Overview of Web Publishing at Brown

Need a web site? BrownSites, our free, easy-to-use, fully supported, web content management system, is the recommended service.

Web Publishing (as outlined in this article) is intended for advanced web developers to build, maintain, and troubleshoot their own basic web sites.

Summary of Service

Server Environments

Brown has two centrally-hosted web publishing environments available to officially recognized departments, offices, student groups, research groups, courses and conferences. Although Webpub will meet the needs of most users, LAMP is available for webpublishers requiring additional security.

Note: this applies only to www.brown.edu and sites hosted on LAMP. Some departments have their own servers. Other departments have outsourced their web hosting.


Available for: "Officially recognized" Departments, Offices, Student Groups, Research Groups, Courses

Not Available for: Individuals, unofficial groups


What's available to web publishers?

  • Shell access to a UNIX account (SCP)
  • File transfer access (SFTP)
  • HTML pages, images, media, etc. 150 MB is the stated limit
  • PHP (running in safe mode)
  • MySQL Database (by request)

What's not currently available?

  • ASP
  • JSP
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Frontpage extensions


Web publishing accounts allow users to build their own sites (using HTML and CSS). The service provides you with a server directory (hosting space) and SFTP access only - the rest is up to you. Web publishing is complicated, so be sure that you are up for the challenge, as CIS will not support your code. In particular, please note the following:

  • This service only includes setting up the account and publishing space. You must provide your own SSH terminal, SFTP client, and code editor. 
  • It is your responsibility to make sure that your code is secure. Sites that become exploited will be zipped up, taken offline, and their owner will be notified. 
  • A website hosted here would have a URL along the lines of: www.brown.edu/Research/name

Web Publishing Tools

CIS offers the following tools for web publishing. You can find these tools at the CIS Software page. Users may email help@brown.edu for assistance with installing or using any of the following:

  • WinSCP (Windows file copy client for moving your files to and from web servers)
  • Cyberduck and Fugu (Macintosh clients for moving your files to and from web servers)
  • Photoshop - an image editing application
  • Adobe Acrobat - a PDF file creation application

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