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RIRose.org  #5
August 1999

 


There are a number of places on-line where you can put up your own website for free. The best one I've seen so far is Homestead. It allows you 10 megs of web space at absolutely no cost and without the annoying pop-up advertising windows that some other free websites use for revenue. Homestead has a wonderfully easy interface for creating a website. It has lots of fun options such as "drag and drop" chatrooms, counters, and animated text or e-mail buttons. It even has simple to add web-search engines and professional response forms with drop-down lists.


I've added a RIRS members' page on our web-site where I'll provide links to web-sites made by any RIRS member. So log on to http://www.homestead.com and follow the below instructions to start you own webpage. Remember, even if your first attempts aren't perfect, it can be edited or deleted anytime. 


First, go to http://www.homestead.com and click a button that says "Sign up". The next page is a simple rules page. Click "I accept". You'll have to then fill in a page or so of personal info, choose a member name and password, and in the empty block, fill in a name for your whole website. WRITE THIS INFORMATION DOWN. The next page says: "Step 3: Start Building!" Choose here whether to use the full featured web-page maker, "Homestead On-line" or their limited template based editor, "Homestead express". If you have a Macintosh or a computer that is slower than a Pentium 90 or running Windows 3.1, you can only use Homestead Express. Otherwise choose the Homestead On-line Editor. The whole homestead site uses java applets, so you must have java allowed in your browser.


Now, start designing your page. First choose a background by clicking "page" on the menu, then "background". Choose from plain colors, their prints, or hit "import" and the "browse" a background from pictures on your own hard drive. If you like a background that you see somewhere on the internet, right-click on it and choose "save background as" so you can use it yourself. Next add a heading to your page by clicking on "text". Type in what you want, then select it by highlighting it with the mouse. While selected, change the size, color, font of the text. Move it where you want by dragging the top of the text box. Re-size the text box by grabbing it's corners. Special animated text can be added, try choosing one of the animated text choices like "bouncing text". To change the words "bouncing text" on the screen to something you want, right-click the box. A dialog box will pop-up allowing you to change the text and other features of this option.


Next, import a photo of your garden or a rose. Click on "import an image". Double click on the little box that appears, click on "import new file" and then browse the directories on your hard drive and choose the picture you want. Again, if you see a picture on the internet that you want to use, right click on it (before starting all this website making), and choose "save as" from the menu. Ask permission from the website owner to use the picture.
Making buttons and linking to other pages and websites is the next important step. Start by clicking on the "standard button" element. An orange OK button appears. Right click it, and change it's color, and what it says. To start, change the text to Rhode Island Rose Society. Hit close then lengthen the button if you wish by dragging a corner. Now click "link" on the menu. Under the URL option type http://www.homestead.com/rirs/rirose.html then hit ok. At this point hit "save" and then "preview". This will show you how your animated text looks and you can check to see that your new link works. Close the preview browser screen and continue on.


Now take a look at all your choices at the bottom of the screen and "drag" a few onto your page for fun, like an e-mail link, or a searcher for music, a guestbook, a chatroom, or a weather forecaster. Make more than one page if you wish, by hitting new,(after you have saved). Remember to add a link to get to this new page from your main page.
If you enjoy this web-making program, but would like it to run a lot faster, the homestead editor can be downloaded and run off-line on your own computer, then published to homestead when you're ready.
Finally, e-mail me so I can add a link to our member's webpage site. E-mail me with any questions.

 

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