Diocese of Madison

[1946-1996 Diocesan Jubilee Seal]

Parish Website Basics

[Suggested Directory 	Format]

Step One

Create a Directory Structure

To the left you can see an example of this structure. You will want to be able to download files into a "download" directory, save graphics into a "graphics" directory, save various miscellaneous documents into a "miscdocs" directory, and save your webpages into a directory named after your Parish (I chose "St. Parish" here as an example). If you have a Macintosh or a Windows 95 operating system you can use as many letters, symbols, and numerals as you wish in the naming of your directories - but I would caution you to refrain from using more than 6-8 characters. As your site grows and you manipulate the files you may have several directories "deep" open and most ftp, wordprocessing, or graphics program windows will not show more than about 24 characters at one time (ex:C:\webpages\stparish\graphics\dioseal.gif).

Step Two

Decide on Your Website/Page Format and Content

To the right you can see an example of the St. Patricks Website Homepage. The main header and photo of the church is on virtually all the pages of their website. This helps unify their site and give it an identity all its own. Once you have decided on the format of your site it also makes each additional page easier to begin since your structure is in place. It also helps to have a "navigation bar" at the bottom of every page so "websurfers" can move around easily on your website.
[St. Patricks Website Page Format]

The Diocesan Website Navigation Bar

[Diocesan Website Navigation Bar]

Step Three

Collecting the Information

A good place to begin the collection of the information that should be on your website is your Parish or School office. The Bulletin or Newsletter Editor will have a tremendous amount of information regarding Mass Schedules, Sacraments, Staff, Ministries, Projects, Special Events, Class Schedules, Fundraisers, etc. You will also want to involve the Pastor and the Principal and get their input on any special emphasis or directions that they feel are important. In everything you do it is helpful to pray for guidance and wisdom so your work will reflect the Will of God and help in the furtherance of His Church on Earth.

Step Four

Creating the Web Documents

Once you have a place to store your webpages and graphics files (Step One), have decided on how you want things to look and what you need (Step Two), and have collected the information (Step Three) you will need to be able to create the web documents and manipulate them so they appear the way you want them to appear. For this task you will need a graphics program and a wordprocessor at the minimum. The Diocese site was created using the Microsoft Works Version 3.1 wordprocessor and the Jasc Paint Shop Version 1.1 programs. There are many other programs available and all have their strengths and their weaknesses. What is important is that you are comfortable using what you have available. Several programs are available for downloading off the Internet and many of these are listed, with links, on the Resources page of this Volunteer Coordination site. Feel free to call or e-mail the volunteer coordinator to discuss this issue. They are able to come to your computer on an appointment basis to help you with this also.

In general a web document is a text only format document with HTML "tags" around the text to tell a browser how to format the information. Graphics, backgrounds, and hypertext links are all "embedded" in the text with additional "tags". An example of the "HTML tagged" text of the top part of this webpage is shown below as an example. Many commercially available software programs will automatically place the tags into your documents the same way you would set the tabs and fonts in a wordprocessed document. On the Resources page of this Volunteer Coordination website are some excellent links for finding out more about the HTML code, the way it works, standard formats, "netiquette", web design programs, and more. As always please feel free to call or e-mail the volunteer coordinator with any questions.

An example of HTML "tagged" Text

[An example of HTML Code]

Step Five

Proofing Your Work

Step Six

"Loading" Your Pages on the Web

Step Seven

Setting Permissions on Your Website


Permissions will determine who can read, write or execute your files. Ideally You, as the owner, will be able to do all three operations, and those visiting your site will be able to read, but not write to, your files. Executable files should be accessible only by the programs that need them. If you are using Prodigy your permissions are set automatically when you upload files. America Online uses a system of directories to determine the permissions. If you have a local ISP and have uploaded the files yourself with an FTP client you will have to set the permissions. There is a command called "chmod" which is used to set the permissions. We use a Telnet program to access the UNIX system on your ISP server to set these permission. Let's take a look at the basics of this operation and its iffects on your files:

     Every file has nine access modes associated  with  it.   The
     modes  can  be switched on and off by using the "chmod" mode
     changing command.  The nine access modes are divisible  into
     three  sets  of  three switches.  Each set of three switches
     corresponds to a class of people:

          user  - the person who created the file
          group - people in a selected group
          other - everyone else on the system

     For each class of people there are three classes of  permis-

          read    - ability to see the contents of the file
          write   - ability to change the contents of the file
          execute - ability to execute the contents of the file

     The protection fields of a UNIX file are displayed by  using
     the command 'ls' followed by the '-l' option.

