Website Setup

  1. What should a website’s default page be named? #

    The following will be recognized as the default page for any directory within your site:
    index.html, index.htm, index.php, index.cgi & index.shtml

    If you still see the cloud default page (Your website is ready…), then you will need to delete or rename the file index.html in your public directory to something else (e.g. index2.html). Any file named “index.html” always takes priority over index.htm, index.php, etc. and will always serve even if you have other index files in the same directory.

    NOTE: If a default page has been removed from a directory, then a 403 error page will be thrown. This error happens because for security reasons, directory listing is disabled by default. After you upload a default index page to the problem directory, this warning will be corrected.

  2. Where is a website’s public directory located? #

    Your website’s public directory is located at /www.example.com/web/content/ (replace “example.com” with your actual domain name).

    NOTE: This /web/content/ path is an internal FTP path to your site’s public directory. Files uploaded properly to this path will serve on your root domain. Do not add ‘/web/content/’ to your domain URL in a browser.

  3. How do you upload files from a local computer to my website? #

    You need to use a FTP program to upload files to your website.

  4. How do I setup forwarding for a Forwarding Squid account? #

    Just enter a support ticket through our Help Desk and let us know the url where you want your domain forwarded.

  5. Where do you check a domain’s quotas and actual usage for bandwidth and disk space? #

    The bandwidth and disk space quotas and usage for your domain is reported in the control panel.

  6. Do you recommend services for website statistics? #

    Google Analytics is a recommended external service for website statistics. There is also a WordPress plugin for Google Analytics that makes it easy to install. This TopRank blog post highlights the features of using this service.

    If you are using WordPress, we also recommend installing Jetpack, which includes WordPress Stats.

    If you are a stats junkie like we are, then check out chartbeat, a really cool real-time analytics and performance service.

  7. How do you access a domain’s raw log files? #

    Your domain’s raw access logs can be accessed via FTP in /www.yourdomain/logs/.

    Logging is not enabled by default, so you’ll need to first turn it on in the control panel. Under the “General Settings” tab, scroll down to “Website Features”. In the row corresponding to “Raw Logs”, click “Enable”.

  8. How often are a domain’s log files rotated? #

    By default, log files (access and error) are setup to rotate daily, keeping one compressed archive until the next rotation. The reason they are rotated daily is to reduce the amount of space they take up since log files are added to your disk space usage and large log files could cause your site to exceed its quota.

  9. What is an .htaccess file? #

    An htaccess file is a powerful Apache configuration file that can control how a site or specific directory is accessed or how it functions. It essentially overwrites the global default settings of the Apache web server. For more info see the Apache Tutorial on .htaccess files.

    An .htaccess file can easily be created with an external text/html editor and then uploaded via FTP. Make sure that it is created in or uploaded to the directory that you want to control. If you are using an .htaccess file to control the entire site, then you’ll need to create it in or upload it into your public directory.

    The “.” at the beginning of the .htaccess file makes it an invisible system file for security purposes, so if you upload it via FTP, it will not show up in the directory listing of your FTP program unless your FTP has a feature that allows you to view hidden files (most FTP programs have this option). If you need to make changes, just upload a new version and have it overwrite the existing file.

    Please note that some scripts (for example Drupal) can use .htaccess rewrite rules in order to create ‘clean’ URLs. These will in some cases not work by default in the Cloud environment. This can be fixed by using the statement before any rewrite rules:

    RewriteBase /

  10. How do you password protect a directory? #

    Password protection can be setup for directories using an .htaccess file. Here’s a Password Protection Tutorial and template for creating the file. You’ll need to make sure to include the full path to your .htpasswd in the AuthUserFile line. You can find the full path in your control panel under the Features tab at the bottom under ‘server side paths’. An example of what this would look like is:

    AuthUserFile /mnt/stor1-wc1-dfw1/123456/123456/www.domain.com/private/.htpasswd

    NOTE: If the directory that you are password protecting for does not contain a default page (ie. index.html), then visitors will receive a “403 Error > Forbidden” page. This is because for security reasons, directory listing is disabled by default. Once you upload your index.html page, they will no longer see this warning.

