JMU Libraries has experience supporting the website hosting of thousands of web sites for JMU students, faculty, and staff. This document aims to share our experiences with you!
See also: JMU Libraries Campus Press Hosting Policy.
Your site’s URL
- Please be aware that URLs (the web address of your site) do not generally have an indefinite lifetime. The URL of your site is not likely to change frequently, and we always try our best to provide at least a semester’s notice of any URL change, but the URL could change any time.
- If your web site or its posts might need a more durable web address solution, please contact Libraries Technology (email@example.com) for a consultation.
Are you setting up a website for your class that you anticipate using regularly for future sections?
- Some faculty opt for a single website that will accumulate content over time, while other opt for a series of websites tied to academic terms. In either case, faculty may want the site(s) to serve as examples for future students doing similar work, or, they may not want students’ work available past the semester – for example, if the learning activities should begin from a blank slate each semester.
- If the faculty member wishes to be able to access old versions of sites, but not future students, permissions can be set to allow only that faculty member access.
Do you anticipate your website living on “indefinitely”?
- They require weekly if not daily care and feeding. CampusPress/WordPress sites have a design lifespan of approximately 3-5 years, meaning significant attention may be required from you periodically.
- JMU Libraries may need to change the CampusPress platform to another service, or even discontinue Website hosting services at some point. You are responsible for ensuring a long-term plan for any content created, unless you have made formal arrangements.
- For works of digital scholarship, JMU Libraries offers Scholarly Commons, a platform designed for long-term access to publications, however, it may not be suitable for all media types. Use the Libraries Consultation Form for more information.
Should I make my website publicly accessible?
- Websites showcasing student work publicly can provide a great learning experience for students and share potentially valuable student-created work with the world. However, students need to clearly understand the risks and opportunities and their responsibilities as content creators and their personal visibility on the open web.
- Please review our Copyright Guide at https://guides.lib.jmu.edu/copyright and contact our Copyright Librarian with any questions. Violations of copyright may result in lawsuits against student and/or faculty members, or reimbursement of the copyright-holder. JMU is not liable for student/faculty copyright violations; rather, the student or faculty member pays or negotiates with the copyright-holder in case of violations.
- Public sites can and will be linked to by bad actors (e.g. spam sites, paper-writing mills), and we cannot control this behavior.
- Generally, you should keep your site hidden until it is ready for publication. “Works-in-progress” can reflect poorly on you and/or the university.
I’m interested in setting up a blog for my department / program / center. What should I consider?
- Generally, we recommend using the JMU Official Web for announcing news and events, for the widest dissemination of your content and integration with other JMU messaging.
- If you are interested in audience interaction, e.g. “Comments,” we recommend posting articles on JMU’s website or CampusPress, then using Facebook or other major third-party social media to post the articles for comment and interaction. Facebook and other major social media platforms spend millions to protect their users in ways we cannot match. Plus, the platforms offer much wider dissemination potential.
- We do not allow “anonymous comments” on public WordPress sites. Like any WordPress installation, CampusPress’s “Comments” feature may be a target for bad actors.
- On any platform, site owners are responsible for moderating comments and dealing with complaints about content.
I’m interested in my students having individual blog sites for a class. What should I use?
- We usually recommend a web builder such as Weebly, Wix, or WordPress.com, so the student can have full control over their work. We are happy to consult with you to identify the best platform.
- Please fill out the Libraries Consultation Form for support in investigating these items, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org