Personal web pages

Staff and research students are able to create personal web-pages by creating a public_html directory in their home directory. Once this has been created, it may take up to 24 hours for the web-server to notice your pages have been created.

The web-server will look for directory index files named index.php and index.html and php is supported on the web-servers.

Note that you should not rely on other file-systems (e.g. /home/projects) being mounted or available. The web-server also runs as a different user and so cannot write files into your home directory. It must also be able to execute your home directory and be able to read the files in your public_html directory.

Special web-page files

The School's people directory can read content from your public_html files which is used to display information on profile pages. The following files can be created to populate the blocks of data:

  • ~/public_html/.research - Research Interests
    This file can be marked up HTML, if it does not start with an opening HTML tag, it will be wrapped in a <p> paragraph block
  • ~/public_html/.calendars - See Below
  • ~/public_html/.relatedlinks - Related Links
    These links are prepended to the "third column" containing related links. For example if you want to link to your research group pages, you could add a related link. The format of the file is:
    text to display
  • ~/public_html/.biography - Biography
    This file can be marked up HTML, if it does not start with an opening tag, it will be wrapped in a <p> paragraph block
  • ~/public_html/.qualifications - Qualifications
    This file should be an HTML marked up list of qualifications, for example:
      <li>PhD Computer Science (2012, University of Birmingham)</li>
      <li>BSc (Hons) Computer Science (2009, University of Birmingham)</li>
  • ~/public_html/.bibliography - Bibliography
    This file can be marked up HTML or a valid BibTeX file. If it is not a BibTeX file and does not start with an opening HTML tag, it will be wrapped in a <p> paragraph block

It is also possible to create the file with a .php extention if you wish the data to be generated from a PHP script execution.

To be displayed in the people directory, you must have signed the disclosure form. To display research interests, you must have ticked the appropriate box on the form. For any other data blocks, we will assume that the presence of the file implies consent for the data to be displayed.

The files must be readable by the web-server.

Teaching information for staff is also read from a database of lecturers and co-ordinators and populated based on this information. This is derived from the School's module XML files.

For external (to the School) visitors, email addressess are obscured using reCaptcha to help reduce spam.

Displaying calendar information

The School's people directory can display calendar information from the University's Microsoft Exchange System and Google Calendar. In order to display your calendar information you need to create the following file:

  • ~/public_html/.calendars

This file is an XML file that specifies which calendar sources to load and must be readable by the web-server. An example of this file is shown below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
 <webcalendar type="exchange" colour="green"/>
 <webcalendar type="gcal" colour="orange" url=""/>

To display your Microsoft Exchange calendar you only need to create an entry of type exchange

To display a Google Calendar you first need to ensure that you have shared your calendar, then insert the URL of the XML feed for your calendar in the url attribute of the gcal entry in the XML file.

Local web page policy:

All staff and research students can publish personal web pages by creating a directory named public_html in their home directory and copying their pages to this location. The URLs of personal web space pages have the form

The School reserves the right to remove or bar access to, without notice, any web pages which breach any of the School's, University's or Janet policy or that may be in breach of UK legislation. For example, where notification has been received that Copyright material has been posted without permission of the Copyright holder. In addition to this, any page or system which is found to cause adverse effects on the ability to serve web pages may also be removed. For example, PHP code which is using excessive CPU time or memory.

The following content is explicitly prohibited from use on personal web pages:

  • Bulletin board systems
  • Wikis
  • Web blogs/Blogging

If you are unsure about items you intend to post on your website, please discuss your needs with the Support Team in the first instance.

Personal web space will be deleted once the account is closed. It should therefore not be used for the following:

  • Teaching material
  • Research projects
  • Websites for events such as conferences, seminars, etc...
  • The home of any pages in the School's web site e.g. course brochures, etc...

In most of these cases, a more appropiate location can be found on the School's main web server.

Staff/reseach students can request to keep their personal web pages active for up to 1 year after leaving. At the discretion of the Director of Computing Facilities, a redirect may also be setup to an alternate URL.

Upon leaving, you will have been deemed to have provided copyright permission to the University for any pages which remain and reserves the right to make copies of pages as may be necessary for the operation of the University's business.