Publishing for the World Wide Web


Users with accounts on the RCI and Eden computing systems may maintain a personal website. This document will give basic instructions on how to create a website and transfer it to the web.

What is a website?

A basic website is really a just document written in HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). HTML is a set of "markup" symbols contained in a file intended for display on a web browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari). To create a website, you create an HTML file and put it on a computer that can be accessed by the Internet via a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), which is a global address for resources on the World Wide Web.

How do I make a website? (i.e. How do I create an HTML document?)

An HTML document is really just a text file which has embedded "markup" symbols. There are two popular ways to produce an HTML document:

  • Using a Text Editor

    There is nothing to stop you from creating an HTML document directly with a text editor (notepad, wordpad, emacs, vi, pico). Some people prefer to create their websites this way since HTML is fairly simple and it gives them more control.

    HTML is not a difficult language to learn. One easy way to learn it is to edit an existing HTML file, save the changes, and click the "reload" button on the browser, to see the changes take effect. You can expand upon your template by learning more HTML from the links to the resources below.

  • Using a WYSIWYG Editor

    Some people prefer to not edit their HTML directly and instead use a piece of software called a "Web Editor", such as Macromedia Dreamweaver or SeaMonkey's Composer feature to write their HTML for them. Such editors are called What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) Editors, since what you see in your GUI (Graphical User Interface) is approximately how things are supposed to look when someone visits your site.

    If you create a page in a WYSIWYG editor, you may only be able to use that editor's "publish" feature if it supports Secure FTP (SFTP) or Samba. See our SFTP documentation for details.

How can my website be accessed via the Internet?

For any site to be accessed via the Internet that site needs a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) which is a global address for resources on the World Wide Web.

What is my URL?

Every Eden and RCI user has their own URL. If your NetID is jqdoe then your URL for Eden or RCI is:

How do I make my website come up if someone goes to my URL?

Your RCI or Eden account contains directories. If you create a directory called public_html and put your HTML documents in that directory then anyone who goes to your URL will see your website.

How do I put my website (i.e. HTML documents) in my public_html directory on RCI/Eden?

  • Using Command Line Tools:

    If the page-to-be isn't already on your RCI or Eden account, use a Secure FTP client to copy it to your account. For information on how to do this please see this.

    If your public_html directory does not exist you can create it by doing the following:

    1. SSH into your RCI or Eden Account.

    2. Issue the following UNIX commands while in your home directory. 
    3. mkdir public_html
      chmod 755 public_html

    4. Check the protection of your public_html subdirectory with the following command:
    5. ls -ld public_html

      If the protection does not read drwxr-xr-x, you should reissue the command

      chmod 755 public_html

    6. Transfer your edited home page template into the public_html directory and rename it as index.html. If you have it in your main directory, the command is 
    7. mv pagefile public_html/index.html

      where pagefile is the name you've given the template while editing it. 

    8. Check the protection of your index.html file with the following commands:
    9. cd public_html
      ls -l index.html

      If the protection does not read -rw-r--r--, you should give everyone read access to the file with the command

      chmod 644 index.html


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    Last updated: September 30, 2014, 9:48 am