Information Technology Division

HTML 101: Beginner's Guide

This online guide is for assisting the students, faculty, and staff of MTSU with web page development. It is specifically for account holders on frank and the MTSU academic server; it may not benefit others. Information in the online guide includes:

Before you can start creating your own web pages, you must have an account on frank. If you are an MTSU student and need an account, visit " Get an MTSU Student Computing Account."

If you are MTSU faculty or staff and need a frank account, complete a form at the Information Technology Division, Cope Administration Building, Room 3. Or download the form in pdf (This requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader from Adobe Systems Incorporated.)

Understanding Web Terms and Acronyms

A feature of Netscape which enables you to mark web pages of particular interest to you for future reference and easy access.
A program that helps users work with the web by displaying documents and making links between computing sites. A graphical web browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape can display web documents in hypermedia format; that is, it can be used to view text, images, and video and to listen to audio.
(FTP) File Transfer Protocol
A communication standard which allows you to send and retrieve files over the Internet.
GIF (Graphical Interchange Format)
File names normally have .gif suffix. Can use up to 256 colors. Compresses files without loss of information. Compression is best for images with areas of a single color.
Home Page
The initial entry point into a web document. The home page may also serve as a main menu and contain references to related documents.
HTML: Hypertext Markup Language
HTML is the method an author uses to markup a document so that it can be displayed on the Web.
HTML Editors
Programs that help you develop web pages. A GUI-based HTML editor such as AOLPress provides an intuitive point-and-click interface.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)
Used to transfer hypermedia, such as text and audio or text an images. Compare to FTP above
A method for linking documents together non-sequentially.
The Internet is a vast network of computer networks which was originally developed as a governmental experiment in the late 1960's. The Internet works by using a common transfer protocol between computers. This enables many different types of computers to communicate.
A programming language written by Sun Microsystems for the Web. It is designed to create interactive applications on the Web.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
File names normally have .jpg or .jpeg suffix. Can use many colors. Best for photographic or painted images. You can specify amount of file compression. Some of the information is lost during compression.
A text-based web browser.
A graphical web browser that can display Web documents in hypermedia format; that is, it can be used to view text, images, and video and to listen to audio.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
Specifies where something is on the Internet. It takes this general form: <method://<host computer>/<path name>> This first part specifies the access method used to retrieve the document such as ftp, gopher, telnet, or http. The host computer identifies a machine and the path name specifies a directory and filename. Your URL on frank will be
WWW (World Wide Web)
A vast series of electronic documents called web pages or web documents that are linked together over the Internet. Also referred to as the web.

Planning and Designing Web Pages

Since you have made it to this point in the guide, you probably have already formulated some ideas about your future web site — colors you will use, information and images you will include, and links you will make. Before you finalize your planning:

  • Spend some time browsing the web. Search for well implemented sites that you would like to emulate. Look at their page source and see how they achieved their look.
  • Consider your audience and the purpose of your web site. Be sure that your content supports both.
  • Gather the content for your site. Get together documents like resumes, course materials, etc. that you wish to include.
  • Sketch a diagram (below) of the pages you want to start with. Think about the content you will include on each page.
    Draw arrows to display how visitors will navigate your site.
  • Consider color schemes that you would like to use. Gather images that you wish to include.

Web Navigation diagram

Navigation diagram for Web Pages

Note:Faculty and staff may contact ITD: Academic & Instructional Technology Services for assistance with any web-related question or problem.