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 Post subject: FreeHostia Beginner's Giude
PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:07 pm 
Support Tech
Support Tech

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:07 pm
Posts: 238
This is an incomplete version of our beginner's guide. We will be editing this tutorial to make it as easy and understandable for everyone who uses our web hosting control panel for the first time. We will also add some screenshots later.

Getting started

Once you have signed up for a web hosting account and you have received the welcome email with the login details, you most likely want to get started and get your site online as soon as possible. This guide will guide you through the steps of setting up your account and getting your website online. You will also learn how to setup email accounts, MySQL databases etc. But first things first, let's start with setting up your domain name and uploading the files.

* Domain name setup *
- If you have registered our domain with us when you signed up for the account, all the work is done by us, so you just need to wait for your domain to become fully operational (usually 12-24 hours).
- If you have registered the domain from the Domain Registration section of your web hosting control panel you also need to add it to the Hosted Domains section before it becomes fully operational.
- In the case when you have registered the domain elsewhere, you need to add it to the Hosted Domains and set our name servers to it. The name servers are listed in the Hosted Domains section. The company which you have registered the domain with should have provided you with a control panel where you can edit the name servers (DNS) of your domain. Set our name servers to the domain and allow 12-24 hours for the change to take effect.
- If you have requested a domain transfer, make sure that the domain has been added to the Hosted Domains and set our name servers to it. Setting our name servers to your domain will make the domain point to your account (within 12-24 hours). The transfer procedure however takes more time - usually 5-7 business days. Transferring a domain means that you are changing the registrar company - the one which manages your domain. While the domain is transferring you can still use it as long as you have set our name servers (DNS) to it.

Now that you have the domain setup, you can start with uploading your files (publishing your website).

* Uploading your files / publishing your site *
We have an online File Manager integrated in the web hosting control panel which can be used for file manipulation and upload. Open the File Manager - you will see 5 folders:
logs
mail
sys
tmp
www
These are the system folders of your account. The one that you will be accessing is the www folder. In the www folder are located the main folders of each of your subdomains/domains. When you add a domain to your Hosted Domains or you add a subdomain from the Subdomain Manager, a folder is created in the www/ directory. The folder has the same name as your domain/subdomain. So if you have added the domain your-domain.com to your Hosted Domains, then you should see a folder named your-domain.com in the www/ directory. Of course you can edit the folder where a subdomain/domain points to, but by default it points to the folder which has the same name and is located in the www/ directory. We will explain later how you can edit the default path of a subdomain/domain.

Now that you know where your subdomain/domain points to you should have some idea where you should upload your files. In the example with your-domain.com, you should upload your files to the folder named your-domain.com. But how do you do this? There are several ways to upload/publish your website:

- FrontPage - if you have created your website with FrontPage, this is how you publish your website:
* From your web hosting control panel you should first activate the FrontPage Extensions (FPEs) for the domain/subdomain which you will be publishing your website to. Go to the FrontPage Extensions section of your web hosting control panel and activate the extensions by selecting the domain/subdomain that you want to activate them for.
* Now that you have the FPEs activated, you can publish your website:
1. Launch FrontPage Explorer and open the web site you have created on your computer.
2. From the menu at the top select “File” > “Publish”
3. Enter the location, where you want to publish your FrontPage web site. (http://www.your-domain.com - if you are using a free subdomain type it without www in front). Then hit the Enter key on your keyboard.
IMPORTANT: Use “http://www.your-domain.com” (if you are using a free subdomain type it without www in-front) as the Destination Web Server to publish to our server. Leave the 'Destination Web Name' blank.
4. Use the following username and password:
Username: your account username
Password: your FTP password
You should use the username/password of your default FTP account. You can see the username in the FTP Manager section of your web hosting control panel - there you can also set the FTP password.

- File Manager - the File Manager integrated in your web hosting control panel can also be used for uploading files. Browse the directory where you want to upload the files to - in our example, go to www/your-domain.com. Then at the bottom you see 5 fields with the button "Choose" next to them. You can upload even more than 5 files at a time by clicking on the "More Files" button - it will add a new field every time you click it. Choose the files that you want to upload by clicking on the "Choose" button and selecting the files from your computer and then click "Upload File(s)" to initiate the upload (leave the "Upload permissions" set to 755). Once the files have been uploaded you will see them in the folder of your domain/subdomain.
Now when you open your website from the web (http://www.your-domain.com) your website will open. Please keep in mind that the file that loads by default is the one named index.html (or index.htm or index.php). If you don't have an index file, a directory index page (Index of/) will open when you go to the address of your website (http://www.your-domain.com).

