How do I create a personal web page?

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2020-10-22 08:41

Personal Web Pages


The TRACKS account enables faculty, staff, and students to post personal web pages. The pages can be found on the web at[Your TRACKS username].

Types of web pages supported on HTML (static pages) and PHP (dynamic pages). Information for making HTML and PHP pages can be found below:

These pages should be academic or research in nature. Commercial use is prohibited. This section outlines the steps you will need to take to post your pages.

Posting Web Pages

Step 1: Accessing Your Udrive

  • If you are designing and posting web pages from an on-campus computer, map your Udrive as described in the How can I access my UDrive?
  • If you are designing and posting web pages from an off-campus computer, use SFTP (Secure FTP) to access your Udrive

Step 2: Verifying Your Web Page Folder is setup properly.

  • After you have successfully connected to your Udrive in Step 1 above, verify that a directory called public_html exists. If the directory does not exist, create it.
    • For unix users type mkdir public_html
    • Windows and Mac users should create a new folder as normally performed in your operating system.
  • Verify that the directory has the correct permissions. Permissions should be set to allow others and group to read and execute, and user to read, write and execute (unix 755). 
  1. Verify that public_html exists on your U: Drive
  2. If this folder exists, skip to step 4. If it doesn’t exist, create it. To do this, right-click in the window, and select New -> Folder.

  3. Type in ‘public_html’ without the quotes and hit enter.
  4. Now we need to fix the permissions on the folder. Open up an SSH client session (i.e.: Putty). For Mac OS X: Open Terminal Application.

  5. Enter ‘’ in the ‘Host Name’ box (without the quotes), and enter your tracks username in the ‘User Name’ box. Do not enter an email address here. For Mac OS X: Enter 'ssh' where username is your Tracks ID. 

  6. Click ’Connect’, and enter your tracks password on the window that appears, and hit enter. If you enter your password incorrectly, the ‘Enter Password’ box will appear again. For Mac OS X: type 'yes' and enter your tracks password. 

  7. Once connceted, type ‘chmod 755 public_html’ without the quotes and hit enter.
  8. Now type ‘exit’ without the quotes and hit enter. You may now close the window.
  9. Now place a file in the public_html folder under your U: drive.
  10. Try accessing this file from a web browser. To do this, point your web browser to:
    where ‘tracksusername’ is your tracks user name, and ‘filename’ is the name of the file you want to access. Be sure to remember the ~

  11. That’s it! You should be able to put up your own website by placing files in the public_html folder on your U: drive.

Step 3: Posting your Pages.

  • After you have gained access to your Udrive (Step 1) and have a properly setup public_html directory (Step 2), you are ready to post pages.
  • Simply save your html files in the public_html directory. The default page should be named index.html.
  • To view the default page, simply type the URL[Your TRACKS username], and the file index.html should appear in your browser.

Password Protecting Web Pages

The following instructions provide users the ability to create password protected web pages their Udrive on You can create a single username and password, or have multiple username and password pairs.

  1. Use secure shell to connect to (Instructions on using SSH).
  2. Connect using your TRACKS username and password.
  3. Change to the directory (under public_html) you want to secure with a password.
  4. Type the following command to copy a template (.htaccess) into the current directory.
  5. Type pico .htaccess to edit the template
  6. (Optional) On the line labled AuthUserFile, verify that the path entered is where you want your passwords to be stored (Defaults to current directory).
  7. On the line labled require user, add the usernames you want to use seperated by a single space after the word user.
  8. Press CTRL-X to exit pico and confirm to save the file.
  9. To create the passwords, type the command htpasswd .htpasswd (username you want to set the password for). You will be prompted to confirm the password twice.
  10. Repeat for each additional user.
  11. (Optional) If you did not accept the default password location in step 6, move the file to the directory you specified.
  12. Test your website.

Example: A faculty member with a user name of jsmith wants to secure a directory on his website on This directory is named CSE2001 for the course he is teaching. He wants only the students taking the course to be able to read the material in that directory. Actual commands are in bold.

  1. Dr. Smith uses SSH to log into
  2. He changes to the CSE2001 directory: cd public_html/CSE2001.
  3. He executes the script by typing at the command linet: and the template files are moved into the directory /udrive/faculty/jsmith/public_html/CSE2001 (the current directory)
  4. He opens the .htaccess file by typing at the command line: pico .htaccess.

    The htaccess file before modification:

    AuthUserFile /udrive/faculty/jsmith/public_html/CSE2001/.htpasswd
    AuthName EnterPassword
    AuthType Basic
    require user
  5. The user decides to keep the passwords in the local directory so he does not modify the first line (AuthUserFile).
  6. The user wants to add two users to authenticate one called gsa, and another called csstudent. He does this by addiing each name after user on the line with require.

    The htaccess file after modification:
    AuthUserFile /udrive/faculty/jsmith/public_html/CSE2001/.htpasswd
    AuthName EnterPassword
    AuthType Basic
    require user gsa csstudent
  7. He then creates the passwords for each user by using the htpasswd command and confirming the passwords.

    htpasswd .htpasswd gsa
    htpasswd .htpasswd csstudent
  8. He then checks the website at to see if he is prompted for a username and password and if the passwords he entered are correct.
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