IThosts.com FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
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Category: Main -> UNIX Web Hosting
|· What is the File System?
Your UNIX hosting account has a home directory in which you store your site content.
When you log into your account using FTP you will be placed within your home directory.
You should upload the pages, images and files that make up your site to this directory.
Within your home directory is a folder called 'cgi-bin'. This folder is used
for storing any CGI Scripts you wish to use on your account.
Path To Your Home Directory
need to reference the path to your home directory in your scripts. The
full path to your home directory is based on the username of the hosting
account. The full path to the home directory for a hosting account with
the username 'joebloggs' would be:
'joebloggs' being the account username and 'j' and 'o' the first and second characters
of the account username. You must substitute 'joebloggs', 'j' and 'o' with the
correct values according to the username of the hosting account. Note that when
your account is accessed via the SSL secure server, the full path is different,
see the SSL page for more information.
|· How do I FTP?
The process by which files are transferred to the web server is called FTP
(File Transport Protocol). You have unlimited access to your web space via FTP
24-hours a day. As such, you can create and maintain your web pages on your
own computer and upload files to your web site at your leisure.
To use FTP you need a piece of software installed on your computer called an
FTP client. We recommend WS_FTP which can be downloaded for either the PC or
Mac from http://www.wsftp.com/. Many popular web design packages also come with
FTP software functionality included.
Microsoft FrontPage Users
Customers wishing to use Microsoft FrontPage to manage their site should install
the FrontPage Server Extensions and should use only the publishing feature within
FrontPage to transfer files. Using regular FTP can corrupt the extensions, disabling
the functionality of the FrontPage web and requiring that the site be deleted
to reinstall the extensions.
Configuring Your FTP Software
To connect to your site by FTP, you will need to configure your FTP client with
the following information.
|For UNIX Virtual Servers:
|The account username
|Your account password
The initial working directory, port number and all other configuration options
should be left at their defaults.
Transferring Your Files
When you connect to the FTP server, you will placed in the home directory for
your account. You will see system folders in your home directory as described
on the UNIX File System and Windows File System pages. You can transfer files
directly to your home directory or create subdirectories within in. As soon
as a file is uploaded to the web server, it is available for all to see.
Our operating system is case sensitive. In other words, the file name 'page.html'
is NOT the same as 'Page.html'. If your HTML code references a 'page.html',
but the actual file name is in uppercase, this will result in a File Not Found
error. This applies to directory names as well. To prevent errors, we suggest
naming all files in lowercase. You should not use spaces and punctuation characters
although the underscore character ('_') is acceptable.
|· Do you support FrontPage Extensions?
FrontPage extensions allow you to use the publication feature and dynamic
page elements available in Microsoft's FrontPage software. You should
only install the server extensions if you intend to use Microsoft's FrontPage
software to create and upload your web site. If you install FrontPage
extensions you will not be able to upload your files and manage your site
Installing FrontPage Extensions
To install FrontPage extensions on your account click the 'Install FrontPage
Extensions' link on the FrontPage Extensions page. You will be asked to
confirm the action before FrontPage extensions are actually installed
on your account.
Reinstalling FrontPage Extensions
In the event that your FrontPage extensions become corrupted and you can
no longer use FrontPage to manage your site correctly, you can reinstall
the server extensions. Reinstalling the server extensions checks your
site configuration for errors and automatically repairs them. Click the
'Reinstall FrontPage Extensions' link on the FrontPage Extensions page.
You will be asked to confirm the action before FrontPage extensions are
actually reinstalled on your account.
Uninstalling FrontPage Extensions
If FrontPage extensions are no longer required on your account you can
uninstall them. Uninstalling the server extensions will restore access
to your site by FTP. Click the 'Uninstall FrontPage Extensions' link on
the FrontPage Extensions page. You will be asked to confirm the action
before FrontPage extensions are actually removed from your account.
Using FrontPage Extensions
To publish your site using Microsoft FrontPage you must first have FrontPage
extensions installed on your account, see above. Click the 'Publish Web'
option from the 'File' menu in your FrontPage software. Enter 'http://www.yourdomain.com'
when asked where you want to publish your site to and click 'Publish'.
You will be asked for your account username and password, after which
your site will be published to the server. Note that you can only publish
your site to an active domain name using FrontPage, you cannot publish
your site using FrontPage to the FTP server, to a temporary URL or to
a domain name which is not yet fully transferred to our network.
FrontPage Technical Support
that we cannot and will not provide technical support on the use of
Microsoft FrontPage, technical support issues relating to the use of
Microsoft FrontPage should be referred to Microsoft technical support.
Notes On UNIX FrontPage
FrontPage 2000 extensions are installed on our UNIX
servers, we are aware that this is not the latest version of the server
extensions, however the 2002 extensions are not compatible with our server
operating system. Please note therefore that some of the newer features
included in the FrontPage XP client software will not work and that due to
the shared environment, the subwebs, usage analysis and user management
features are disabled. Note also that you cannot use FrontPage extensions
when you have password protected directories on your account. You must
remove password protection from all directories before installing
|· Do you support CGI?
