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Guidelines and Tips for Developing a Student Organization Web Site

Before you begin the construction of the web pages, it is necessary for the Organization president to contact Help Desk Services (x8222) to request access and permission for the club’s web person to post to the site.

Dreamweaver is the supported web authoring tool for student organizations, and is available on computer lab machines. General instructions in PDF format for Dreamweaver are available at: http://www.lclark.edu/~infotech/HELP/HELPSHEETS/dreamweaver8.pdf

A. Open Dreamweaver and set up site definitions:

  1. Under Site, click New Site
  2. Click Local Info
  3. Name the site (A)
  4. Click browse folder to locate the local root folder (B)
  5. Click browse folder to locate the images folder (C)
  6. Click Remote Info
  7. Pulldown to select Access: FTP (D)
  8. Type in Host: abacus.bates.edu (E)
  9. Type in path for Host Directory: (F) ex.: /usr/local/httpd/htdocs/people/orgs/rugby
  10. [the directory name after /orgs = the club or organization name and may have subdirectories under that one]
  11. Select SFTP for Dreamweaver MX2004+ for secure connection
  12. Type in your username, press tab and type in network password (G)
  13. Click Ok

B. Begin a home page:

  1. Add text, images, links, etc. to the top level page, and save as index.html to the local folder
  2. images and links should be relative, i.e. schedule.htm not full path:
  3. http://abacus.bates.edu/people/orgs/rugby/schedule.htm
  4. Preview pages in browser (File> Preview in Browser> choose from list) to examine page display and links
  5. Be sure to save all pages and images locally, then upload them to abacus using the “put” or sftp function in the web authoring tool

C. Troubleshooting / Common Problems and Solutions:

  1. “I uploaded the club website, but an access denied error appears in the browser”
    The read and execute permissions on the directories may need to be changed.

    • Open a SSH Putty session to abacus.bates.edu
    • Login, with username and password
    • At the abacus.bates.edu prompt type in:
      cd /usr/local/httpd/htdocs/people/orgs/clubname
    • Press Return, at the abacus.bates.edu prompt type in:
      chmod go+rx *.*
      [be sure to have a space between chmod and go+rx and between go+rx and the 1st *]
  2. “A 404 page not found error happens trying links to pages within the site”
    The link paths should be relative to the directory they live in, in the ex. above. schedule.htm lives in the root directory of “rugby” as does index.htm and that is all that is needed for the file name.
    If there is a subdirectory, /subdirectory/filename.html calls the appropriate file.
  3. “Images are missing/broken from the club webpages”
    Do the image files appear on the “remote” or server side of the images directory in the site management? If not, upload the local images folder to the site (from within the root directory). Check for accuracy of filenames spelling, capitalization, etc. (i.e. image1.jpg vs. image1.JPEG)
  4. “I want to edit a site, but I don’t know who to contact for permission.”
    Find out the name of the last person in the organization to be in charge of the website, then email jfrizzel@bates.edu with the club name and web address, and the previous web editor’s name, for the needed permissions.
  5. “Can we use CMS for the club webpages?”
    CMS is the official/departmental web publishing tool, and is not available for student club or organization authoring. Dreamweaver is supported, and available on lab machines throughout campus.
  6. “Why are there extra characters in the url of the club website?”
    Urls should be easy to read and relate to others. Spaces in directory or file names can place % in the url or an underscore _ can be missed easily, and make a difference in locating the page. Short, one word directory and file names make for easy to use and find web pages.

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    Help Desk Services at Ladd Library Mon-Thu: 8am-1am, Fri: 8am-8pm, Sat: noon-8pm, Sun: noon-1am