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•  Pre-sales questions
•  Startup configuration
•  Understanding DNS and Name Servers
•  Email problems
•  CGI, SSI, permissions
•  Microsoft Frontpage
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Support / Startup configuration

How do I gain FTP access to my site?

First, get the best FTP program on the Internet, which in our humble opinion is CuteFTP. You can download it at: www.cuteftp.com
After it's installed, run the program (double click on the yellow icon), and then click Add Folder - this is where you will store your FTP site info. Then click Add Site. In the panel that comes up, enter a name - call it anything you want - yourdomain.com. Then in Host Address, put: yourdomain.com or your IP address. (Obviously if the extension is NOT .com - if it's .nu or .edu or whatever, you would use the appropriate extension) In User ID, put your User ID - this is usually the same as the domain name - and then in Password, carefully type your password - I say carefully because it will be masked, so you won't be able to read it - this password is CASE SENSITIVE!
Now click OK in the lower left of the panel, and you will see your domainname in the right hand panel - highlight it and click Connect - lower right part of panel. If all goes well, the program will establish an FTP connection with your site and take you to the htdocs/userid directory. This is the right place to put your index.html file.

How To Connect To MySQL

This is a very common question. Many scripts such as vBulletin and PHPNuke require that you specify the mysql server address. The mysql server address is always ‘localhost’. Also be sure you have created the database in the account's CPanel, created the database user, and added the user to the database. A lot of MySQL Help Desk tickets are from people creating the user and the database, but forgetting to add the user to the database!

Username and Passwords

These are stated in the first paragraph of the welcoming email. Until you change them, they're needed
to authenticate everything from FTP, to Email access, C-Panel, and MS FrontPage if you're using it. In short, use this Username and Password for any access you're attempting to your account.

Can I change a password to my email account, FTP account, or main account?

Yes, you can do this yourself easily via our Control Panel. Be aware, however, if you change your password, we will not be able to go in and fix some problem on your site without your telling us the new password - OR - we may have to go in and change your password ourselves.

Accessing your account via its URL or associated IP number

If you've just signed up to one of our hosting plan, chances are you've begun the process of a domain transfer to our servers. In all likelihood, it will take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for all worldwide DNS records to reflect you domain name as pointing to our servers. While everything in our welcoming email refers to the domain you signed up, we recommended you use the accompanying "IP" number until you can verify your domain is actually answering to your new account on our servers.
The IP we've provided you will soon be registered to your domain name. Until such time as your domain is officially answering to our servers, you can use your new IP to access and setup your web site. For example, if your assigned IP was 130.94.171.89, your welcoming email would provide the URL http://130.94.171.89 as an option for accessing your new account. Again, it's a great way to test all those features and make sure everything is functioning smoothly before launching your web to the world.

Accessing "IP-less" accounts

Almost all our plans are are IP-less. This means the IP is shared with several domains, as opposed to being dedicated to "one." There are a couple of small differences on how you access these accounts,
and most notably how you access the them before your domain name is officially pointing to our servers. Instead of calling the account with a plain IP number, you call it with an IP and "your associated Username." Both of these were sent to you in your welcoming email.

Let's try an example:

Your username is "name"
Your IP is 130.94.171.89

To reach your account via the web, you would call this site as: http://130.94.171.89/~name/

Don't forget the ~ before your name! Also remember that the IP we're using in this case is an "example." Check your welcoming email for the IP number and Username, which was assigned
to your account.
Once again, when your new DNS settings have propagated across the worlds DNS servers, you'll be able to access your domain by calling it the standard way, which is http://www.yourdomain.com.

Accessing your IP-less account via FTP

These accounts are accessed in the generally the same way as a dedicated IP account would be. Again, if your domain name is not officially pointing to our servers yet, use the IP and Username, which was sent to you in your welcoming email.

Home Directory

Your html files, and or the files you want to make accessible to the World Wide Web must be uploaded to your account. When you first FTP into your account, you'll be taken to your "Home" directory. Don't confuse this with your "web directory." The home directory is "not" accessible to the World Wide Web; it's a private directory where critical system files reside. DO NOT delete files that have been created by the system, otherwise your web site may disappear into cyber oblivion!

The public_html and www directory - (Where web accessible files are placed)
These are the two directories, where files you want accessed from the web must be placed. Open the
folder "public_html" , which is your "web accessible directory." The folder named "www" is actually
a shortcut to public_html, (both of them take you to your web directory). Upload the files you want accessible to your visitors and feel free to make the appropriate sub-directories you'll require.

index.html and why you should use it

This again is where a number of newer webmasters become stumped. They upload all of their files and directories, and then want to access them with their browser, but forgetting to create their welcoming page as index.html, so here's what happens: They access their site as http://www.mydomain.com or using the associated IP number, and what they see is their entire file directory structure! Yikes!… It looks just like exploring the C drive on your computer! You don't want visitors seeing that, do you?

When you access your site by calling it as http://www.mydomain.com or the assigned IP, the web server looks for the "index.html" file as the (default file) to be sent to visitors, and thus this is why http://www.mydomain.com/ by itself will automatically display the home or welcoming page. It's because the server automatically looks for index.html whenever a domain or directory is called without a filename appended to it such as this, http://www.mydomain.com/file.html
If it can't find index.html, it will simply list "your entire web directory" to everyone that access's it, which is a MAJOR security risk! ALWAYS, use an "index.html" file in any directory you create, including your "root" web directory. In general, it's always a good idea to use "index.html" as your main page in "all sub-directories" of your account. Forgetting to place an index.html in your root web, or any subdirectory of your web for that matter will effectively leave all of its contents viewable to the world.

