How To Get Started Creating A Personal Web Page at UNI


Basic Requirement: Access to UNI Web Hosting Service

All Students, Faculty and Staff can get access to UNI's central UNIX computer, SUNNY. This is where most UNI web pages are stored. To get access to this system, go to http://www.uni.edu/its/forms/web-space-account-request-form and fill out the form. A staff member from the web infrastructure group will contact you when your access has been provisioned.

Training is available!

Free two-hour workshops are offered by ITS-Training for students, faculty, and staff wanting help creating web pages.

Making Your Web Account Work for Web Pages

The following instructions assume that you have successfully logged in to sunny.uni.edu using your CatID. When you do so, you will be in your "home directory." Your home directory has the same name as your UNI Username. If your Username is smith99, your home directory will also be called smith99.

  • For personal accounts, we recommend that you upload files directly to your home directory. When you store your HTML files in your home directory, the URL (web address) for your web page is http://www.uni.edu/[your Username], for example "http://www.uni.edu/smith99"  If you prefer to put your HTML files in a folder called "web" (i.e. http://www.uni.edu/[your Username]/web), then your URL would be "http://www.uni.edu/~smith99".
  • Create an HTML file in the home directory using one of the text editors on SUNNY (pico, nano, vim, vi).
  • Another way to transfer a home directory from another source  (such as your PC) is to use a Secure FTP Client. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. For more information about Secure FTP Clients and to download FTP programs for Windows or Macintosh, follow this link to UNI's Downloadable Software Site
  • An easier way to create webpages is to use a graphical based program such as Kompozer (available on the software download site), Dreamweaver or Contribute. These programs also let you edit the HTML code directly.  However, you will no longer be able to use the publish button to directly to transfer to your "sunny.uni.edu" account. You must transfer your page using a Secure FTP Client (see above)  The ITS public labs (SCCs- Student Computer Centers) have Adobe DreamWeaver and Composer available.
  • Now that you have a file in the directory, you can set the file protections to "world readable".  

    More About HTML

    HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. It is a file format that web browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer (IE) understand. Here are some of the basic things you need to know about it.
     
  • index.html is the file a web browser, such as IE, will automatically display when it is directed to a web directory. For example, if someone using IE types http://www.uni.edu/smith99 in the address area, the browser will display index.html just as if the person had typed in http://www.uni.edu/smith99/index.html for the location. If there is no index.html in the directory, the person using the web browser may see a listing of the files in the directory, which you probably don't want them to see, or get an error message. Many other World Wide Web servers are set up this way as well.
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  • For this and other reasons, we highly recommend you use index.html as your personal "home" indexing file and have it link to any other files you add to your site.
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  • You can create an HTML document in any word processor capable of saving files as ASCII text (most are). You can also create HTML files in a specialized web development program. You may follow these links (out of UNI's webspace) for more information about a few such programs.

  • If you choose to write HTML documents in a word processor, be sure to save it as a "plain text" or "text only" file and change the file's "extension" to either .html or .htm. For example, if your word processor would ordinarily name your file index.doc, or index.txt when you save it as a text file, change the name to index.html or .htm should be used if your operating system or word processor will not allow a four character extension.
  • After transferring copies of the files into your SUNNY account with your secure FTP program, you can rename them if necessary. If you are using CoreFTP simply select the file and right-click the mouse and Rename the file. You can also use the UNIX command MV while logged in from a terminal using a telnet program.
  • To change a file named index.htm to index.html, you would need to type the following at a UNIX prompt in the directory where the file is stored.
    • mv index.htm index.html
  • Keep in mind that if you change the name to the name of an existing file, the previously existing file will be permanently and irreversibly replaced.
     
  • If you would like to know more about writing HTML, please follow one of these links:

    Testing Your Page

    Once you have an HTML document in your web directory, test it using a web browser. This will let you know if the permissions for the folder are set right (see item 2 above) and if the page looks the way you want. Remember that the "~" points the web browser to your web directory. Leaving the "~" out points the browser to your home directory.
     
  • To test your page using a browser:
    1. Choose [Open Location] under the [File] menu.
    2. Type In: http://www.uni.edu/[your Username] where "[your Username]" is your Username. For example, if your Username was "smith99," the address, or "URL," of your web site at UNI will be http://www.uni.edu/smith99.
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