Resources for Student Webmasters

:: How to Start a New Website
:: How to Maintain an Existing Website
:: Resources for Novice Student Webmasters
:: SiteMason Tools
:: Vanderbilt Web Developer’s Group (DigitalVU)
:: Software

How to Start a New Website

The first step is to think which URL (web address) you would like. Student organizations have their own server named Your organization’s folder name would follow the name of the server. Here is an example of a web address:


Once you’ve decided on your group’s URL, complete the Student Organization Tech Request Form. Once you submit this form, the Dean of Students Tech Support staff will contact you to let you know that your folder has been set up on the server.

How to Maintain an Existing Website

Since your group already has an existing folder on Vanderbilt’s server, all you’ll need is an account to access the server. Complete the Student Organization Tech Request Form to get your free account set up.

After your account is set up, your default Vanderbilt University WordPress themed site will be available for you to administer. For more information please check out the brief WordPress administration tutorial.

If you aren’t using wordpress, and after your folder is set up on the server, you’re ready to put your files on the server. ITS requires that web files be uploaded using the FileZilla. Filezilla client and how to below.

SiteMason Tools

Vanderbilt University, working with Monster Labs, offers web developers on campus a suite of tools to add functionality to their Web sites. At present the tools available are:

  • Poll
  • Press Room
  • Site Recommended
  • News Publisher
  • Feedback Form
  • The university offers Sitemason tools to create custom forms and feedback forms for your website. (see the Custom Form Tutorial) These features may be added to your web pages without having to write any code, just cut and paste.

Using these tools requires no knowledge of Perl, PHP, or any programming language. The tools allow you to do everything from a simple email containing the URL for the web page (Site Recommended) to collecting information in a database (Custom Form). These features may be added to your web pages without having to write any code, just cut and paste.

The Vanderbilt version of SiteMason is available at  At the present time those with a valid VUnetID may apply for an account. The SiteMason account may be applied for at: The SiteMason tools are to be used for official Vanderbilt sites only at this time.

Vanderbilt Web Developers Group (DigitalVU)

The Web Developer Group was started to provide a forum for networking, sharing, and learning. Anyone who is a member of the Vanderbilt community — student, faculty, or staff — may join the group. There are no dues.

The group has one-hour meetings each month, with topics ranging from browser compatibility to content management systems. It also has an email listserv where members can get meeting notices and post questions or tips for other web developers on campus. To join the group and sign up for the listserv, send an email to Lacy Tite.


Student organizations may be able to take advantage of site-license software offered by Vanderbilt’s ITS department. License use is restricted to Vanderbilt owned machines, such as those in Sarratt Student Center. Licenses purchased by Vanderbilt student organizations are owned by Vanderbilt and may not be transferred to individuals or to organizations that are not 100% owned by Vanderbilt. For more information, see the ITS Site Licensing website.