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How To Manage Department Websites

How to Manage Department Web Sites

General Information

  1. All web masters must have an Active Directory account to manage the department web sites.  To obtain an AD account, follow the URL:   A tutorial on account set-up is available online. Outside consultants can request an AD account as a guest, but will need to fill out this Computer Account Request Form.
  2. Next step is to get a written authorization from the department head for the person(s) who will be maintaining the web site. Please print out this form and follow the instructions.
  3. Upon submission of the completed form to the Helpdesk, access will be granted to the department web directory as specified on the form.
  4. Every department is entitled to a web space of 500 MB.
  5. Department web site can be developed in HTML, PHP and CGI programs.  Microsoft Front page extensions are not supported.
  6. A web site can be developed using any of the standard WYSIWYG tools like Dreamweaver.

Connecting to the Server for Web Site Management

  1. A secure FTP client is required to upload and manage the department web site pages.  WinSCP is recommended and it's free. (Dreamweaver or other html editors can be used to create/edit web content, but to upload the files to the server, a FTP client is needed.)

    WinSCP is downloadble here: For detailed instructions (with screen shots) on logging onto the server and navigating to your destination folder, please click here.

    For MAC users, fugu FTP client is recommended and is downloadable here:

  2. Provide the following credentials for connection;

    Server address:    

    Warning: forbin is no longer an active web server. Please do not connect to it for content update. Connect to instead. If you connect to, changes to your web content will not take effect.

    User name: AD account with domain: QC\ADusername or INSTR\ADUsername

  3. If your AD account password works elsewhere (for example, to login to your office computer, or webattendance, etc) but does not work with WinSCP, it is recommended that you change your password here and try logging into WinSCP again afterwards.
  4. When you log in, you'll be placed at your home directory by default. To access your departmental website, navigate to the root, then click on wwwfiles, then you'll see a list of departmental web folders. Click on your department's folder to access the files. (You may see other departments' web folders listed there, but won't be able to access any unless authorized.) For screen shots on this part, please open this file: instructions on file transfer using WinSCP.

CGI Programs

  1. CGI programs written in Perl are supported and must be placed under ‘cgi-bin’ folder inside your home directory.
  2. CGI program can be placed within the department folder either as CGI of Perl files to be executed.

Legacy CGI Programs

  1. In legacy environment, CGI programs and PHP files are managed within the special user home directories called ‘department users’.
  2. If your web site contains CGI programs executed this way (under department user home directory), during the migration to a new server, the associated department user home directories were also brought over.
  3. Please contact OCT with the department user account name to obtain access to these user account home directories.  Once OCT provides access to these folders, department web masters can access and manage CGI files created in this fashion.

Managing Legacy CGI Programs

  1. Putty is recommended to manage the CGI program.
    1. Click this link to download Putty.
    2. Click on "Save" when the download window pops up—to save the program locally, for example, on your desktop.
    3. Click on the saved program on your computer: Putty.exe to login and perform maintenance.
    4. Click here for more information on Putty.
  2. Connect to the server as explained earlier.  When connected to the server, you will be in your home directory.
  3. Change to the home directory of legacy department user accounts which contains the CGI programs.  For example if the legacy department user account is ‘careers’, then change the directory to ‘/home/careers’.
  4. CGI programs written in Perl are supported and must be placed under ‘cgi-bin’ folder inside the department user home directory.
  5. For the CGI program to execute, the owner of the file must be changed to the user name and group to ‘users’.

    Use “chown” command to change the owners of this CGI program. For example:

    Check for the file execution permission of the CGI program.

    1. Owner must have read, write and execute permission.
    2. ‘Users ‘group must have read and execute permission.
    3. Others must have read and execute permission.
  6. The CGI program can be viewed using the following URL,

Please note that we do not need ~ in front of the user name.

Managing PHP programs

  1. Currently PHP files can be created and supported within the department folders.
  2. In legacy implementations, PHP programs were created inside the department user accounts and executed similar to CGI programs.
  3. If your department web sites contain any PHP files in the department user’s accounts, please move these files to department folders for proper execution of PHP files.
  4. New PHP files can be created and placed within the department folder and subfolders.
  5. PHP mail function is working on the new server.
  6. mySQL library is yet to be intalled, therefore PHP pages with mySQL database connection are not supported.

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