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Faculty and Staff

Publishing Official Web Pages for Departments and Student Organizations

Official Web Pages

Official Web pages provide information relating to an office, department, or other official unit of the University and/or its services or functions. Research, instruction and student organization Web pages, although not technically "official Web pages" of the University, should be consistent with the academic mission or the mission of student government and student life of the University.

Web pages developed by students, faculty, and staff that contain non-official information about the authors, including their backgrounds, interests, and/or opinions are considered personal Web pages. A personal Web page is NOT an official University of Rhode Island Web page.

Departmental Responsibilities

Departments or individual faculty, staff and student organizations are responsible for creating and maintaining their own information, responding to inquiries about the information, and updating that information as necessary. It is recommended that each department or unit assign one person as its departmental Web coordinator to coordinate that department's electronic publishing effort.

Faculty members are encouraged to develop professional pages on the URI Web server and link them through departmental Web sites.

Student organizations, with proper authorization, can publish Web pages that can be linked from URI's Registered Student Organizations home page.

Requesting a Web Publishing Account

a. Print and fill out the ITS Web Services Account Application. Have your department chair sign it.

b. Mail or drop off (Do NOT fax) form to: University Webmaster, 210 Flagg Road, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881. You will be notified by email once your account is created.

If you have other technical Web related questions or inquiries, please schedule an appointment with the Webmaster by email or call (401) 874-4638. If you have questions about branding, content, templates, or visual design of your web site, please get in touch with the department of Communications and Marketing at (401) 874-2116 or email

Note: Student organizations need authorization from their faculty/staff advisor requesting the Web page. This provides us with a University employee contact person in the event the student maintaining the pages leaves the University.

Creating and Maintaining Web Pages

Many tools are available for web developers to build and maintain websites. Good choices at URI include Adobe Contribute (for Web content editors who need to edit their Web sites and keep them up to date), Adobe Dreamweaver (for technically oriented Web developers who need to do complete site management), or your choice of editor paired with an FTP client.

If you choose to use a web editor that does not come with a built-in FTP client, you need to go to URI FTP Software Archive to download a free ftp software such as WS_FTP (for PC) or Fetch (for Mac).

Instructions for Using WS_FTP on PC || Instructions for Using Fetch on Mac

If you are unsure of which tools to use, guidance is available from Communications and Marketing at (401) 874-2116 or email

Please contact Communications and Marketing if you need assistance in converting your site to the latest brand design and Publications and Creative Services for assistance in design, logo and tagline graphic use, and photography for print publications.

Testing and Backing up Web Pages

To test your Web pages live, open your Web browser. Type in the address field the URL of your departmental Web site. Your departmental Web address usually fits on of the two formats below:

As a precautionary measure, you should backup all your original HTML files and images on your desktop machine before you upload new files. This way if there is a problem, you can back out to your original files or images. It is a good practice to use an FTP client to regularly create local backups of your site, regardless of the type of web authoring software you use.

Other Issues to Consider

Telnet/SSH Not Supported

The official URI Web Server ( supports only FTP clients to connect to the Web server. You will not be able to telnet or SSH directly to the Web server.

Name Your Departmental Home Page: index.html

Most Unix-based HTTP Web servers are configured to look for a default file named index.html in each directory they server. Such a file can be accessed without specifying the filename in the URL. Instead, only the server name and path is required. If you name your department home page index.html, users can access that page using the URL.

This method helps users remember your department Web address easily. If your department Web site already has a different name for its home page, you can rename it using an FTP client software such as WS-FTP or Fetch.

Running Custom CGI Scripts

A CGI script is a program that can run on the Web server in response to a request from a user. It is often used to process online forms and adds various levels of interactivity to your Web pages. Unfortunately, CGI applications can pose a security risk to the machine they are running on, and always add to the computing load of that machine. For these reasons, user-supplied CGI applications are NOT allowed on the URI Web server.

Departmental units and registered student organizations with Web accounts on the URI central Web server:, may use the following form tools to add interactivity to your websites:

  • Forms-to-Email CGI Program (which will email the information from a Web form to a user-defined email address)
  • phpESP Survey/Form Tool (which will allow non-technical users to create and administer simple surveys and forms, gather results and view data statistics.

Web Page Content

Please refer to Section One of the Web Policy relating to use of copyrighted materials, commercial use of web pages, advertising, sponsorhsip and more.

Publishing Official Web Pages

Please refer to Section Two of the Web Policy relating to publishing official web pages.

Publishing Research, Instruction and Student Organization Web Pages

Please refer to Section Three of the Web Policy relating to publishing research, instruction and student organization web pages.

Publishing Personal Web Pages

Please refer to Section Four of the Web Policy relating to publishing personal web pages.