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The IU Sitehosting environment is the primary IU web hosting platform and is appropriate for a number of uses, including departmental, center, and research group sites.  This page provides a summary of the steps required to set up a site in the Sitehosting environment but is not meant to be a replacement for the UITS documentation.


Limitations and Considerations

The IU Sitehosting environment is a robust system supporting html, php, and cgi hosting.  However, you should take these things into consideration when determining the suitability of this system for your site:

  1. An official IU group account must be created for the hosting and this requires sponsorship of a member of the IU faculty or staff.
  2. The system is classified for sensitive data classified as restricted or lower so it cannot be used for critical sensitive data.
  3. Sitehost accounts have an initial quota of 2 GB.  Higher quotas must be requested but large media files and backups should not be stored on the Sitehost file system.

If these limitations are not a problem, then follow these steps to create the site

Step 1: Create a Group Account

A group account must be created by either a faculty or staff member of the school.  In some cases, it makes sense for the SICE IT staff to own the group account and, in that case, you can make the request via the Luddy Help Desk.  If you want to own the group account then you can create it per the KB page Request IU computing accounts for groups or departments.  Further information is available per the instructions in the About IU Sitehosting KB page.

Step 2: Request Sitehost Account

Once you have the group account, just go to the Webtech Site, click the Manage your Sitehost account link, click Account details for the group account you are using, and then click Request Sitehost Account.  You will receive an email once the account is ready for use.

Step 3: Request MySQL Database Access

If you need a MySQL database for your site, you can also request that via the Webtech Site.  Just click Manage your Sitehost account link, click Account details for the group account you are using, and then click Request MySQL Account.

Step 4: Add or Remove Access For Others

If there are other uses who will need access to manage or edit the site, you can grant them permissions via the Webtech Site.  Just click Manage your Sitehost account link, click Account details for the group account you are using, and then click Manage Access.  From there, you can add IU users as a proxy (full site permissions), developer (edit permissions), or contact (notification only).  You can also remove permissions from this same page.

Step 5: Publish Content to Sitehost

There are a number of ways you can publish content to the site and you should see the Sitehost documentation for all the details.  However, here is a summary of a few common access methods:

  1. Simple, Direct File Edits - If you just want to log in and edit a file, that is possible as follows:
    1. ssh to as your normal IU account (not the group account).  There is additional information about using PuTTy in Use PuTTY to connect to IU Sitehosting
    2. run "become groupaccount" (where you replace "groupaccount" with your sites group account name) to become the group account user
    3. cd to the web directory and edit files directly using your linux command-line editor of choice (eg. nano, vi, emacs, etc)
  2. Using scp Without the Groups VPN - You can also use the command-line scp program to copy files but without using the Groups VPN you can only copy from sitehost.  So, just log in and become the group account as in the previous section and then you can do things like "scp username@some.server:/some/remote/file /some/local/file".
  3. Using scp With the Groups VPN - UITS has things set up so you can use a special groups VPN connection and, once connected, you can then copy files directly to the group account.  The basic steps are:
    1. Set up ssh keys (if you don't already have keys you are using) and upload them to your Sitehost account per Generate and use SSH keys with IU Sitehosting
    2. Make a Groups VPN connection per Use the IU Groups VPN with IU Sitehosting
    3. You can now do things like "scp /some/local/file"
  4. Using GUI Tools Like CyberDuck and WinSCP - You can use these GUI tools and we recommend doing it with SSH keys.  See these documents for more information:
    1. Use Cyberduck to connect to IU Sitehosting
    2. Use WinSCP to connect to IU Sitehosting

As noted, you should see the UITS Sitehost documentation for further information.  If you happen to need to do unattended uploads directly to the site (eg. via some content management system other than the IU WCMS system) then you will need to contact the Sitehost admins if using the Groups VPN is not possible and they may be able to set up an exception for you.

Step 6: Select a URL

By default, you will get a url of the form (where group-name is your group account username).  If you want a to set up a virtual host and use a URL of the form (where you provide the something), you can request that via the Webtech Site.  Just click Manage your Sitehost account link, click Account details for the group account you are using, click View Virtual Hosts, and then click Request a new virtual host.  Once the request is submitted, expect it to take several days before the new virtual host is active.

Site Removal

If you have a Sitehost site that is no longer needed, then you should do the following:

  1. Go to the Webtech Site
  2. Click Manage your Sitehost account
  3. Click Account details for the group account associated with the site
  4. Click Manage Sitehost Account
  5. Check the acknowledgement box in the Retire section and click Retire Sitehost

Just keep in mind that the site files will no longer be accessible once this is done so you should archive any files you want to keep before you do this.

This will remove Sitehost services associated with the group account but will not affect any other services associated with that group account (including email).  If you also have no need for the associated group account(s) and email address then email and ask to have the group account(s) removed entirely.

Getting Help

If you are affiliated with the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and would like help setting up or migrating your web site, please submit a request using the Luddy Help Desk.  If you need to contact the Web Services support team use the form Support Center Tier 2 Web Services Support team.