Info about maintaining a website here
The host and branch sites here
https://ulyssesau.org is a domain name pointing to this host.
Branches have subdomains on this, eg mallee.ulyssesau.org.
The code and pages for each subdomain are in one separate directory per subdomain.
Webmasters have access via FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to the directory for their site.
That allows them to upload and download files making up their website.
Suggestions on editing and transferring files
- Create an empty directory on your PC which will be the root directory of the website.
- Download and install the free FTP transfer program Filezilla on your PC. It is available for all operating systems.
- Configure Filezilla to connect to your website using the credentials you have been supplied with.
- Connect to the website using Filezilla. Download all the current files on the website to the directory you created for the purpose.
- Make a copy of that directory. Keep safe, unchanged.
- Edit the files you want to change using a raw text editor or a code editor. Notepad++ is one suitable free editor.
- Test the changes locally. Edit until correct.
- Upload the changed files to the web server. Test them there to ensure the changes work and are correct.
- Copy the 'final' set of files to a new directory as backup for when you next edit, in case you break something, and need to revert to what worked last time.
You can never have too many backups. ZIPs of the public_html directory won't take much space unless you have a lot of image and PDF files in it.
(Professionals use a file archiving system which allows reverting to any particular version of the code set.)
The directory and file structure
- The 'root' directory for the web files is public_html. A user cannot directly see files outside that directory.
- .htm or .html files (Hypertext Markup Language file) are directly interpreted and displayed by the user's browser.
- index.htm is the default file supplied to a browser by the web server from a directory. So the 'starting' file is public_html/index.htm.
- For simplicity, each HTML file has in it, the menu displayed at the top of each page. There are less cumbersome ways to do that,
but they remove the ability to test changes locally without running a web server on your PC.
- There are separate directories for different purposes, eg doc, images, mags, css.
Testing files on your PC
- Navigate to the 'root' directory you are editing in (eg public_html), using your file browser (eg Microsoft File Explorer).
- Double-click on index.htm. Your default Internet browser should open, showing the website home page.
- Change to the page you've modified using the menu links at the top of the page. (If it doesn't work, you've broken something.)
- A HTML file (Hypertext Markup Language) is interpreted and displayed by an Internet browser. The code in it tells the browser what and how to display content.
- An image file will display as a picture. There are numerous types. The displayed size is defined by the file's image size,
but can be specified to get enlarged or shrunk by the browser to a specific size, usually set in pixels.
- Some files will get downloaded by your browser, eg PDF files, if that is how you have the browser set up.
- CSS files (Cascading Style Sheets) are files which define the way HTML elements are displayed.
They are 'cascading' because they can be overriden by later CSS file loads or style sections in HTML files. The last seen style for an element 'wins'.
This isn't the place to elaborate on what HTML files are and what they contain.
There are numerous definitive texts on the web, like https://www.w3schools.com/html/.
Suffice to say that straight text is written into HTML files, and controlled using tags.
You can see how any HTML page does its magic by right-clicking on the page displayed in your Internet browser,
and selecting view page source, or similar.
Copying a technique you find in existing web pages is an easy way to write a page.