How Do I ...Create a Personal Website at Western

Before you begin

Please read the following questions and answers.

Question: Do I have a Western Identity?

All faculty, staff, and students at Western have a Western Identity automatically created for them. If you do not yet have a user Id and password please review the informaton at


Question: Where will my website be located?

Your website will be stored in a directory called public_html in your personal file space on the Western server.

Question: How do I get my website files from my computer to the Western server?


Using a secure file transfer program you will need to make a connection to the server: using your Western Identity user ID and password to upload the document from your local system to the sftp server.

An example of some sftp applications are:
  • Microsoft Windows
    • SSH Secure FTP
    • >PuTTY
  • Mac OS X
    • JellyfiSSH
  • Linux/UNIX
    • OpenSSH

Question: What will the url be for my website?  (where user ID is your Western Identity username/user ID e.g. jsmith5555)

Question: What is appropriate content for my website?

Western faculty, staff, and students can create personal websites to disseminate information relevant to their roles in the University.

Individuals (faculty, staff, and students) are responsible for the content of their personal websites. Information made available via this service must meet the content policies defined by the Western Acceptable Use Agreement which you signed when you first activated your Western Identity.

Remember that web pages are public; don't put in information that people could use to hurt you. Your web pages describe you and your interests to the world so put some thought into how you represent yourself. Consider that potential future employers may read your web pages.

Steps to Publishing on the Web

Step 1- Activate Your Personal Web Space

You must first create (activate) a special directory in your personal web space on. To set up your web space, go to the online form Activate My Personal Web Space.

The first time this activation is done, it creates a directory called public_html in your personal disk space. It also creates a default home page using a standard template to a file called index.html within your new public_html directory. It also sets appropriate permissions on the directory and files within so that the web server can read them.

If the directory public_html and the file index.html already exist, then only the permissions will be set. The index.html file will not be overwritten.  Open a browser (e.g. Firefox, IE) and check to see whether you can access your homepage at It should look like the template in this document. If you can view this page, everything is set up correctly.

Step 2 - Create Your HTML Content

Step 3 - Upload Your Content to the Server

Transfer the content you have created from your computer to the folder public_html on the server using a secure file transfer program (SFTP).  The server or host name to connect to is

Note that you must transfer your files into the public_html directory. The file transfer usually sets the file protection to 'world readable'. If the permissions were not set this way during file transfer, you will need to correct this before you or anyone else can view your page. You can do this by returning to the Activate My Personal Web Space page and submitting your username and password again.

Note: If you are transferring images, you should click on the Binary button before transferring them to public_html.

Step 4 - Test Access to Your Web Space

Once your home page is safely in public_html, visitors to your site will use the following web URL to view your page:

This only works if you keep the name of your homepage as index.html. Other files in your public_html directory can be accessed directly. If you named a page mypage.html, then it could only be accessed by going to the URL

Published on  and maintained in Cascade CMS.