FAQs

General

What is a URL?

If you are fairly new to the web, you may have seen references to URLs and wondered what that meant. You are not alone!

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator.

None the wiser? Put simply, it is what most people refer to as a “web address”. So, the main URL for WangNET is http://www.wangnet.com.au. Each individual web address is a URL.

What does the HTTP mean?

Almost all web addresses, or URLs, start with http://. What does that actually mean?

It is simply an indication or instruction to your web browser that the website should be accessed (or is being accessed) using the HyperText Transfer Protocol.

Websites are often uploaded to their server using FTP, or File Transfer Protocol.

What is HTML?

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, one of the most common languages in which web pages are created. This is why many web page names end in .html or .htm. Other languages include PHP, ASP etc.

Domain Names

What is a domain name and why do I need one?

Domain names are a convenient way to remember website URLs. Computers find websites using IP addresses – a series of numbers separated by dots. People find it much easier to remember names and words rather than numbers, and the domain name system exists to convert between the two. For example, it is quite easy to remember google.com.au, but not at all easy to remember 64.233.167.104 – but if you enter that into your web browser you will still end up at Google.

All serious websites will have their own domain name. With over 10 billion pages now on the web, search engines are increasingly ignoring any “websites” that are hosted in the free webspace provided by internet service providers, and listing only sites which have their own domain name. Furthermore, people experienced in using the web will often also ignore sites that do not have their own domain name, as most are simply not serious websites.

A domain name short be short enough to easily remember, but long enough to be descriptive. In general you should also avoid hyphenated domain names except in special circumstances. A website can also be hosted so that two or more domain names point to the same site.

Should I have multiple domain names for my website?

Many people do not realise that it is possible to have many different domain names pointing to the one website. Why would someone want to do this? There are many sound reasons:

  • You only need to have one website
  • By registering multiple domain names, you can prevent others competing against you with similar names
  • You make it easier for those browsing the web to find you
  • You can have extra listings in search engines
  • You can have different domain names pointing to different sections of your website

If your budget allows it, registering multiple domain names and having them forwarded to the one website (or to different parts of the one website) is an ideal way to increase your website traffic and to secure your position on the web.

What is domain name forwarding?

Domain name forwarding, or web forwarding, is a service that allows a domain name to be redirected to somewhere else. Commonly this is used to save from having multiple websites, since domain forwarding is much cheaper than website hosting.

For example, you may have a section setup on your website on a particular topic that is worthy of its own domain name – you would register your new domain name, then have domain forwarding set up so that the domain name would point to that section of your existing website. Or, to protect your business you might register several similar domain names for your website and have them all point to your home page.

Domain forwarding is the low cost way to increase your web presence and to protect your site from competition.

What is a personal domain name?

If you want to have a personal website, with no commercial purpose in mind, then you can have a personal domain name. For example, you might want to start your own website to share your thoughts, or your photos, with family and friends.

You can register your own personal domain name in the format yourname.id.au by visiting our online domain portal.

Website Hosting

What is MySQL and how do I use it?

MySQL is an open source, relational database management system often used in conjunction with scripting languages such as Perl, PHP, etc.

To create a MySQL database:

1) Log in to the control panel for your domain.
2) In the section Databases, click on the MySQL Database Wizard
3) Follow all the prompts to create your database

You can maintain your database(s) using phpMyAdmin, which is built into the cPanel.

1) Log in to the control panel for your domain.
2) Click on phpMyAdmin.
3) Select the database that you want to modify.
4) Make any required changes.

This is recommended for experienced users only!

For more information on using phpMyAdmin, please refer to phpMyAdmin’s Configuration and FAQ pages at:

http://phpmyadmin.sourceforge.net/documentation/#config

What is PHP?

PHP is an open source, server-side, cross-platform, HTML embedded scripting language that is often used as a front-end for databases, such as MySQL. It is much easier to configure than Perl (no permissions to set, it can run from any directory, etc.) and much of what you can do with a CGI script you can do using PHP. The development community for PHP is gigantic, so there will be more and more applications that will be using it in the years to come. Our design team know PHP very well, and if you are finding that designing your own website and scripting is a little too hard for you, then don’t hesitate to contact our sales team to discuss the possible design of your site by our team of web developers. Our CMS packages use PHP extensively, and allow you to create websites using PHP, but without you having to know anything about PHP itself.

