Macspiration 26 – Simple Web Surfing for Beginners

After reviewing my Macspiration #24, which was about bookmarking websites, I decided to write an article about how to get to a website, and what to do when you get there. Of course, if you are reading this article you most likely know how to do this, or maybe someone has bookmarked and other websites for you, In any event, hopefully, this article will be helpful to someone out there, even if you print the article for a family member.

Before you go to a website, you need that website’s address. Most likely it is, or some variation (it might be .net or .org instead of .com). Once you know the address, you can open your web browser and begin. Your browser might be Safari, or Camino, or Firefox. It doesn’t matter. You also want to make sure you are connected to the internet before you begin. If you have high speed internet (DSL or Cable) you are most likely always connected. If you use a modem, you will have to dial in to the service.

When you open your web browser, there will be a text field at the top called the address bar. This is where you want to type in the address of the website you want to visit. Even services like AOL or Compuserve have this bar.


Type in the address and press return. Your browser will be directed to the website, and load in the main window. If you get an error, you should check the website you typed in. Typed it right? Double check that you have the right address. It is possible that everything is right and the site is down, too busy, or no longer in existence.

If the website does not fit on the screen, use the arrows in the lower right of the window to move the information up, down, left, or right.


As you move through the site, you might find underlined text and images that turn your pointer into a hand when you move over them. This is a link. Click your mouse when you are on a link, and it will direct the browser to another page. This might lead you to page two of an article, or to a larger image, or the link will build a new email for your so you can contact a person on the site.

Note: Not all underlined text is a link, and not all text links will be underlined. This all depends on the design of the site.

Want to go back to a page you were just on? Or move forward? Use the arrow buttons on the top left of the browser. The one pointing left will move you back, the one moving to the right will move you forward. If they aren’t highlighted, that means they are not usable at that time.


If you look closely at the above image, you will also see a round arrow. This is refresh. Sometimes you will visit a webpage that you know should have new information on it, but it still looks old. Click this button. This will “refresh” the page and load any new content. This is also useful if a site is taking a long time to load. Sometimes using this button is enough to “kick it into gear.”

Well, there you go. Keep in mind, I only touched on the basics to get someone started on the net. Not all web browsers are the same. Some of the buttons I mentioned might be in a different location, and will most likely look different. However, this article should have enough information to get someone started in any browser.

Have a question or comment? Have an idea for a future Macspiration? Leave it below, or email me.

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