Updating a legacy website

Please note that as of Sept. 2015 Harvard does not offer hosting for custom made sites. The following instructions are for updating existing web sites managed by SEAS.  Options for creating new websites for faculty, groups or courses can be found in Web Services. If you have any questions about this policy please contact Support Services.

How to Connect to your web and personal site 


pub-aws.seas.harvard.edu (or pub.seas.harvard.edu)

Use a file transfer client that supports SFTP or SCP. Direct shell access is not supported.

See bottom of page for suggestions on SFTP clients

Protocol SFTP / SCP
Port 22

For dynamic sites (sites that use server side scripting, e.g.: PHP, Perl, etc.):

  • /seas/web/sites_dynamic

For static sites (sites that only serve static HTML and other web content): 

  • /seas/web/sites_static
  • /seas/web/sites_static/courses
  • /seas/web/sites_static/groups

For personal site (formerly known as people.seas.)

  • /home/YOURUSERNAME/public_html/ 
Username your SEAS username
Password your HarvardKey password

For example, to connect and update your personal site /~johnharvard, point your SFTP client to :
pub-aws.seas.harvard.edu and change to your directory /home/johnharvard/public_html/.

If you are unsure of where your current site is hosted, contact Support Services and please do not forget to include the URL of your site.

Permission Instructions

Once you know what directory the files you want to edit are in, you must have the required file permissions to update the site's files.

If you get any "permission denied" errors when uploading files to your site's directory, please e-mail us and request that you be given access to update the files. Please send us either the URL of the site, or the directory of the site's files, and we will be able to help assign your account the proper permissions to edit the files.

If you're a student or assistant updating a faculty member-owned site, please CC that faculty member when requesting file permissions so that we know they are aware that edits to the site are pending.

How to establish the connection and SFTP client suggestions

If you are on-campus, you can connect directly to the server without VPN. Off-campus access to pub.seas.harvard.edu requires a VPN connection

Secure file transfer clients:

  • WinSCP (Free - Windows) - Download link at the top of the page.
  • CyberDuck (Free - Windows & Mac) - Download link on the left side of the page under the Duck.
  • FileZilla (Free - Windows, Linux & Mac) - Download link in center of page.
  • Dreamweaver (Paid - Windows & Mac).


For help in setting up your client contact Support Services.