Guide to Setting Up Homepages

Please read carefully before you begin.

Creating web pages
Legal issues
Setting up your Web space
Putting pages on the server
Getting help
When you leave Goldsmiths
<< Homepages welcome


The World Wide Web has become a vital resource for research, teaching and learning among students and academics throughout the world. As well as using it as source of knowledge and information you can also contribute to the web yourself. You may wish to publicise your research or a specific project you are undertaking, perhaps in order to get feedback from others in the same field. The web offers a powerful and virtually instant means of publicising papers, articles or dissertations internationally. The ability to include elements other than text, such as graphics, sound and video can make a web version of a publication more attractive and useful.

The College's own web sites are solely for official material from the College and individual departments. However, the College also provides a special web server, dedicated entirely to publishing staff and student personal web pages. Any member of College can create a single web site on this server with their registered username and password.

Creating pages for the World Web is relatively simple compared to many other computer-based processes. A web page mainly consists of text which is 'marked up' using HTML tags. These tags tell the web browser how to display text and any associated images. There are many different HTML editors available to help you create web pages. However, to get good results it is necessary to spend a little time learning how the web works and how to use HTML.

Adobe Dreamweaver is the College's recommended web authoring software. This is available on PCs and Macs in the Rutherford Information Services Building (RISB).

There is no moderation or control of the Web. Because of this Goldsmiths, in common with all other colleges and universities, has to be very careful not to allow any material to be published on its servers that is in any way illegal or otherwise inappropriate.

College Regulations contain a number of provisions relating to computer use in College, many of which are relevant to web publishing. In particular you should refer to Computer Services Guide C6.2 JANET Acceptable Use Policy which lays down specific guidelines for web publishers.

If any material that conflicts with College Regulations is found on the server it will be removed immediately, without notice, and the person responsible will be subject to disciplinary (and possibly legal and criminal) sanctions. If you have any doubts about any material you want to publish on the web, advice can be sought from the Goldsmiths Web Team, e-mail

Your responsibilities can be summarised as follows:

  • You are personally responsible for everything on your personal pages.

  • Your pages must not contain, or link to, any material that could reasonably be considered illegal, offensive, or otherwise inappropriate.

  • You may not use the Homepages server for commercial gain or advertising except with the prior written permission of the Director of the IT Department.

  • Your personal pages must clearly be seen as such and must not claim or appear to be anything other than this (e.g. Goldsmiths College pages, society pages of the Goldsmiths Union, from other universities or organisations).

  • Staff who use Homepages for material relating to their academic or other professional activities should take particular care to include a disclaimer about the "unofficial" status of the pages or give some other clear indication that they are personal and not official College or departmental pages, nor under the College's editorial control.

  • You must not use the Goldsmiths logo or shield (or any part of these) on your personal pages.

You will be allowed to choose the URL (web site address) for your pages, which will take the form:

This will be the URL you give out to people you want to visit your web pages. Currently you will be allocated 10Mb of space on the Homepages Server hard disk, which is more than adequate for most purposes.

Your homepage (i.e., the 'top-level' page of your web site should be called index.html. This is the default file that will be displayed when your URL is retrieved by the browser. (Note: your homepages folder will already have an 'index.html' file in it, with the message 'under construction'. You will need to overwrite this with your own index.html file.)

To set up your personal web space, see Setting up New Space.

Once you have created your pages, and ensured that they conform to the College Regulations, you need to upload them to the Homepages Server to make them available.

You manage your files on the server using a piece of software known as an FTP client. WS-FTP is the standard FTP client on College PCs, while Fetch will be found on College Macintosh systems. Computer Services Guides C5.5 Windows FTP and C5.9 Macintosh FTP explain how to use FTP software.

You can update the content of your pages as often as you like, simply by uploading a newer version to the server. You can also remove any of your pages from the server at any time.

Although you are encouraged to set up your homepages, the IT Department's Help Desk is unable to deal with student queries about HTML or web design. Computer Services runs web authoring courses for staff and research students.

The Library is well stocked with books on web authoring and design, and Guide C9.2 Creating Web Pages is available from the Help Desk. Perhaps the best source of help, ideas and information is the web itself; some useful resources are linked from

We have provided the following ‘scripts’ for you to use in your Web pages.

This gives an indication of the number of times your page has been visited.

Form to Mail
If you want users to respond to your web page, you can create an on-line ‘form’ for them to fill in. Once submitted, this script will send the information the user has supplied to your e-mail account.

This is a piece of Javascript, which allows a graphic file to be replaced by another when the mouse is pointed at it. This is a popular effect on the web, which can be used for aesthetic purposes or to highlight links.

For further details of these, see Information for Users.

  • Keep your web pages up-to-date. Inaccurate information is worse than no information, and may lead people to distrust your Web site.

  • Include contact information, so that people can give feedback or ask questions.

  • Don’t publish anything on the web that you would be concerned about people copying, or anything that is not your copyright. This includes images.

  • If you have external links in your web pages (i.e. links to other web sites), check them regularly as web sites move, change, close down and can become irrelevant. It is often better to group ‘external links’ on one page. A proportion of your users will never return to your page, so aim to lead them through your content before giving an opportunity to exit.

  • Use images wisely, and ensure that they are customised for the Web. People may not want to wait for lots of (large) images to download if they are not important to them.

  • Be concise. People read differently from a computer screen than they do on the printed page. A paper-based publication is unlikely to translate successfully into an electronic one without some changes to both the structure and the content. Get people to look at your pages and give you honest feedback.

  • It is easy to change things on your personal pages and keeping them fresh and up-to-date will make them attractive to users.

If you are a student, your Computer Services account is frozen the day after your course ends, and you will no longer be able to make changes to your site. However, the site will remain accessible to readers for a year.

If you wish to move your site elsewhere, you can use Homepages 'Referer' facility to redirect visitors to your new site. You are advised to set up this facility before the end of your course. If you leave it till after completion of your course, you will need to complete an application for a Temporary Extension of Computer Access. Hard copies are available from the IT Help Desk. Note that you can only have one such extension.