Our UNIX servers have the capability to run CGI scripts written in Perl.
There are a number of free scripts which you can install automatically
using the CGI Scripts page, alternatively you can use your own custom
Using Custom CGI Scripts
If you have a custom CGI script that you need use use, simply upload it
using FTP to the 'cgi-bin' directory. All CGI scripts must be placed in
the cgi-bin directory and must have an extension of .cgi or .pl. Ensure
that your FTP program uploads the file in ASCII mode and be sure to set
the correct file permissions using the 'chmod' command from within your
parameters may be required when configuring CGI scripts to run on our
servers. If you require any more information regarding the configuration
of our servers please contact us.
|Path To Perl
|Path To Sendmail
|Path To PGP
|Path To Date
|Path To Your Webspace
|The path to the web space for an account is
dependant on the account username, for an account with the username
'joebloggs' the path to it's web space would be:
/home/j/o/joebloggs/public_html'j' and 'o' being the first
and second characters of the username 'joebloggs'.
Note that the path to your home directory is different when you call
a CGI script from the SSL secure server.
All modules included in
the standard perl distribution and DBI drivers for mySQL are installed on
Debugging CGI Scripts
If you see a '500 Internal Server Error' page when you attempt to run
your CGI script, you have an error with your code or a misconfiguration.
The information in your site Error Log may help you solve the problem.
Technical Support On CGI Scripts<%end if%>
note that we cannot provide technical support on third party CGI scripts,
problems with a third party CGI script should be referred to the script
Notes on CGI Scripts
Please note that chat/IRC, web proxy and mailing list scripts are not
allowed on our network under any circumstances. See our Acceptable Use
Policy for more information.
|· How can I password protect my directories?
Password protected directories require authentication using a username
and password before files from them can be downloaded via the web.
Protect A Directory
To protect a directory click 'New Password Protected Directory'. A list
of the directories in your web site is shown. Select the directory you
wish to protect and click 'Set-up Password Protection'. Note that you
must create a directory in your web space using FTP before you can protect
Click the corresponding
'Passwords' link to view a list of users currently granted access to the
directory. To add a new user to the directory click 'Add User'. To change
the password for an existing user, click 'Change Password'. To delete a
user from the directory click 'Delete'.
To remove password
protection from a directory, click the corresponding 'Remove' link. You
will be asked to confirm the action before protection is removed. On
confirmation of the action, protection is removed from the directory and
all user privileges revoked.
Password protection is recursive meaning that protecting a directory
also protects any directories within it. Password protection is not
available when FrontPage extensions are installed, in this case you should
use the password protection facilities included with your FrontPage
|· Do you support mySQL?
mySQL is a powerful database engine which can be integrated into your
web site using a programming language such as PHP or Perl. To find out
whether mySQL is available on your account type please see the mySQL page.
mySQL can be installed using the mySQL page, click 'Install mySQL'. You
will be asked to confirm the action before mySQL is actually installed
onto your account. On confirmation a mySQL database will be created and
access permissions to it granted for your account.
If you have installed mySQL and no longer need it, it can be uninstalled
using the mySQL page, click 'Uninstall mySQL'. You will be asked to confirm
the action before mySQL is actually removed your account. On confirmation
your mySQL database including all its contents will be erased.
When mySQL is installed on your account, the mySQL Administrator can be
accessed via the mySQL page, click 'mySQL Administrator'. This web based
interface enables you to manage your database from your browser.
To access mySQL via
your web pages, connect to the mySQL server using the following
|The account's username
|The account's main password
|The account's username
Notes On mySQLTop
Note that to connect to your mySQL database from the SSL secure server
you must use a different server host name, see the SSL page for more information.
|· Do you support SSL?
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) allows a secure communication channel to be
set up between the server and your customer's browser. Once this
connection has been made, information, like credit card numbers, can be
exchanged with no chance of a third party intercepting the data.
To install SSL on your account click the 'Install SSL' link on the SSL
page. You will be asked to confirm the action before SSL is actually installed
on your account.
To view your pages securely, see the SSL page to determine your SSL site
address. This site address functions just like any domain name that is
mapped to your account, being mapped to the root directory of your web
space. This means that there is no need for you to upload your pages separately
to a secure server.
To remove SSL from your account click the 'Remove SSL' link on the SSL
page. You will be asked to confirm the action before SSL is actually removed
from your account.
Path To Your Web Space
When your site is accessed via SSL, the full system path to your web space
changes. It is based on your account username and the number of the web
server your account is hosted on which you can get from the Hosting Accounts
page. For an account with the username 'joebloggs', hosted on Server No.
