Wednesday 17th July 2019
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Been Meaning To Create That Website? We Got You.

Web Hosting Offered At UNI

Web hosting is one of the many things that is offered with UNI’s Information Technology, which is also something that not many students probably are aware of. So, what exactly does this mean for students?

Students have access to a professional grade web environment. They can use this to host HTML/CSS based websites or use a content management system (CMS) like Drupal or WordPress. This is a great opportunity to learn to use these tools and add valuable skills to a student’s resume.

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Let’s Get Started.

You’re probably wondering how to get started. The process is simple. All you have to do is fill out a web space account request form and we will go from there.

Why Would I Use This?

This is a great way for students and student organizations to up their game by building a website. But why would this make it better for you to use rather than using an alternative such as Wix? According to Peter Yezek, a Senior UNIX System Programmer with UNI Information Technology, “The primary advantage is that the web address will include the uni.edu domain. So for instance, if you had a cooking club as a student organization, you could have the address: http://www.uni.edu/studentorgs/cooking

Okay, But What If I Need Help?

You’re probably thinking that this may sound intimidating  but don’t let it be. If you don’t have complete experience with this, don’t worry.

There is certainly a learning curve for these technologies. However, there are a number of ways that students can gain these skills. Peter explains below where you can receive help when you need it.

First, there’s individual learning. The library has a number of books on these topics, and obviously there’s a wealth of information available online. Also, the university offers free access to students, faculty and staff for Lynda.com video training. This can be accessed with your CatID credentials at https://lynda.uni.edu/. There is so many different areas offered on Lynda.com from HTML and CSS help to Drupal essentials, like shown below.

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There are a number of classes taught in the IDS, computer science and MIS departments related to web development. In fact, many of those classes utilize a special server we’ve created specifically for classroom use called weblab.uni.edu. This is a very similar environment to the main UNI web cluster, but has some additional tools for faculty to use for managing their class as well as tools for students to use to create and manage their projects.

A big advantage in using these on campus resources is the local community that can help support a student’s work. The IT Service Desk (https://www.uni.edu/its/service-desk) can offer assistance in getting an account set up and route questions to the appropriate developers or systems administrators. Most of the faculty utilizing web resources use on campus servers, so they are another source of help for students. We also have a group in IT that is dedicated to building and maintaining web sites.

If a student is particularly interested in this work, there are a number of opportunities for student employment involving content, graphic design, web programming and system administration.

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Nick is the Senior Editor of blog.ids, the official blog of the Interactive Digital Studies program at the University of Northern Iowa. If you can't find Nick blogging or posting, he is most likely at a concert somewhere. Nick also has a love for social media and the pop culture realm.