Understanding case sensitivity

Another small detail, which can throw many newer users into a tailspin. Unlike your local PC, the Unix
file system is very particular about "uppercase" and "lowercase" file names. Therefore, if you were to install a script, (let's say the wwwboard discussion forum) for example), the name of this script would be wwwboard.pl. If you name a file picture file called me.jpg, then this is what you must call it as. Naming it me.JPG for example, (observe the uppercase) tells a Unix web server to treat it as a totally different file name.
Unix file servers are exceptionally fussy on this issue, so make sure you pay close attention to "case' when uploading files, or installing and configuring cgi based scripts. The same rule applies for all files including your .html pages. Again, the server treats .html and .HTML as two entirely different files. Want to keep in simple? Try to stick with lowercase letters in all file names and extensions.

Uploading your files in the correct mode (ASCII or Binary)?

Uploading in the wrong format for images or binaries will result in a strange mess appearing in place of the file. For CGI scripts, this mistake has to be the most common cause of that annoying error known as the (Server 500 Error - Malformed Headers), or something to that lovely extent. While this can be the result of many various programming errors, the most popular amongst new users are uploading their scripts in the "WRONG" format. Your cgi scripts "MUST" always be uploaded in ASCII mode. Alternatively, if you upload an image or .exe file, it must be done in "BINARY" mode.

The difference between ASCII and BINARY?

In short, html or text based files are supposed to be transferred in ASCII mode. Uploading them in Binary mode will append ^M's to the end of every line. In most cases, this is OK, with html files because your browser will ignore them. BUT, with other text files such as cgi scripts, uploading them in binary will damage them, thus causing a (server 500 error). This is because binary mode has added ^M's to the end of every line, which are not supposed to be in the program. This of course, is what causes the additional message of (Malformed Headers), which often displays at the bottom of the "Server 500" message when a CGI script has crashed.

Once again, BINARY mode is used for transferring executable programs, compressed files and all image/picture files. If you try to upload an image in ASCII mode, you observer a strange mess appearing on the page where the image is suppose to appear. ASCII mode in this case, has corrupted the binary coding in the jpeg or gif image. If this happens, just re-upload it in the Binary format

Setting your FTP client to automatically detect ASCII and Binary file transfers

Most FTP programs have "AUTO" mode, which will tell the FTP client to automatically detect the file type you're transferring and will select the appropriate mode. By default, most FTP programs will attempt to transfer everything in binary mode, but when "Automatic" is selected, the FTP client will check a list of known ASCII extensions, (for example, .pl, .cgi, .txt). If it detects one of these extensions, it automatically switches to ASCII mode. By Default, most of the well-known files to be uploaded in ASCII
are already entered, however you can manually add additional extensions that you would like to transfer in ASCII mode by selecting the feature called "Extensions." Here, you can any additional
extensions that will cause the FTP client to toggle to ASCII mode automatically upon detecting an extension entered in its list. Remember, you must set your transfer mode to "Automatic" for this to work.

File types and what they represent

Various file types can effect both the behavior of your files, as well as how the server treats them. While there are numerous file extensions, which represent a host of various file types, we'll stick to the basic ones in this quick overview:

The .html file:
This is one is the most commonly used and the most one of you are already familiar with. Html stands for (hypertext Markup Language). Essentially, it tells the server, as well as the clients browser to process and display the .html coding in a way, which is meaningful to the end user through a browser.

The .htm file:
Many of you have probably noticed this newer extension appearing in place of the traditional .html one. In short, .htm is most often created, and or generated from the Microsoft FrontPage web editor. The two are essentially the same and provide the same basic purpose. Unless you're using FrontPage, you will probably use the .html extension at the end of your web pages.

The .gif and .jpg file:
Most commonly used because of its good compression in web page images. Generally, .gif files are the fastest loading, as they remove a lot of information, which is not required to maintain image integrity, but to a point however. .jpg will allow more flexibility in compression and quality settings, however can also result in larger files.

The .CGI and the .pl file:
.cgi and .pl are most often used for perl scripts. Perl scripts are small text based programs, which are executed on the server end, and will perform a host of interactive functions for a web site. In short, when a .pl or .cgi file is called, it tells the server to process it using the "Perl Interpreter." The Perl Interpreter understands the programming within the script, and will perform the set of sub routines, which will yield your desired effect. This desired effect could be anything from a simple web page counter, to more complex programs such as discussion forums, e-commerce platforms, to online auctions. In many cases, you can download these "ready to go" scripts for free, and in others you may have to purchase them.

FrontPage and FTP

If you're planning on using Microsoft FrontPage to manage your web site, there are a couple of issues
things you may want to keep in mind: There are two worlds. The General Unix hosting world, and the
Microsoft world. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, Microsoft had indeed decided to play by its own rules. As a result, FrontPage does not always conform to the rules of Unix, so you should be extremely careful when accessing a FrontPage web via FTP. It's easy to damage the FrontPage web, as well as it's associated server extensions, and if it happens, you may loose the ability to administrate it from your FrontPage Explorer.

To avoid problems like this:
Do not alter, or delete files that are part of a FrontPage web
Do delete, move, or alter directories ending in _vtf. These are the FrontPage extensions

The ultimate solution:
If possible, try to create your FrontPage webs in sub-directories of your root. For example, http://www.yourdomain.com/home.
This way, you can safely FTP into your root account to perform other tasks, while avoiding the FrontPage webs, which are safely out of the way in their own separate homes. Remember! DO NOT delete any folders, which end in _vtf! This will kill your FrontPage web, and we'll have to reinstall the extensions for you.

 


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