Search Google Appliance

Information Technology

Web Hosting: F.A.Q.

Frequently asked questions about Web site hosting at UMass Amherst are answered below.

How do I activate my Web space?

For information on how to activate and access your Web space, see our Personal Web Sites documentation.

What tools do I need to create and maintain my Web site?

You will need an SFTP program to transfer files from your computer to the storage space as well as a Web authoring program or text editor to create your content. Members of the UMass community can download SFTP software free of charge from our Supported Software & Downloads page. You can use the bundled text editor in your operating system (i.e., Microsoft Notepad or Apple TextEdit), although these are very basic. Faculty and students can purchase a Adobe Dreamweaver at a significant discount through the Adobe Select program.

What is my storage quota and how can I check my usage?

Each IT Account (faculty, staff, or student) receives 100 MB of storage in the IT Web hosting server. To check your usage, go to and enter your NetID (IT Account user name) and UMail password to log in.

Can I create a Web site for my course?

To request a Web site account for your course, please contact the IT Service Desk (you'll need to bring your UCard). You will need a separate account for each course for which you wish to create a Web site. Your course Web site will have the following URL: where "course" stands for the course's NetID (IT Account user name) (e.g., EDU815, CMPSCI397, etc.). more...

Instructors can also create course IT accounts in SPIRE. Course IT Accounts provide a separate Blog, Box, Google Apps, and email account, plus Web space for each course. Use these accounts to create a Web site, post handouts or assignments online, blog about course announcements, or share files with students via Box or Google Drive. To learn how to create these accounts, see our Create & Manage Course IT Accounts documentation.

Who can help me design and/or build my Web site?

UMass Creative Services does not offer Web design services. Check out our Web site Building Guide.

What commands are allowed on the server?

IT has limited the number of commands available on the server to the following:

  • bash
  • cal
  • cat
  • chmod
  • clear
  • cp
  • date
  • diff
  • du
  • echo
  • egrep
  • emacs
  • false
  • fgrep
  • grep
  • gunzip
  • gzip
  • head
  • htpasswd
  • id
  • less
  • ln
  • ls
  • migrate_late
  • mkdir
  • more
  • mv
  • nano
  • pwd
  • quota
  • rm
  • rmdir
  • scp
  • sed
  • sh
  • tail
  • tar
  • touch
  • vi
  • vim
  • weblog
  • wget
  • zcat

Do you allow Server Side Includes?

Yes. We do allow server side includes (SSI) for and Web sites.

How do I password protect a file or directory on the server?

To password-protect content on your or Web site you'll need to use htaccess files. To learn how to create these files, see our Password Protect a Web Directory documentation.

Can I use a Web browser to see a list of the files on my webadmin directory?

No. IT has turned off directory listing on the server for security reasons. If there is no index.html file on your Web hosting directory, the browser will display an "Error 403 - Forbidden" message.

Can I host a dynamic PHP site in my Personal Web Space?

For to security purposes, only flat HTML sites are allowed on this server. If you need dynamic content, consider using WordPress on Blogs at UMass. Departments, programs, centers, or other official university organizations with a budget for development may be candidates for an IT hosted Drupal site.