- FTP - you can use FTP client software like FileZilla, CuteFTP, SmartFTP, WS_FTP etc. to upload your files. Such FTP clients are actually something like remote file managers. In order to connect to the server, they need the FTP connection settings. These are the same settings that you can see/edit in the FTP Manager. For FTP host use your-domain.com (or any of your working subdomains/domains) and for the username and the password use the ones in from the FTP Manager section of your web hosting control panel. For concrete instructions about using the FTP client that you have downloaded, please refer to the Help of the respective software.

Using one of the methods described above, you should have been able to publish your website. Now at http://www.your-domain.com you should see your home page.

If you are using a PHP/Perl system that requires MySQL database, then you have some additional work to do. First you need to create a database, then you need to connect your PHP/Perl driven website to the database.

* Creating a MySQL Database *
You can add a database to your account from the Manage SQL Databases section of the web hosting control panel. This is also where you can see the existing databases and edit the password of a database. The database names look something like:
username_db1
username_db2
username_joomla
username_mambo
Where username is the username of your web hosting account. When you create a database you can only choose the second part of the name (db1, db2, joomla, mambo). Keep in mind that the whole name (including username_) must not be longer than 16 characters.

Once you have created a database you can setup your scripts to connect to it using the following settings:
database name: username_db1 (the whole name of the database - the one that you see in the Manage SQL Databases section of your web hosting control panel)
database username: username_db1 (the same as above)
database password: password (the password that you have set to your database - you can edit it from the Manage SQL Databases section)
database host: server.com (server.com is an example, you can see the correct server name / database hostname in the Manage SQL Databases section, just under the table with the list of your database(s))
database port: 3306
Usually the script that you are installing requires all of the above settings, in some cases, the MySQL port is not required though.
Using the correct MySQL settings, your script should be able to connect to the database. You may however need to do some manual changes to the tables of a database and the tool, which you can use for, that purpose is the phpMyAdmin - it is integrated in your web hosting control panel. You should login using the database name (the whole name) as username and the database password as password.

The phpMyAdmin can be used for importing and exporting a database (i.e. for loading a backup or creating a backup of your database).

* Importing a database (loading a backup from a database dump file) *
In the phpMyAdmin there are 5 icons on the left navigation menu, the middle one says SQL, click on it and a new window opens where you see "Import file" in the top navigation links. There you can import the file that you have exported.

[/b]* Exporting a database (creating a backup) *[/b]
You can backup your database from the phpMyAdmin section of your web hosting control panel. Login to phpMyAdmin. Click on your database (on the left you see the name of the database and all tables under the database, click on the name of your database), then click on "Export" from the top navigation menu. Check the "Save as file" check-box and click on the "Go" button in the bottom right corner.

Now that you have your domain working, your files have been uploaded and you have setup a database and your scripts are able to connect to it, we can say that your site has been setup. This is however only part of what you have to do. In the following sections of this tutorial you will learn how to add/edit subdomains; create email accounts; check the statistics of your web hosting account and websites; use the Password Protected Areas tools and more...


Subdomains

You can add, delete and edit the settings of a subdomain from the Subdomain Manager. You will note that in the Subdomain Manager there is a www subdomain for each of your domain (www.your-domain.com for example). The www subdomain is the default subdomain of a top level domain - it cannot be deleted unless you delete the domain from the Hosted Domains. Using the form in the subdomain manager you can add new subdomains. This is what each of the subdomain fields mean:

- IP: the IP of the subdomain - by default this is the shared IP of the server - it is shared for all web hosting accounts on the server. You can also have a dedicated IP (we will explain how you can acquire one later) - if you have a dedicated IP you can select it from the drop-down menu and make your subdomain resolve at this dedicated IP. This way the site hosted in the folder of your subdomain will not only be accessible at http://subdomain.your-domain.com but also at http://123.45.678.9 (where 123.45.678.9 is your dedicated IP).

- Path: the path of the subdomain defines to which folder the subdomain points to. As we explained earlier, by default the subdomain subdomain.your-domain.com points to the folder subdomain.your-domain.com, so the default path is /www/subdomain.your-domain.com/
You can however edit the path and make the subdomain point to /www/subdomain2.your-domain.com/ - this way http://subdomain.your-domain.com will open the content of the folder subdomain2.your-domain.com. This way you can have the same content at more than one addresses (subdomains/domains) - this could be useful if you have the domains your-domain.com and your-domain.net and want them to open the same content.

