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Setting up your official and personal web pages


For historical reasons the URL of your personal web page will be slightly different according to whether you are a Statslab, DPMMS or DAMTP person.

Personal webpages are stored on a unix file system. You will need to be able to connect to the unix file system (using ssh or hotdesk) and be comfortable running unix commands from the command line in order to put files in the correct place and set permissions appropriately.

The IT team do not manage the content of webpages. Please do not ask us to do so,


Personal web pages (staff and students)

If you wish to place a link to your personal website please ensure that you add it's URL to your database entry here

Click on any field there to access the editable version of the page. (You will need to be using the Maths VPN or a Maths computer to access this)

Many people choose to keep their personal web pages on the DAMTP, DPMMS or Statslab web server. In this case the URL will take the form:


It is not compulsory to have a personal web page, nor to keep it on a University server if you have one.

Your web pages must be kept in a public_html subdirectory of your home directory, and your home page must be called index.html. You can view your home page as soon as you have created the public_html directory and index.html file. (If you have a public_html directory but no index.html file, anyone viewing your home page will see a list of the files in your public_html directory.)

"Not found" error messages when trying to view your web pages probably mean there is a typo in a file name. "Forbidden" error messages mean that the file is there but the web server cannot read it.

PHP and MySQL are not enabled on any of the Maths web servers for security reasons. If you need to use these, it is suggested that you apply for a site on the Managed Web Service.

Putting data on the web

Any type of file can be put on a website, not just HTML. To make code or research data available to the world, just copy it to your public_html directory, and link to it from your home page to make it easier to find.

If you want to share your files with your collaborators without making them available to the entire Internet, consider restricting access to them with a .htaccess file.

If you want to share a large file with your Maths colleagues you can put it in the public_html directory in your store space and then it'll be accessible as

The file can then be accessed from the CMS network (either by sitting at a CMS computer or via the Maths VPN)

Other University web services

Redirecting your personal web pages elsewhere

You may wish to redirect your personal web-pages, here, to somewhere else (e.g. google sites). To do this download (by right-clicking on this link, and choosing "save link as") and edit this file, then move it into your ~/public_html/ directory and rename it to index.html.

HTML training

Web pages are written in HyperText Markup Language (HTML). The University Computing Service offers several training courses on HTML, or you can study it online.


Accessibility means creating websites which are readily usable by disabled people (for example a blind person using a screen reader should be able to navigate your website), work in all browsers and can be viewed on mobile devices as well as desktops.

Understanding how people with disabilities use the web (external link)

"403 forbidden" error messages

For your web pages to be visible, the web server must be able to read them, which means that they must be world-readable. If you have made your home directory private, the web server will be unable to look inside it and find your public_html directory, and anyone trying to view your pages will get a "forbidden" error message.

To make your web pages readable without affecting the permissions on your other files:

chmod 711 ~ ~/public_html
chmod -R a+rX ~/public_html/*

More about file permissions

Further information