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A Webpage Tutorial for the UC Davis Department of Mathematics

Step 1: Create Your Page (Out of Thin Air!)

  1. Log in to your math account.
  2. If a terminal window isn't open, open one by clicking on the icon that looks like a little computer monitor. Type the commands given in step 3 into the terminal window.
  3. Follow the official instructions from our computing staff. If you're not familiar with pico, don't worry (the commands will appear at the bottom of the window. You will probably just need “WriteOut” (a.k.a Save), which is Ctrl-o, and “Exit,” which is Ctrl-x. Don't skip the “chmod” part of the instructions). You might have to repeat this step whenever you create a new page.
  4. Currently, the “public_html” folder only contains one file, “index.html”. Every webpage you write will be placed in this folder. Also, every file in this folder can be seen from the web.
  5. Look at your new webpage online. Launch a browser and type in your URL:

Step 2: Editing the Webpage: Make it Yours

As it stands, your web page is just a generic placeholder. You need to edit the file index.html to make it into a real web page. The main principle at work is: whatever file you cook up and save as index.html in your public_html directory, that's what will appear when anyone looks you up on the web.

If you are interested in writing HTML code in the index.html file to make a real website, some caution is advised. It will take some time to learn the HTML tags that produce thinks like links, titles, paragraphs, color, etc. Modern websites use many advance technologies to make them look good. It will take a lot of effort to make a website that does not look like it was made in 1990. I recommend two different solutions: 1) learn enough HTML to use a nice looking template, or 2) Host your website on a third-party and have your math URL forward the user. These options are described next.

Option 1: Learning HTML and writing code in index.html

Search online for “basic HTML tutorial” and maybe “basic CSS tutorial”. Once you have played with these technologies and know the basics. Search online for “one page website template free” and use a modern looking template.

Option 2: Not Learning HTML and using a third-party

Another good option is to use some website-hosting application and just have your math URL redirect users. Some good options include

To redirect to your real website, the “index.html” file in “public_html” should be the file

<!DOCTYPE html>
<!-- HTML meta URL redirect -->
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=">

Good Practices

A webpage is meant to be viewed from anyone's screen. So, you should avoid features that are particular to your computer. For example:

  • avoid using colors which make the page unreadable under some settings
  • don't set your page to be a certain width which may be too wide or too narrow for other people
  • don't rely on fancy fonts

For more general computer help, e-mail IT

webpage.txt · Last modified: 2016/08/25 17:28 by jgcorliss