- Error 404 page: you can set your won custom 404 error page, so when someone follows a wrong link on your site, he will be brought to your custom error page instead of the default error page of the server.

- Activate FPE: FrontPage extensions could be activated when creating/editing a subdomain, this is what this option does.

- Activate access & error logs: selecting this option would activate the access & error logs for the subdomain. The access logs and the error logs are text files with logs, which you can download from the Access & Error Logs section of your web hosting control panel. We will explain the use of the Access & Error Logs later in this tutorial.

- Secure Socket Layer (SSL): you can also activate SSL when adding/deleting a subdomain. SSL is used for securing a site where the visitor is asked for personal details or billing information for example. We will explain the use of SSL in details later.

When creating a subdomain you can choose the domain at which the subdomain will be created from a drop-down menu. If you choose your-domain.com for example and type "forum" in the subdomain field, a subdomain forum.your.domain.com will be created. In the domain drop-down menu are listed all domains that you have added to your Hosted Domains plus the server domains - these are domains added to the server for public use. Usually people use them for testing, but you can also host a working website on such subdomain.

In the table where all subdomains are listed there are several columns:
# Subdomain IP FileManager FPE SSL Traffic Edit Delete
here is what each of them represents:
- # - the number of the subdomain in the list
- Subdomain - the name of the subdomain, clicking on it will open the website hosted on this subdomain
- IP - the IP of the subdomain
- FileManager - clicking on the folder icon opens the folder where the subdomain points via the File Manager
- FPE - shows whether FrontPage Extensions have been enabled for this subdomain or not
- SSL - shows whether SSL has been activated for this subdomain or not
- Traffic - opens the traffic statistics for this subdomain
- Edit - opens the page where you can edit the settings of the subdomain
- Delete - deletes the subdomain

Above the table where the subdomains are listed, there is a search form where you can search a subdomain by IP or the name of the subdomain. You can use this form if you have many subdomains and have problems finding any of them in the list.

*** Important: The way our system works, does not allow accessing a subdomain from the web with a www in front of the name of the subdomain - this means that www.subdomain.your-domain.com would not work. You can only access a top level domain with a www in front (www.your-domain.com).


Email

* Creating and using an email account *
To create a working e-mail account you need to have a domain. Having a working domain in your hosting account, you will be able to create e-mail accounts by submitting the form in the E-Mail Manager menu of your Control Panel. Here is what each of the fields means/does:
- Catchall email: selecting this option will create a catchall account. A catchall accounts is an account which receives all emails sent to non-existing email address at a concrete domain. For example the catchall account catchall@your-domain.com will receive all emails sent to email addresses like adfasdfasdf@your-domain.com if there is no actual adfasdfasdf@your-domain.com created in your account. This could mean that the catchall account will receive a lot of spam, but also you won't miss a message because a client spelled wrong your sales email and sent the message to the non-existing salles@your-domain.com instead to sales@your-domain.com which is the correct address. IMPORTANT: catchall accounts cannot send emails, the are strictly for incoming mail. Also, catchall accounts cannot have an auto-responder and cannot be forwarded.
- Password: sets the password for the email account
- Retype Password: sets the password for the email account
- Use Autoresponder: sets an autoresponder, so that someone sends an email to this email address, he will receive an automated reply
How do you use the email account that you have just created?
- You can use the email account with the Webmail - this is an online email client - similar to yahoo's and hotmail's webmails but more simple. You can login to the webmail using the name of your mailbox as username and the corresponding password as password. So if you have created an email account admin@your-domain.com, the username which you should use in the webmail would be admin@your-domain.com
- You can also use your email account with any standalone email client - like Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird. In this case there are several settings that you need to know:
mailbox:
IMAP/POP3, SMTP username: admin@your-domain.com
IMAP/POP3, SMTP password: corresponding password for the above account
IMAP/POP3, SMTP server: mail.server.com (mail.server.com is just an example - you can see the mail server in the Email Manager, just under the table where your email accounts are listed)
Secure Authentication: ON - you should set your email client to use secure authentication. Here is how you can do this in some of the most popular mail clients:
* Outlook Express: enable the check-box "My server requires authentication"
* Eudora: enable the check-box "Authentication allowed"
* Mozilla Thunderbird: enable the option "Use name and password"
* Mail for Mac OS X: enable the check-box "Use authentication when sending mail", also set Authentication to "MD5 Challenge-Response"

* Forwarding email accounts *
You can forward an email account to any valid email address. So if you only use the email account john@your-domain.com and want the emails sent to sales@your-domain.com to be forwarded to john@your-domain.com you can do this from the Email Manager. In the email accounts table there is an icon in the Forward column, when you click on it, you can add a forward for the email account.

