MCECS Web Hosting Options

MCECS offers numerous web hosting options that allow MCECS users to engage in a wide range of web development projects, such as:

  • Personal websites for students to practice webpage design and user authentication.
  • Faculty webpages that connect students to coursework.
  • Websites for departmental, project, and research groups to organize their work.

This infrastructure provides the necessary resources for users to interact in a dynamic and personalized web environment, regardless of prior web programming experience. Options are listed below starting with the most accessible for beginners to those requiring experience in setting up, developing, and maintaining a web environment.

Google Sites

Google Sites is the best option for users who do not wish to do any programming or manual installation of website files.  They are easy to construct, associated with your PSU Google Account, and they can be shared and edited by multiple users, much like Google Docs. They can also be made mobile-friendly.

OIT administers PSU’s Google Sites. Details can be found in their documentation.


  • Little to no web expertise needed
  • Various templates available to use as a starting point
  • Complex URL and no easy mechanism to hide it if you want a custom domain assigned to it

User Account-Based Web Hosting

Every MCECS user has the ability to develop their own personal website using our Linux-based web infrastructure. This space is available for you to create static web pages, write your own web code, or install web applications for personal use.

There are two distinct directories located in /home/username/web that you can use to build your site: public_html and dev_html. Files placed in public_html will be accessible to the Internet, whereas dev_html will only be accessible via the PSU network, making it a space to develop your site without the security considerations that come with being publicly visible on the Internet.

Utilizing MCECS account-based web hosting requires a high-level understanding of how web servers work, changing file and directory permissions in Linux, and the general web infrastructure specific to MCECS. To learn everything you need to know about how to build your own website with your MCECS account, go to:


  • User needs understanding of html (and web programming if needed), file transfer, and file paths/permissions to get started.
    • Static web pages using html, dynamic web pages using php/other scripting languages, and call databases.
  • The URL for files placed in your public_html directory is:
  • The URL for files placed in your dev_html directory is:
  • Customizable for web applications (programs/scripting)

Caution: Must maintain security of web code for files placed in the public_html directory (write secure code or ensure that third party web applications are patched for security vulnerabilities)

User-Maintained WordPress Site

Note: Users will need to discuss this option with the CAT for approval and set up.

Users familiar with WordPress setup and maintenance can ask the CAT for a WordPress site. The CAT can provide a custom cecs domain (or assign a custom domain controlled by the user). The site is user maintained and must be related to MCECS needs.


  • CAT installs base WordPress and gives access to user for setup/config/themes
  • User must understand how to manage WordPress
  • URL is custom { } where cecs can be ece, cs, mme, etc

Caution: Must maintain security by ensuring that plugins and WordPress stays patched.

Campus Drupal (PSU Enterprise)

Note: This option is mainly for departments and/or official groups.

Departments and research groups may ask to join the campus drupal site.  This site is maintained by University Communications, which requires training before setting up a page.

More information and upcoming trainings can be found here:


  • Pre-built structure with many design elements to use on the site
  • Consistent with other PSU departmental sites

Custom Web Hosting for MCECS Projects

For experienced web developers/maintainers. The user will also need to meet with the CAT for feasibility, approval, configuration, and setup. This includes the following:

  • Custom domain (ex., or a custom domain the user controls)
  • Storage needs
  • Host/Virtual host
  • Software installs
  • Must work in our Linux-based web infrastructure

Note: The CAT does NOT develop or maintain the site itself

Custom Web Hosting on a Tier 3 Virtual Machine for MCECS Projects

This option would be for project/research groups that want to run both the OS and the software. Having a Tier 3 Virtual Machine (VM) means that the user will take full responsibility for the set-up, development, and maintenance of such systems.

A discussion with the CAT will be needed to cover the following:

  • Limited CPU, RAM, disk resources
  • Linux OS (which version?)
  • Development of detailed security plan that involves patching, network/user access, responsible parties, incident management, etc
  • The user will be responsible for set up of OS and web services, software installs, run services, manage the OS/website


  • The CAT does NOT write or maintain the site itself
  • The CAT does NOT manage the VM
  • The user will need to install any packages they will need to get a site up
  • The user will also be responsible for any updates the VM will need