Re: How to develop a site offline (<BASE ...> ?)

by "Ted Temer" <temer(at)>

 Date:  Thu, 26 Apr 2001 12:52:01 -0700
 To:  "HWGBASICS" <hwg-basics(at)>
 References:  peak
  todo: View Thread, Original

I suppose you will get a dozen different suggestions about setting up a web
site on your hard drive.

I have to recite at least one method that will cause no less than a half
dozen to bolster their egos by screaming out: "Bad, redundant code."

But the EASIEST way is simply to open the existing web in FrontPage and
"Publish" it to your hard drive. It will--regardless of all the slurs and
sneers--arrive intact. And with exactly the same structure.

OK--Now that FP is behind us, here is what I do all the time:

Use CuteFTP, (or your favorite FTP program) to "copy" the web to your hard


Use the same names as those in the existing web. And--be SURE to use
RELATIVE LINKS. If your site is then set up a directory
called "gizmo". If you use an image directory, set it up as a sub directory
under "gizmo".

Forget using the "full" path. As long as each page is in the same directory,
all you need is "pageone.htm", "pagetwo.htm" etc. If you put in any of
those, " thingies, then you will have
to upload it back to the web to make it work I always use the same name
"images" for the image directory. (ie: "images/whatever.gif")

Place your CSS file in the SAME directory as your pages and you will never
have to worry about paths. (Be sure and download the CSS file if you want it
to work on your hard drive.)

If you do use Include Pages, you will have to have a server on your machine
to make it work. (Again, place the include files in the same directory as
the pages.) But all the CSS, JavaScript, and such will/should work just

Double check to make sure your "web" structure on your machine is exactly
like you want it to be on the web. Also--get in the habit of moving any
images you want to include into what ever you use for an "images" directory
BEFORE you add them to a page. That way, when you graduate to Dreamweaver or
FrontPage, you will never have to worry about the program becoming confused
over the "path".

Then just kick back and enjoy. ---- Oh, yes, unless you are going to upload
to a Microsoft NT server, be sure that all the CASE of the file and
directory names is Lower Case.

I once spent nearly an hour, going nuts over images that would not work on a
Unix server till I finally noticed I had spelled the image directory
"Images" instead of "images".

Hope some of this helps.
Best wishes
Ted Temer
Temercraft Designs Redding, CA

> Here's my quandry
> I want to totally revise a website that I have been put in charge of,
> recode it to be compliant, etc (everything it isn't)
> BUT I would like to do this offline, i.e. set it all up on my computer,
> make sure it runs, etc
> Then I want to delete the old site entirely and upload the new site
> entirely, to make sure that nothing old is left where it should not be.
> (The site is a mess, so although I know that cool URLs don't change, we
> don't have any)
> BUT how can I do this?  I want to use references like /css/music.css which
> will work fine once they are on the server, but won't work when I am
> developing the site on my computer
> Can I use <BASE> for this?  Can BASE be set to a local directory and then
> changed to the real domain name?
> IE Assume the site was in C:\OurDomain\ on my local drive, and there
> was a page c:\OurDomain\music\index.htm and style sheet called
> c:\OurDomain\css\music.css
> could I have
> <BASE href="c:\OurDomain">
> ...
> <a href="/music">Our music offerings</a>
> and on c:\OurDomain\music\index.htm could I refer to /css/music.css ?
> and then when I am ready to deploy change the BASE definition?
> Any thoughts appreciated.... the development machine is a Win2kPro (not
> server) that is seldom attached to the 'net (laptop)
> Thanks
> TjL

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