Clearing your Web Browser's Cache - This frequently resolves problems when your web browser displays out dated information or webpages are not functioning properly.

Most browsers allow the shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Delete for Windows or Command-Shift-Delete on a Mac to go directly to clear browsing data prompt. If the shortcut does not work, find the guide below for your browser.

Google Chrome

Mozilla Firefox

Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge

Apple Safari

CGI Email New Rules for .txt files - Any cgi webforms that have been set up to send an email back to the person who completed the webform must be redesigned to use a hardcoded Western email address.

Western's Campus Information Security Office has determined that email addresses input on cgiemail webforms can expose Western to security exploits from spammers if those email addresses are then used in the email created by the form.

We have seen many instances of spammers abusing Western web forms when they use faculty, staff, or student email addresses collected on cgiemail forms in their From:, CC:, or BCC: fields. This becomes email relaying and is considered a serious issue because university servers can be put on black lists and cause outgoing email to be rejected by other email servers.

Any cgiemail webforms that have been set up with a collected email address in their From:, CC: or BCC: fields must be redesigned to use a hardcoded Western email address.

For example, if your current .txt file is

From: [required-email]
To: helpdesk@uwo.ca
Subject: How to correctly set up cgiemail forms

you must change the From: line to

From: valid-uwo-address@uwo.ca

where valid-uwo-address is your own email address or a non-person account that your department uses. You can no longer take input from the form and use it in the From: line or in the CC: or BCC: lines.

The form information must always come from that hardcoded address.

CGIEmail - Learn how to process web forms with Email


This service is available to UWO information providers who use one of the corporate webserver at UWO:

  • www.uwo.ca
  • publish.uwo.ca 

What is Cgiemail

Cgiemail is a tool that enables you to send an email message based on a web form in a manner that gives you more control over the format of the message than using a simple mailto: . Cgiemail can handle many applications of web forms which means that custom CGI programs will not have to be written. The resulting message can be processed manually or used as input for your database.

Summary of the files involved

You need to create the files listed below. The rest of this document will tell you exactly how you do this.

  • something.html (This is the web form that people will fill out)
  • something.txt (This is the template that determines what the e-mail message will look like)
  • something-success.html (This is the optional file that the user will see after submitting the form)

All these files must be stored in your web area on corporate web .uwo.ca with their protection set so that they are readable by all.

Note: Here and elsewhere we will use the word server to indicate one of either www , instruct or publish .

The Steps Involved

This document will help you write a web form that sends an e-mail message to you. The following are the steps involved:

Create an email template

Before you start receiving email messages through the web, you should decide what these messages should look like. Create an ASCII file, called an email template , that looks something like this:

From: user@uwo.ca (valid uwo id or mailing list) 


To: From: user@uwo.ca (valid uwo id or mailing list)

Subject: questions three blank line Your email address (required): [required-email]
What is your name? [yourname]
What is your quest? [quest] BODY What is your favourite colour? [colour]

You would store this template in a file, e.g. questions3.txt .

The template will be used by the cgiemail program, so before you upload the file to your web server, be careful to follow these guidelines:

  1. Wherever you want the user of your form to supply information, use a single word inside square brackets with no spaces, e.g. Your name: [yourname] . Not [Put your name here] . The names you put between the square brackets will establish where the fields in the web form will be put in the email message.
  2. Make sure the address in the To: field is a valid uwo id or mailing list. Do not use any email addresses from the form.
  3. If there are blank lines among the header lines, remove them.
  4. If there are blank lines before the header lines, remove them.
  5. Make sure all your header lines are valid. The first character on the line must be a letter. Most information should go in the message body; don't make up your own headers.
  6. Make sure there is a blank line between the header lines and the body.
  7. Make sure you save it as ASCII text. For example, if you are using Microsoft Word, use "Save As" and choose "Text Only with Line Breaks."
  8. If you created the file on a Mac, be sure to upload it as text, i.e. CR's translated. (Unix computers have different codes denoting the end of a line than Mac's do, so your file might look like one long line to the Unix computer.)

Within these guidelines there is a lot of flexibility. However, we suggest you confine yourself to the following header lines:

To: someone@wherever.uwo.ca
Subject: an appropriate subject
Cc: whoever@wherever.uwo.ca Do not use any email addresses from the form.

The Cc: is optional. It will send a copy of the message to other people in addition to the primary addressee. If you have more than one address to put there, use commas to separate them. Make sure that all addresses in the To: and Cc: lines are correct, otherwise the message will bounce. Bounced messages go to the webmaster!

