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"Help Answers" compiled from Ringmasters-l mail list

Web Ring Help

NOTE: If you are *New* to Webrings, please go to Starting a New Webring" before doing anything else.

I'm curious about listing the HTML fragment on the home page. Should I list it or will I be better off emailing the fragment to those who add their sites to the queue? does give you that option, to automatically show and send the tailored html for each site. I've found that what works best/easiest is the procedure recommended in Webring Management -
1- On the webring management page is an option, "Customize Ring Pages". One of the first options on that page is "htmlfragment". You can tailor this as much or as little as you wish -- you may include the image display code for your logo, tables, or even an image map.
Until you know very clearly what you are doing, however, make the minimum changes necessary -- for me, this was altering the comment section and including the phrase target="_top" in the command tags.
Once that section has been personalized, in any way changed from the generic, it will automatically display on the "edit" page whenever a site in the ring or the queue edits their ring data.
2- edit the add page (message shown to user after adding a site to the queue) to display the html tailored for that user, by inserting
This is the code you will need:
Webring will replace the code --htmlfragment2-- with on on-screen display of the ring code; within the htmlfragment, --id-- will be replaced by the new members site id, and all other places with code words surrounded by dashes will be replaced by the relevant info.
The new site has a display of tailored code usable as-is, that can be copied from the screen and pasted into their file.
3- Also edit the add_mail page (email sent to new queue enterer) to include the tailored html code by inserting
This is the code you will need:
This will insert a copy of the tailored html in the email sent to a newly added site.
The difference between --htmlfragment-- and --htmlfragment2-- is that in order for html command tags to display on screen, the "less than" and "greater than" symbols surrounding them must be replaced by the codes < and > There are some other symbols also that must be encoded in order to display properly and not be interpreted as commands.
Saves a lot of work for both you and the new members!
-- Anitra Freeman

I mucked around for awhile and figured out how to automate the fragment, both by the ring page and via email method. For those of you who are still mucking around, I put what I did on the Net.
It's at:
Hope this helps some of you to automate your submissions fragments. -- Suzanne Bucciarelli

Use the HTML code <XMP> before you start the fragment.
be sure to close it </XMP> after the fragment.
-- Zola1

Some detailed instructions on using the Webring Frag(ment)
Web Ring Fragment Instructions
Angelea Kelly's "Frag" Instructions

Additional useful HTML hints and tricks

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Geocities HTML Editing
I have tried now on two different webpage editors (WBS and Geocities) to copy the submission form and edit form for web rings from! In both cases, the submission form and edit form have appeared on the editor form themselves instead of remaining just HTML.

In Geocities it is very simple. You put <XMP> in brackets before the table and </XMP> after it and it will magically take care of it.
-- Waymaker&Pneumaman

Is there a code to send someone back to the page they were at on your site before they followed an internal link, or do you just have to reference an actual url?

Here is one
<INPUT TYPE="button" VALUE="Back" onClick="history.go(-1)">

Variations in how the ring logo can look
I want to set my ring logo up a little differently. What are some of the alternatives?

Virginia Blalock has about 20 examples of different ways to set up a ring logo, including the code that makes them work. Go to:
Virginia's example page

Why should I use "ALT" in Image Tags?

Lynx browsers make up less than 5% of the browsing population, but you have an added advantage in using the ALT tag -- the text in ALT tags is counted by search engines.
So use decriptions that include your site's key search words, and you can improve your search standing.
I have also read that it slightly speeds up load time.
It will dramatically speed up your load time if you use the WIDTH and HEIGHT attributes in your image tags, which you aren't currently doing.
-- Anitra L.Freeman

Another Point about ALT tags, aside from those Anitra mentions, is that some browsers will display the contents of the ALT tag as a pop-up window if you hold your mouse cursor over a graphic.
So you can use it to give a little more information, or if the graphic is a link you can say something like "Click Here to go to such-and-such" and help out both the user who's not sure what the graphic does, but the browser with no graphics capabilities.
This is a reason to use coherent ALT tags, and not just search engine bait.
-- Eric Stokien

Is there some software which I can get to compress (reduce) the size in bytes of my .gifs and jpgs?

I use WebGraphics Optimizer for Windows 95/98/NT. Itis the ultimate solution in web graphics optimization: It is user friendly, fast, and has tons of useful features!
you can get it at:
They even offer a free trial download!
-- Space case

For additional information on Image tags, go to KISS HTML on this Web site.

