How Do I: Setup a Website for My Class (or Project)?

CalArts has historically offered webspace to Faculty for class websites or projects.  This used to be housed on a server called muse2.calarts.edu, but has since been transferred to our new hosting environment that uses Plesk, an industry-standard framework.  Part of this updated hosting platform is that sites now appear as subdomains of calarts.edu.

How Do I Get Started?

If you're a faculty member who wants a class website, or if you're in charge of a project with a site to be managed by a student, getting a website is fairly straightforward.

Submit A Ticket

Submit a ticket with the name of the course (or project) and a requested URL (example.calarts.edu).  The Customer Care team will assign your ticket to Network Operations, who will handle the creation of your account.  In the ticket you'll receive your username, temporary password, and link to access the control panel for your website.

In this case Kris James (Manager of Network and Service Operations) responded to my ticket with my login credentials.

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Access the Plesk Control Panel

Click on the Panel URL in the ticket and put in your username and temporary password. 

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Click the Log in button.  This will take you to the next screen where you can enter in your own password and phone number (just in case we need to contact you outside of email or the ticket system).

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We're nearly there.  Click on either the OK, back to panel button or the X in the upper right hand corner.

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Now we're in the control panel.  Here you can see your website address, your user ID (in this case ccuttriss), and your File Manager and Databases sections.  File Manager is used if you want to upload files through the web and not through a FTP client (more on that in the next section), and Databases is used to, well, manage your databases (if you're using a Wordpress blog, for example).

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Upload Your Website

CalArts' web hosting is designed for small-scale websites for classes and projects.  It would not be the best place for websites intended to have large monthly visitors, high-bandwidth video streaming, or the like.  You can, however, upload your media to YouTube, Vimeo, et al, and embed them on the site without issue, however that tutorial is outside the scope of this guide.

Setup Your FTP Account

Even though we already have a login for the control panel, that same username and password will not initially work for FTP access.

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Within the FTP Access link you'll see your user already populated, click on the name to go to the next page.

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Just create a password for your user and we can start uploading files.  Obviously the stronger your password is, the better!

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Uploading Your Files

You can use any FTP client to upload your files.  In the example below I'm using Transmit for Mac, but we also like FileZilla for Windows.  Just enter in your website address for the server, in this case example.calarts.edu, your user name, and the password you set in the previous step.

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When you sign in you'll see three folders: error_docslogs, and httpdocs.  That last folder is where your files will need to be put.  Inside there you'll see a few files that already exist (you can see what they look like by going to your website before changing any of these files), but don't worry, those are just the default pages and can be removed without a problem.

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That's It!

Once you've uploaded your files that's all there is to it.  Of course there are more advanced things you can do with webspace, but all CalArts IT can support is your ability to log in and upload files.  If you're looking for more services than we offer we strongly recommend looking at a dedicated webhosting company, as they will be able to support your needs much better than we can.

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