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Web Hosting Services for Students

Obtaining an off-campus website account

SUNY Plattsburgh does not provide web hosting services for students (or for faculty). However, the College has a Microsoft agreement that allows students access to Microsoft Office 365, which allows for the hosting of websites, blogs, and other applications. The service also lets you download Microsoft Office applications (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.).

The web-hosting program is called Microsoft Azure for Students Starter, and it is free. The steps below will guide you through process of signing up.  

First, you have to verify you're student or faculty with Microsoft DreamSpark

Note: If you already have a verified DreamSpark account you can skip to the below seciton labelled "create your new Azure account"

  • Go to the DreamSpark site for the Azure for Student Starter offer and click "Sign in to Access"
    DreamSpark Site
  • Sign in with your SUNY Plattsburgh email address and the password you use on campus. The next page will ask you to enter some information about your affiliation with the University and to choose whether you are a student or a faculty member.
    Sign In Screenshot
  • The next page will indicate that you are now "verified" because you signed up with your University email address. Then click the "Activate Azure" button.
    Verified Screenshot
  • The last step is to click "Register Now" which brings you to #3 below where you enter your information.
    Register Now Screenshot

Create your new Azure account (if you followed the steps above to verify with DreamSpark, skip to #3 below)

1. If you already have a verified DreamSpark account, to get Azure you just need to sign up:

 2. Sign in using your Plattsburgh email address and password

  • Enter your SUNY Plattsburgh email address.
  • The system will then send you to SUNY Plattsburgh’s Microsoft login page with Hawkins Hall in the background, enter the password you use in conjunction with your SUNY Plattsburgh account.

    Microsoft Sign In Screenshot

    SUNY Plattsburgh Step Login Screenshot

3. Enter your information.

  • The system will ask you for some basic information to create your Azure account. This step may be skipped if you have already utilized your SUNY Plattsburgh Microsoft account and have entered this information in the past; in which case it will simply verify you using the cell phone or email address on file.

    Enter Your Information Screenshot

    Additional Information Screenshot

4. Agree to the subscription agreement

  • Read the subscription agreement, offer details, and privacy statement and then check the box indicating you agree and click "Sign Up".

    Subscription Agreement Screenshot

7. You are now signed in to Azure!

  • After agreeing to the terms you will be brought to the Azure Portal where you can explore the services. For a simple website you will want to sign up for Azure "App Services" that will give you FTP access to an area where you can upload your HTML files. 

    Azure Portal Screenshot

9. Try out creating an "App Service." To host a blog, website, or web application, you can use the simple one-click se-tup under "App services" that best suits your needs. 

  • Click "App services" in the left menu (you may need to search for it in the search bar).
  • Select a service that best suits your needs (e.g., WordPress for a blog/website CMS, Web App + SQL for a web application, or just Web App for a simple HTML website).

    Web App Service Screenshot

 10. Your new site wil automatically have the free student subscription applied

  • You will receive FTP credentials after setting up your new platform.

We have created a short how-to video for using FTP with your new Azure website. In this video we use the free FileZilla FTP client.

If you are not familiar with FTP, Visual Studio allows you to write your HTML code directly in the application and then "upload" to Azure directly. See this blog page on Microsoft's developer network website for more information.

Last, there are other free options out there that can be used by students and educators alike to host websites for free. For instance, Gwiddle and SiteGround are two popular options offering free accountds to students. LITS has not tested and does not endorse either of these services. 

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