Should I use semi-colons or ampersands in my code? Both are accepted, but the one with the ampersands is said to be incorrect HTML.

That may be the case now, but it wasn't always. The ampersand was the preferred method in the beginning. Then it was found to cause a problem in some systems, so the semi-colon was added and became the standard to assure cross-platform compatibility.
But some software (like my mail reader, Pegasus) steadfastly refuses to accept the semi-colon as a valid character in an HTML link. But it always accepts the older, and now "deprecated" ampersand.
-- Bill Wilson

What HTML tags do I not have to close, and what are "iffy"?

You do not close <IMG> or <BR> tags.
True, you don't need to close <P>. You also do not need to use commas or periods when you are writing a letter to someone. <P> and </P> are used to define a paragraph. It is not just a blank line. And if, for some reason, you decide to center justify or right justify -
according to O'Reilly's HTML:

"The <P> tag signals the start of a paragraph. That's not well known even by some veteran webmasters because it runs counterintuitive to what we've come to expect from experience. Most word processors we're familiar with use just one special character, typically the return character, to signal the end of a paragraph.
In the recommended HTML way, each paragraph starts with <P> and ends with the corresponding </P> tag. And while a sequence of newline characters in a text processor-displayed document creates an empty paragraph for each one, HTML browsers typically ignore all but the first paragraph tag.
In practice, you also can ignore the starting <P> tag at the beginning of the first paragraph, as well as the </P> tag at the end of all paragraphs, since they can be implied from other tags that occur in the document, and hence safely omitted."
A <P> tag is not two <BR> tags. <P> and </P> are used to define a paragraph. I did not read it incorrectly and I am not mistaken. I have read O'Reilly's cover to cover several times (as well as many other texts) and </P> is mentioned in each one.
Say, for instance, you wish to justify a paragraph to the right <P ALIGN=RIGHT> but wanted the following paragraphs left justified, you would need to close the paragraph with </P>.
-- Heidi Hodge

For additional information on writing HTML code, go to
KISS HTML on this website.

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Linking to Graphics on Someone Else's Server

I am of the opinion that it is much better to copy graphics onto your own server than to link to a particular page for the graphics.

The following admonition (or similar) is posted on many websites:
Note: It is NOT an acceptable practice to load images onto your own Web pages or load images into a Web Chat environment directly from someone else's server. Many people on the Web are charged for file transfer from their site if they go over their alotted amount. I was one of those people and really got burned (try a $500 bill, guys...)
There are other reasons for not doing this as well. For more info, check out the following Web page:
-- Morgan Smith

The issue, for me at least, is that (if you do link to some else's server) it may encourage some people to believe that it is an acceptable practice everywhere. I don't believe it is and I am far from alone. You could check out web prestige or look more generically at:
I think somebody else mentioned that it slows down loading and site access.
Incidentally, I like to be arbiter of what appears on my page and the prospect of somebody changing a graphic on my page at their whim really doesn't thrill me too much, still diff'rent strokes....
-- Chesil

As a WebTV user, I am very familiar with the "linking to graphics" problem.
This issue of "remote linking" to files has been a heated one. There is a major issue with what is called "Bandwidth Theft".
It has caused many problems for PC users' ISP's, often causing complete shut down of some sites.
In the beginning, when WebTV was relatively new, we had no way to upload files to our site directories. (We still don't, but there is a fabulous new Web-based tool that helps us with that: located at
When the word got out that WebTVers were notorious for stealing bandwidth, our reputation sank.
It became my personal mission to educate WebTVers whenever, and however I could about this problem. I now teach New WebTV users how to use the Transloader. I also wrote a page about the problem:
Anyway... if you, as a RingMaster, are allowing your ringmembers to link to your graphics... ~~~ AND they do not "reside" on the same server you are using ~~~, then you are causing problems for your server! And you might face shut-down if it gets to be a serious load problem!
I'm not here to tell you what to do. As I mentioned, it is my mission only to educate folks. As PC users, I thought most of you would already know about this... but I'm okay with telling you about it, too. If you choose to do nothing about it, that's up to you. I just wanted to let you know what I've learned as a WebTV Internet Surfer.
-- Brigit ne Ravenhollow

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Launched 2-13-98

Copyright 1997/1998 Morgan Smith
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