Put in a Required "your email address'' field

We strongly suggest that you always include a required field containing the email address of the person who filled out the form. In the example, this is the field required-email . As explained in the section Make some inputs required , any field whose name starts with required- has to be filled out, otherwise the submission of the form will be rejected.

Upload the template to the server

You should upload this file (as ASCII) to the web server in the usual way. For example, if the name of the file is questions3.txt and you are in department somedept on the university's central web server www.uwo.ca , the file will end up as questions3.txt in the departmental directory somedept . The exact file specification would be /web/www/somedept/questions3.txt .

If you are using the instruct server, you would put the file somewhere in /web/instruct .

If you use the publish server, you would put the file in your public_html area.

Create the HTML form

Next you have to create a form that will use the template. Here is an example:

(This example doesn't actually send email.)

This is the HTML source ( questions3.html ):

< ACTION="https://www.uwo.ca/cgi-bin/cgiemail/somedept/questions3.txt">

< label for="required-email"> Your email address (required): < /label>< input id="required-email" name="required-email" type="text" />

< label for="yourname"> Your name: < /label>< input id="yourname" name="yourname" type="text" />

< label for="quest"> Your quest: < /label>< input id="quest" name="quest" type="text" />

< label for="colour">Your favourite colour: < /label>< input id="colour" name="colour" type="text" />

< input type="submit" value="Send email" />

The example assumes you are using the www server. See the section Make sure the ACTION is correct, below, for details on how to specify the action for the form.

This is a very simple example. To learn to create more complicated forms, read  https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_forms.asp or your favorite book on HTML. All types of inputs (radio buttons etc.) work the same way.

For now, simply note that the NAME of each INPUT corresponds to what you previously put in the e-mail template. In this example they are required-email, yourname, quest , and colour . Remember that a name that starts with required- indicates that that field has to be filled out in the form, otherwise the form will not be submitted.

Make sure the ACTION is correct

The trickiest part of the HTML form is getting the ACTION set correctly. The following paragraphs show how to do this on the various central UWO servers.

NOTE: You must use https

In general, please note that the way in which you indicate where your .txt file resides is as if you were specifying a URL: you do not specify the full file path. In other words, on www you leave out /web/www , on instruct you leave out /web/instruct and on publish you use ~loginname/file.txt without mention of public_html .

On www.uwo.ca

On www.uwo.ca the ACTION should be set as follows:

\ / \ /
`------- Part 1 ------' ` ----- Part 2 -----'

Part 1 must be https, part 2 indicates where your e-mail template is stored. The XXXXXXXX , in the middle, is the program that will convert the form to an email message. XXXXXXXX is of course not the real name of the program, you have to substitute either cgiecho or cgiemail . As shown in the next section, for testing purposes, it is best to first try out the form using cgiecho , and when you like the results switch to cgiemail .

On instruct.uwo.ca

On instruct.uwo.ca the ACTION should be set as follows:

\ / \ /
`--------- Part 1 ---------' ` ------------ Part 2 ------------'

Here /somecourse/somenumber indicates the web area assigned to the course in question. Otherwise the same applies as under www , above.

On publish.uwo.ca

On publish.uwo.ca the ACTION should be set as follows:

\ / \ /
`-------- Part 1 ---------' ` ------- Part 2 ------'

Here loginname is the first portion of your Western email address. Otherwise the same applies as under www , above.

Forms in Restricted area

We recommend putting your forms in a restricted folder to minimize spamming. 

Try out your form with cgiecho

To test your form, put in an ACTION with cgiecho , for example:




Then view your form in your favorite web browser, fill in the inputs, and submit it. You should see what the processed form looks like. If instead you see an error with a number near 500, your ACTION is probably set wrong. Go back to the previous step .

If some of your inputs don't seem to be showing up in the processed form, make sure that the inputs have the exact same names in the HTML form as in the ASCII template. E.g. NAME="yourname" in the HTML form and [yourname] in the e-mail template.

Go live with cgiemail

Now change cgiecho to cgiemail in the ACTION of your HTML form:




Try it out. You should receive an email message with the processed form (provided the To: address in the e-mail template is yours!). If not, go back and make sure you correctly followed the instructions in step 1 .

If it works, congratulations!

Warning: You will not personally get a bounced message even if you've put a From: line in your headers. All bounces will go to the user id under which your web server runs.

