within a local intranet).

To upload is to send files from your computer to a server computer, such as a Web server. (It's the opposite of downloading—receiving files from a server). When you publish a Web page, you upload its files to a Web server.

Most servers—whether Web or intranet—are guarded by security systems that prevent unauthorized users from storing files there. To publish, you must contact the administrator of the server on which you want to publish and obtain the following:

  • Permission to upload files to the server

  • The name and path of the directory in which the administrator wants you to store your files

  • The specific steps required for uploading files to the server (the exact procedure varies somewhat)

  • A username and password that you will use while uploading to identify yourself properly to the server's security system (so that it will permit you to copy the files)


If you obtain your Web server space from your Internet provider or online service, the username and password you use to upload Web pages to the server may be the same as the username and password you use to connect to the Internet.

To learn more about getting server space for your Web page, see Hour 21, "Publishing Your Page."

When you are ready to upload files, you will do so through a communications protocol supported by the server. The required protocol is almost always either of the same two protocols most often used for downloading files on the Internet: FTP (used for downloading files from an FTP server) or HTTP (used for downloading Web pages and other files from Web and intranet servers to browsers).

Composer includes a built-in publishing tool that lets you publish your pages straight from Composer, using either the FTP or HTTP protocols. You learn how to publish from Composer—and to publish in other ways—in Hour 21.

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