Static Web Authoring

The HTML files that comprise our web are located in


The structure of these web files mirrors the structure of the web as it is presented to a browser. To create new pages, simply create HTML files and directories here. These files are immediately accessible via the web.

There are a number of ways to author a web page.

Text Editor

You can use a text editor and write the content and HTML markup by hand.

HTML is a fairly simple language. It uses a simple syntax and has relatively few tags (commands). It is well within the grasp of most non-technical users.

Achieving the attractive web page styling we are accustomed to seeing requires a bit more work. Page layout, colors, fonts and many other aspects of how a page looks can be controlled by applying a stylesheet using CSS or "Cascading Style Sheets."

Stylesheets are a step up in complexity from plain HTML, but because they can be applied to all of your pages, you generally only have to write one. It's usually not possible to use a stylesheet from another site because stylesheets depend on the structure and presence of particular elements in the HTML documents to which they are applied.


Desktop applications are available that let you compose and design your web pages in a WYSIWYG environment, and then generate the HTML pages for you. They do not always produce the best HTML, and they have their own learning curve, but for casual web authors, they can be a good choice.

There are many of these to choose from, but we suggest just two here, to get you started. Windows users are encouraged to try Dreamweaver. For linux users, there is bluefish.

Keep in mind, when using these tools, that you are usually designing more than just a single web page, and you should think about structure and navigation. The best tools make this explicit.


In some cases, web authors may wish to restrict access to certain documents. To do this, web authors may use the access control features of the web server. A page in this web describes how to password-protect your web pages and another explains how to restrict access to the Brown campus.

Developing Pages Off-Site

You may choose to develop your web pages on your own computer system, using any tools you wish. To install them in the department web, you must copy them inside the CS Department's firewall, to /web/cs/web/.../yoursite. See the Remote Access page for information about connecting directly from home.