If I don’t want to purchase Dreamweaver, what other programs are available for HTML editing?

Though we do not fully support one product, we can offer suggestions. There are a variety of programs available for writing and editing HTML code available at download.com. Some of these programs are free, while others are shareware (require purchase after a free trial period). Simple HTML can also be written using a program such as NotePad (on the PC), SimpleText (on the Mac), or Pico (in a Unix shell). This is not recommended for novice users since these interfaces are merely text editors and will not provide any HTML-specific help. It is inadvisable to use Microsoft Word or Pagemaker to edit HTML.

I want to use the official BU red on my web site. What is the hexadecimal code for it?

While #EB1B40 is closest to the official BU red, it is not “web-safe” although the majority of browsers are capable of displaying the #EB1B40 code properly.  #CC0000 and #FF0000 are the closest “web-safe” colors.  #CC0000 is a bit darker and is a richer red while #FF0000 is a bit lighter.

I’ve been told that I should have a splash page for my website. What is a splash page and why should I have one?

The following external link provides valuable information about splash pages and why they should not be used: http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol3/promo_no13.htm

What names for my files should I use for my pages?

BU web servers automatically look for a file named index.html when someone links to your web site. You should name your home page index.html. There are no other restrictions on filenames, although you should keep in mind that web addresses do not allow filenames with spaces. If you want to create a filename that looks like two words or more, use a hyphen (for example, my-resume.html) For more help, see HTML: Organizing and Naming Your Files and Directories.

Should I save files and directories in my web site with uppercase or lowercase letters or a mix?

Always save files and directories in your web site using lowercase letters.  The www.bu.edu and people.bu.edu servers are case-sensitive, as are any UNIX servers. If a user types your web address using lowercase letters, and you have saved your files or directories using uppercase letters in the filename, the user may get a “file not found” error. For more information, see Learning Intermediate HTML.

Why do some pages look different on different computers?

Different browsers and different operating systems handle HTML files in slightly different manners. You should preview your pages on as many systems and different web browsers as possible so you can detect and eliminate inconsistencies that detract from your pages.

Should I capitalize the word “web” when writing about a web page, web site, or the World Wide Web, and should I write web page, web-page, or webpage (also: web site, web-site, or website)?

The Boston University Brand Identity Standards website has a detailed Style Guide that outlines the official BU standards for words with ambiguous spelling and capitalization standards as well as other guidelines when creating official materials or web pages.  The standards regarding the word “web” can be found in the Style Guide under Electronic Media Terms.

Is there any way that I can create a vanity web address, such as http://www.bu.edu/medicine, that would link to http://www.bumc.bu.edu/ so that anyone looking for the School of Medicine in this manner can find it?

BU Web policy is not to create top-level directories (such as /medicine in this example) solely for redirects to departmental sites that exist on other servers.

Many sites link to my site, and the web address of one or more of my pages has changed. How do I notify the webmasters of other sites to update their links?

To search for pages on other sites that have links to your site that need updating:

  1. Go to the BU Search page.
  2. Type the following search query(modify as necessary to target a sub-directory or page):
    link: http://www.bu.edu/yoursite/
  3. Click the Search button on the Search home page. The results show all pages on all web servers on the .bu.edu domain.
  4. Verify your results by visiting the web pages listed, and then look for contact information on these pages. Use the contact information to notify the webmaster.
  5. Send the IT Help Center the web addresses of any BU pages for which you cannot find any webmaster contact info, or from which you get no response. We will attempt to identify the administrators of that site.

To find out what external pages link to your web site, we recommend repeating the search using Google, then contacting the webmaster of each relevant page in the search results.

I can see the same pages whether I use web.bu.edu or www.bu.edu in the address. Which should I use?

Always use www.bu.edu.

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