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Information Technology Services

Student Organization Websites

web publishing

Overview
Any registered student organization may request space on the Boston College web server to host a website. New sites are usually placed in the "clubs" folder, so club sites generally have a URL like: /clubs/clubname/where "clubname" is a short, all lowercase version of your club name or abbreviation.
Examples:
/clubs/clubsoccer/ - Women's Club Soccer
/clubs/bcms/  - BC Mathematics Society
/clubs/danceensemble/ - BC Dance Ensemble

Planning Your Website
Building a new website or converting an existing website is generally a significant project. It requires a commitment of your organization's time and resources for the initial creation process, plus a permanent commitment of your site manager's time to maintaining the site.  We recommend that you think about, and if possible talk to, the people you think will be using your site. Learn what information they expect your site to provide, plus when and how often will it need to be updated. Before you start building, plan how your site will be organized into sections and how the navigation will work to get people to the information they are looking for. See our Planning Your Site page for more advice.

Requesting a Website

When you are ready to begin, the person who will be the Site Owner, generally the club's senior officer, should complete the New website request. Requests require the approval of the organization's advisor so be sure to include your advisor's name when you complete the form.


Requesting Access to Edit the Site

Each person who needs access to edit your site should complete our Web Access Request form. Each person must complete this form him or herself because it represents a commitment to abide by our simple Information Provider Guidelines. Requests require the approval of the organization's advisor so be sure to include your advisor's name when you complete the form. After your access has been approved we'll set up an FTP account on the server and send you log in instructions. If you decide to use Dreamweaver as your web editing software, you can use our Configure Dreamweaver page for instructions on how to set it up.  If you decided to use other software, the information you need on server settings is still the same as what is shown on the Configure Dreamweaver page, but your dialogue boxes will look different.


Software
Generally you need two kinds of software to build a website. One is an editor that lets you create HTML pages. The other is an FTP client that allows you to move your page to and from the web server. Some web editing software combines these two functions in one program (e.g. Dreamweaver). If you need an FTP client, you can download one from the ITS Software site's FTP Clients page. You can edit HTML with any text editor (e.g. NotePad on Windows or TextEdit on Macs). However, there are many specialized web editors that make it easier to make pages. Some are free and some are quite expensive. Some just let you work with the HTML mark up code, others give you a WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") view that hides all the code and makes the editor work like a word processor for web pages. For suggestions on Web Editors, check out WYSIWYG Web Editors Reviewed.


File and Folder Names
We recommend that you use simple, short, all lowercase file and folder names with no spaces. This will help keep your page URLs short and simple. If you need to use two or more words we recommend you either run them together with no spaces or use a hyphen in place of the spaces.  The home page of your site should be named one of the default names:  default.html, home.html or index.html.  By using one of these names you can leave off the file name when you write links to your home page.


Requesting a Web Alias
Clubs can request a web alias to have a shorter URL to give out for their home page. Use our Web Alias Request form. Aliases are generally all lower case and three to twelve letters long with a form like: www.bc.edu/something. You can request an alias as soon as your home page is in place.
Example:  Alias: /acoustics  takes the user to:
/bc_org/svp/st_org/acoustics/


Launching Your New Site

When you are ready to make your site public, use our Web Support Request form to request assistance with your launch. We can run a link checker against your site to be sure everything is working correctly and we'll add links to your site in the A to Z section of the BC website so people can find your site more easily.


Web Analytics
We run a service called AWStats that keeps track of monthly usage totals for each page on the BC web site. For more information visit our AWStats Web Traffic Stats page.

 

Other Technology Services for Student Organizations

You can find a run down of other services ITS provides on our Student Organizations Services page.