Webpub is a historical service and is no longer offered to new students, faculty, or staff. If you maintain an existing webpub folder, read on for details. If you would like assistance with web hosting at Carleton but do not have a webpub folder, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at x5999 for assistance.
Carleton historically offered a home directory (personal file storage) on a network share called HOME. A component of this structure was a folder named 'webpub' which would automatically export any materials placed inside to the internet via the URL people.carleton.edu/~username. As we have modernized our technology infrastructure, the HOME drive has largely been replaced by newer, better services like Google Drive and Dropbox; however, the webpub presentation layer still exists for historical use.
However, the dependence on the HOME network drive creates a layer of abstraction that causes performance issues and sometimes leads to unnecessary downtime due to the interaction between the web server responsible for people.carleton.edu and the file share hosting the files themselves. Accordingly, we are taking some steps to streamline this deprecated service in order to improve its stability and reliability. This requires a change in the way you manage your webpub folder and its contents, documented below.
Creating and managing your web pages
The webpub server is only accessible from on campus. To follow the procedure below from off-campus, you will first need to install and run the GlobalProtect VPN.
To put files online, you must connect to the webpub server "webpub-prod.its.carleton.edu" by using an SSH-capable file transfer client. ITS recommends and will support Filezilla, but if you prefer another client (Dreamweaver, for example) and are familiar with its use you may do so freely. Every Carleton individual who had a webpub folder with at least one file inside it has been migrated to this new server already. When you log in, you will see a single folder called web inside of which are all files and folders which previously existed in your HOME\webpub folder. If you are familiar with Linux command-line tools (vi, etc.) you may edit these files directly. If not, we recommend the use of Filezilla or a similar graphical client which will make it simple to edit, transfer, and update the relevant files.
It is important to upload new files directly into the web/ folder inside of your webpub directory. If you are unable to view files that you believe you have uploaded correctly, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at x5999 for assistance.
This structure is analogous to most public web-hosting providers like GoDaddy; the provider creates an environment for you, and managing your website is mostly the work of copying updated files to that environment when you want to make changes. Below we document an example of how you might work through this process.
- Download and install Filezilla or your SFTP client of choice. These examples assume the use of Filezilla, which you can get at https://filezilla-project.org/.
- Open Filezilla and connect to the webpub server. The server address is 'webpub-prod.its.carleton.edu', and it will accept your Carleton username and password. Make sure you specify the connection port as 22.
- In Filezilla, the remote filesystem is presented on the right-hand side of the window. You will see a 'web' folder and a handful of files that you can safely ignore. Navigate into the web folder by double-clicking on it, or right-clicking and selecting enter directory. For simplicity's sake, you may also want to create a folder on your workstation with the same name so that updating your website is easier. The contents of the 'web' folder represent the root of your website (e.g. the material accessible at https://people.carleton.edu/~yourusername).
- Now, you can make whatever changes you want to your web-hosted files. In general, the best way to do this is by keeping an up to date copy of these files on your workstation, editing them locally, and then uploading (e.g. copying) them to the web server. In this case, let's suppose that I've made a change to the index.html file, and I want to copy that change over to the web server. In Filezilla, this is simple: just drag and drop the index.html file from the left-hand pane (the local copy) to the right-hand pane (the remote server). If you are updating an existing file, Filezilla will notice that the file already exists on the destination and ask you what to do. Select 'overwrite' to replace the destination file with your new version. If you wish, you can also toggle this as the default behavior with the 'Always use this action' settings at the bottom of the window.
- You can use the same process to create new files or folders in the destination, too. Let's say that I have a folder of papers I've written that I want to be accessible on my website. The process is similar: find my folder in the left-hand panel, then just drag and drop it onto the remote server. Filezilla will begin transferring this folder, and will pop up a notification when it's done. If you are moving a large amount of data, this process can take some time.
Privacy features on Carleton hosting
All data in the webpub directory will be accessible to the general public on the Internet, although if you make a blank index.html file (to overwrite the directory listing), your files will be significantly harder to find. You will no longer be able to use folders like "carleton_only" to restrict content to members of the Carleton community.
- Upload files directly into your "web" folder. You may get access denied issues if files get uploaded *outside* the web folder, and then moved inside the web folder.
- URLs, files, folders, and extensions are all case sensitive!