Module 1: How Does the Web Work?

Purpose of This Module

Knowing how the web works is critical for understanding how to write for the web. In this module, you will review how the web works, a bit about search and browsers, and how to FTP.

Product of This Module

As you work through this module, you will be asked to answer some questions. Save the text you create so you can post it in your dev area! We'll work through this in class. This is how you will turn it in.

Getting Started
  1. Read this: proposal for HTTP
  2. Watch this video
  3. Study this infographic
  4. Start a Word document and answer these questions:
    1. What problems was hypertext proposed to solve?
    2. Where will your websites (once you make them) live?
    3. Who is your ISP at MSU?
Search and Web Browsers

Skim these online articles:

  1. More about how search engines work
  2. Search engines and SEO
Head to Bing
  1. In the search box, type in "learning to make web pages" and click on the "Search" button. How many matches did you get? Link to a couple of the sites in the search results list. Can you estimate how many of the searches actually relate to learning to make web pages?
  2. Return to the front page of Bing. In the search box, type in "learning to make web pages" (with quotation marks) and click on the "Search" button. How many matches did you get? Link to a couple of the sites in the search results list. Can you estimate how many of the searches actually relate to learning to make web pages?
  3. Write a short answer the following:
    • Can you explain the difference in the number of search results between search 2a and search 2b?
    • Can you explain the difference in the content of search results between search 2a and search 2b?
Head to Google
  1. In the search box, type in "learning to make web pages" and click on the "Search" button. How many matches did you get? Link to a couple of the sites in the search results list. Can you estimate how many of the searches actually relate to learning to make web pages?
  2. Return to the front page of Google. In the search box, type in "learning to make web pages" (with quotation marks) and click on the "Search" button. How many matches did you get? Link to a couple of the sites in the search results list. Can you estimate how many of the searches actually relate to learning to make web pages?
  3. Write a short answer to this question: What’s the difference between a search engine and a directory?
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

FTP is an acronym for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is used to transfer files between computers on a network. You cannot make and maintain websites without using FTP. You know this now, of course, because you understand that network-accessible files live on web servers. There are number of ways to FTP, some of which are embedded in other software you use. There are programs (or "clients"), and the most useable are graphical and allow you to browse and upload or drag and drop. For Windows users, you might download WinSCP wincsp.net. Mac users might use Fetch or download Cyberduck cyberduck.ch.

When you use a client like these, you will be asked to enter the name of your FTP host and your username and password. If you are logging into an anonymous FTP server, you may not have to enter anything. Your web host might also provide a web browser-based way to to FTP addresses. This method is much less reliable, secure, and often slower.

  1. Decide which FTP client you will use this semester (find on your computer or download).
  2. Access your MSU Domains web directory via your FTP client and go to the Dev Space we created during Session 2
  3. Upload a copy of your module 1 file into your dev space directory. Turn It In!

    Post your answers in your dev space. And make a link to the new file.