* Email aliases - what they are and how we use them *
An email alias is actually an alternative name for a mailbox. For example if we have the mailbox john@your-domain.com, it has the default alias john@your-domain.com and we can add more aliases. If we add the alias john-smith@your-domain.com all emails sent to john-smith@your-domain.com will be received by the email account john@your-domain.com. How is this different from email forwarding? For instance, aliases cannot be used for sending emails. So you cannot send emails from john-smith@your-domain.com which is an alias of john@your-domain.com. Also you cannot login to the webmail or setup your outlook using john-smith@your-domain.com, because it is not really a mailbox, the mailbox is john@your-domain.com. So why using aliases instead of forwarding? Well, actually in most cases forwarding is better, there are some rare cases when you would like to use an alias, for example if you have an email account johnny@your-domain.com and people often get it wrong and send emails to johny@your-domain.com - you can create an alias johny@your-domain.com so that you don't lose emails from people who can't spell :)

* The email accounts table *
Let's see what each of the columns means/represents:
# Mail Forward Delete Alias Mailbox Aliases Outlook Options Delete Mailbox
- # - the number of the email account in the table
- Mail - a list of the email Aliases for this email account
- Forward - indicates whether the alias has a forwarding set to it; you can click on the icon to add forwarding
- Delete - deletes the alias
- Aliases - clicking on the icon allows you to add an alias to this mailbox
- Outlook - clicking on the icon downloads a file which automatically configures Outlook for this mailbox
- Options - clicking on the left icon allows you to change the password, clicking on the right icon allows you to set an autoresponder
- Delete Mailbox - deletes the mailbox (incl. all aliases!)

* Sending mails using a script *
There is one very important requirement on our servers - when sending emails using a script, either the TO: or FROM: header must be set to an email account hosted in your web hosting account. This restriction is necessary to prevent spam. So if you have a contact form, the FROM: address will be most likely the email address of the person who is contacting you - this means that the TO: address must be set to your email, hosted in your web hosting account. IN the case when it is a "Tell a friend" form for example, the TO: address would be the email of the "friend", so you must set the FROM: address to your email address.

As we mentioned before, there are several ways to send emails using a script:

- SMTP - some PHP/Perl systems allow you to use the SMTP for sending emails - the script connects to the SMTP server the same way a mail client does and sends the emails. In this case you need to use a concrete email account for sending emails. Let's say you want to use the email account admin@your-domain.com
The settings that you need to set in your scripts are actually the same that you use in your mail client (Outlook for example):
SMTP server: the mail server listed in the Email Manager (for example mail.server.com)
username: admin@your-domain.com
password: the corresponding password for admin@your-domain.com
Use secure authentication: YES
Keep in mind that is you use the email account admin@your-domain.com the script must be hosted in the same web hosting account - you want be able to send emails using this email account with a script hosted elsewhere.

- phpmail() - the phpmail() or mail() function is a PHP function used for sending emails. In this case you don't need to provide the password or the mail server, but only the email account, which you want to send the email FROM or TO. Again, the script must be hosted in the same web hosting account as the email account.

- sendmail - sendmail is a Perl module, in order to use it, you need to set the path to sendmail in your script and the email that you want the emails to be send FROM or TO. The sendmail path is: /usr/sbin/sendmail


Statistics

We offer several kinds of statistics with every web hosting plan. There is an Account Usage table on the left of your web hosting control panel where you see the global stats for your account, like disk space, traffic, etc. The In Use column shows the number/amount used and the Available shows the available/not used number/amount. There are also detailed statistics about the traffic used by each subdomain in the Bandwidth Stats section. We also have even more detailed statistic - the Traffic Stats - there you can see the amount of visitors, hits, etc. for each of your websites.


Password Protected Areas (PPA)

If you want to protect a concrete folder with a password, so that when someone opens the folder it asks for username and password, you can do this using the Password Protected Areas tool.

You can add a password-protected area by using the form in the PPA section. You can select the folder, which you want to protect by clicking on the "..." button - a File Manager window will open and you will be able to browse to the folder and select it.

Remember that the password protection will not work if there is an .htaccess file in the folder, which you are trying to protect.

_________________
Cheers,
Steve
Support Team Supervisor

Before asking a question, please read the F.A.Q.


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