PHP scripts need to have a .php or .php5 (etc) extension.

We do not provide support for PHP debugging except as part of design work. For further information and PHP resources, try these places:

http://www.php.net/ (Official Site)

http://www.hotscripts.com/PHP/

http://php.resourceindex.com/

http://www.phpbuilder.com/

What are CGI scripts and how do I use them?

CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is a process used by the server to pass information between the user and an application on the server. With CGI access, you can install Perl scripts on your website for such things as feedback forms, guestbooks, counters, and so on. Increasingly though, these functions are being managed by PHP instead.

CGI scripts must be run from the cgi-bin directory which is outside the main web directory. CGI scripts need to have a .cgi or .pl extension. PHP scripts need to have a .php extension.

For security purposes, we use Apache’s suEXEC for the execution of CGI scripts. The exact paths you need to use depend on the hosting type, the server your site is on, the type of script etc. Please contact support if you need path information for scripts on your site.

If you upload files to a sub-directory, you would be able to view them by typing in http://www.yourdomain.com/sub-directory/filename.ext (replace these with the relevant names).

PLEASE NOTE: We do not provide specific support for any scripting languages, including Perl. If you decide to use them, it is assumed that you know what you are doing and use them at your own risk. We do however offer full web design services, which includes installation and customisation of scripts where needed. We make sure that CGI is enabled for your site, Perl/Python/TCL is working properly on the server and give you the correct paths to Perl, Python, Sendmail, etc., but we will not debug any CGI scripts for our non web-design (hosting only) customers. The same is true for the troubleshooting of HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and so on.

Here are a few things to try when you are troubleshooting a CGI script:

1) First of all, thoroughly read through the instructions that came with the script and also check the website where the script was sourced for troubleshooting info and user forums.

2) Make sure that you have uploaded your script to your cgi-bin which is outside your public web directory.

3) Check to see if the script was uploaded to the server in the proper format (usually ASCII not binary). If uploaded in the wrong format the script may appear to be in the right place but will not execute.

4) Make sure that there are not any DOS/Windows carriage returns (i.e. ^M) at the end of each line in the script. This is usually caused by a text editor or FTP program that is not properly uploading your script in a Unix/Linux format. If this is happening, try changing your code line break settings or upload settings to Unix/Linux.
Here’s how this is done in Dreamweaver: From the menu, go to Edit > Preferences > Code Format, then change Line Breaks to “LF (Unix)”.

5) Check the script to make sure the magic comment specifies where perl is located: #!/usr/bin/perl

6) Verify that all the paths are correct, including your public directory path. Do not use the “www” part of your domain in your public directory path.

7) Check to see if all the file permissions are set correctly. Permissions can be set using an FTP program that allows permissions to be set on transfer. Typically scripts are set to be 755, user: read, write, execute; group: read, execute; other: read, execute (-rwxr-xr-x), but you should always check your script instructions or README to be sure.
PLEASE NOTE: For security purposes, within the cgi-bin, script permissions cannot be set higher than 755, or user: read, write, execute; group: read, execute; other: read, execute (-rwxr-xr-x).

8) If you have checked all the above and are still receiving an “Internal Server Error” when trying to execute the script, this can occur when the script is uploaded or when the script is edited and saved in certain text editors. Usually the file is corrupted with the (line feed) hidden character which is commonly mistaken with the (carriage return).

9) Since installing a CGI script is extremely difficult for new webmasters, you may want to consider asking a friend with CGI (Perl, Python, etc.) experience to walk you through the process or hire a webmaster for this part of your site.

Finally, if all else fails, you may want to consider using a PHP script! This is generally better, easier and safer.

What file backups should I keep?

