Web :: New Web Servers

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Information Technology Services operates two web servers, which enables us to separate internal- and external-facing HSU sites for ease of management and more secure distribution of information. It also enables us to make better and more effective use of the latest web technologies both for instructional purposes and in presenting the University to the world at large.

Additionally, the ubiquity of the Internet in delivering information and providing services makes universal accessibility a priority for the University. Creating and maintaining accessible websites will be an ongoing institutional responsibility which will be considerably eased by the wide availability of the latest web development and accessibility-monitoring technologies.

Central HSU Web server (www.humboldt.edu)

The Central HSU Web server hosts all official university/department/club sites. Its primary purpose is to support a positive image of the University to external constituents and facilitate the recruitment of students, staff, faculty, and donors. 

User Web (users.humboldt.edu)

The User Web server hosts all individual non-official and internal sites/accounts.

All online and offline references to old (Sorrel) sites - those with a tilde (~) in their URL - should be updated to reflect new addresses as soon as possible.

What's Available on the New Web Servers


The following is installed on the new web servers

  • Apache 2.2
  • MySQL 5
  • PHP 5
  • Drupal 6
  • Google Analytics
  • FormMail

Read more about these tools

Simpler URLs

The new web servers no longer use tildes (~) in URLs, making it easier and more straightforward to share site addresses.

Secure FTP (SFTP)

Secure FTP (SFTP) is FTP over a SSH (Secure Shell) connection where all transferred data is fully encrypted, providing for greater security and better protection of confidential data.

What's NOT Available on the New Web Servers

Support for URLs that include tildes

Use of the tilde (~) in web addresses is no longer available on the new web servers. Please update any documents (printed and/or electronic) that may include your old address as soon as possible.

ftp Access

Traditional ftp (file transfer protocol) is insecure - files are not encrypted during transfer and user name and passwords are sent "in the clear" - so the new web servers use Secure ftp, which does encrypt data during transfer. This ensures confidential information is protected from hackers and keeps the University in compliance with data protection legislation.

Directory Listing

The new web servers do not automatically display the list of all the files in a directory, because the directory may contain files not normally visible through links on a web site. You can either use an index.html page to link to the files you want, or you can use a directory list creation tool (see Development Tools & Resources for more information).

Password-protected Directories

Content that needs to be password-protected is best placed in a Moodle course to increase security by limiting shared passwords. If you do need to set up a protected directory, please follow the HSU password-protected directories guidelines.

Custom CGI and perl Scripts

CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is a common but relatively insecure scripting method used on web servers. CGI scripts are vulnerable to exploits that can be used to compromise the security of the entire web server, and can slow down server response times as an additional process is started every time the CGI routine is called. This uses memory and other resources on the Web server, which can cause slow response time. More secure alternative resources are available on the Development Tools & Resources page.

SMB Access and Mapped Drives

Server Message Block (SMB) access, which is used for file sharing, is insecure and can let hackers into the campus network through the web server. Personal storage space is available through Network Folders at http://www.humboldt.edu/folders. Staff and faculty can use mapped shares for file storage.

Shell access

Providing shell access to a server (logging onto the command line) is a huge security risk. In the interests of security and the protection of the data and software stored on our web servers, shell accounts are no longer available.

If You Need Help

Ensuring Your Site Meets Accessibility Requirements

The Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) is an initiative from the Chancellor's Office to make HSU's information technology accessible to all students, faculty, staff and the general public regardless of disability. ATI training is now required for all HSU web developers. Additionally, the University Web Office offers free consultation for website redesigns and updates, and can provide you with ATI and University style guide compliant templates for your website. For information about these solutions contact Marketing & Communications at 826-3321 or webmaster@humboldt.edu.

File migration support

For personal web pages, you can move your files using a tool that's available in  the Account Center. After your files are moved with this tool, visitors to your old site will automatically be redirected to the new one for two years. For official HSU sites, follow these Connection Instructions to move your site to the new Central Web server.