Web Server Guide

I have my account—what do I do now?

Change your password

Customers are strongly encouraged to change their password right away and then every two months if possible. With an ssh client via the Terminal application on a Macintosh, or SSH Secure Shell on a PC, log into sftp-web.uh.edu with your userID and issued password.

Telnet screenshot

Once logged in, select option 2 to change your password.

Your new password should be one that is not easily guessed, such as family, pet's names, friends, birth dates, etc. Passwords should contain both upper and lower-case letters and numbers, as well as special characters.

View your disk quota

You may also find out how much space you are using and have left by selecting option 1. Most accounts will be 10,000 blocks by default, which is equal to 10 megabytes.


When you are done, choose option 3 to exit.

Transfer of Files

For information on transferring files to your web server account, see Secure Communication to the Central Web Server.

Individual and Instructional accounts

For those customers with personal accounts, you will see a directory called public_html. This is your "webspace." Webspace is defined as an area that the server looks at to get information. Any files that you wish to appear on the Web must go here.

Your home page URL should be http://www.uh.edu/~userID .

If you would like your site to be listed in the WWW directory for personal web sites, you will need to name your default page "index.html" or "index.htm" .

Administrative and Special accounts

For administrative accounts in charge of colleges or departments, the directory you find yourself in is already set up to be your webspace—simply send your files there.

You should receive your home page location in an e-mail after signing up for a Web server account. If you have any problems, contact the UIT Support Center at 713-743-1411, or send e-mail to support@uh.edu.

Central Web Server Operating System

The Web server is running on a UNIX system. Although you don't need to know UNIX to do Web publishing, there are some considerations that must be addressed that might affect your authoring.

UNIX is case sensitive

Case sensitivity means that the filenames "University", "university" and "UNIVERSITY" are different. If you link to a graphic called picture.gif in your Web document, but it is saved as PICTURE.GIF on the server, the file will not load. The solutions are to either rename the file on the server to match the HTML document, or change the HTML document to match the filename.

Do not use spaces in filenames

Although spaces can exist in UNIX filenames, they are not recommended since there can be problems with certain clients accessing your pages. In general, a file that would be named "course listing.html" is best saved as "course_listing.html" with the _ character in place of the space.

The index file

When someone visits your Web site, they will only see a list of files unless there is an HTML file called "index.html" or "index.htm," or a PHP file called "index.php". Once created, this file will appear in the browser window when your site is accessed.

Migrating Your Existing Site to the UH Central Web Server

The most crucial issue that customers will most likely face is the issue of relative links. This is one of the most important considerations in Web document management. A relative link is named as a file location relative to another.

Here are some examples:


<A HREF="courses.html">
<A HREF="images/mypicture.gif">
<A HREF="../index.html">

In the first example, a document called courses.html is requested in the same directory as the example document. In the second, a graphic called mypicture.gif is retrieved from a subdirectory called images. In the last case, index.html is called from the directory "behind" the current document.

The opposite of a relative link is an absolute link. Absolute links are easier to spot because they always begin with a / or http://. The disadvantage of these is that if you need to rearrange your directories, or decide later that a certain place for a file is not where it should be, you will need to change all references to that file. With relative links, as long as you move things as an organized group you will never have to change your HTML documents.

This may seem confusing at first, but in actuality, it is far simpler both in design and in effort. It is far simpler to type:

<A HREF="links.html">


<A HREF="http://www.uh.edu/temporary/tmp/links.html">