Department of Engineering

IT Services

How to create unofficial web pages

Your personal web space

You can create unofficial web pages in your own personal area. It is very strongly recommended that you do not use this space for 'official' pages - pages for your research group, research projects and the like. But it provides a very easy way of publishing unofficial material on the web.

Setting up your web directory

Each user of the Central System has a folder on For user ABC123 it will be This is available on the Central System as /www2home/ABC123. If you create files in this folder and make them readable by all, they'll be visible on the web.

If you create sub-directories under this folder they will also need to be visible to all. For example, if you create a sub-directory called images, you'll need to type

chmod o+rx /www2home/$USER/images

and make the files it contains readable by everybody.

It may help you to create a symbolic link to your web material. If in unix you type

   ln -s /www2home/$USER web

you'll have an item called "web" (you could have chosen another name) in your home folder which is an alias for your web-space folder - click on it and you'll go to your web space.

Publishing your web pages

See the information on producing material for the WWW for help on the actual writing of web pages. The University Computing Service also runs courses in web authoring.

After you have written a page, place the file in the web directory that you created above. (If you are a PC user, you may want to read the information on accessing your home directory from a Windows PC. But you will still need to log on to the Teaching System to carry out the following steps.)

You then need to change the access permissions on the file, so that the web server can read it. To do this, type the command

chmod o+r filename

Replace filename with the name of the file that you have just added. You will need to alter the permissions like this on any file that you add to your web directory. (Depending on how you update pages, you may also need to repeat this command after editing a page. So if you encounter an 'access denied' message after updating a page, use the above command.)

Once the page is in your web directory, and you have altered the permissions as above, you should be able to see the page in a web browser. The URL of the page, which you can quote to others, will be

Replace userid with your userid, and filename with the name of the file. Note that you must include the tilde ('~') immediately before your userid.

You should call your home page 'index.html'. This file is treated specially by the web server: if someone requests the URL, the server will send back the file index.html.

You should read the Departmental Guidelines on the World Wide Web, which set out guidelines and restrictions on the publication of material on the web.

The Staff profile pages page has information about official profile pages.

Redirecting pages

If you wish to redirect a user requesting a page to a replacement page hosted elsewhere you can either:

Redirect using a script, by placing the following between <head> and </head> in your page:

<script>window.location = ""</script>

changing '' to the one you wish to forward users to.

Or redirect using a meta refresh also by adding the following between <head> and </head> in your page:

<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL=''" />

again changing '' to the one you wish to forward users to.

www2 does not support the Redirect Directive in the .htaccess file