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When I try and view my website I get an HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden message.

This error indicates that there is no valid home page, or that permissions have been set on a page which does not allow you to view it.

Cause 1: Missing or wrongly named index file

When you don’t specify a file name when accessing a site (eg visiting the domain directly as most do at http://www.domainname.com), the server searches through a list of default filenames and will display the first one it finds. Common default names are index.php, default.htm, index.htm and index.html – The first page of your website should use one of these names, with all lowercase letters.

When we create your web hosting account, we place a simple index.html file on the server so that there is something there before you upload your site. If you delete this file and don’t replace it, then you will see the error message above. To fix this, ensure that the first page in you site is called index.html and that the file is uploaded to the public_html directory.

Cause 2: Incorrect Access Control Settings

This error will also be displayed if the directory access settings for your site’s root directory are set with access criteria which you do not meet. Usually these settings are contained in a file called “.htaccess”. This file is sometimes generated manually, but can also be configured by some web development tools, such as MS FrontPage.

If you are using FrontPage, then you should alter the web permissions using this program, and republish your site. In most other cases, manually removing the .htaccess file usually solves the problem.

I’ve installed the formmail script, but my form isn’t working. Why?

The Formmail Script is provided via the Control Panel, full usage instructions can be found after installation.

Assuming that you have successfully installed the formmail script via the Control Panel, then all the files will be present and the file permissions are correct. Therefore the only other reason for a problem would be your form that is calling the script.

In your eXtend control panel when you installed the script you were given a link for “Usage Instruction” and example HTML code to use, please take a look at that and make sure yours is the same. You are able to make modifications to this to add your own fields, but the basic structure is there to follow.

In order for the form to fully display on a web page the page should be saved with a .cgi extension.

I’ve put up my site but I still see the standard index page. What’s up?

You may be seeing a cached version of the page; please force refresh the page in the browser by simultaneously pressing Ctrl and F5 or delete all the cache/stored pages in the options/settings menu of your browser. If this doesn’t help, check you’re putting your site in the right place; it should go under the “public_html” folder.

If your site is written in PHP, the default index.html page may still be visible – you should delete this in order to show your site.

My images aren’t uploading into the Website Builder Plus, why?

There are some limitations on the size of images that you can load into the Web Builder Plus software, this is done to make sites appear quickly and also to limit bandwidth consumption. The limit is 1MB. Reduce your images down to 72 dpi and you shouldn’t have a problem. Some image file types may not be supported by Website Builder Plus also, so try and stick to the universally used formats such as JPEG.

How do I connect to my MySQL database?

A simple php script to open a connection to a database

<?php
$dbhost = ‘localhost’;
$dbuser = ‘db username’;
$dbpass = ‘db password’;

$conn = mysql_connect($dbhost, $dbuser, $dbpass) or die (‘Error connecting to mysql’);

$dbname = ‘db name’;
mysql_select_db($dbname);
?>

Save this as <something>.php and then whenever you want to access the database, just add

include ‘<something>.php’

to the top of a php script and the database can be queried using standard sql commands.

How do I access the raw web access or error logs?

Simply log into your Control Panel and select ‘Web Site Reporting’. You then have an option for ‘Log File Download’.

This feature allows you to download your server access log as a zip file, you can then manipulate the file locally on your PC to get any specific data you need.

Otherwise with SSH access enabled you can find these in the “logs” folder in the root of your hosting space (note these are not viewable via FTP)

Buttons in the control panel don’t work when I click on them?

This is a problem with some web browsers ability to process the scripting of modern web sites.

It generally occurs in Internet Service Provider specific browsers such as AOL, BT and Tiscali. Try upgrading to a later version of that browser or using a more conventional browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.

On accessing the control panel, the error “for security reasons your session has expired” is displayed?

There are a few reasons why the session expiry error is displayed when accessing the Control Panel.

First, the cookie settings on the local browser may be too restrictive. The settings should allow the control panel server to set cookies and any firewall or proxy software should be set to allow the cookies to be sent back to the server.

Second, the clock on the local machine must be accurate to within 30 minutes. When using the AOL browser, this is complicated slightly, as the browser maintains its own time zone, separate from the system time zone. Both must be accurate.

Finally, it may be that the account has been disabled. Contact support if you think that is the case.

Why is the change password button in Control Panel greyed out so I can’t click on it?

Passwords are subject to a minimum level of complexity – this increases your security and will stop anyone from ever guessing your password.

