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Create a personal site hosted by Google

As a result of the U-M Google collaboration, there is now another, more modern way to set up a personal web page. Using your UM uniqname and password, you may set up a "Google Site", which uses pre-built templates to simplify the creation of web content. Such sites are available at URLs like:

  • https://sites.google.com/a/umich.edu/sitename

There are built-in access controls for Google Sites, allowing you to restrict access to the University of Michigan community, or even specific individuals or MCommunity groups. You can also grant other UM users editing rights to such a site.

Google has documentation on that service at https://support.google.com/sites/

Create Your Own UM Web Page hosted on U of M servers

If you're more interested in coding your own HTML pages, rather than working for a template, steps to do so are detailed below, with special instructions noted when necessary. The instructions for building a personal and group home page via this service are very similar.

Before you begin, you will need:

  1. A uniqname and password
  2. Access to the ITS Login Service
  3. An IFS home or group directory

Group home directories are best suited for sites where more than one user should have access to edit web content (eg, departments, research groups, student organizations, etc). For more information or to request a directory, see this page. After you receive confirmation that the directory has been created, proceed to the following step.

Create your web space directory:


  1. Visit the make webspace tool. This will create the necessary directories and permissions for web publishing as needed. It will also create an example web page to help you get started.
  2. Log into the ITS login server: login.itd.umich.edu using an ssh client (FTP clients and web browsers will not work for this step) and execute the "~umweb/bin/make-webspace" command.

Note: If you are working with a group space, you may move to your group's directory by typing:

cd ~groupname

Build your webpage:

A primer on HTML, the language you will use to write your home page, and a number of HTML composition tools are available.

If you need help with UNIX text editors, refer to ITS's QuickNotes Using the Unix Text Editor vi and Using the Unix Text Editor Pico. There is also a tutorial on vi available on the ITS Login servers. To use the tutorial, log in to the ITS Login servers and type:


The default file that is read when viewing your webpage is called:


Publish your webpage:

If you have been using a UNIX text editor and have been working inside your webspace, your work should be ready for viewing.

Otherwise, you may need to connect to the file servers via the Secure File Transfer Protocol and upload your files. The following table gives you the pieces of information that all web editors and sftp clients will require; you will need to consult your documentation for instructions specific to the tool you are using.

Server Name:



your uniqname


your kerberos password


~/Public/html or ~groupname/Public/html

Not all clients understand the ~ (tilde) character, you may need to use:


(substituting the first letter(s) of the uniqname or group uniqname). Older group home directories may live in directories named after a logical unit, eg, /afs/umich.edu/group/presoff/grpname.

View your webpage:

Using a web browser, visit the appropriate URL:


If you have just created an IFS home or group directory, it may take 24 hours for your home page to show up on the Web servers.

Special Services:

If your web page is for an official UM school, college, department, or organization, you may be able to get your own URL in a form similar to:


If this is interesting to you, read more about our web Hosting service. Creation ( and web hosting ) of these domain names must meet the rules in SPG sections 601.15 and 601.15-1. We are not able to make exceptions to this University-wide policy.


How do I work with AFS ACLS?
Can I run CGI scripts in my home directory?
Can I use Frontpage extensions?
How do I improve my Google search results ranking?
Can I get a personal umich.edu domain name?