Web publishing, or "online publishing," is the process of publishing content on the Internet. It includes creating
and uploading websites, updating webpages, and posting blogs online. The published content may include text,
images, videos, and other types of media.
In order to publish content on the web, you need three things:
1) web development software,
2) an Internet connection, and
3) a web server.
The software may be a professional web design program like Dreamweaver or a simple web-based interface
like WordPress. The Internet connection serves as the medium for uploading the content to the web server.
Large sites may use a dedicated web host, but many smaller sites often reside on shared servers, which host
multiple websites. Most blogs are published on public web servers through a free service like Blogger.
Since web publishing doesn't require physical materials such as paper and ink, it costs almost nothing to publish
content on the web. Therefore, anyone with the three requirements above can be a web publisher. Additionally,
the audience is limitless since content posted on the web can be viewed by anyone in the world with an Internet
connection. These advantages of web publishing have led to a new era of personal publishing that was not
TOOLS OF WEB PUBLISHING
Web Publishing Tools are applications that are used to design and build websites for either the
Internet or an Intranet. They range from simple text editors that can generate web application code
through to highly sophisticated and feature-rich web authoring packages. Some Web Publishing Tools
must be installed on a workstation. Others are server-based and are accessed via a web-interface.
Web Publishing Tools are also called Web Authoring Tools.
There are two types of Web Publishing Tools.
The first type is "code centric" and simply assists the web author to write and validate HTML
The second type, is "page centric" and uses a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)
user interface. Most WYSIWYG editors also provide the ability to add or modify HTML
code directly, should that ever be required.
Web Publishing Applications have become very sophisticated in recent years and can
generate clean HTML code. Consequently, there is no need to write program code anymore.
It is important, however, that the Web Authoring Tool does has the ability to insert additional
HTML code (or scripts), on an as-needed basis. It is equally important that the "add-on" code
that is inserted is not obliterated when changes are subsequently made using the WYSIWYG
WYSIWYG Web Authoring Applications permit the user to layout web pages, add text and
graphics and create hyperlinks from one web page to another.
When designing a website, it is important that each web page in the web adheres to
a consistent design format. Not only does this improve the website aesthetics, the
consistency and predictability makes navigation and site usage easier for visitors.
The use of background images, colors, fonts, menus, etc. should be set once and
applied consistently throughout the website.
A good Web Publishing Application will provide functionality that supports and
promotes website consistency. This is achieved through the creation and use of
common components that are incorporated into each web page in the website. For
example, common headers, footers, graphics, font sets and backgrounds should to
be defined once and reused throughout the web. Web Publishing Tools achieve
consistency by leveraging technologies such as style sheets, themes and embedded
Example of Common Components in a Website
When selecting a Web Publishing Tool, the ability to reuse components is an
important feature to look for. It is equally important that all people engaged in web
publishing make use of common components that are built. It is easy to build a
poor website with a great Web Authoring Tool!
WEB PAGE NAVIGATION
Many Web Publishing Tools provide functionality to layout the overall structure of
a website using a graphical user interface. A website layout consists of a hierarchy
of web pages with the home page appearing at the top and "children" and
Using this website blueprint, the Web Publishing Tool is able to dynamically
create navigation menus (such as the one on the left hand side of this page). In the
example shown below, the Web Authoring Tool would automatically generate a
menu for the home page that is comprised of three menu items:
1. About Us
Similarly a list of products (i.e. A, B, C, D) would be dynamically created on the
"Products" web page. The advantage of using a Web Publishing Tool that can
generated menus is that all hyperlinks are maintained when pages are added,
deleted or moved to a different location in the web. This saves development and
maintenance effort and helps to prevent those dreaded "dead links"!
At the bottom level of the web, it is customary to list the "siblings" in a menu to
allow visitors to navigate between related pages (e.g. related products). Many Web
Publishing Tools will automatically create "Back", "Up" and "Next" hyperlink
buttons as in the web page that you are currently viewing. Some web authoring
tools will also create Site Maps (example).
Web Authoring Tools will also allow you to create hyperlinks from any page in
your website to a page in the same web or outside the web (example: red arrow in
DATA DRIVEN SITES
Some Web Publishing Tools provide functionality to generate data-driven
websites. The advantage of a data-driven website over a static website is the ability
to easily update website content. Rather than having to change multiple website
pages when product prices change (for example), one can simply upload a database
or a file to the web server. Each of the web pages then read the product prices
dynamically from that file. The pages are built "dynamically".
Not all Web Publishing Applications have the ability to generate data-driven
pages. Most Web Authoring Tools, however, provide functionality to add "bolt-
on" code that will read and display data from a website. Products like FrontPage
2003, however, permit MS Access and XML databases to be integrated into a
A new generation of Web Authoring Tools have become available which have the
ability to build websites that can electronically integrate with other websites over
the Internet using XML mesages. For example, a company that sells widgets
internationally might want to display widget prices on their website in a foreign
currencies. Because currencies fluctuate daily, it is difficult to provide accurate
foreign currency prices without some integration.
Using a Web Publishing Tool that supports an emerging technology called XML, a
corporate website can communicate with a banking web server in real-time to
obtain the required exchange rate. The website can then apply the real-time
exchange rate to compute the cost of the widget in the foreign currency and display
the widget price on the website.
