This section covers how a web page works and how to find the information you want on a web page. Remember that the way a web page looks is determined by the people who create them. Some have wonderful, easy to read and understand designs. Others are clunky and look like bad term papers. By understanding the process of how a web page works, how they should be laid out, and how to find information on them, you will speed up the process of getting to the information you need fast and easy.
Just like you need a clear address for the post office to find you, so is a web page address like a postal address. It lists the information that narrows down the web page’s location on the Internet. The web page address is technically known as the URL (Uniform Resource Locator). The web page address consists of five parts:
|Protocol||Site Location||Domain Name||Suffix Extension||Page Name|
A Suffix Extension in a web page address gives you a clue as to what kind of web page you are visiting. The current suffix extensions available include:
.com = commercial
.net = network
.org = organization
.gov = government
A suffix extension for a country includes the country abbreviation. Suffix extensions with a country code usually
abbreviate “com” to “co”.
.co.il = Israel
.gov.il = Israel Gov
.co.uk = Britain
.co.ca = Canada
Any day now new extensions will be available for use in web page addresses. They will include:
.art = artist/artwork
.info = information
.biz = commercial
.store = commercial
Page Not Found
When exploring the Internet, you may enter an address that results in a PAGE NOT FOUND or PAGE ERROR 404. This means that the web page isn’t available.
1. Check the address. You may have misspelled something or the address might not be quite right. Check all periods, hyphens, and capital letters. Many web page addresses which include capital letters MUST have the letters capitalized. For example, www.CameraOnTheRoad.com will not work but www.cameraontheroad.com will.
2. Try Again. By clicking the REFRESH button or hitting F5, the page will reload and might work. Try this one or two times to make sure.
3. Truncate the address. This is the process of removing the end parts of the address and “backing up” to track
down the information you need. For instance if you are searching for the book, “Gone With the Wind”, on
Amazon.com, for example, and the web page address could be:
If the page says NOT FOUND, try deleting the page name (gonewind.html) and hit ENTER to see if something helpful appears. If that doesn’t work, get rid of the next part (/bestsellers/) and hit ENTER. Keep trying different variations and deletions like deleting the next part back (/books/) until you get to the core address. This is usually the home page of the web site (www.amazon.com). From there you are likely to get the help and information you need.
There are ways to save yourself and button down these evils. Search on the Internet for “stopping pop-ups” or similar terms to find software and shareware, and even freeware, to put an end to these on your computer. You can also use FireFox web browser instead of Microsoft Internet Explorer (you’ll be glad you switched!) and use their automatic pop-up stopping feature. Windows Explorer now features a pop-up stopping utility, but it can be a bit cumbersom to use. Or you can use an add-on program. One program, “Popup Killer” can be found at Popup Killer Utilities from Software.xfs.net or Synergeticsoft’s Popup Defender.
A well designed web site follows a general pattern. Understanding this familiar pattern will help you find the information you need on a web page. If you aren’t sure of exactly what you are looking for, by checking the different departments, articles, and information on the web page, you may spot the category or subject you are looking for.
- A good web page design will feature a header section in which the logo is found as well as tabs and links to
different major departments or sections. From this section you might be able to track your vague idea. Often, this same information is listed at the bottom of the web page as well.
- On the sides of a web page you will find two other good sources for finding your information. Usually on the left side, but not always, is a table of contents or directory. Dividing the web site into departments helps to contain information in related categories. They are usually listed in these side columns, again giving you another resource to look through.
- The middle of a web page is usually reserved for content, for articles, graphics, and general information on the
subject of the web page. Scan this area for topical articles and titles about what you might be interested in.
Searching Web Pages
There are several ways to search a web page and web site. We will cover the traditional avenues of exploration on a well designed web site.
- Search within a web page
- A single web pages can actually be many physical “printed” pages. Moving through all that information can be time consuming and frustrating. Overwhelmed, you might give up before you get to the information you are looking for. An easy shortcut can get you to the information you are hunting for. This is the same shortcut you can use in most word processing programs.
The Control+F keyboard shortcut brings up a pop-up window which invites you to enter in the word or phrase you are searching for. Click FIND NEXT to search. Click FIND NEXT again to move through the document pausing at each discovery of the word or phrase you are searching for until you find your answer. You can access this same command through the menu at EDIT, [FIND on this page)].Print What You NeedYou don’t have to print the whole web page:
1. Print Preview: On the menu, click FILE, PRINT PREVIEW. Look for the page with the information want or the range of pages, then click PRINT (top left corner) and enter the page number (12) or numbers (3-12) in the box labled: PAGES or PAGES TO PRINT.
2. Select the Text: With the mouse, click and drag to highlight or select the part you want to print. From the menu, click FILE, PRINT. Click the box or button that says PRINT SELECTION or PRINT SELECTED TEXT.
- Search within a web site
- There are several ways to search within a web site. Most convenient is the web page search bar. This is a spot on the page that invites you to search within the web site. It has the word “SEARCH” next to a small box for you to enter the search information in, and then a GO or SEARCH button next to it. It is usually found at the top, upper left, or bottom of the web page, often highlighted with a bright color to help you find it. Type in the word or phrase you are searching for and click the button to commence the search. A page similar to a search engine search report will come up inviting
- ADVANCED Search
- A link usually found next to the Search Bar on a web page. This brings up a page that helps you to narrow down your search using a variety of tools. If you are having trouble with the search bar, look for Advanced Search links to help you.
- SITE MAPS
- Links are found at the top or bottom of a web site, or next to the search bar on a web site. Click on the link SITE MAP and it will open a page with a table of contents for the entire web site. These can be overwhelming sometimes, but it is like using the Yellow Pages Directory. You scan through the categories looking for the subject you are interested in by following the various groupings of information.