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HTML editing programs  | FTP  | UNIX  | Backgrounds - Images   |  Web publishing guides  |  Basic html format

Creating a Web Site on Mason and Setting Permissions 

Go to this Web page to activate your Mason Account [This account is NOT the same as your MEMO e-mail account]: 

After you have activated your mason account, log on:   

From a Windows PC: 
a. Click on Start (bottom left of your screen) or, if on campus, click on the "Telnet" icon.
b. Click on Run
c. Type telnet
d. Enter your mason username and press ENTER
e. Enter your mason password and press ENTER [You will not see the password.] 
    (Remember this account is not the same as your MEMO e-mail account.) 

To create a public_html directory and set permissions:  

a. At the osf1 or> prompt, type cd Press "Enter" 
b. Type: mkdir public_html   Press "Enter" 

[The initial prompt (> or will reappear each time you press Enter. Then go on to each new instruction.]
c. To set permissions (so that everyone can see your pages), type: 
chmod 755 public_html 

Then, to make your mason account accessible:
d. Type cd   Press ENTER
e Type chmod 711 .    (Don't forget the space and period after 711) Press ENTER

[You will probably never need to set these permissions again for your mason account.]

To re-enter your public_html (Web) directory:

At the system prompt: (ie:> or>), type: cd public_html [Press Enter
[This puts you in your public html directory where you can create or edit Web files. You can type ls to see the names of  all of your files in your public_html directory.] 

To Create or Edit Files in your public_html using UNIX:

Remember your main "home" page file is always called index.html

EDIT A FILE while in your mason Web space on the server, type: pico filename.html
[Substitute "filename" with the name you give the file.] 

CREATE A NEW FILE while in your mason Web space on the server: 
Type pico filename [Substitute "filename" with the name you give the file.] You will see a screen that looks similar to a wordprocessor "page" in which to type your html tags and insert your text. (See tags below.) 

[File naming conventions:   Name your other files with  names that are easily identifiable, using no more than eight characters. The extension for all text files must be .htm or .html.  Don't leave spaces in file names and don't use slashes ( / ), dashes or hyphens ( - ) in files names. You may use an underscore (ex: web_pg.html ) to separate parts of a name. Use lower case, easily identifiable names.] 

SET *FILE PERMISSIONS: If you create your files in in your mason Web space, after you create each file, type: 
chmod a+r filename.html (Substitute "filename.html:" with the name of the file you want to give permission to read). 

*If you create your Web files in your public_html directory using the UNIX "pico" editing program, you will  need to set permissions for each file by typing (while in your public_html directory) chmod a+r filename.  Substitute "filename" with the name of your .html file. For example: chmod a+r index.html


If you create Web pages in your public_html directory by using the UNIX text editor, pico, here are some shortcuts: 

CTRL D delete a letter
CTRL K delete a line of text
CTRL^ mark text to delete (or to move)

Press CTRL ^ to mark the text. Then press CTRL K to delete the text. Then insert the cursor where you want the text to be moved. Then press CTRL U to undelete. This will move your text to the new spot.
CTRL O,  then Y or N, when prompted - to save or not save your file
CTRL X to exit 

(Y or N, when prompted, to save changes before you exit.)

To view your Web page type the domain name ( preceeded by http://, plus your user name, preceeded by a tilde: "~". 

For ex: [Replace "username" with your mason account name - the same as your e-mail "name" without the]. Type this address in the location window of your browser.  If you set permissions and correctly executed all of the commands and tags, then your Web page should appear. 


Below is what a basic html document  template looks like. Always put the html tags between the < > brackets. Notice that some tags have a / symbol in front of the tag. This signifies that the "command" for that tag ends at that point. [To see or edit this underlying structure when you use an html editing program or a wordprocessor which has the option to save as an html file, select "view" or "edit"  html source or similar option. ] 

[These tags are used to create basic Web pages without using a Web page composing program like DreamWeaver or Front Page. These tags are the basic, conventional Web page tags.] 

<html> This tag signifies this is an html document. 

<head> This tag signifies the beginning of the header information. 

<title> The Title goes here - it shows at the top of the browser  - but not on your Web page.</title>

</head> This tag signifies the end of the header information. 

[Information above the <body> tag does not show on the Web page.]

<body> This tag signifies the beginning of the html material. 

<h1> Your first header or title should go between these symbols. </h1>

<p> This tag designates a paragraph.</p

<p> And this is the second paragraph...and so on.</p

</body> This tag signifies the end of the body of the document. 

</html> This tag signifies the end of the html document. 

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When you create your web pages using a program such as FrontPage or Dreamweaver or Netscape Composer, you need to upload your files, using a program such as WS-FTP,  to your Web (public_html) directory .

Use ftp (file transfer protocol):
CAUTION: If you ftp a new file with the same name as an old file, the old file will be replaced with the new one.  

For IBM-type computers:
Secure Shell FTP and Telnet Client
How to install and use Secure Shell 
Download WS_FTP - FREE for users in education settings 
How to set up WS-FTP with your mason server account (
non-graphics version (

For MACs:
Fetch  ( MAC program to load files and graphics to Web site on server

UNIX commands ( to help you maintain your Web material. 

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© copyright 1996 Virginia Montecino  - revised 4/22/03