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Overview of Options for Web Authors

If your University of Rochester department wishes to provide information on the World Wide Web, you need to have a networked computer with the appropriate software to act as a server, which stores the information and lets people on the Web access it at all times. This server can belong to and be located in your department, or it can be the central server maintained by University IT. This central server is called www.rochester.edu and space on it is available to most UR departments free of charge. Some organizations (like the Medical Center and the School of Engineering) provide a web server for their departments, but other departments may contact University IT at x52811 to find out if they can use the central server.

Local Servers
If you choose to use a computer in your department as your Web server, you will need a local expert in your department to set it up with the appropriate software. University IT may provide a little guidance in this process but will not set up the server for you. The main advantage of using this method is that your department will have much more independence, as you will not depend on University IT to add user accounts, allocate disk space, set up directories, etc. University IT will still provide style guidelines and possible training if desired.

The Central Server
The University IT central Web server, www.rochester.edu, is available to departments within the college and as well as many others (departments in the Medical Center should contact the Miner Library for assistance). Usually, one information provider from the department obtains an account on the server and can access the department's files at any time. Shared accounts for more than one information provider are also available. Using this service means you must apply for an account and receive training on its use. When the training is completed and the provider feels comfortable with the use of the account, the provider becomes virtually independent in changing, adding, and removing files and pages.

The process for obtaining a central server account is as follows:

  1. Learn HTML. HTML training is free to the College through University IT.
  2. Apply for an account.
  3. Create some first-draft pages. University IT will review them with you if you wish.
  4. Receive account and be trained in its use.
  5. Upload files to the server and edit them as you wish.

After your department has been providing information on the Web for a while, you may realize that you are using the Web even more than you expected. For example, many professors in your department may decide to put class notes on-line, or you may add so much information that you need to request more disk space. If this happens, it may be time for you to set up your own server within your department. Using the central server is a good way to test the usefulness of the Web, but University IT hopes that departments with the most information on-line will eventually move towards independence.