4, the path to it's web space when accessed over SSL would be:
/fs/home/4/j/o/joebloggs/public_html You must substitute '4',
'j', 'o' and 'joebloggs' with your server number, the first and second
letters of your account username, and your account username respectively.
Using mySQL with SSL
If you wish your secure pages to be able to access your mySQL database,
you must use the data base server host name 'serverX' in your secure pages.
Where X is the number of the web server your acccount is hosted on, you
can get this information from the Hosting Accounts page. Using this hostname
means that mySQL database connections will be made across the network
rather than through a local socket. Since local sockets are much quicker
and efficient, this special host name should only be used in secure pages.
Notes On SSL
Please note that SSL does
not include software to process credit card transactions. Although you can
securely receive credit card information through SSL, actual processing of
the credit card will require a 'Merchant account' from an accredited
|· How do I customize the Error Page?
By default, when a visitor to your web site requests a file on your
site which does not exist, our standard page is displayed to the user.
This page is generally uninformative and will often result in the user
leaving your site. You can create a custom page of your own to be
displayed in the event of an error.
Creating An Error Page
Your page should be an ordinary HTML document although it should only
use global URLs, relative URLs will not work. You can upload your cutomised
page using the Error Page page. Enter or paste the entire code for your
customised error page into the text area and click 'Modify Error Page'.
The page will be displayed to users of your web site whenever a 404 (Page
Not Found) error occurs. If you leave the text area empty, the standard
web server error page will be shown on your site.
Notes On Error Pages
Your error page
must have correct HTML syntax and must have at least 512 characters in the
HTML code for many modern browsers to display it rather than their own
internal one. You may also need to turn off your browser's internal error
handling to be able to see your error page.
|· Do you support SSI?
Server Side Include (SSI) commands are executed by the server as it
parses your HTML file. Server side includes have a variety of uses
including displaying the date and time and adding a common signature to
each of your web pages.
HTML files containing SSI must be named with the extension .shtml. SSI
commands are easy to add to your HTML, but you must follow the syntax
A summary of the most popular SSI commands available on our servers are
listed below. Please note that whilst it is possible to execute a CGI
program from a server side include, this feature is disabled on our
systems due to the security issues it presents.
The Echo Command
The echo command can
be used to display the content of the server side environment variables
|Current date and time
|File name of the main document
|Path and file name of the main document
|Date and time the main document was last
For example, to include the current date and time you would place the
following code into your HTML document:
The Fsize Command
The fsize command
includes the size of a file, this might be helpful if you were to include
a thumbnail image and want to display the actual file size of the original
The Include Command
This command can be
used to include a signature file or company logo within an HTML document.
The added document or image will appear as if it were part of the original
|· URL Submitter.
The URL Submitter allows you to submit
your page to the major search engines enabling people to find your site.Top
To use the URL Submitter, enter the web address of the page you wish to
submit in the 'URL' field. This will normally be your main domain name,
you only need submit your homepage as the search engines will follow links
from it to find your other pages. Some engines require an email address
with submissions which you should enter in the 'Email' field, you can also
select which search engines you wish to submit your URL to. Click 'Submit
URL' to start the submission process.
Please note that it can take months for your site to
appear in the search engine listings following submission. We make no
guarantee that the search engines will accept your URL for inclusion in
|· Pre-installed Free CGI Scripts.
There are a number of CGI scripts offered free of charge which you can
install automatically using the CGI Scripts page. Scripts currently available
are listed below along with links to documentation regarding their use.
We are constantly seeking to make new scripts available, if you have any
suggestions or contributions for new scripts we would be delighted to
hear from you.
|Displays a count of the number or visitors to your
|Processes forms and sends results in an email
|Check the availability of domain names
|Redirect users to pages using HTML forms
|Visitors can leave their comments on your site
|Threaded discussion forum on your web
To install a script select the appropriate script from the CGI Scripts
page and click 'Install Script' on the following page. You will be asked
to confirm the action before the script is actually installed onto your
account. On confirmation the script will be installed to your account
along with all related files and the correct permissions set. See the
appropriate documentation for help on using your script.
If a script becomes corrupted you can reinstall the script via
the CGI Scripts page. Note that whilst this will correct any errors, it
will also erase any data related to the script. This should only be considered
as a last option. To reinstall a script select the appropriate script
from the CGI Scripts page and click 'Reinstall Script' on the following
page. You will be asked to confirm the action before the script is actually
reinstalled onto your account. On confirmation the script will be reinstalled
to your account along with all related files and the correct permissions
set. See the appropriate documentation for help on using your script.
If a script is no longer needed you can uninstall it via the CGI
Scripts page. Note that this will also erase any data related to the script.
To uninstall a script select the appropriate script from the CGI Scripts
page and click 'Uninstall Script' on the following page. You will be asked
to confirm the action before the script is actually removed from your
account. On confirmation the script will be removed from your account
along with all related files.