Web :: Web Publishing Resources

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A number of additional tools are recommended and/or provided by HSU to support your web publishing activities.

Drupal MySQL Google Analytics
Forms Processing Directory Listings Password-protected Directories
PHP JavaScript Animation and Video


Drupal (available for Central Web only)

Drupal is a software platform that enables individuals, teams, and communities to easily publish, manage, and organize content on the web. For HSU, this means you can use Drupal to create your web site at no cost instead of paying for a license to use DreamWeaver. Drupal is all web-based, so there's no software to install, and you can control who's allowed to edit what if you have multiple people editing your site. HSU's Drupal license incorporates an HSU "theme", giving your site an easily-recognizable HSU appearance.

For more information, see Using Drupal.


MySQL is a commonly-used database system that's often combined for web use with the widely-used PHP scripting language. You can request a MySQL account on both the Central and User Web servers. 

Note: Do not make any file containing a password to a database (such as a config file) universally readable.

Google Analytics

To monitor traffic and learn more about who's visiting your website, HSU recommends using Google Analytics rather than a basic page counter. You'll get powerful, flexible and easy-to-use functionality that lets you see and analyze your traffic from multiple perspectives: which of your pages are viewed the most; how visitors find your site; what browser your visitors are using; and information about Flash capabilities and screen resolution that can help you design the best user experience possible. You just need to sign up for a free account and paste a snippet of code at the bottom of your web pages.

Sign up for Google Analytics 

Forms Processing

If you use forms on your site, HSU recommends FormMail to process submitted information rather than writing your own script. FormMail is a powerful PHP script that provides the logic required to accept form submissions on your website and email the results to you - and it's free. FormMail comes with built-in anti-spam functionality, comes with complete and guaranteed support, and is actively being improved.

Download FormMail

Directory Listings

Neither the Central Web nor the User Web server will automatically display the list of all files contained in a directory for security reasons; the directory may contain files that are not normally exposed through links on a web site. If you do need to provide access to files, you can either use an index.html page to link to the files you want, or you can use a directory listing utility in the directories you want to list; we recommend the PHP Directory Listing Script from Evoluted. Please install the newest version if you run into any problems.

Download PHP Directory Listing Script

Password-protected Directories

We recommend that content which is required to be password-protected be placed in a Moodle course to increase security by limiting shared passwords. If you prefer to setup a protected directory, please follow these instructions.


PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is particularly well-suited to web development and which can be embedded into HTML to produce dynamic web pages. Both the Central Web and User Web servers support PHP. The following sites provide comprehensive tutorials in the use of PHP scripts:



JavaScript is widely used in website development to do things like changing a formatted date on a web page, causing a linked page to appear in a pop-up window, or enabling text or a graphic image to change during a mouse rollover. Small Java applications are called Java applets and can be downloaded from a web server and run on a user's computer by any Java-compatible web browser.

Recommended JavaScript resources:


Animation and Video

If you want to include animation and video elements on your site, we recommend using the following Adobe applications:

  • Adobe Flash - Vector graphics and animation.
  • Adobe Director - Combined graphics, sound, animation, text, and video to create streaming, multi-user, interactive web content for CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and web distribution.

There are many other applications available to liven up your website with moving images and sound, but please be careful when downloading new applications from the web and make sure your security software is up to date!