Web

The University’s central web pages are maintained by the IT Services Web Team.

The Web Team provides consultation, design and development services to UoA departments and sections for college or administration approved work.

Contact

Standard service requests are accessible via the Web Team and are available during core business hours (09:00 - 17:00, Monday - Friday).

The Web Team can be contacted in the following ways:

Email: web-team@abdn.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)1224 27 3262

Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Old Aberdeen
AB24 3QY


View Edward Wright Building in a larger map


Maintenance

We provide:

  • Updates and additions to the University's Central web pages, academic departments or support sections where a CMS (Content Management System) is unavailable
  • General support for any web page related issues

New Sites and Application Development

All new work being must have College or Administration approval before being implemented.

For Administration

For Colleges

Training

Content Management

We provide training for our OpenText Enterprise level CMS, details can be found on our CMS Training website.

Please Note: Only apply for the CMS training courses if your site is currently being developed in the new corporate template and is being migrated into OpenText, if unsure please contact the college or administration representitives noted above.

Writing for the Web

Learn why writing for the web is different from other writing styles, and the principles and techniques specific to online writing.

This training course is intended for members of staff who are directly involved in preparing content for the Web Phase II project and who have responsibility for college web pages, i.e. departmental site administrators and editors. Please check the Events page of the CMS Training site for future training dates and times.


Corporate Content

A corporate web account will have a URL with the format www.abdn.ac.uk/something/. Such accounts may only be used for work approved by the Colleges or Administration, where the development has been carried out by the Web Team or an approved third-party supplier.

Please note: we will not put third-party software such as WordPress on the corporate server.

Corporate URL Examples

Approved URLs will take the format of

  • www.abdn.ac.uk/something/ top-level URLs will only be given out after discussion with the Web Team and are reserved for corporate-styled websites
  • www.abdn.ac.uk/events/an-event/ approved event
  • www.abdn.ac.uk/research/a-project/ approved research project, group or area

In all cases, the URL will be assigned only after discussion with the Web Team.

File Space Quota

Please note: the storage space for each web account is limited to 4GB in size. Should you require more space, please speak to the Web Team directly.

Personal Content, Homepages

A "homepages" web account can be created in two ways.

1) Your personal H: drive

If you create a directory in your local H: drive called public_html and follow the approved publishing procedure, this will create a personal web space at the URL homepages.abdn.ac.uk/mail.name/pages/something/ where "something" can be the name of any directory within public_html and "mail.name" is the first part of your primary University email address such as joe.blogs

Homepages URL Examples

  • homepages.abdn.ac.uk/mail.name/pages/myproject/ - the myproject directory of your H: drive, assuming it exists and has been published

  • homepages.abdn.ac.uk/mail.name/pages/ - the root of your public_html directory of your H: drive

  • homepages.abdn.ac.uk/mail.name/ - redirects to your corporate staff page, e.g. http://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffpages/mail.name

Please note: once you put a public_html directory into your H: drive your information becomes available on the web and can be crawled by search engines such as Google. It is therefore important that you DO NOT put sensitive or personal data inside any public_html directories. Please refer to the University’s policies on Data Protection.

2) An additional web account

By completing an RF8 form you may apply for an additional web account with an associated email address. The email address is important, as it will form the basis of the website's URL as well as being a contact address for the website.

For example, if you want a URL along the lines of homepages.abdn.ac.uk/mywebspace/ you must request the email address mywebspace@abdn.ac.uk.

Additional Web Account URL Example

  • homepages.abdn.ac.uk/mywebspace/ - the root of the additional web account

Please note: only staff may apply for additional web accounts. Research postgraduates must obtain written authorisation from the member of staff who will take responsibility for the account and its content.

Publish Your Web Pages

Before your web pages can be seen on the Internet, they need to be published to the University’s web service. The publishing step simply adjusts the file permissions on the pages so that the web server is able to read them. You can set these permissions yourself, or better still, use the utility described here instead.

External Domain Names

Please consult the Web Team before purchasing an external domain name, as this will need both College and Web Team approval.


The Staff Pages system allows you to edit and manage your own staff page which can be displayed across the University site as required.

The system also allows you to display your publications from PURE.

Your staff page can always be found at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffpages/mailname where mailname is your mail alias eg http://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffpages/j.allan. This staff page information may also be pulled onto school, discipline or departments sites as required.

