Building a Website in MyFiles@bc
Because MyFiles@bc is a Web-based file storage system, you can build Web sites in your MyFiles@bc space. This can be very useful when you have information to share with specific groups of people.
Advantages of MyFiles@bc Websites
- Web pages and related files can be restricted to specific individuals and groups at Boston College. Custom groups can be created and maintained in Campus Groups, BC's group messaging application.
- Web pages can be accessed by specific individuals using tickets, which can be set to expire after an interval of your choosing in hours, days, weeks, etc.
- Web pages can include photos and graphics and can link to other types of files in your MyFiles@bc space (such as PDF files). They can also link to pages elsewhere on the Web.
- Web sites built in MyFiles@bc are secure, which means they are encrypted before they are transmitted over the Internet.
Limitations of MyFiles@bc Websites
- MyFiles@bc does not support interactive Web pages (no forms, databases, server-side includes, etc.).
- At the moment, you must use the standard MyFiles@bc approaches to uploading and updating files in your site. For example, you cannot use Dreamweaver to upload files to MyFiles@bc or use its synchronization tools. Web folders provide a reasonably convenient way for Windows & Mac OS X (Tiger v. 10.4) users to update their sites. Other Mac users must upload and update files with the standard MyFiles@bc Web browser interface.
- Pages and documents on the MyFiles@bc server cannot be indexed by the BC search engine or other Web search engines, such as Google.
Guidelines for building a Website in MyFiles@bc
- Build your website in a local folder on your computer. Hint: If you are using Dreamweaver, only define a local site, not a remote folder.
- To provide easy-to-use URLs, file and folder names should be short, all lowercase, and contain no spaces. Hint: If you really need a space in a file name, use a hyphen instead. Web pages should have an ".html" or ".htm" extension.
- If you want a folder to contain a "default" file that loads whenever someone enters just the folder in the URL, name your default file: index.html
- Dependent files, like photos and graphics, should be contained within your MyFiles@bc site, not pulled into your pages from other non-secure servers. If you link to folders on a non-secure server, people viewing your pages will get a warning each time a page loads that informs them that the page contains insecure elements.
- As you complete pages, move them to a folder you have created in your MyFiles@bc space. Both Mac and Windows users can upload files using the MyFiles@bc Web browser interface (learn how to upload files). Windows and Mac OS X (Tiger v. 10.4) users have the additional option of creating a Web folder, which provides drop and drag access to MyFiles@bc [learn more about Web folders: Windows | Mac OS X (Tiger v. 10.4)]. If you have many pages or frequently update your site, this method is much faster and easier.
- Use folders to group sets of documents that you want to give access to as a unit. This gives you the option to grant access to the entire folder rather than one page at a time. Keep dependent files (graphics and photos) in the same general area as the pages that display them. This makes it easier to grant access to the dependent files at the same time.
- Test your pages, by accessing them with a Web browser. Your site will have a URL like:
where "username" is your BC username and the "rest-of-path" is made up of the folder(s) and file name.
Note: All MyFiles@bc URLs start with "https:" rather than "http:" indicating they are "secure."
- If your pages contain graphics or photos, be sure to upload those files to the server before testing or you will see missing graphics icons.
- If you make a change in a page you have already previewed, be sure to reload/refresh the page in your browser to see the changes. If your changes do not appear, be sure you have uploaded the revised file to the server and that the file name has not changed.
- You create links from one of your pages to another in the same way you would on any other Web site.
- Once your site is built, grant access to it the same way you would share files and folders in MyFiles@bc (learn how to share). Remember to grant access to the photos, graphics, or other dependent elements of your pages, as well as the pages themselves.