Add text to the success page (optional)

When mail is sent, a page titled ``Success'' appears with the text of the email message. You may use a hidden variable called ``addendum'' to add your own text. Here is a simple example:

If you are willing to assume that readers of your form are using recent browser software, then you may put HTML markup into this variable using the appropriate character entities . For example, if you wanted to add

Thank you!

then the HTML markup would be

Thank you!

meaning you would need the following in your form:

VALUE="&lt;em&gt;Thank you!&lt;/em&gt;">

Note that besides being difficult to write, this feature won't work for people using older browser software.

Use an alternate success page

If you don't like the default page that comes up when email is successfully sent, you can specify an alternate URL using a hidden variable called ``success'' in your HTML form, e.g.


There is no way to make this alternate success page contain information about the user who submitted in the form.

The example assumes you use the www server. If you use instruct or publish , you should specify the URL of the alternate success page in the appropriate way:


Make some inputs required (optional)

If you would like to automatically reject forms with certain inputs left blank, add the prefix required- to the name of the input in both your HTML form and your e-mail template. Here is an example:

In the HTML form:

In the email template

Your email address: [email]

Specify formatting for some inputs (optional)

If, in your email template, the text inside square brackets begins with %, cgiemail will use the printf() function in C on the field name after the comma. If you're not familiar with this function, look in a book on C. If you are familiar with it, please note these two differences:

  1. The first character in the format string must be %.
  2. Characters like \n and \t must be literal. If you want a newline, you have to put a newline just before the comma, even though this looks strange.

See Also

Changing a web form's text encoding. apply javascript to the form

An example could be in the tag onsubmit="document.charset = 'ISO-8859-1';"


Use Google to Remove Outdated Pages - Learn how to use Google to remove outdated web pages.


Google automatically takes a "snapshot" of each page it crawls and archives it. This "cached" version allows a webpage to be retrieved if the original page is ever unavailable.

Removing a URL

In order to remove a URL from the Google index

  • you must create an account with Google using your email address and a password
  • Google will send a confirmation email that must be responded to within 24 hours or your account will be deleted
  • once account activated, login to Google with your email address and a password

You can:

  • Remove pages, subdirectories or images using a robots.txt file.
  • Remove a single page using meta tags.
  • Remove an outdated link.
    • anything associated with this URL
    • snippet portion of result (includes cached version)
    • cached version only
  • you can also review the status of any submitted requests through this account

How to remove content from Google's index

Remove cached pages

Meta tags

To prevent all search engines from showing a cached copy of your page
If you would like to specify this restriction just for a specific search engine use "search engine name" in place of "robots".

To prevent the search engines from indexing page or following links from a particular page

The following commands tell the search engine to index the document, but not follow hyperlinks from it:

You may set all directives OFF by using the following:

See http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/exclusion.html#meta for more information.

Create a Personal Home Page at Western - Learn how to create a personal home page at Western.

Before you begin

NOTE: Your Personal Homepage at Western has a 200 MB quota (disk space).  There is no mechanism in place to increase your quota.  

Please read the following questions and answers before you begin.

Question: Do I have a Western Identity?

All faculty, staff, and students at Western have a Western Identity automatically created for them. If you do not yet have a user Id and password please review the information at https://wts.uwo.ca/identity/identities_and_access/index.html.

Question: Where will my website be located?

Your website will be stored in a directory called public_html in your personal file space on the Western publish.uwo.ca server.

Question: How do I get my website files from my computer to the Western server?

Using a secure file transfer program you will need to make a connection to the server: sftp.uwo.ca using your Western Identity user ID and password to upload the document from your local system to the sftp server.

An example of some sftp applications are:
  • Microsoft Windows
    • SSH Secure FTP
    • >PuTTY
  • Mac OS X
    • JellyfiSSH
  • Linux/UNIX
    • OpenSSH

Question: What will the url be for my website?

http://publish.uwo.ca/~user_ID/  (where user ID is your Western Identity username/user ID e.g. jsmith5555)

Question: What is appropriate content for my website?

Western faculty, staff, and students can create personal websites to disseminate information relevant to their roles in the University.

Individuals (faculty, staff, and students) are responsible for the content of their personal websites. Information made available via this service must meet the content policies defined by the Western Acceptable Use Agreement which you signed when you first activated your Western Identity.

Remember that web pages are public; don't put in information that people could use to hurt you. Your web pages describe you and your interests to the world so put some thought into how you represent yourself. Consider that potential future employers may read your web pages.

Steps to Publishing on the Web

Step 1- Activate Your Personal Web Space

You must first create (activate) a special directory in your personal web space on. To set up your web space, go to the online form Activate My Personal Web Space.

