How do I create a website?

Everyone with a SEAS account automatically has space available for a website. To set up your own website, you are going to have to do the following things:

  1. Create and edit an HTML file
  2. Use basic HTML commands
  3. Upload the file(s) to the proper directory and set its file permissions
  4. Let everyone know about your site


1. Create and edit a file

On a PC: You can use any word processor, such as notepad, to create HTML files.

Under UNIX: You need to know how to create and edit a file in the unix operating system.

2. Basic HTML

You will need to know a few basic HTML commands to start your website. For more information on what HTML is check out the guide to basic html.

Using a Web Authoring Tool
There are other commercial software products that you can purchase designed for HTML authoring such as: Macromedia Dreamweaver (recommended), Adobe GoLive, and Microsoft FrontPage. Any text editor, such as Notepad will work just fine.

3. Upload the file(s) - Where to put your web page

After creating the HTML content of your homepage, you need to put it into place and set its file permissions. The file permissions need to be set to world readable in order to be viewable over the web. You can make your own pages available for others to view by following one of these two paths:

A) The automated web way (easiest)

  1. Use an ftp program such as WS_FTP or your web browser to transfer your web page to your "html" directory in your SEAS Home Directory. (see: Instructions for configuring WS_FTP to connect to your SEAS Home Directory)
  2. After the files are uploaded, you have to make sure the permissions are set correctly on all the files in your "html" directory. All of the files in your "html" directory should have the following permission: -rw-r--r-- (644). This means you (the owner) can both read and write the file but other people can only read the file. Directories need to be world executable: rwxr-xr-x (755).

    If you are using WS_FTP here's what to do to make sure all your files have the right permissions... If your files say -rw-r----, then right click on the name of one of the files and select "File Attributes." Click on "Read" in the category "Public Permissions" and in the category "Group Permissions." This will change the file permissions to -rw-r--r--, which is needed to be able to view your web page. In a similar way you can change your directory permissions to be 755.

B) The Unix way (recommended for advanced users)

For your web page to be viewable on the Internet the file permissions have to be set correctly to be "world readable." If you have your HTML file(s) on the server but the page is not displaying, most likely your permissions are not set right.

    Create an html directory in your home directory:
    mkdir ~/html
    Make sure the permissions on both your html and home directory allow world excecution:
    chmod a+x ~/ ~/html
    Toss some cool pages into your new directory and make sure the files are world readable:

    find ~/html -type d -print | xargs chmod a+rx
    find ~/html -type f -print | xargs chmod a+r

    (see for more help on setting your HTML file permissions)

4. Let everyone know where your site is

These last three steps are optional:

1. Add yourself to the Penn Engineering Personal Home Page List
(Login to the SEAS Accounts Management Website and click on "Manage Home Page")
2. Add yourself to the University main Home Page List

3. Announce to your friends that your website is located at the following URL:


Related Links

How to Transfer (FTP, Download, Upload) Files with Filezilla

Policy on Acceptable Use of Electronic Resources


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