Or: How to build your own website. Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret… it’s very easy!

First Steps

The first thing you need to do is write some webpages. These are just ordinary text files with special HTML tags in them that tell your browser how to format the text. There is lots of information on the web about how write HTML so I won’t repeat it here.

There are also software packages that will let you use a wordprocessor-type interface to write webpages. Unfortunately many of these programs produce invalid, buggy HTML which tends to only work on the latest browsers produced by one particular company, and therefore best avoided. Most people have a favourite text editor, but if you don’t you may like to try UltraEdit32 which is very powerful and userfriendly or, alternatively, the powerful and free Notepad++. If you still want a graphical editor Nvu is a good, free choice.

Step Two

Once you’ve written your pages, you need to transfer them to the server (probably zeus if you’re a member of college). There are two methods of doing this.

  • FTP: You’ll need an FTP client, such as Filezilla. Connect to zeus.jesus.cam.ac.uk using the username and password given to you when you applied for your account, and copy the files to the directory entitledpublic_html (you may have to create it first if it doesn’t exist already!) Most modern FTP clients automatically choose (correctly!) whether to send files as ASCII (text) or binary, but if yours doesn’t, you need to send pictures as binary and your html files as ASCII.

Now type http://jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk/~CRSID/ into your browser (where CRSID is your username, e.g. ned21) and your new website should appear! See, I told you it was easy! 🙂

Points to Note

  • You can create subdirectories within public_html if you wish. Files named index.html, index.htm, index.php are displayed by default if the specified URL ends with a ‘/’. e.g. if you typehttp://jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk/~ned21/ into your browser,http://jcsu.jesus.cam.ac.uk/~ned21/index.(html,htm,php) is the page that is displayed.
  • Zeus is a UNIX system and so filenames and directories are case-sensitive.