The first time this activation is done, it creates a directory called public_html in your personal disk space. It also creates a default home page using a standard template to a file called index.html within your new public_html directory. It also sets appropriate permissions on the directory and files within so that the web server can read them.

If the directory public_html and the file index.html already exist, then only the permissions will be set. The index.html file will not be overwritten.  Open a browser (e.g. Firefox, IE) and check to see whether you can access your homepage at http://publish.uwo.ca/~user_ID/. It should look like the template in this document. If you can view this page, everything is set up correctly.

Step 2 - Create Your HTML Content

Step 3 - Upload Your Content to the Server

Transfer the content you have created from your computer to the folder public_html on the server using a secure file transfer program (SFTP).  The server or host name to connect to is sftp.uwo.ca

Note that you must transfer your files into the public_html directory. The file transfer usually sets the file protection to 'world readable'. If the permissions were not set this way during file transfer, you will need to correct this before you or anyone else can view your page. You can do this by returning to the Activate My Personal Web Space page and submitting your username and password again.

Note: If you are transferring images, you should click on the Binary button before transferring them to public_html.

Step 4 - Test Access to Your Web Space

Once your home page is safely in public_html, visitors to your site will use the following web URL to view your page:


This only works if you keep the name of your homepage as index.html. Other files in your public_html directory can be accessed directly. If you named a page mypage.html, then it could only be accessed by going to the URL


Request and Maintain a Restricted Website - Learn how to request and maintain a restricted website.

What is a Restricted Web Site?

This service is available for any websites that are published to the Western/Corporate web server.

Restricted websites, folders or pages can be requested on the Western/Corporate web server and they will then only be available for viewing by a certain group of Western users, such as members of a specific department.

The restricted area must be setup by WTS.

If you need a restricted folder please complete and submit the form at https://westernu.atlassian.net/servicedesk/customer/portal/9/group/95/create/482.

You will need to specify:

  • Your name and email address
  • The path on corporate web that you wish created
  • The type of restriction you wish to have

The types of restrictions available are:

  • Restricted to any Western user
  • Restricted to specific groups of users: either all faculty, all staff, or all faculty and staff)
  • Restricted to a list of Western users (a list you will maintain)
  • Restricted to local user id and password
  • Restricted to on campus access only

WTS will create the restriction for you and set up the correct file permissions.  If you choose to restrict to a list of Western users you will be responsible for maintaining that list in the .passwords file.

There will be a 2 special files created.

  • .htaccess containing the restrictions that required
  • .passwords containing the users who are allowed access in the form of: uwo: userid

Request a Virtual Host on the Corporate Web Server - Learn how to request a Virtual Host on the Corporate Web Server


Space on the Western corporate web server, www.uwo.ca, is provided for official departmental web sites.
Anyone who wishes to have a site here needs to be hosted by an official department of the University.

Some departments choose to use a specific fully qualified domain name (FQDN)
with their department name, like math.uwo.ca.

The Western corporate web server can be configured to handle requests for these names
(called a virtual host) and mapped to the current home area of the site.

There are 2 types of virtual hosts:
A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) using uwo.ca (math.uwo.ca)
A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) not using uwo.ca (math.org )

Note: There are set up and maintenance charges for doing this regardless of the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) you choose. Please see the section Hosting Domain Name and Web Services under Service Agreement Options in the  WTS Services Document for details on these charges.  

Before you proceed with this process, you should already have a site set up on the Western corporate web server. If you are not already set up, please contact Help desk

A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) not using uwo.ca

If you want to have a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) not using uwo.ca set up for your site, it is your responsibility to register the domain with the proper authorities.  Any extra fees associated with this registration are also your responsibility. 

  • To register a .ca domain, you need to contact one of the organizations on the Registrar's List provided by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority.
  • Other domains can be purchased through various Internet registration Authorities.
  • When registering a domain, you will be asked to provide certain information which will also be used for the hosting of the site.  It will expedite matters if you know in advance what information you need to provide the group registering the domain that will also be required for hosting the site.  Please contact the help desk to discuss your plans for registering your domain.

Submit the request for a virtual host.

Once you have chosen your domain name (and registered it if external) and decided if you wants stats, please complete and submit the Virtual Host Request Form.  This request will be processed by Web Admin.  

They will:

  • follow up with the Network Operations Center to complete the domain set up.
  • configure the virtual host
  • docroot
  • error log
  • access log and access format
  • domains
  • listener
  • error Response pages
  • index Files
  • Directory Listing
  • Content handling/CGI (if needed)
  • URL Redirects

    It may take a few days to configure and hours to propagate.

Published on  and maintained in Cascade.