Passwords need to meet these three criteria to be rated ‘Good’:

1) Be 8 characters long.
2) Contain at least one number.
3) Contain at least one special character (e.g. ! ” £ $ % ).

The harder it is for someone to guess your password, the more secure it is. Try not to use personal information in your password (e.g. your date of birth, your anniversary, name of your significant other).

The best passwords are those which are randomly generated, but you may find these a little difficult to remember – try introducing a small random element to the end of your password, and make use of capitalisation in non-standard locations ( deCemBe2!&78 is a lot harder to guess than December78 and only marginally harder to remember).

SEO Hints on How to Optimize a Website – Advanced SEO Tips

If you learn how to optimize a web page properly using these SEO hints and tips, then you will never have to pay for traffic again. The profit that your visitors bring you will go straight into your bank account.

You no doubt understand all the basic stuff, but in case you are new to this, let’s first have look at these basic SEO hints and tips, since many seem to omit them from their web pages. The most important are the HTML tags that are used by search engines to determine the relevance of your page to the search term used by the search engine’s customer.

Note the term ‘web page’, because many people don’t realize that Google, along with most other search engines, doesn’t list websites, but individual web pages. It is essential that you understand how search engines work if you want to learn how to optimize a web page.

I am going to refer to Google, not only because it is the biggest of the search engines, but also to save the bother of referring to search engines all the time. I will refer to Google, but take that as meaning search engines in general. Here are the main SEO basics:

a) The TITLE tag. This appears in the HEAD portion of your html, and is not actually seen by your visitors but is the most important tag on your web page because the spiders place very high weight to it. Use your main keywords here, and also any other text that will inform Google of the theme of your web page.

b) Heading (H) tags. Your page title should be placed within H1 tags, and should contain the same major keyword as you used in the TITLE tag. Your subheadings, if any, should be bracketed with H2 tags. I don’t use any of the lower tags, from H3 down, except perhaps H3 very occasionally. Any text with H tags will be regarded by Google as of specific importance, and most weight will be given to the lower numbers (H1 and H2). Don’t place everything within H1 tags, or that will reduce its emphasis and Google will ignore the tag.

c) Text enhancements: Use bold, italic and underline enhancements sparingly, and where you one again want to stress the importance of certain keywords.

d) Your keyword density should be concentrated in the first third of your web page. Don’t use too many: I get good results with under 1% overall keyword density, but using the main keyword in the first 100 characters, once in the last paragraph and once more each 300 words but concentrated in the first third of the page. Thus, an 800 word page will have the keyword three times in the first 250 words and once in the last paragraph.

e) Meta tags: the only meta tag worth using is the description tag, which is used by most search engines in the description of your web page in their listings. Google mainly uses it exactly as you write it. The keyword tag can also be used, but few search engines are thought to use it: Google does not. Any other meta tags are a waste of your space. Anybody that claims differently is wanting to sell you something.

These are the basic hints on SEO, now here are some of the more advanced SEO hints and tips that will teach you not only how to optimize a web page, but to understand the way that search engines work. These are less obvious, and generally not used by beginners to search engine marketing.

f) You should use text links from one page to another on your siet. Search engine spiders love text, and fancy graphics or java links might look great, but don’t get you kudos from the spiders. Stick to text if you want a good listing: there’s no point in fancy graphical links if you have no visitors to use them.

g) IT will benefit to you use as liuttle code as possible on each web page compared to the amount of text: maximise your text:code ratio. Your code to text ratio should be minimized as far as possible because . . . yes, you’ve got it! Spiders love text!

h) Another good SEO tip is to focus on your off-page linking. It is possible to get a #1 spot on Google with no content: just loads of links coming into your web page from other websites. Not just any websites, but authority sites, so reciprocal links to and from web pages not directly related to your niche are a waste of time, and can even harm you. Link farms can positively damage you.

i) Use anchor text for your links where at all possible. Google shouldn’t have to work out what your web page is about: tell them. Hyperlink your keyword to your website, but don’t use the same form of keyword from every webpage linking to yours. Mix them about so as to keep the links fresh.

j) And lastly: keep adding pages to your website. A single website containing 80 pages will likly provide you with more visitors that two of 40 pages due to a higher overall Google listing from the former as compared to both of the 40 page sites. Refresh your content frequently by adding new pages, but don’t ignore your older pages: rdevise these now and again with new vocabulary. Google detests stagnation.

These are just a few SEO hints and tips that can teach you how to optimize a web page. There are many, many more. Some quite basic, others very much more advanced than the above. However, you can’t get everything free!

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