It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure their central staff profile is both up-to-date and professional in its presentation.

As a basic requirement all staff should ensure their profile includes:

  • A recent photograph of themselves in which their face is clearly identifiable
  • Phone & email contact details
  • Office address (if applicable)
  • Web links to relevant Discipline, School & College

In addition (where applicable), academic staff should ensure the sections below are completed:

  • Biography – this should be up-to-date and demonstrate academic background
  • Research Interests
  • Teaching Responsibilities (if any)
  • External Responsibilities (if any)

Support & administrative staff should ensure their profile includes a summary of their responsibilities/areas covered.

Academic staff should also ensure their publications are both complete and being accurately displayed. The profiles draw publication data from the PURE system and so any changes will need to be drawn from there.


PHP

If you want to develop web-based applications, one of the most popular programming languages for doing so is PHP. We provide details of how it has been implemented at the University.

MySQL

You can create and maintain your own MySQL databases using the our locally installed utilities. MySQL is an ideal partner product for web development using PHP. Self-registration is required to use the service.

Streaming Media

Stream your own video or audio clips using this service. It is based around Adobe’s Flash Media Server and offers video streaming for Flash and mp4 files (see www.abdn.ac.uk/local/streaming). Self-registration is required to use the service. Also available is audio-only streaming via the Icecast package - contact the Service Desk if you want to use this service.

Please Note: The Web Team does not provide any training relating to the above technologies.

 


The University’s web content filter checks every URL request against a blacklist of undesirable websites. If a requested URL is on the blacklist, the content filter returns a replacement page, informing the user of what has happened and why.

The suppliers of our content filtering software offer a range of criteria for blacklisting, including those relating to pornography and inciting illegal activity, and we receive regular updates to the blacklist from them.

When a website has been wrongly classified as unsuitable for University access we can remove it from the blacklist. Similarly, we can add URLs to the blacklist if we come across websites that have been missed.

Further details on the filter criteria and forms to request either the removal or addition of a site from/to the blacklist are given in the Web Content Filter Guidelines.

Note that access to non University of Aberdeen web pages is only possible through a web browser configured to use the central proxy service. Classroom PCs and all PCs built by IT Services are already configured to use the proxy service. Content filtering has been running through the proxy service for several years, mostly unnoticed by users.

Checking and Re-configuring Your Web Browser

If your web browser has been configured to use the proxy, you will be able to browse external web sites. If you find you can browse only the University’s own web site, then you should check that your browser has been properly configured for the proxy service - see How to configure your browser to use the proxy service.

If you feel unable to make the changes yourself, email the Service Desk for assistance at servicedesk@abdn.ac.uk.

Applying for Exemption

It is acknowledged that some unfiltered web access may be necessary for academic purposes and, to cater for this, the content filter can be configured to permit unfiltered access by specified computers (notice that the computers must still be configured to use the proxy). To apply for exemption, please complete one of the exemption forms provided below. You will not be required to give details of the reason why you require exemption but your application must be authorised by your Head of School or Head of Department (as appropriate) or, if you are a student, by your academic supervisor. Once granted, exemption will remain in effect until the end of the current academic year, at which point you will be notified and given the opportunity to renew your exemption for another year.

Exemption application forms

Since exemption is implemented relative to a particular computer, once granted, every user of that computer will have unfiltered access to the web. We recommend, therefore, that anyone requiring exemption be given sole use of a particular computer. However, in the event that a group of students (doing a particular project) require unfiltered access, exemption form WF2, for a shared computer, is provided. This form must be signed by every authorised user of the computer, so is not appropriate for a computer in an open access area.


The Central Web Proxy Service has two main functions. Firstly, it filters the information retrieved so that undesirable or illegal content is blocked for access. Secondly, the University subscribes to a number of web-based information resources, eg electronic journals and bibliographic databases. Access to several of these is restricted by location - ie are you connected to the campus network or not? If you are using a PC in the teaching classrooms or in your office, then you should have no difficulty accessing any of these resources. However, if you are using another Internet Service Provider (ISP), eg BT, Orange, Tiscali, Virgin, etc, then access can be denied to you.

The solution is to configure your home PC to use the web proxy service. You can use the service with any ISP as long as you provide your University computer username and password when prompted. Once logged in, requests for web-based resources will appear to come from the web proxy rather than from your PC, and, as the proxy is connected to the campus network, access is allowed.