Creating Your Own Webpages
My Profile Page
Before creating a personal web page please first setup and publish your profile page on the departmental website.
Setting up your personal webspace (if required, see above first)
First you should read the conditions of use statement.
The first thing you need is a directory to put your HTML files (webpages) in. For user bloggs, this directory will be /common/htdocs/people/bloggs. There should already be a link/shortcut to this directory in your home directory, with the name public_html. (Note that /common/htdocs really lives on the web server and is automounted as needed.)
All your webpages will need to live in your webspace, i.e, the equivalent of /home/bloggs/public_html (or /common/htdocs/people/bloggs), plus any subdirectories of it that you decide to create.
If the symbolic link/shortcut does not exist in your home directory or you wish to create one with a different name you can easily do so, e.g. on the Linux systems a command of the form
ln -s /common/htdocs/people/username ~/public_html
Would create the symlink/shortcut with name public_html (where you need to put your username in where shown). If you want the symlink to have a different name simply replace
public_html in the command above with the symlink/shortcut name you wish to use.
Be aware that by default, any files placed in your webspace will be visible to anyone in the world who cares to look at them. However, there are various security methods that you can use to restrict access, for example, to only people within Oxford University, only people within the Maths Institute, or even only people that you have given a password to.
Creating your webpages
Your webpages need to be written in a language called HTML. Some useful references for HTML authors follow:
- HTML Help from The Web Design Group - lots of resources, including lists of Frequently Asked Questions and Frequently Encountered Problems.
- W3C HTML Validation Service - an HTML grammar checker (if your HTML grammar is incorrect then your pages may not display properly on some web browsers)
- Viewable With Any Browser - a guide to ensuring that your pages display properly on all web browsers; not just the one you happen to be using.
You can also look at the HTML source of other people's webpages to see how they created a particular effect. To do this with lynx, use the backslash ("\") key to toggle between source HTML and rendered HTML. For Netscape, use the View menu and then choose Document Source, Page Source or Frame Source.
However, there are plenty of people out there writing some very bad HTML, so always check new tricks against the references above, or other good references that you may find. A good reference is one that mentions things like standards, specification, validation and compliance. A bad reference is one that urges you to use all the latest tricks, regardless of whether your webpages actually require them or whether you understand them properly.
The URL (web address) of bloggs' webpages will begin with http://people.maths.ox.ac.uk/bloggs/ (which will typically render the contents of an index.html file) - so, for example, if bloggs' webspace has a subdirectory called research, then a file reaction-diffusion.html in that subdirectory will be accessed as
Publicising your webpages
If you are a member of a research group with a website of its own, you may wish to ask the maintainer of that site to link to your research pages from the group's site (note many research groups now use automatically generate members pages so this should happen provided your profile information correctly identifies you group membership).