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Publishing web pages with DS-Web

How to publish content to the web using the DS-Web service.

To serve web pages from a Desktop Services filespace, you must have a directory in your filespace named public_html - this will act as your webspace directory. Any files in this directory and any changes you make to them will be seen on the web immediately.

Personal web pages

By default, personal DS filespaces already have a public_html directory, containing the following sample homepage (filename index.html):


What's my personal URL?

Personal Web pages will be published at the address, where 'CRSid' is your username for Desktop Services.

Note: That as this address contains your CRSid, so be aware that it could be used as a way to identify your email address.

How much filespace do I have?

The personal DS filespace allowance is 3GB, which includes all files in your web space. Requests for increases in your DS filespace may be sent to but will probably require academic justification.


Group web pages

Groups with a filespace on DS-Filestore (see Applying for or taking over management of group resource to request filespace) can automatically publish web pages just by adding them to a directory that must be called public_html. Unlike personal filespaces, group DS filespaces do not contain this directory by default, so you will need to create one once you are logged in.

NOTE: Each directory and sub directory should have a valid index file (usually named index.html), that contains the content you want published online. Web browsers look for this index file when a user types your URL, and if the browser does not find it, it will simply list all the files in your directory, instead of serving your web page. 

What's my group's URL?

Group web pages will be published at the address:

Registered societies will get the address:

Note: Any group that publishes pages on this server must have a group email address to which comments, complaints and administrative messages can be sent. It is the group's responsibility to ensure that email is collected and dealt with. Apparently abandoned or malfunctioning web pages may be removed.

Need help with HTML?

UIS provide free training courses that will teach you about writing web pages. See for further information and online booking.

HTML dog contains articles and tutorials to help you with writing HTML. It is best practice to control the appearance of your pages by using cascading style sheets (CSS) rather than adding lots of inline style markup in your page's HTML code.

HTML/CSS editing software

All you need to write/edit HTML code is an application that will read and save plain text files (.txt), such as Notepad++ (PC) or TextEdit (Mac). However, there are a number of applications which are specifically designed to make it easier to work with code by colour coding tags and preserving formatting. Various HTML editors, such as BBedit, and full web development applications such as Adobe® Dreamweaver®, are available on the MCS workstations.

If you choose to obtain a free HTML editor, please make sure it is up-to-date, and produces valid code. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides online tools for validating your HTML code, and another for validating CSS stylesheets.

It is also possible to export web pages from common office applications, although few web programmers would recommend this because they are notorious for producing 'bloated' code that is slow to download and may not work well across all browsers and operating systems. For the novice user with little interest in learning HTML, however, they are a quick and easy way to publish online.

Last Updated: December 2016