College Web Hosting (www.asc.ohio-state.edu)

The website hosting service (nicknamed "WWW") is for those users who need to create and publish HTML and PHP directly. If you do not need this level of functionality and complexity, we can assist with other resources such as u.osu.edu, Carmen, and Drupal. See the article on Web Hosting Resources for a full list of web hosting options.

Getting Started

If this is your first time using www.asc.ohio-state.edu, your site must be created and you must be added to the access group for the server, unless you previously had a departmental web hosting site that was migrated to www.asc.ohio-state.edu. In that case, your site has been copied over and you already have access to edit.

For brand new sites/access, please submit a request to have your new site activated by going to the ASC Website Hosting Service page in the Service Catalog and clicking the Request Service button, or by emailing asc-www@osu.edu. Be sure to specify (1) what type of site you need (e.g., individual, group) and, in the case of a group site, (2) all users who will need editing access. Also submit a description of any need special configuration for the site (e.g., authentication requirement to view it).

Individual sites will be served at www.asc.ohio-state.edu/[name.#], unless otherwise specified by your department. Group sites may vary according to your required configuration, but generally will be available at www.asc.ohio-state.edu/[Department]/[Group_Name].

Regardless of where it is served, the URL to edit all sites is www-edit.asc.ohio-state.edu. Note the ‘-edit’ after www, as distinct from the public-facing site www.asc.ohio-state.edu. Please note that while the sites are publicly visible, you must be on the VPN or coming from an OSU network to connect via SFTP and make changes.

Editing

Edit site files using SFTP. This article covers editing with a GUI SFTP client, which is just one method.

Windows

macOS

Linux

 

Windows

The recommended GUI SFTP client for Windows is the free application WinSCP.

The first thing you should see when opening WinSCP is the New Session window. Fill out the required information, as below:

If you like, you can save this connection by ‘Save’ button below the user name field. Supply a name for the connection, hit OK, and it will appear in your shortcuts section on the left-hand side. 

Once connected, you will see at least one folder (‘www’). This is your individual web root and will serve to www.asc.ohio-state.edu/name.#.

If you have access to edit any group sites, their web directories will appear here as well.

Once connected, you can edit files directly on the server by right clicking on it, the selecting Edit > Internal Editor. You can also configure the software to use an editor of your choice by selecting Edit with and specifying the path to the editor’s .exe file.

 

macOS

The suggested GUI SFTP tool on macOS is the program CyberDuck, which is free to use (though they will occasionally prompt for donations).

You can use the Quick Connect button with the settings below, but probably the easiest thing to do is to create a new bookmark. Find the bookmarks tab, and hit the “+” as highlighted in red here.

Fill out the dialog with the required information. Be sure to select SFTP as the protocol type, as normal FTP even with encryption will not work.

When you’re finished, close the bookmark dialogue – your information will save automatically. Behind it, you will see a new bookmark has been created. Double-click the bookmark and you will enter your password.

Once connected, you can edit a file directly on the server by right clicking on it, the selecting Edit with and choosing your preferred text editor.

Linux

For connecting from Linux machines, the default command line tool ‘sftp’ is perhaps the most reliable way to edit. For more details instructions, refer to man sftp.

Other Resources

While the editing methods outlined above are perhaps the most straightforward and user-friendly, they are by no means exclusive. Here are a few alternatives that may better suit your preferences:

  • MountainDuck for Windows and Mac (from the makers of CyberDuck) allows mounting of SFTP volumes.
  • rclone, our recommended utility for rsync'ing to cloud services, will also rsync to WWW over SFTP.
  • Various other GUI clients, such as Fetch, will work just as well if CyberDuck or WinSCP do not meet your needs.
  • Many text editors, such as Atom or Adobe DreamWeaver, connect via SFTP and send updates to the server in the background as you save changes locally, either natively or via community-developed plugins.
  • For Linux and Mac, the program sshfs is a command-line alternative to the native SFTP program.

Notes

  • Because the path of your new directory will almost certainly differ from your old directory, it is strongly recommended that you use relative, not absolute, links in your paths.
  • File permissions are uniform across all web-served directories:
    • Directories are set to 2755 (owner read/write/cd permissions, everyone else read/cd only, with the SETGID bit set)
    • Files are set to 644 (owners can read/write and everyone else can just read)
    • The exception to this is group sites, in which case all members of the group have write permissions as well (2775 and 664).
  • You can disable access to certain directories/files by utilizing .htaccess files.
  • All file permissions and ownership is based on your name.#.
    • For departments that previously had their own local accounts for web services, these will be converted to name.#'s in the transfer process, though we will see to it that legacy links redirect to the new locations.
  • MySQL database back-ends are also available, and can be used in conjunction with PHP on WWW sites.
  • Access control and be configured using Shibboleth or Apache .htaccess files. For Shibboleth sample code, see our documentation page here.
  • Server-side includes (SSI's) in HTML are supported, but either the extension for these files needs to be '.shtml' as opposed to '.html', or their executable bit must be set, otherwise they will appear as comments in the rendered HTML pages.
  • Directly writing files into the web directory is forbidden for security reasons. Contact ASCTech for alternative methods.

Details

Article ID: 80341
Created
Mon 6/10/19 10:38 AM
Modified
Tue 10/13/20 12:08 PM