For static websites, you should always keep at least one complete copy of your website on your own computer or on disk, and it’s not a bad idea to keep two separate copies. In this way, you can work with your files and preview them on your own computer using your browser, then only upload them to your website when you are happy with them. If you make a mess of a page, you can restore it from the other backup copy. If anything happens to the data on your website, you can immediately upload the whole site again as soon as the problem is corrected.

For dynamic sites driven from a database, you should periodically back up the entire database.

We expect all our hosting clients to maintain at least one current backup of their website.

Never underestimate the importance of proper backups!

What are Subdomains?

Most of our hosting accounts come with a number of Subdomains accessible. You can create new subdomains through either the Control Panel or through FTP, and they can be created with a different username and password from the main domain if you wish. Subdomains create URLs in the format http://subdomain.domainname.com. For example, our domain name portal is accessed through a subdomain: http://domains.wangnet.com.au

Once your new subdomain has been activated you are ready to upload your files to your account. As a subdomain works like a normal domain, you may need to use separate FTP details for the new directory in the subdomain. There is also a cgi-bin directory automatically created for you in this directory. You should upload your subdomain website scripts to this cgi-bin. Again, website files must be uploaded to the “public_html” directory.

To reach your new subdomain, enter in the URL: http://sub.yourdomain.com (replacing sub with your new subdomain name and yourdomain.com with your accounts domain name). Do not include “www”.

To reach other files and directories using your sub-domain, enter in a URL like:
http://sub.yourdomain.com/file.html
http://sub.yourdomain.com/directory/file.html

How do I upload my Website Files?

There are two ways that you can upload files to your website. You can use either the Control Panel or an FTP program to upload your files. Popular FTP clients include CuteFTP, FlashFXP and WS_FTP. You can use the Control Panel to upload files until you get an FTP program and even afterwards if you wish, but you are limited to one file at a time.

To access your Control Panel, go to http://www.yourdomain.com/cpanel (use your own domain name instead of “yourdomain.com”). Log in with the control panel username and your password. You will then see a page of buttons that let you do a variety of things, including managing and uploading your files through the File Manager, managing email, checking webstats etc. There is a comprehensive help system built into the Control Panel which should tell you just about everything that you need to know.

Once you have your FTP client you are ready to upload files to your website by FTP. Within your FTP program set up a new connection with the following information:

  • Hostname: yourdomain.com (replace this with your own domain name – do not put www. at the front; some FTP programs require you to put ftp. in front but most do not).
  • Username: your username
  • Password: your password

Your username and password will be the ones you chose, or which were allocated to you, when applying for the service, and will have been confirmed in the welcome email you would have received when your service commenced.

Once you are logged in, you will see the various directories within your website area. You will need to place all files in the public directory which is “public_html”. This is the directory that you will use to upload all your website files. You can create new directories within this directory – these directories are known as “sub-directories”

When you upload files to the httpdocs directory you can view them by typing in http://www.yourdomain.com/filename.ext to your browser address bar (replace “yourdomain.com” with your actual domain name and “filename.ext” with the proper filename and extension).

If you upload files to a sub-directory, you would be able to view them by typing in http://www.yourdomain.com/sub-directory/filename.ext (again replace these with the relevant names).

What is FTP and how do I use it?

Transferring of your website files to our servers can be handled either by FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or through the cPanel. We feel there are several advantages of using FTP over the Control Panel, including the ability to transfer multiple files quickly.

Your FTP program can run from your desktop or systray and has a vast array of options not readily available in the Control Panel or other File Managers.

FTP programs can range in cost from $0 – $150 but the majority of useful FTP programs out there are shareware or freeware and cost nothing. If you would like further information on where to obtain some good FTP Programs, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Places that provide FTP programs at a cost inlcude ipswitch.com and flashfxp.com.

See also uploading your files with FTP.

Email

Preventing Spam

Spam can be annoying! Sometimes it seems like most of your email can be spam. Fortunately, we provide you with an online cPanel that comes with comprehensive spam filtering capability. This will work much better than the junk mail filter in Outlook, for two reasons:

1) It can filter and block on many things besides just the sender address, which is often fake anyway, and

2) It filters it out before it ever reaches your computer.

