Instructional and Personal Web Pages

Administrative Issues

Instructional Web Pages

Faculty members who are interested in developing web pages for their courses have two options:

Bingsuns
If you are an instructor, Computing Services will provide space and an account on the Bingsuns system for your course Web pages.  You can either use your personal Bingsuns account for this purpose or establish a new account which uses the course name and number. To establish an account for your course Web pages, go to the Help Desk (located in the first floor lobby of the Computer Center) and bring your University ID card with you. The staff at the Help Desk will help you fill out an account authorization form which you must then get signed by your department computer coordinator. The Help Desk can help you identify who this person is if you don't already know.

Blackboard
Blackboard is web-based software that provides a powerful and easy-to-use suite of tools for instructors to build and manage virtual classrooms. The instructions which follow do not pertain to Blackboard users. Questions about Blackboard should be directed to the University Center for Training and Development.

Personal Web Pages

Faculty, staff, and students can use their Bingsuns account to create their own personal web pages.

Faculty and staff accounts on Bingsuns can be obtained by going to the Help Desk.

Every student should have a Bingsuns account when they come to campus. Students can obtain their User IDs and passwords by going to password.binghamton.edu. The ITS web site contains more information about student computer accounts.

Creating Your Web Site

The process of creating a web site involves several steps. The process will be different depending upon whether you develop the pages on your local computer or directly on the web server. Here is a summary of the steps for the two processes:

Develop web pages directly on the web server

  • connect to web server via SSH (login)
  • create pages using vi text editor
  • view pages in browser

Develop web pages on your own computer

  • create pages with text editor or HTML editor
  • connect to web server via SFTP
  • publish pages to web server (upload)
  • view pages in browser

Connecting

At some point you will need to establish a connection to your web space. If you are developing the pages directly on the web server, you will need a Secure Shell (SSH) client which will allow you to log in to your web account in a secure manner. Windows users can obtain an SSH client from our FTP server. Mac users have an SSH client built in which they can access from a terminal session by typing ssh username@hostname. Alternatively, OpenSSH and other free SSH implementations can be found on openssh.org.

Most people will find it easier to develop their pages on their own computer and then publish them to the web server. To publish your pages you will need to use Secure FTP (SFTP). If you are using an HTML editor that doesn't provide that capability you will need an SSH client that does. The SSH client on our FTP server for Windows supports SFTP. See the list of other SSH implementations at openssh.org for other SFTP alternatives.

You will need to provide the name of the host you want to connect to for whatever SSH/SFTP client you use. For instructional and personal web pages that host name is bingsuns.cc.binghamton.edu.

Creating

You can create your web pages directly on the web server if you are familiar with HTML syntax, Unix commands, and the Unix text editor, vi. Most people are unfamiliar with at least one of those requirements and choose to create their pages locally on their own computers instead. Although you can use a text editor if you are familiar with the HTML syntax, you may want to use a special HTML editor instead. An excellent discussion of some free HTML editors can be found at Gizmo's Freeware Reviews. Another alternative is SeaMonkey which provides an HTML editor as part of its all-in-one internet application suite. SeaMonkey is powered by Mozilla and is free. Of course, there are a number of commercial HTML editors available as well. ITS supports Adobe Dreamweaver.

With most word processors there is a "Save As HTML" feature available. This may be a good place to start if the document you want to make available on the web has already been written using one of these packages. If the document is simple, the results may be satisfactory. A more complicated document may require the HTML to be reworked.

Whatever method you choose for creating your web pages, it is recommended that you use the default home page name index.html as the name of your home page.  This will make your URL simpler (see the section below on Viewing).

Publishing

If you create your web pages directly on the web server, there is no need to publish them. They will be visible right away. On the other hand, if you create your web pages on your own computer, you will need to publish (upload) them before others will be able to see them. To publish your pages you will need an application that supports SFTP. Some HTML editors such as Dreamweaver have a built in SFTP client. When using the site management features of Dreamweaver to publish your pages the Server Access method is FTP, the FTP Host is bingsuns.cc.binghamton.edu and the Host Directory is public_html. Help in using Dreaweaver is available from the ITS Help Desk.

If you not using an HTML editor which has SFTP support built in, see the previous section Connecting for information on how to obtain an SFTP client.

Whether you develop your pages directly on the web server or on your own computer and then upload them to the web server, your pages need to go into your public_html directory.

Viewing

If your home page has the name index.html, then your home page address (URL) is http://bingweb.binghamton.edu/~userid (where: userid is your Bingsuns User ID). If your home page is a file with a name other than index.html, then you will need to add the file name on to the end of your URL.  For example, http://bingweb.binghamton.edu/~jsuny/home.html. If your page uses a scripting language such as PHP, Perl, or Python, substitute harvey for bingweb in the domain name. For example, http://harvey.binghamton.edu/~jsuny/myscript.php.

Where to go for More Information

Consider the following resources if you need more information: