Our customer web servers run on the industry standard LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, [perl, php, python]) platform. This means you can publish web sites including powerful interactive features based upon many standard software packages including Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Drupal, DotNetNuke, Joomla, Wordpress and many more. You can also write your own software if you are able.
You can use this space to publish a web site for any lawful purpose that does not conflict with our Terms and Conditions of Service both for personal and business use.
Your home directory on our web server will be located at /users/[u]/[username] where is the first character of your username and is your UKFSN user account name.
Your default web space is under the /website/ directory in your home directory on our server and the website is addressed as http://www.username.ukfsn.org (where username is replaced with your UKFSN account username). For details on where to upload files for hosted domains see below.
MySQL and SqLite are standard on our customer web servers so you can take advantage of full database support in your websites.
Before you can use a MySQL database in your website you need to create the database, which you can do via our Control Panel. You will set the database password when you create it. We do not allow direct remote access to the MySQL database system from outside of our servers so you will need to either manage the database from your application (most standard software packages such as those mentioned above do this for you) or use the MySQL management interface we provide at http://mysql.ukfsn.org/ - login using the database account login details you set when creating the database.
SqlLite is a simpler system and you can create new sqlite databases easily from your own scripts. Just remember that you need to set the file permissions on the directory you will create the database in to allow global write permission when creating the database. See below for more details on file permissions.
Server Side Includes (SSI)
Support for Server Side Includes is included as standard with our web services. This means you can use templates for parts of your web pages and include certain information without the need to write your own scripts to do so. See the Apache documentation on SSI for more details.
Uploading your website files
You can upload your prepared website files using any good FTP client software. The settings you need to use are listed below:
- FTP Server: www.[username].ukfsn.org
- Login: [username]
- Password: Your account password
Obviously you need to replace [username] with your account username.
While you can use standard FTP to update your websites we strongly encourage you to use SFTP, which is FTP over SSH and provides a fully encrypted session for your connection. Most FTP clients support SFTP mode. Any decent implementation of SSH will include support for SFTP.
To connect using the sftp client with OpenSSH use the following:
- sftp @www.[username].ukfsn.org
The first time you connect you will receive a message stating that the authenticity of the host cannot be verified. Simply confirm that you want to continue the connection and the necessary key exchange will take place.
Then you'll be prompted for your password and you should then be connected and be able to manage your website in a secure fashion.
You can type help for assistance.
To add a domain to your account you first need to either register the domain or transfer it to us via our Domain Management Service. If you need to transfer a .uk domain to us you should instead instruct your current domain registrar to change the Nominet Registrar Tag (IPS Tag) to 'UKFSN' and let us know once this is done.
To add the domain to your account hosting facility simply login to our Control Panel and select the option under MyHosting to add the domain. You will be able to enable web hosting, email hosting and DNS hosting so you can chose the services you require the domain.
DNS Hosting is managed via our Control Panel.
Website files for a hosting domain should be uploaded to your webspace on our server under domain/website where domain is replaced by the domain name (eg. example.com/website for www.example.com). You will need to create the directory first.
We organise your webspace in this manner so as to allow you to keep various files that your website needs to keep private, such as template files and configuration files, safe from prying eyes. You can do this by creating a directory outside of the website directory.
Securing your website
Usually, you want as many people as possible to read your pages. There are however some exceptions where you want only a select group of people to be able to acces your pages. For this purpose, HTTP user authentication was designed. This section describes how to set up HTTP user authentication for your website.
With User Authentication you can specify that only certain people can acces your pages, based on:
- Username and Password
- IP Address of the visitors PC
- A combination of both
Access control for a given directory is controlled by a specific file in the directory with the name .htaccess. To protect a part of your website you simply create a .htaccess file in the directory that part of the site is served from. The file should look like this:
- AuthName "Secured Area"
- AuthType Basic
- AuthUserFile /users/[u]/[username]/htpasswd
- require valid-user
Remember that and should be replaced with the first character of your username and your UKFSN username respectively and that you should not place the password file within your webspace.
You also need to create the file you specified as AuthUserFile in the .htaccess file. This file should contain one line for each user that is authorised to view the secured parts of your website specifying the username and ecrypted password.
If you are running Linux or another UNIX OS and you have Apache installed locally your can use the htpasswd utility to create the file locally. If you do not you can create the necessary entries using this online tool - do note that this tool is not run by UKFSN so you use it at your own risk. Then simply upload the file to the location you specified in your .htaccess file.
CGI for your web site
We do not mandate a specific CGI area for any CGI scripts you wish to use in your web site. You can place such scripts anywhere you like so long as you remember that the location has to be with the website (ie under the appropriate /website/ directory).
You are, of course, free to create a cgi-bin directory for your site and put the scripts in there. Doing so is good practice but not mandatory.
You can use Perl or Python for your CGI scripting requirements. Ruby is also available however we do not maintain anything more than a fairly basic ruby environment.
The perl interpreter is located at /usr/bin/perl.
The python interpreter is located at /usr/bin/python.
Do remember that your CGI scripts need end with a suffice of either .cgi, .pl for perl or .py for python. Also remember that you must set the permissions on any CGI scripts to 705 to ensure that they are executable.
In addition to perl and python you can use PHP to write dynamic content for your website. PHP support is loaded directly into the web server so you don't use it is CGI mode and thus don't need an intepreter to run your scripts. Simply name the scripts to end in .php.
The PHP PEAR library is available for you to use. You should not need to specify it's location in your script however if you find that you do the location is /users/common/pear.
Please don't try to use any C or C++ or other binary CGI scripts. Doing so would be a violation of our terms and conditions and the result will be the termination of your account.