  11. How do you create custom error pages? #

    Custom error pages can be setup using an .htaccess file. Here’s more info.

  12. How do you setup special mime types to be used by a domain? #

    Create an .htaccess file in your public directory and add a line in the following format for each mime type:

    AddType application/x-javascript js

    NOTE: Replace the mime type information with the specific mime type that you want to set up.

  13. How do you set a website’s or a folder’s default page to something other than index.html, for example home.html? #

    Create an .htaccess file in your public directory, or the directory for which you want to change the default, and add the following line:

    DirectoryIndex filename.html

    [change filename.html to the file name that you want to use as the default, e.g. home.html, etc.]

  14. How do you I control access to my website by IP address #

    Create an .htaccess file in your public directory and depending on if you are trying to deny or allow, please reference Rackspace’s official cloud documentation.

  15. What is the Media Accelerator and how does it work? #

    The Media Accelerator automatically caches static media files for optimal performance. The default cache time is 30 minutes. Currently the following file types are cached by the Media Accelerator:

    .jpg, .gif, .png, .mp3, .wav, .wma & .swf

    If you want to bypass the caching of an individual file, you can include a query string in your HTML. For example:

    Change this:

    <img src=”image.gif”>

    To this:

    <img src=”image.gif?cache=0″>

    If you want to disable caching for all media files in a particular site without changing any HTML code, you can use an .htaccess in your public directory for your web site. This syntax prohibits caching of all files by adding an Expires header with a zero value:

    ExpiresActive on
    ExpiresDefault A0

    If you only want to disable the cache for a particular type of file, you can use the MIME type of the file to identify it:

    ExpiresActive on
    ExpiresByType image/jpeg A0

    Or, you can disable cache for a particular file like this:

    <Files image.png>
    ExpiresActive on
    ExpiresDefault A0
    </Files>

    Or, you can disable cache for a file matching a particular pattern:

    <Files *.jpg>
    ExpiresActive on
    ExpiresDefault A0
    </Files>

  16. How do you enable Server Side Includes (SSI)? #

    In order to parse .shtml files as Server Side Includes (SSI), create a .htaccess file in your public directory and add the following:

    AddType text/html .shtml
    AddHandler server-parsed .shtml
    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes

  17. Why are visitors receiving a “403 Forbidden” error page when they try to view the contents of a directory? #

    If a directory does not contain a default page (ie. index.html), then visitors will receive a “403 Error > Forbidden” page. This is because for security reasons, directory listing is disabled by default. Once you upload your index.html page, they will no longer see this warning.

    If you wish to enable directory listing for a website or a directory of your website, you’ll need to create a .htaccess file in your public directory that contains the following line:

    Options +Indexes

    Next upload this .htaccess file to the directories that you wish to make publicly browsable. If you want this to be applied to your entire site, then you’ll need to upload it to the top level of your public directory directory. If you are already using .htaccess files, make sure that you include the existing information from your current .htaccess files before you upload your new version.

    NOTE: By turning on directory listing instead of using an index.html file, you are greatly reducing the security of your website.

  18. Is it possible to setup a cron job for a website? #

    Yes, you can enable a cron job with your domain. This can be done from the ‘Features’ tab in your control panel under ‘Scheduled Tasks.’

  19. Do you support hosting and video and audio files? #

    There are several online services that offer free media hosting. For video, check out YouTube, blip.tv, Vimeo and VideoPress and for audio, check out podOmatic and PodBean.

    If you are doing a podcast or video blog, most blog scripts, like WordPress, will automatically encapsulate media to be downloaded. Check out WordPress’ documentation on Podcasting for more info.

    If you are looking to do live video streaming, check out Ustream.