Once you have decided to build a web site you need to start planning. You will need to consider what you want to achieve with the site, how it will look and work and how it will be maintained after it has been published. The following information is intended as a general guide to help you set up a web site on the personal pages web server. Guidelines for virtual hosts are also available.
Detailed information regarding the Internet policy of Oxford University should be followed by all users of our services. Users should be aware that any information published electronically is subject to the same laws as hard copy publications. Under certain circumstances additional legislation may also apply. A code drawing this to the attention of all members of the University is necessary to avoid unintentional breaches of the rules and to allow the University to act when necessary. Full details of the Information Provider Guidelines For Oxford are available.
OUCS provides registered Nexus users with an allocation of additional web space with their email accounts. This free space can be used to house your web site. Each space has an address or 'URL' (Universal Resource Locator) associated with it so that the pages stored on the server can be accessed over the Internet.
Users wishing to publish personal web pages must first activate their Linux and Web Space Accounts. This is an easy and quick process! Both accounts are part of your Oxford Account used to access Nexus and WebLearn.
To activate your web space go to https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/accman/web/ where you will see the following web page:
The web space account page also lets you add your name to an index of personal web sites. You can also set up site statistics through this page which will show you how many visitors have viewed your site on a weekly basis.
In order to use your activated web space you also need to quickly activate your Linux account via the registration page at: https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/accman/shell
Please note: If you are working on linux.ox.ac.uk, you will be able to see your web space within 15 minutes of its activation. After this time it can be reached via Secure FTP.
All personal web pages at Oxford University have URLs of
username is replaced by your own
Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) username. N.B. the
~' is critical in the URL.
You should make a HTML file called
index.html which people will
see as your Welcome (or home page) document when
accessing your site. This file should be put in the
public_html directory. If
index.html does not exist, the
server will return a document listing all the files in
the directory. Since this is not desirable, you should
always make sure there is an
index.html file in your
public_html directory, even if
it just contains a link to somewhere else.
Web pages can be prepared in a text editor, word processing package or html editor. OUCS runs a variety of web publishing courses that will help you make the best of your site.
N.B. There is another directory called
cgi/bin. This folder should be
used if you want to develop safe perl programs, see
User-written CGI programs
for more information.
public_htmland this is where the files you want to publish should go. The second directory (
cgi) is used for safe perl programs (see safe CGI programs for more information). If you are using the GNU/Linux service and have just activated this for the first time you will already have links to your
cgifolders. However, if your account was activated prior to Autumn 2008, you will need to use the command
makeweblinksto set up local links to the standard
cgifolders (the Secure File Transfer Client Guides section contains information about how to use the
makeweblinkscommand in different programs).
public_html folder is where your web
site files should be stored. The home page of your web site
should be called
index.html and this
should be placed in the
directory. If you do not have this file in your folder, the
server will return a list of all the files in that
directory. This is not desirable. Further directories can be
made under the
public_html folder to
reflect your site structure.
The preferred method to transfer your HTML documents to the web server using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP/SCP). The older File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is currently allowed, but we encourage users to switch to using Secure File Transfer Protocol Clients instead.
Please see the Secure File Transfer Guide for full details and client guides on how to use SFTP to transfer your files to your web space.
The first time that you want to access your web space you need to:
- Activate your
Linux Account(part of your SSO Oxford Account) by visiting https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/accman/shell and choose
Activate Shell Account
- Activate your
Web Spaceby visiting https://register.it.ox.ac.uk/accman/web/ and choose
Activate Web Space. You should be able to see your web space within 15 minutes of its activation.
- You then need to follow the connection instructions
below to access your linux account. Then:
- If you are activating a brand new account links to your web folders will be created automatically.
- If you are activating an older
account, then you must use the
makeweblinkscommand before you can see the folders (the Secure File Transfer Client Guides section contains information about how to use the
makeweblinkscommand in different programs).
- After links have been created navigate to your web
space folder (
public_html) by clicking on the folder name..
Each time you want to access your web space you will need to:
- Open your preferred SFTP program
- Fill in your connection details as follows:
- You will now see your linux.ox.ac.uk account space.
Inside this are your
public_htmlto view your web site
- You can now transfer files to and from your web site using your SFTP client.
- Check your HTML
- Check your pages using a general HTML validator (like that at W3C: http://validator.w3.org)
- Check Your CSS
- If your site uses CSS (recommended) you should check it using the W3C CSS validator.
- Check Site Accessibility
- Check for page accessibility by using an online checker such as WAVE: http://wave.webaim.org/. University sites must follow the University's Accessibility Standard Rules.
- Get Listed on the Personal Pages Index
- You can add your site to the list of Personal Pages by
logging into Personal Web Pages. On this page you will
see a sentence saying: ‘Include "Your Name" in
personal pages index’. Click the
Yesradio button followed by the
Save Changesbutton to complete the process.
- Set Up Access Statistics
- Get access statistics by logging in to Personal Web Pages, On the opening page you
will see Web Counts and a drop down box. Select
[Yes]and press the Save Changes button. You will receive an email once a week with details of the number of visitors your site has received. If you do not want to receive this information any more, return to the Personal Web Pages site and select
[No]from the list and save.
- Search Engine Submission
- Submit your site to the top search engines. Each search engine has its own submission pages where you can tell them about your site. Once you have submitted the URL of your site, the search engine spider will visit and index your site. There are many factors that influence where your site comes in search results. The more accessible and correctly coded your site is, the more likely the site will appear higher up in the rankings. See http://searchenginewatch.com/ for some tips about internet search engines and search engine submission.