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Basic WWW for University Departments

Before requesting space or creating a department web site in AFS, please consult the Community and University Resources page to determine if your department or school is already managing its web presence in a local hosting environment.


Any Stanford department can establish its web presence using the main Stanford web servers to host their pages. These sites are accessed by the URL path. The sites are also accessible through a redirect at For instance, maps to automatically.

Your department’s AFS department directory includes a WWW directory, which holds the web pages (unless they are driven by a content management system such as Drupal, which requires using the CGI and MySQL services). This WWW directory has been pre-configured to work with the web server.

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Request a department directory
    To get web space for your department you'll need a directory in AFS under /afs/ If you don't already have one, use the AFS Group Request form to ask for a department directory. All requests for Stanford web space must be made by a legitimate representative of the department.
  2. Create your HTML and styles (and content)
    The Stanford Self-help Web Design Resources page provides all you need to know (including Stanford templates for official department or group use) to make a web page or site that is standards-based and accessible.
  3. Place your files on the server
    After you've finished creating your HTML file you can transfer the files to your group's home directory using a variety of "web-friendly" Stanford programs. The File Transfer site provides step by step instructions.
  4. Confirm that your page/site is being served
    After putting your file into your department's home directory you'll want to check to make sure everything worked out okay. Go to your browser and open the following URL:
    If, for example, your department's name was "Rocket Science", you could see your home page at If your home page does not show up, review these instructions closely. If you're still stuck, submit a HelpSU request.
  5. Protect your pages?
    Most people create web pages knowing they can be seen by anyone anywhere on the world wide web. This is a good thing, usually. On the other hand, it's not uncommon to want only certain people to see certain pages, depending on the content. There are several ways to restrict access to your Web pages:
    • WebAuth
      To allow only Stanford people (all Stanford people, or just particular Stanford people, etc.) to see your web pages, you'll need to use WebAuth. This is the easiest and most often used method for protecting your pages at Stanford.
    • User Authentication
      If you want to allow only non-Stanford people (or some combination of Stanford and non-Stanford people) to see your pages, this is the method you'll employ.
  6. Enhance your pages
    The Stanford Web Service makes a variety of features available to people who want to make their web pages more useful or just plain fun. You can learn more about the CGI service for making forms, vanity URLs for making long or cumbersome URLs more readable, how to add a Google-based search function to your web pages, and other web options on the Web Service Features page.
Last modified April 12, 2023