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Web presence options

If you are a member of staff or a researcher, and you need a new web presence for a project or collaboration, you have several options. Each has its pros and cons.

In rough order of simplicity, but with less control, to the most control but also most effort for you, we have:

  1. The University's blogging service at A familiar blogging service, with basic themes available, including the official University of Edinburgh branding. It does not support virtual hosting, and it's run by Information Services.
  2. Wiki pages on the central wiki service. This is run by Information Services and it does not support virtual hosting. It uses the Your University Login service for authentication.
  3. Contact Informatics Communications Team (infcomms@inf), as they can offer guidance on the best option depending on what it is you want to achieve. They may even suggest hosting your pages on the school web content service.
  4. type space. Here "project-name" just points at a bit of AFS file space, and any files (typically HTML) just appear on the web at that location. How you manage and generate the HTML is up to you. There are also "workshops.inf", "events.inf", and "conferences.inf" URLs. Generally we do not support CGI for these sites, but PHP is supported. Cosign (with iFriend) authentication is available.
  5. DICE managed server, but user managed apache. There could be a cost, depending on the hardware used, real or virtual. Nearly complete control over apache and whatever software you want to run, provided it comes from the stock DICE environment. You can ask for a address, or point your own domain at it. There can sometimes be issues with file permissions, since you don't get root access to the server. There may also be firewall implications, depending on what web service is actually run on the server.
  6. Fully self-managed server, either purchased by yourself or supplied by Informatics. The cost would depend on the hardware. Obviously you'd get root access, but you have to do all the work yourself. For security reasons, this is type of server unlikely to be given a firewall hole to the outside world. It would only be accessible internally.

Apart from the Wordpress and Wiki services (which are run by IS), you should submit a support ticket to discus your needs for the option you are most interested in.

Virtual hosting

Nearly all of the above options support virtual hosting, by that we mean that if you have your own domain, eg, then (providing you have administrative privileges to the domain) your web content can be served as, and not as something in the domain. The only services that do not support this are blogging and the Wiki service. Though ISPs will usually offer simple redirecting or a frame based option to sort of achieve the affect you may be looking for.

Important things to bear in mind

Regardless of which option you may pick, certain things you must adhere to:
  • Laws regarding data protection and privacy (eg logging and cookies). See the "Legal" section of
  • No commercial activities can be hosted on University infrastructure.
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