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As noted earlier, you will have a URL of the form (where the "account" is your chosen group account username) or you can set up virtual hosting so you can select your own domain, like (where you provide the "something.  If you want to set up virtual hosting, you can do this using the Virtual Host Name Request Form as described in the Getting Started With Webserve document.  If you want to do this and you will be using the domain, please let us know via the SoIC Help Desk.


When you fill out the virtual host name request form, you will be asked "Will this service have secure content".  If you plan to do any authentication whatsoever with the site, you must say 'yes' so you can use https for secure authentication.  If you say 'no' to this, then your url will not work using https, only http.  The downside is this can cause confusion if someone goes to the https url instead of http since they will get SSL certificate errors and a page not found error.  So, if you want both http and https urls to work, you must answer 'yes' for this.  For this reason, we always recommend selecting 'yes' here and setting things up so the https url works.  If you need help with this, please let us know via the SoIC Help Desk.

Step 5: MySQL Database Access


When your site is created, you will have both www and wwws directories in the account.  Content placed in the www directory is accessible via http and that placed in the wwws directory is accessible via SSL-secured https using a url like  If you want to use https with a virtual domain like then that has to be requested (see the note in section 4 above).

titleNo Restricted or Critical Data

Please note that even if you are using SSL/https, Webserve can NOT be used to host Restricted or Critical data as noted in the Webserve Service Agreement.


  • Web Logs -You have access to web usage data using the url[account name] (where you replace [account name] with the name of the group account you are using.  This data includes any virtual domains being hosted under that account.  For more information see the User Documentation for WebHost Services Web Usage Reports.

  • Directory Indexes - By default, you will not be able to get directory listings when a directory doesn't contain and index file (like index.html).  However, you can enable this feature by following the instructions in the help page Enabling Directory Indexing on Webserve.  However, they suggest using "Options Indexes" in the .htaccess file but that also removes the default Options settings.  If all you want to do is add indexing then you can use "Options +Indexes" instead.

  • Canonical URLs - If you are hosting a virtual domain you probably want to set up a canonical URL for your site and redirect all other URLs to this preferred URL.  For example, if you have but the site is also reachable using urls and then you can force all URLS to use by added this to a .htaccess file at the top of the site:

    Code Block
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/~musicweb/ [OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L] 

    There is more information about this in the document Redirect to a Different URL using .htaccess.

  • Redirecting All Requests to HTTPS - If your site works using https and you want to force all http traffic to use https, then you can do that by 1) putting all your content in the wwws directory (instead of the www directory) and then redirecting http to https by creating a .htaccess file in the www directory that contains something like the following:

    Code Block
    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !on
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R,L]  

    You will need to replace the domain ( in the above example) with the correct name for your virtual domain.

Getting Help

Your best source of information about Webserve is the IU Webmaster web site.  If you get stuck and want to contact the IU Webmaster team, see their Contact Page.  If you are affiliated with the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) and would like help setting up your web site, please submit a request using the SoIC Help Desk.