          % ls -l
          total 161
          -rw-r--r--  1 parish    9487 May 19 12:34 index
          -rw-r--r--  1 parish    7235 May 19 13:57 basic
          -rw-------  1 parish    1564 May 19 23:45 tools


     Here is a sample directory listing, showing  the  permission
     fields and the people associated with each permission:

          :<------------special flag to indicate type of file
          :                  [e.g. d : directory, - : file]
          : u<--------------three permissions for USER
          :||| g<--------------three permissions for GROUP
          :|||::: o<---------------three permissions for OTHER
          drwxrwxrwx  2 parish         1024 May 19 12:34 files
          -rw-------  2 parish         1024 May 19 12:34 morefils
          -rwxr-xr-x  2 parish         1024 May 19 12:34 lastfile

     The hyphen indicates that the  permission  is  disabled.  An
     enabled  permission  is shown by the appropriate letter, 'r'
     'w' or 'x.'

     The permission fields for directories are interpreted a lit-
     tle  differently  than  those  for  a file. The three fields
     (user, group, other) remain the same as those for a file but
     the three permissions mean:

          r(ead):   can look for a file name in this directory
          w(rite):  can create or delete files in this directory
          x(ecute): can search into this directory

     In other words, directory permissions protect  files  rather
     than the contents of files. For example, if someone only has
     execute permission on a directory they can  list  or  run  a
     file  in  that directory but they can't get a listing of all
     the files in that directory. For that  they  would  have  to
     know  the  exact  names  in advance. It is necessary to have
     execute permission on a directory to change (chdir) to it.


     In order to control the access users may have to  your  file
     or directory, use the 'change mode' program, chmod.

     The chmod command allows changing of permissions  by  names,
     in  a format similar to the way that they are printed on the
     screen after issuing the 'ls -l' command.  For  example,  to
     turn off other's write permission you can issue the command:

          chmod o-w filename

     (you might translate "o-w" as "for others, take  away  write

     To turn write permission back on you would say:

          chmod o+w filename

     (similarly, "for others, add write permission".)

     You can group changes together with commas. For example,  in
     order  to make a file readable by the public but writable by
     your group, you might use the command:

          chmod g+rw,o+r filename

     To remove write permission from your  group  later  on,  you
     could issue the command:

          chmod g-w filename

     Another way to achieve the same result would be to  use  the

          chmod g=r filename

     The = operator assigns the permission explicitly (all  other
     bits  for  that  category  (owner, group, or others) will be
     reset, i.e., g=r would remove all permission from the  group
     except  read,  and  explicitly  set read if not set already.
     (NOTE:  It is unlikely that you would ever want to give  the
     public write permission to your files or directories.)

     If you wish to  grant  access  to  a  directory  to  others,
     without  risking  changes to the directory's files, give 'r'
     AND 'x' permissions  (the  execute  flag  is  important  for
     access  along  with the read flag).  If you wish to keep the
     directory private, then remove permissions from the  'other'
     fields.   NOTE:  it is possible to delete a file in a direc-
     tory, even without having read or write access to that file,
     merely by having write access to the file's directory.


     Protection fields can also be interpreted as  octal  values.
     The following table shows the most commonly used modes.

                             Private         Public
          Directory       700             755
          Text file         600             644

     To change the mode of the protection fields, use the command

          % chmod 700 directory
          % ls -ld directory
          drwx------  2 parish         1024 May 19 12:34 directory
          % chmod 755 directory
          % ls -ld directory
          drwxr-xr-x  2 parish         1024 May 19 12:34 directory

          % chmod 600 filename
          % ls -l filename
          drw-------  2 parish         3234 May 19 12:34 filename
          % chmod 644 filename
          % ls -l filename
          drwxr-xr-x  2 parish         3234 May 19 12:34 filename

     You can also chmod a file so that you can't read, write,
     or  execute  it  even  though you own it.  There may be cir-
     cumstances in which you will want to turn off write  permis-
     sion  to yourself, so that you don't accidentally change the
     file.  You will be able to use  chmod  again  at  any  time,
     changing  the  permissions  to whatever settings you prefer.
     You can never get yourself into very much trouble with  this
     feature,  but  some people are upset when the system refuses
     to let them read or write their own files.


The command that you should use to insure that everyone can see all of your files, but only you can write to them is:

                             chmod 755 *

As I have mentioned before, if you need help with this feel free to call or e-mail the volunteer coordinator for help.

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