Chapter 6. Web Sites

Table of Contents

6.1. Site directory
6.2. Dynamic content

Each account on comes with its own website. If you look in your home directory, you will see a public_html folder. If you make HTML pages and put them in there, your website will magically appear. For help on transferring files from another computer, see Chapter 4, Transferring Files. Once you create the site, you can find it at

Creating a website, and especially learning HTML, is a bit much for this simple guide. If you're just starting, I would recommend trying to learn to code HTML yourself rather than using a program such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage. While it will be slower going in the beginning, you'll save a lot of headaches later when dealing with browser compatibility and needing to make small tweaks to the site. If you decide to go with a book or online tutorial to learn HTML, be sure to find a newer one that teaches you HTML (or better yet, XHTML) and CSS.

That said, there is some basic information you'll need to know to get started. Standard web sites are located in the public_html directory. You'll want to create a default page called index.html, as that's the page people will see when they go to the front page of your site. You'll also need to make sure that your files are readable by the web server. In this case, that means you'll need to make them world-readable. You should use the chmod command to set them correctly. See Section 3.5, “Permissions”.

6.1. Site directory

Unique to is our site directory system. This directory, located at

is automatically updated with the latest information from our hosted sites. If you haven't made any changes to your site, it won't show up there, but if you have, there are several options to alter its appearance.

Inside the public_html directory there is a file called .sitename. In this file you can put the name of your web site, which will appear in the list as the link to the site. It should only be one line long and should not contain any HTML.

There is a second file called .siteblurb. This file contains a longer description of your site, displayed below the name in the directory. Again, this should only be one line long, and you shouldn't use any HTML.

If you don't want your site to appear in the directory at all, create an empty file in the public_html directory called .sitehide, and it will not appear in the directory. This does not prevent it from being seen; it merely keeps it out of the hosted sites directory.