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Frequently asked questions
Below are answers to common questions concerning Web authoring. For questions that you might have concerning home page authoring or construction, look at the BTinternet Home Pages Authoring newsgroup.

How can I get extra help with my home page creation?
Why can't I see my home page on the Internet?
What is HTML?
How do I check my HTML for errors?
Does it matter what my pages are called?
How do I add comments to my HTML?
What about graphics?
How do I specify colour in HTML?
What is a transparent GIF? What is an interlaced GIF?
Which is the better image format? GIF or JPEG?
Can I create directories in my Web space?
Can I use CGI scripts?
Can I use Java and ActiveX?
How much Web space can I use?
Can I buy more space if I need it?
What if I exceed my space limit?
Why is there a limit on "unlimited" Web space ?
What is my Internet address (URL)?
Can I change my Internet address (URL)?
How do I publicise my page?
How can I tell how many people have accessed my page?
How do I generate feedback from my home page?
Can I use Microsoft FrontPage?


How can I get extra help with my home page creation?

There is a newsgroup called BTinternet.homepages.authoring where customers request and give help with their authoring and publishing problems. Please read the charter for any new newsgroup before posting.

The Helpdesk will not give advice on how to author, format, publicise or any other matters relating to the creation and maintenance of your Website. They will help if the file transfers fail though.


Why can't I see my home page on the Internet?

Once you have uploaded, or published, your home page onto the Internet, it will have the format:

http://www.btinternet.com/~yourname or http://www.smith.family.btinternet.co.uk (see Virtual Domains).
where yourname is one of your e-mail addresses on BTinternet. URLs are be case sensitive, so if your home page isn't working on the Internet, try changing the case.


What is HTML?

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is a "tagging" language for describing how text and images and other elements appear on a Web page. The tags work rather like style sheets in a word processor. To italicise a word, for example, you would enclose it within the opening and closing italic tags, and , e.g. this is italic.


How can I check my HTML for errors?

You should always check your Web pages for errors before uploading or publishing them to the many million members of the Internet community! To view an HTML file "locally" in your Web browser, go to the File menu and choose Open File... (Netscape) or Open...Browse... (Internet Explorer).

There are a number of tools that can automatically validate your HTML for errors. Weblint is well known HTML style checker. Doctor HTML will check your page and point out errors in the HTML code. It will also check your spelling and tell you how long your page will take to download.


Does it matter what my pages are called?

Your home pages can have any name that you choose. All pages should have the extension .html at the end, be in lower case, and the first page should ideally be called index.html. This means that when others type in your URL with no particular page specified, e.g. www.btinternet.com, they will be automatically routed to the page called index.html.


How do I specify colour in HTML?

Colours in HTML are specified in hexadecimal notation, and displayed in the format "#RRGGBB" where RR is the red component, GG is green, and BB is blue. In hex, 00 is black, and FF is white. Thus FF0000 would be pure red. Fortunately, sites such as the IPA-HTML Color Chart mean that you don't have to learn any more than this.


How do I add comments to my HTML?

Adding comments to your HTML makes it easy to remind yourself of how you constructed the page, and what the important elements are. To add comments to a page, place <!-- at the start of each line commented out; close this for each line with -->.
Note that comments do not nest, and the sequence "--" may not appear inside a comment except as part of the closing --> tag. Example: <!-- Reminder to add to this section in July -->.


What about graphics?

You can make your own graphics in a paint or drawing program, or use graphics which others have designed and made available on disk or on the Web. Mac users should look at Graphics on the Web, which offers useful advice about file sizes and formats for Web graphics. For ready-made graphics,try sites like the Clipart Archive.


What is a transparent GIF? What is an interlaced GIF?

The GIF image format allows you to specify one colour in an image that is transparent. If your Web browser supports transparency, then the colour you have defined to be transparent will be replaced by the background colour of your page. An interlaced GIF is first displayed on your browser at low quality, then at a higher resolution. The low resolution image downloads quickly, giving your readers the opportunity to wait or cancel the download depending on how interesting they find the image. For more information on transparency and interlaced GIFs, look at The Transparent/Interlaced GIF Resource Page.


Which is the better image format? GIF or JPEG?

Browsers can display images saved in JPEG or GIF format. Use GIF images for line art and pictures with large areas of flat colour; JPEGs are preferable for photographs.


Can I create directories in my Web space?

If you choose the "simple" route you can create subdirectories in your Web space though this is not possible if you choose the automatic load option.


Can I use CGI scripts?

You cannot upload your own CGI scripts to BTinternet. However we make available some validated CGI scripts for customers to use. Web page counter, guestbook and form to e-mail CGI scripts are now available.


Can I use Java and ActiveX?

Java, JavaScript and ActiveX can be used - but bear in mind that not all browsers support this functionality. For more information on Java, look at The Java Developer. For ActiveX information, see Microsoft's ActiveX scripting page.


How much Web space can I use?

10MB.


Can I buy more space if I need it?

If your Website exceeds the 10 Mb offered by BTinternet, we suggest that you consider a professional Web hosting service like BTWebWorld.


What if I exceed my space limit?

It is not possible to upload (publish) more than 10 Mb of material with BTinternet.


What is my Internet address or URL?

The address of your home page will be of the format http://www.btinternet.com/~yourname/ or http://www.smith.family.btinternet.co.uk (see Virtual Domains) where yourname is formed from any of your mailboxes. To create a new mailbox, go to Create a new mailbox.

Don't forget that URLs are case sensitive. If the e-mail name you chose to upload with was, for example, j.smith, then your URL would be: http://www.btinternet.com/~j.smith. Note that http://www.btinternet.com/~J.SMITH would not work.


Can I change my Internet address (URL)?

Yes. Your URL can use any of your chosen e-mail names. Look at Renaming your home page to change your URL.


How do I publicise my page?

You can manually submit your page to the major catalogues and search engines, or use a service like SubmitIt! which will publicise your Web pages to 15 different catalogues. Look at How to announce your new Website for further information on how you can increase your readership.

There is now a listing of Customer Home Pages. You can browse other customers' pages alphabetically or by category, and submit your home page details. You can mention your pages in the Homepages Announce newsgroup.


How can I tell how many people have accessed my page?

Use the Web Page Counter script created for BTinternet customers.


How do I generate feedback from my home page?

A fill-out form is useful if you wish your readers to fill in a survey, or answer questions. Use the form to e-mail CGI script to create a feedback form. A simpler approach is to use the mailto: URL, which is a common feature in many browsers. This allows your customers to send you feedback through a link on your page. The format for a mailto: URL is <a href="mailto:yourname@btinternet.com">Send me a message</a>


Can I use Microsoft FrontPage?

You can use FrontPage to lay out and create your page. To upload your page to BTinternet however, you will have to use an FTP program.

Please note, there are certain functions or "bots" in Front Page such as scrolling text functions that will not work as they require Microsoft Web servers. Many of these "bots" will not work in browsers such as Netscape so are probably best avoided anyway.

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