Publishing Your Site to the Internet

With your Alentus account, publishing your web site to the Internet can be a relatively simple process, two-step process:

1. Connect to the Internet through your local Internet Service Provider (ISP).
2. Run one of the popular publishing programs listed below, and send your web site files to your site hosted on our servers

Once this is accomplished, your web site is live on the Internet and accessible anywhere in the world!

To publish your site, you can use any of the supported methods:

- FTP Client Software
- MS FrontPage Client
- MS Visual Interdev
- Any other publishing software that supports either FTP or FrontPage server extensions (most support at least one of these)

All of our hosting plans support the FTP protocol. If you are using FrontPage or VisualInterdev you will need to have the FrontPage server extensions installed on your site. If you selected the FrontPage option when you first signed up, the extensions will be automatically installed when we set up your site.

Using FrontPage Server Extensions to Publish Your Web Site

If you are publishing your site with Microsoft FrontPage or Microsoft Visual InterDev, you can use the built-in Publishing feature of these programs.

Using FTP to Publish Your Web Site

Transferring your files to the web server can be accomplished by using a program called File Transfer Protocol or FTP. If you have an Internet connection, you can download a program for either the PC or Mac from these sources:

Download WS_FTP (Windows)

Download CuteFTP (Windows)

To publish your pages using FTP, you will need your user id, password and FTP host name to connect to your web server. When you connect to the web server, you will connect directly to the root ("home") directory (or folder) of your account. You can place your pages directly into the root folder, or you can create sub-folders and copy your files into the sub-folders.

Your Home Page

When your web site was activated, there was a file created in your www folder called default.htm. This is the default start-up file that will be displayed when users first connect to your web site.

To make your own home page, create one on your local workstation and name it "default.htm". When it is ready to publish, upload it to your web site, over-writing the existing default file. Now, your new home page will be displayed whenever anyone connects to your web site.

In addition to "default.htm", the server will support some other file names that can be used as the default. The most common alternate file name used by our customers is "default.asp". To use a different default name than "default.htm", you must delete the existing "default.htm".

If you have both a default.htm and a default.asp on your site the server will first find the .htm file and load it, ignoring the .asp file.

Your Default Web Site

The actual structure in your site may vary, depending on your hosting plan and any options you may have selected. For full details on the default web site please see Your Default Website:

In your root folder and "/scripts" and "/images" directories you will find a few files already loaded. These files make up the default website that was created when we first set your site up on the server. We load them for helping new users get started as well as any initial testing we do to your site.

If you already have a site to go, you can simply delete most of the files that are already there and replace them with your own files. If you are new to HTML and ASP you can use these files as a starting point for your site. The files are well commented and geared to helping the novice programmer get started. Experienced programmers may also find these files useful as they have running examples of database and ASP component usage.

Database Access Considerations

If your site uses an Access ".mdb" file and an ODBC source, there are a few additional things you should be aware of. The most important item is that the "/database" directory has special permissions that allow write access to the anonymous internet user. This means that if you have a site that gathers information through a form and writes it to the database, the database must be located in this directory. All other directories on your site are set to read-only as far as the public is concerned. Of course, through your account and Front Page and FTP, you can get in and update any part of your site.

Another consideration about database driven sites is that we have already provided you with a default database file and ODBC data source name (DSN). We ask that you use these rather than custom names, as it reduces our administrative workload, and it makes it easier for our support staff to help you troubleshoot problems. Of course, if you do require different names or additional databases and DSN's, we will be happy to set them up for you.

When using databases accessible over the Internet, you should also be aware of the security implications. Although we strive for the highest possible security, it is always possible that a malicious person could exploit previously undetected weaknesses in the operating system or web server to obtain your ".mdb" file. You should use passwords on any ".mdb" files and if you are storing highly sensititive information such as credit card numbers, you may want to consider using our SQL Server or Oracle services instead. These are professional database products that offer high performance, tight security and can handle very large amounts of data.

- If you ordered the Secure Sockets Layer option (SSL) you will also find a directory named "ssl". Any pages that are to be secured should be loaded to this directory.

- If you indicated that you require FrontPage support you will find a number of directories with names like "_borders" and "_vti_log". These directories are set up and maintained by FrontPage and you should not make any changes to either the directory names nor the files inside.

- Some Web authoring tools, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver, have built-in FTP for publishing your web site directly to a web server. If you are using such a tool, please refer to the documentation for information on publishing your pages to a web server.

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