Hosting a Website on the MSLN Web Server

The University of Maine provides free web space to all MSLN member sites as part of the MSLN service. We also provide PHP and MySQL access for web developers. There are currently no disk space limitations for websites.

If you would like to have MSLN host your web page you need to do three things:

  1. Determine how you will update your web site
  2. Choose your domain name
  3. Request an id and password to use the web server

1. Determine how you will update your web site

MSLN has 2 options you can choose from: FTP or WebDAV. If you currently use Front Page Extensions, you should consider using WebDAV, as Front Page supports WebDAV to transition away from the Front Page Extensions, which we no longer support. Otherwise we do not prefer one protocol over the other. Below are some of the differences between the two to help you choose the right one for you.

WebDAV works over HTTP, whereas FTP is a protocol upon itself within the TCP/IP suite. Neither is more secure than the other, as both protocols use plain-text passwords and MSLN does not support HTTPS sites.

FTP transfers are more efficient than WebDAV since the data isn't base-64 encoded. It may be easier for new users to set up and use ftp, though it really comes down to personal preference.

The only real fault of WebDAV comes if you are using dynamically rendered HTML pages using .cgi, .php, and .pl fies. When you retrieve a page on a website, you are getting the rendered version. This might include all kinds of HTML that isn't in the actual content, but which comes from the site templates. If you want to edit your page, you need the "source" version, not the "rendered" version. If you plan on using dynamically rendered pages, this problem can be easily bypassed by contacting us.

2. Choose your domain name

You will probably be using the standard school or library domain names unless your school, district or library purchased a domain name. Your domain name will look similar to one of the following:

  • School district -
  • Library -

These domains are free through MSLN and follow domain name standards used nationwide. More information on domain naming can be found in the Domain Naming FAQ

Some schools and libraries purchase domain names from a 3rd party to get a more unique or specialized name. Examples of purchased domains are:

  • Topsham Library -
  • SAD 55 -
  • SAD 71-

MSLN will host domain names that are purchased through an outside entity as long as they set them up according to our standards, which you can find on the Domain Hosting Guide. MSLN will host the standard domains plus .org, and .net, but not .com domains. More information about hosting domains can be found at the above guide link.

3. Request an id and password to use the web server

MSLN will set up one web site per school or library. MSLN requires an email request of the official Tech Coordinator for that school of library website. This email must come from the Tech Coordinator on record and must come from a valid MSLN email account. Have your MSLN Tech contact send email to from a valid MSLN email account or call the MSLN Help Line at (888)FOR-MSLN (888-367-6756) for instructions. Once the request is fulfilled, the technical coordinator will receive an email with the hostname, username, and password.

MSLN can also setup a district wide site if asked to, as long as the Tech Coordinator making the request is the "district" Tech Coordinator.

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