To find the spam filtering capabilities, log in to your cPanel and look in the Mail area, then under either Account Level Filtering (which applies to all email addresses within your account), or User Level Filtering, which applies only to the nominated email address.

Once you are in the chosen area, you then click Create a New Filter. If you already have some filters, you can also edit existing ones.

Each filter must have a unique and descriptive name. You then set the rules that you want to apply. You can filter on the sender, the recipient, the subject, the content of the email and much more. Set it to something that is unique to the spam emails and not likely to be contained in a genuine email. The more detailed the phrase, the more precisely the filter will work but be careful not to make it too precise, or it will not remove enough spam as it will occur in only some spam.

You can add more than one rule for filtering spam so that if it matches any rule it will be discarded. It is better to put one item per line than to put all options in the one rule, as then it will only discard the message if it matches all of them.

Carefully adjusting your spam filters can reduce a flood of similar spam emails to barely a trickle very quickly.

What is a catchall email address and how do I set it up?

A catchall email account allows mail sent to any non-specified mailname at your domain to be dealt with in a particular way determined by you. You can use this as a global mail drop or as a means of bouncing unwanted email.

To send all unresolved email to a catchall email address:

1) Log in to your control panel.
2) In the Mail section, click on Default Address
3) You will see several options. Primarily, you can either reject the mail (ie send a bounce message for a non-existent account), or set it to “Forward to email address:”, then enter the address where all unresolved email should go. You can enter either one of your domain’s POP3 or email redirects or an outside email address.
4) Click on Change when done

If you prefer to force all unresolved email to bounce back with a specific message, in step 3 above instead check the radio button for “Discard with error to sender” and enter the text that you want to appear when the message bounces.

Any mailnames you create will not be affected by these changes – they apply only to unspecified (unresolved) mailnames.

Note: In most cases we will turn the catchall off by default when we first set up your hosting plan. This will mean emails will bounce except for any specifically set up.

Using Webmail to access your email

With Webmail you can check your email at any place that has an internet connection. You can access Webmail either through your control panel or by going directly to http://yourdomain.com/webmail (replace “yourdomain.com” with your actual domain name). To access this via the control panel just log in, click the Email Accounts Icon, then next to the email address you want to access, click More then click Access Webmail. In each case you then need to log in with your email address and email password, then choose a webmail program from the four choices (we recommend using Roundcube).
Webmail is really useful if you need to access your email while travelling or if you do not have access to your home/work computer, but it should not be considered a replacement for a standard email program that downloads email to your computer. The storage space that you have on the server is limited (the amount depends on your hosting plan), so you want to make sure that you periodically download or delete your email from the server.

PLEASE NOTE: Webmail can only be used to read email that is stored on the server through a proper mail account, not email that is redirected to another address. Webmail is not as fully featured as a standard email program that downloads email locally to an email program such as Outlook or Thunderbird. Webmail is offered free of charge and we do not offer any specific support for it. Please refer to the help screens that are integrated into the Webmail system for more information on how to use Webmail.

The Webmail program uses IMAP4 which accesses your email directly in your mailbox (it is not copied or downloaded anywhere) instead of downloading it as POP3 email. This means that there are some limitations, for example you should minimise what is kept in your “sent” folder, since the accumulated sent messages would cause storage quota problems. If you have problems using Webmail or do not like how it works, you might want to consider using a standard email program that downloads your POP3 email or reads it as IMAP4 on the server.

Forwarding or redirecting email

Instead of creating a proper mailbox for a new email address, you may prefer to setup up an email redirect instead. In this way you can access email without making any changes to your existing email program. Note however that this is not an ideal situation, as if spam is forwarded through this redirect, it can appear that YOU are the spammer which can result in difficulties for your domain.

To create an email redirect:

1) Log in to the control panel for your domain.
2) Click on the Forwarders icon
3) Click on “Add Forwarder”
4) Enter the mailname that you want to create (eg “bob”, not the full address) for forwarding in the Address box
5) Enter the email address that you want to redirect to. This can be any one of your POP3 email mailbox accounts or an outside email address (such as the email address provided by your internet connection provider, or gmail, Yahoo etc).
6) Click Add Forwarder

Email will begin forwarding to the address that you specified.

