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Your Personal Website 101

If you are a Truman faculty, staff or student, here is a basic primer on how to take advantage of the personal webspace you are provided.

* You have your own personal webspace on a Truman server, which you can think of as a folder on a hard drive. When you log in to a computer on campus, it is usually automatically mapped for you as your T: drive. So any file you drop into your T: drive will be accessible through a web browser if people know it’s there.

* Your webspace is assigned a particular address (or URL). Yours is http://www2.truman.edu/~yourusername. For example, if your Truman network username is jdoe, your address would be: http://www2.truman.edu/~jdoe

* Your URL is an address that helps point people to the files on your webspace through a web browser like Internet Explorer or Firefox. If, for example, you have a file in your webspace called “grades.doc”, then anyone could access it through a web browser if they go to this URL: http://www2.truman.edu/~yourusername/grades.doc

* If the file is a word document or an excel file or a video or something like that, the user’s web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox – whatever they happen to be using) will usually prompt them to just download that file to their computer.

* If the file is a webpage file, however, it will open the webpage in the browser instead. Webpage files commonly end in .htm, .html, or .php – although there are many different kinds.

* If a user goes to your webspace without a particular file being specified – if they just type www2.truman.edu/~yourusername in their web browser – than the browser will look for a webpage file called index.html, index.htm, index.php, default.html, default.htm, or default.php in your webspace. If any of those pages are present, it will display one of those.

So the bottom line is that you need to be able to create webpage files and then upload them to your webspace.

The easiest way to do that is to use Microsoft Word. Create a document the same way you would create a Word document, and when you are done select “Save as Webpage…” instead of “Save As…”. Name the page “index.html” and save the page to your T: drive. You can view the page through your browser by going to your URL: http://www2.truman.edu/~yourusername.

There are fancier programs to create webpages, of course, and there are a couple ways for you to access your webspace if you are off the Truman network and do not have a T: drive showing up on your system. For example, there is a program available called Microsoft Sharepoint Designer (used to be called “FrontPage) which can be used to build pages and upload them to your site.

See the Related Link on the right for more resources.