Introduction to IT Lecture Notes
Topics 13: Web Publishing
(Thanks to Dr. Haipeng Guo)
Let's say that you are sitting at your computer, surfing the Web, and you type in an URL to the
address bar of a browser (Chrome, Opera, IE, Netscape, Firefox, or whatever). You press return. And
magically, no matter where in the world that URL lives, the page pops up on your screen. Have you
ever wondered how this process works? Have you ever wanted to create your own Web page and put
it online? In this chapter we will learn how to accomplish this step by step.
1 The Basic Process
Taking Dr. Guo's web page as an example. Here are the basic steps behind the scenes on the process
of getting it onto your computer screen:
1. The browser broke the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) into three parts: The protocol
("http") The server name ("
") The file name ("~hpguo/index.html").
2. The browser communicated with a name server to translate the server name "
into an IP Address, which it uses to connect to the server machine.
3. The browser then formed a connection to the server at that IP address on port 80. (We'll
discuss ports later.)
4. Following the HTTP protocol, the browser sent a GET request to the server, asking for the file
5. The server then sent the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) text for the Web page to the
6. The browser read the HTML tags and formatted the page onto your screen.
2 The Basic Terms
In order to talk about Web pages and how they work, you will want to understand four simple terms:
Web page -
A Web page is a simple text file that contains not only text, but also a set of
HTML tags that describe how the text should be formatted when a browser displays it on the
screen. The tags are simple instructions that tell the Web browser how the page should look
when it is displayed. The tags tell the browser to do things like change the font size or color, or
arrange things in columns. The Web browser interprets these tags to decide how to format the
text onto the screen.
HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. A "markup language" is a
computer language that describes how a page should be formatted. If all you want to do is
display a long string of black and white text with no formatting, then you don't need HTML.
But if you want to change fonts, add colors, create headlines and embed graphics in your page,
HTML is the language you use to do it.
Web browser -
A Web browser, like Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, is a
computer program (also known as a software application, or simply an application) that does
A Web browser knows how to go to a Web server on the Internet and request a page, so
that the browser can pull the page through the network and into your machine.