XML will play a key role in helping companies that use different technologies and
different platforms to integrate electronically via the Internet.
What are the Various Types of Websites?
Originally, websites were purely informational. Before the web was opened to
the public, educational and research institutions and goverment agencies were
able to make information available to each other via text-only websites. Now
that we have the World Wide Web, there are more types of websites than you
can shake a stick at. Here we will discuss the basic types, noting that we will not
include all and that there are hybrids of all those we will discuss.
The first three have very little to do with Small Business, so we
will speed through them. Numbers three, four, and five can be
very helpful to small businesses. The last three are essential to
1. Personal Websites
Your Internet Service Provider may offer you free server space for you to create your own website that might
include some family photos and an online diary. Usually these will have a web address (URL) looking something
like this: www.your-isp.com/~your-user-name/. This type of site is useful for a family, teenagers,
grandparents, etc. to stay in touch with each other. This type is not advisable for a small business because the
URL is not search engine friendly and the limited server capabilities your ISP offer may not be sophisticated
enough for a small business website.
2. Photo Sharing Websites
These types of website are cropping up like fleas on dog. There are web companies
like,Flickr.com, Photosite.com, and Google's Picasa. There could easily be over a hundred such sites that offer
free photo sharing paid for by their online advertising. Also, many digital cameras and photo printers now
come with software enabling mere mortals to create digital photo slide shows and upload them to the web.
6. Writers / Authors Websites
Writer's and Author's websites are part of what's known as the Writer's or Author's Platform in the publishing
business. The platform includes, a website, a Facebook presence, blog, Twitter account, and the old fashioned
mailing list. Many publishers will ask a prospective client about their platform. In other words, "If we publish
your book, what sort of a reader base do you already have that we can count on to buy your new publication?"
Fairly weighty request, wouldn't you say? For now, let's concentrate on the website part. A writers website
would include a biography, a catalog of published books and works, perhaps excerpts from some works, links
to publications on sites like Amazon.com, a link to the writer's blog, reviews and comments on the author's
publications. You get the idea, and that is to build a following, a fan base to which future publications can be
3. Community Building Websites
These websites build online communities of people who want to interact with other people socially or meet
people who share their interests. The best known website of this type is probablyFaceBook.com. There is
also Linkedin.com, and let's not forget the old MySpace.com just to mention a few. For sharing and discussing
mutual interests, there are online forums for practically any subject you can think of. Forum websites can be a
Basic Website Types
1. Personal Websites
2. Photo Sharing Websites
3. Writers / Authors Websites
4. Community Building Websites
5. Mobile Device Websites
7. Informational Websites
8. Online Business Brochure/Catalog
9. E-commerce Websites
great source of information and help for the small business person. (I'm sure there is a forum dedicated to
your type of business. Just do a web search for something like real estate web forum.) Now you can see this is
where we start to get into the idea of "hybrid" sites. Photo Sharing sites might also be considered community
building sites, much as Blogging sites are. Can Dating Sites be considered Community Building Sites, or are
they E-commerce Sites. All that is up for discussion.
4. Mobile Device Websites
Although in its infancy, the use of mobile devices (cellphones, PDAs, iPods, iPhones, etc) will become much
more widespread and prevelent. One problem is that standard websites are difficult to view and take a long
time to download on some of these devices with their small screeans and wireless connections. Websites whose
pages are narrower in width and take up less bandwidth work much better for mobile devices. A new domain
designation has been created to identify websites that are "mobile friendly". That is .mobi, as in
www.xislegraphix.mobi, if I had such a site. If you have a small business that would benefit from being viewed
on a mobile devise, you should consider investigating the possiblities now and get in on the ground floor of this
trend that is only going to expand.
5. Blogging Websites
People took the words Web Logs and shortened it to Blogs—online diaries, journals, or editorials, if you will.
My, how Blogs have taken over the Internet. A person used to be outdated if he/she did not have a website,
now having a blog is de rigeur. A blog owner will log-on daily, weekly, or whenever, and write about whatever
is going on in their lives or business, or they may comment on politics and news. How wonderful the Internet
is! Now anyone who can afford a blog can be self published and allow their thoughts to be read by anyone in
the world who has online access.How important is blogging to the small business person?
Read more about blogs and find out...
7. Informational Websites
A major informational site is wikipedia.org, the online encyclopedia. And it is unique, because it allows visitors
to contribute and edit articles. Now your small business may not want such a comprehensive site, but if you
have information to share of sell, an informational website would fill the bill. Suppose you have a landscaping
business. You could create a website that lists plants with their definitions and planting and caring instructions.
This would be helpful to people, and you would use it to lead people to your nursery. Of course you could
"hybrid" this site with e-commerce and also sell your plants online.
8. Ecommerce Websites
Ever hear of Amazon.com? It's one of the grand-daddies of all ecommerce websites. But you don't have to be
an Amazon to sell your products online. There are millions of small businesses who use their ecommerce
websites to sell their products over the Internet. Just about anything that can be sold in a brick-and-mortar
store can be sold online—with much less overhead! Is an Ecommerce Website right for you?