Once created a Forwarder cannot be edited, but can be deleted and replaced at any time. You can also have two or more forwarders running for the one email address if you wish.

If you ever decide that you would like a true mail box instead of a forwarder, simply create an Email Account for the same address and then delete the forwarder.

Using Email Auto-responders

Your account comes with email auto-responders which can be set to give a reply to each email received, or only to certain emails. You may wish to use this to acknowledge receipt of email, or to give a holiday reply.

To set up an auto-responder:

1) Log in to the control panel for your domain.
2) Click on the Auto Responders icon.
4) Choose Add Auto Responder to create a new one, or Edit to edit an existing one.
5) Enter the interval between auto-responses. This should generally be at least 24 hours
6) Enter the email address the responder is for.
7) In the From field, enter your name as you would like it to be seen by the recipient.
8) For the Subject, you can enter a specific subject or can use “Re: %subject%” to retain the original subject.
9) In Body, enter your email response.
10) Optionally, set the start and finish dates for the auto-responder to turn on or off

Click Create/Modify to finish

PLEASE NOTE: Auto-responders normally send out a reply each time an email is sent to them unless set otherwise. Best practice is to respond to emails from a given sender at most once per day. This is important, because if you have a holiday reply send out a response for every email, you will probably be removed from any mailing lists that the address is subscribed to and may be considered to be a spammer. And if you receive a bounce notice, you can start an endless loop of replies back and forth!

Have it reply at most once per day instead.

Configuring your email program to download your POP3 email

The exact details of how to do this depend on your individual mail program. Generally, you need to access the Tools Menu and then set up a New Account, or on newer versions of Outlook, this is under the File Menu.

Most settings are obvious, and newer versions of email programs have a wizard to help you through it. Sometimes the wizards work very well, but sometimes they don’t. The main problems can be trying to set it up as IMAP instead of POP3, or using a short username instead of the fully email address (which is required for greater security).

With Outlook it is best to use Manual Setup and enter all values manually.

The main things you will need to know are:

incoming mail server: mail. yourdomainname.com (replace “yourdomainname.com” with your actual domain name, without the www).
server type: POP3 (if not specified automatically, or if IMAP is shown by default)

username: your full email address
password: your-password

For your outgoing server you should generally use your existing ISP’s SMTP settings and make sure that your mail program is set to use different details for outgoing and incoming mail (usually the default). In some cases you can use our SMTP server – in this case use the same details as for your incoming mail server and make sure that you tick the option for “my Outgoing mail server requires authentication” (or similar wording). To use our outgoing server you must set the outgoing port to port 587 (on the More Settings->Advanced tab usually). This is because many ISPs now block relaying through port 25 as an anti-spam measure. So you can use your ISP’s settings and leave it set to the default of port 25, or make the other changes to use ours. If you do not know the details of the outgoing server for your ISP you can obtain them from your ISP. In most (but not all) cases it will be in the format mail.ispname.com(.au).

What on earth is POP3 and how do I use it?

POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) email stores your email on the server to be downloaded locally by your email program. It is the best way to access your emails as it allows you to keep a copy of all emails permanently on your computer.

If you don’t want to use POP3 email, you can setup an email redirect to forward your email to an outside email address instead.

Here’s how you can create one or more POP3 accounts for your own domain:

1) Log in to your control panel for the appropriate domain.
2) Click on the Email Accounts icon.
3) Enter the mailname that you want to create (only the part in front of the “@” eg. “bob”, not the full address).
5) Enter your choice of password and confirm the new password.
6) Optionally set the Mailbox Quota (never choose “unlimited” as it can be very dangerous)
7) Click on Create Account and you are done.

If you ever want to change the password for a POP3 email account:

1) Log in to your control panel.
2) Click on the Email Accounts icon
3) Next to the email account that you want to change, click on Change Password
5) Enter the new password and confirm the new password.
6) Click on Change Password.

If you forget or lose your control panel password, contact us so that we can assist you.

Now, email will start collecting on the server and can be downloaded to be read locally by your email program or read directly on the server using a Webmail program.