Administering Your Websites from a Web Browser with the Website Administration Application

Students and staff in the School of Computer Science & Informatics, can upload and publish their own websites on the School's project and users Web servers. One way to administer your sites – to structure the sites and upload, edit or remove pages – is to use the web-based adminstration application described here.

The Website Administration Program

The Website Administration Application is a web application which you can use to upload files to your website and perform other administrative tasks. Connect your browser to the website administration program by going to URL https://siteadm.cs.cf.ac.uk/.

Enter your user name and password and click Login.

Choose the website you want to administer –

  • project for the project web server
  • users for the users web server
  • there can be more options if you have other websites in the School.

Once you have chosen the website, click the Select website button.

The program shows you the current files and directories which make up your website. In the following, there are no web page files and just one directory, cgi-bin. This is the initial state of a user's website file space.

Uploading a file

To upload a file from your local workstation, click on the Browse button. This will pop up a browser that you can use to locate the file on your local file system. For example, here we have located first.html in directory /home/eg on the local workstation.

Click on the Upload button to copy the file from your local system to your website on the users server.

The file now appears in the contents of your top directory.

Renaming a file

The file first.html can be viewed over the web at URL http://users.cs.cf.ac.uk/E.G.User/first.html.

If it is renamed index.html, it will appear as the default page when people visit http://users.cs.cf.ac.uk/E.G.User/. Click Rename/Change Mode alongside the file name to rename the file.

(This properties window can also be used to change the access modes of a file.)

Enter index.html and click on the Apply changes button to change the name of the file.

Deleting a file

To delete a file, or a directory and all its contents, click on the rubbish bin icon which appears besides the name. An appropriate confirmation alert pops up.

Creating a sub-directory

You can create a directory within your website file space by entering its name in the Create a new directory field and clicking on the Make directory button.

For example, this will create a directory called hobby.

The directory appears in the listing of files and directories in your top directory.

Click on the directory's name to make the website administration program display the new directory.

Now you can upload files to the new directory.

Uploading an archive of files

You can upload a TAR or zip archive containing files for your website. For example, suppose we have a file site.zip on our local workstation containing HTML, PHP and other files and directories for the hobby sub-site. We can browse and locate the file for uploading as before.

The zip file is listed with an extra Extract Files option beside it.

Click on Extract Files to extract the files from the archive and place them in the hobby directory.

Note that files and the sub-directory general which were contained in the zip archive, have been created in the website file space.

We should now remove the file site.zip and change the modes of the PHP files to make them non-executable.

The Extract Files option will work for TAR files as well as for zip files, and it will cope with compressed (.gz or .bz) TAR files too.

Downloading a file

You can download a file from your website by clicking on its name in the directory listing.

When files are downloaded, your browser will look at the file type (usually by looking at the extension part of the file name). The browser may give you the choice of opening or saving the file.

For example, in Windows Internet Explorer, click on the Save button to save the file to your file space.

In Firefox, select the Save to Disc option and click the OK button.

Downloading a Directory

The administration application can also download an entire directory, or even the whole website, as a single zip file. Click on the Zip download option alongside a sub-directory or current directory entry in the lists of files and directories.

The files and sub-directories in the directory you have chosen are archived into a zip archive file.

In Internet Explorer, click the Save button to save the zip file to your filespace. Later, you can unzip it with the Windows zip application to extract the files into your local file space.

In Firefox, choose the Save to Disc option and click the OK button. On Linux, you can later extract the files with the unzip command or archive manager.

Installing a CGI Script

Suppose we have the following in file test-my-cgi on our local workstation.

#!/bin/bash
echo "Content-type: text/html"
echo
echo "<p>This is a test CGI script.</p>"
echo "<p>The date is "
date
echo ".</p>"

To install this on your website, change the directory in the website administration program by clicking on cgi-bin. Then upload the file from your local workstation as described above. The file now appears in the listing of directory cgi-bin.

The URL for this CGI script would be http://users.cs.cf.ac.uk/E.G.User/cgi-bin/test-my-cgi. But note that the access mode of the file is rw. This means read/write. It needs to be executable in order to run as a CGI script.

If we try to access it as it is, we will get an error message.

Go back to the website administration program and click on Rename/Change Mode to change the access mode of test-my-cgi.

Tick the Execute/search permission checkbox and click the Apply changes button.

Now the script will run when we access http://users.cs.cf.ac.uk/E.G.User/cgi-bin/test-my-cgi in a browser.

Finishing

Click the Logout button to finish administering the website, and visit your site on the users or project server (like http://users.www.cs.cf.ac.uk/E.G.User/) to see that you have achieved the result you expected.