Dr. Mark Humphrys

School of Computing. Dublin City University.

Home      Blog      Teaching      Research      Contact

My big idea: Ancient Brain


CA114      CA170

CA668      CA669      Projects

Notes on How to set up and maintain Web pages

Where to put your Web pages

On your Linux account put them in a directory called public_html:

mkdir public_html
cd public_html
gedit index.html &
gedit file.html &
to make the files:



Other web hosting in DCU

File and Directory permissions / protections

  1. The hierarchy of directories above the files needs to be executable by "others". See Notes on directory protections
    chmod o+x .
    chmod o+x public_html
    On DCU this is done by default when you make directories.

  2. All files need to be readable by "others". See Notes on file protections
    chmod o+r public_html/index.html
    chmod o+r public_html/file.html
    chmod o+r public_html/image.jpg

    On DCU this is done by default when you make files.

How to write your Web pages

  1. Raw HTML in a text editor

  2. Raw HTML in an assisted text editor

  3. WYSIWYG Web editors

  4. Web content management system
    • e.g. CA site
    • Great for organisation where many users enter data.
    • Usable by non-technical people. Users don't write HTML at all.

  5. Web template system - use the skill of graphic/CSS designers who make sites look good / portable.
    • Often usable by non-technical people.
    • Wordpress

  6. Web frameworks. For designing complex sites, web applications. Aimed at developers who will still access the code.

Summary: Incredible number of tools and frameworks. Some aimed at ordinary user who wants to avoid ever seeing code. Others aimed at developers who want support but still want to retain full control.

Things to consider:

  1. If tool generates very complex HTML then it makes it hard to make any small changes by hand. Have to use the tool.
  2. Scaling up. Some tools are ok for editing a 5 page site but not for editing a 5,000 page site.
  3. Consider how difficult it would be to "replace X with Y" in 5,000 pages. Or move Images to a different directory and fix the links to them in 5,000 pages. Do you have to edit 5,000 pages directly or can you script the changes?
  4. Note WYSIWYG editors may be misleading on the Web because the Web is not WYSIWYG. Your users are looking at your pages on mobiles, tablets, netbooks, old systems, tiny screens, wide screens, with custom colours, fonts not installed, ad blockers on and windows resized. WYSIWYG editors may delude you into thinking that what you are looking at is how the page will look to the user.

ancientbrain.com      w2mind.org      humphrysfamilytree.com

On the Internet since 1987.

Wikipedia: Sometimes I link to Wikipedia. I have written something In defence of Wikipedia. It is often a useful starting point but you cannot trust it. Linking to it is like linking to a Google search. A starting point, not a destination. I automatically highlight in red all links to Wikipedia and Google search and other possibly-unreliable user-generated content.