CCS Setting Up a Website

How to Upload and Set Permissions for a Personal Webpage


Engineering faculty, staff and students have the option of creating a website associated with their individual Engineering accounts - the address for your website will be, where "username" is replaced by your Engineering user name. Here, we provide basic information about how that works and whet to do to take advantage of this service. Much of this information applies to other special cases, also (see sections at the bottom).

What is a web page?

A web page is simply a plain text document that is downloaded by a web browser and contains instructions telling the web browser what content to display and what type of content that is. This may include formatted text (a title, a heading, a paragraph, computer code, etc), images, or other resources. A web page, however, does not contain anything but text. If there is an image to be displayed, the webpage only indicates to the browser where the image is by internet address (relative or absolute url), where to display it, etc.

What is a web site?

A web site is a collection of web pages and related resources. These files are located in the file system of a webserver. As a student, staff member or faculty member at the college, you have a website available, stored in the "public_html" folder of your home directory (often referred to as your "Z: Drive"). Anything that you put into this directory is available on the internet through the address, where "username" is your College of Engineering username.

Getting Started

From Your “Z: Drive” On a Lab Computer

When logged into a lab computer, your “Z: Drive” is mapped and you can access your home directory there. You should find a folder named public_html. This folder is a link to the correct folder to place your website files. Your website will appear at the following link: where username is your ENG Account username.

In general, you will not need to deal with permission issues when using this method. But if you do have permission issues, the recommended way to fix them is by using SFTP.

Remotely Using SFTP

You will need an SFTP client. CCS recommends WinSCP. You will need to connect to a server and login.


Port Number: 22

Use your Engineering username and password

Once logged in to the server you will be looking at your home directory. You should find a folder named public_html. This folder is a link to the correct folder to place your website files. Your website will appear at the link noted above.

Setting the Correct File Permissions

When you first upload files the permissions will be set for the owner only. See under “Rights” index.html has “rw-------"

Right click the file and select Properties.

Add checks to the R boxes that correspond to Group and Others to allow other website visitors the ability to “read” the file. Otherwise, the page will show as “Forbidden” when viewed online.

Then click OK.

Now your permissions should look like this:

Notice under “Rights” it is displayed as “rw-r--r--"

This is correct for files. For any folders your site may have, you will need to also add a check to the “X” boxes (DO NOT do this for files!).

Pitfalls to avoid

  • Do not use Microsoft Word or another word processor, or Microsoft Publisher to create web pages (see note at bottom of this page).
  • Do not use spaces in any file or directory names. Use underscores (_) or dashes (-) instead.
  • Do use relative links unless you are linking to a resource on another site.
  • Do name the default page in each folder of your webspace "index.html"
  • Do work entirely in a dedicated web folder locally while creating your site.

Notes on Common Mistakes/Concerns

The default name of your webpage should be index.html links to the folder but will display the default index.html file -- that name has a special meaning to web browsers.

Files with other names must be explicitly named in the URL like this

You want your main page to be named index.html.

Capitalization Matters

When working with Windows, capitalization typically does not matter so much BUT the webserver is Linux based and so it does matter. If the filename of your picture is nicepic.JPG but your html code links to nicepic.jpg, then it will not display. This is the most common cause of the question, “Why aren’t my pictures showing?”

A Note About the URL of Your Website

The URL for your website is  BUT, when you go to that URL it will change to

This is expected and okay. Personal pages do not live on the same server as our college website and so you are redirected to the other URL automatically.

What About a Non-Personal Web Page/Site?

If you are planning to create a website for a project or a research group, your first stop should be the college’s Marketing and Communications group. They can discuss various options for website creation and maintenance.

In many cases, you will ultimately need to create your site yourself. In that case, you are encouraged to contact CCS so we can provide information about possible server locations for your site and other details about how the site may be named and managed.

What About Senior Design Websites?

While the same basic information applies, you will be given explicit instructions for where to place your Senior Design website, including naming conventions. If in doubt, check with your Instructor.

Why Not Use Word or Publisher?

An html page is a simple text document comprised of easy to understand markup tags. These markup tags are of the form, for example, <p>, to indicate the beginning of a paragraph, and </p> to indicate the end of a paragraph. Even when using a WYSIWYG editor it is often necessary to edit the page with a text editor. The markup created by Nvu, or by "hand coding" is easy to understand and edit once you get the hang of it. There are also standards for web pages which are intended to ensure portability between servers and browsers (see the World Wide Web Consortium for details). Microsoft ignores these concerns. Pages produced by Microsoft Word and Publisher are very difficult to edit by hand, they use a number of features only supported by Microsoft servers and browsers, and in the case of Microsoft Word, the default format is not even readable by non-Microsoft browsers. (a binary format with embedded images called a ".mth" file).