Setting up Student Organization Websites
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Student organizations at Smith are invited and encouraged to create websites to promote their goals and activities.

The first step in setting up an organization website is to designate one or more students who will be the official maintainers of the website.  The student(s) should then work with the IT Service Center and the Assistant Director of Student Activities to establish the required accounts on the Sophia web server. Here's the process:

  1. Go to the IT Service Center in Seelye Hall B8 and fill out a form to request a personal Sophia account.

  2. When your personal account has been created, you will be notified by email.

  3. Next, contact the Assistant Director of Student Activities (Tamra Bates, x4967) to request an organization account.

  4. Be sure to specify the short name you would like to have in the web address (URL) for your organization. For example, the URL for the fencing group is:

    The full URL can be up to 32 characters long, but shorter is always better.

    Names are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For example, if the German Club wants the URL, they will be out of luck if the Glee Club requested that first.

    Note:  "Alias" addresses are also possible, within reason. For example, if the hellsbelles fencing group also wanted to take users to their site, that would be fine.

  5. Tamra confirms that your organization is authorized to have a website and conveys your request to the ITS system manager.

  6. The system manager creates a web area and URL for your organization on Sophia and lets Tamra know when it's done. Tamra then notifies you.

To transfer files between your personal computer and your organization's web area on Sophia (i.e., "download" or "upload" files):

  1. Connect to your personal account on Sophia using secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) software.

    Click here
    for instructions on downloading, installing, and using a free SFTP program.

  2. On the remote server side of your SFTP window, navigate to the /home/stuorg folder and locate your organization's folder.

    Example:  /home/stuorg/hellsbelles

    Double-click on the folder name to view its contents.

  3. If your organization already has a website, you'll see a list of all the current page and image files on the remote server side of the window.

    If it's a brand new site, your organization folder will be empty.  Once you have created one or more webpages for your organization on your personal computer, use SFTP to upload your pages into this folder.

Helpful Hints

  1. To view your organization's webpages in a browser window, enter the URL in either of following formats:[orgname]/[filename][orgname]/[filename]


  2. When you create new pages, you can use .html or .htm (or .php if your pages include PHP code) as the file extension on your HTML files.  Whichever extension you choose, use it consistently throughout your site.

  3. Always name your homepage index.html (or .htm or .php). Browsers recognize the index file as a homepage, so users don't have to include the full homepage address when they enter the URL for your site.

    Example:  Even though the full address for the webclub homepage is, users have to enter only
    to view the page.

Seelye Hall B8 | Northampton, MA 01063 | 413.585.4487
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Copyright © 2015 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Last updated October 27, 2023

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