Your Default Website

Welcome to your default Alentus website. This document discusses the initial settings of the default website first that was created when we first set up your site. The default website contains code samples, images and other files and provides you with an instant web presence if your domain has been newly activated.

In addition to code samples, the default website contains several files and folders that you should be aware of. You are free to add, change and remove files and folders as you like, however there are some things you should be aware of before you do so.

If you are first starting out, before you report problems to our Support team, we ask that you read this document and determine if you can resolve the problem on your own.

The following topics are covered in detail further in this document:

About Your Default Home Page
The Sample Alentus Website
Default File and Folder Settings
Important Notes

About Your Default Home Page

Alentus web servers are configured to serve a default document whenever a browser request does not specify a document name in the URL. An example of a request for a default home page is shown below:

Default documents are served in the following order:

- default.htm
- default.asp
- index.htm
- index.asp

When a request for a default page is serviced, the web server will search your folder and return the first matching document it finds in the list shown above.

If the root directory of your site does not contain a valid default document to serve, a browser request will typically display this message:

Directory Listing Denied: This Virtual Directory does not allow contents to be listed.

If you experiencing this message when accessing your site with a browser, you will need to create a home page (or rename an existing one) to match one of the valid default document names. The home page needs to be uploaded to the root folder of your site. Any sub-folders in your site conform to the identical rules for serving a default document.

The default page handling mechanism also works for your sub-folders created below your root folder. If a request for a sub-folder arrives that does not include a specific file name, the web server will perform a search for the default document as described above. If a default document is not found, the web server will display an error. An example of a default page request to a sub-folder is shown below:

The Sample Alentus Website

When your site was first created on our servers, we built a small sample website for you.

This site contains examples of HTML and ASP code and other files that are intended to get you started.

The image below is a snapshot of the home page of a typical new site. Each link on the site will take you to a test page or sample code page designed to demonstrate the use of various services available on our servers.

The site also includes an About Page, and links to the Alentus home page.

If you have ordered SQL Server, Index Server or other features, you will also usually have links to sample pages for these features as well.

To learn the specific details of the sample code provided on the links in your default site, please refer to the source code itself. The comments in the source code includes explanations and other programming tips.

To view the source code, you will need to login using FTP or FrontPage and download the files then open them on your local workstation.

The sample code supplied in your default site is yours to modify, to add to, or remove as you like. We suggest that you have a quick look at any files before you remove them, or keep an off-line backup. The samples contain working code snippets, they are well documented and can provide useful hints when troubleshooting problems that may occur in your other pages.

In addition to sample code, there are some files and folders that that are essential for the correct operation of your site.

The following section discusses the specific files and folders you should be aware of. Before you modify or remove any items from your default site, we suggest you first refer to the following section.

Default File and Folder Settings

All websites hosted on Alentus servers are initially setup with several security measures that relate to file and folder permissions. The permissions have been set to prevent malicious users from tampering with your website content, as well as to prevent any files or scripts to be executed that can cause operational problems with the web server.

By default, the files and folders in your website are set to READ-ONLY with regards to access from the web. You have full READ-WRITE access through FTP or FrontPage, but web anonymous users cannot normally modify the files on your website.

Generally, any files or sub-folders you create from FTP and FrontPage will inherit READ-ONLY permissions from the parent folder. Your top level parent folder is your root website folder and its access is set to READ-ONLY. Since web access to root folder is set to READ-ONLY, any files or sub-folders you create from the root will normally only be readable from the web.

There are some folders created by default that have WRITE permission and other important security settings. The settings for each folder created by us when your site was first set up is discussed in detail below. Note that any files or sub-folders you create within your site will inherit the properties of their immediate parent.

If you are using Index Server, keep in mind that some of the folders below are not included in your catalog.

Any new folders you create directly from your root folder will be included in the catalog.

New folders created inside excluded folders are also excluded from the catalog.

The image below shows the default folders created when your site was first set up:


The Root Folder - also known as / -or- /userid

The root folder is the one shown as "" in the diagram above.

The actual physical folder name used on the webserver will be the full name of your website, for example "".

From the web users point of view, your root folder is considered to be "/". This is the top level folder in your site and any new subfolders created here will inherit the root permissions.

The character "/" is the relative URL to your site contents, and we usually recommend you use this for internal links on your site.

The fully qualified path to the root of your site is a URL that looks like

This is an absolute path and includes the "http://" prefix as well as the full name of your website.

The code below is an example of a relative link to a root folder:

<a href='/'>See our Home Page</a>

The code below is an example of an absolute link to a root folder:

<a href=''>See our Home Page</a>

You may also see "/" and "/userid " as names for your root folder when using the Web, FTP or other tools and while reading our documentation.

The "/userid" notation is used when accessing your site from FTP.

When logging in through FTP, you are sent to your internal user account.

FTP often displays this as "/userid" where userid is your FTP login user name.

This folder is still your root folder, you do not need to move up one level to get to your root.

HTML, ASP and other content files placed in the root are set to READ-ONLY for web access.

Any new sub-folders created from the root will inherit the READ-ONLY web permissions.

If you are using Index server note that the root, and any new sub-folders you create from the root are included in the catalog.


The /database folder normally contains MS Access .mdb database files and other data related files normally used for ODBC or direct ADO access.

This folder has the permissions that allow your ASP scripts WRITE access, but does not have permissions to deliver web pages via HTTP.

These settings are in place to allow ODBC and other data objects the ability to read and write to your databases and to prevent downloading of your raw data files to end users via HTTP transfer.

In addition to ODBC access, if you wish to have your scripts write to files that are not accessible from the web, you can write them to the /database folder.

For example, you might use this folder to store files for a custom ASP-based visit logging system whose files you do not want accessible from the web but you will download later via FTP.

If you are using Index server, note that this folder is not included in your catalog.


The /images folder is normally used to store images such as .gif and .jpg files. This folder is set to READ-ONLY for web access, your scripts cannot normally write to files in this folder.

If you are using Index server, note that this folder is not included in your catalog.


The /log folder is used by IIS to write your log files. This folder has no permissions to allow anonymous user access. If you wish to download your log files, you need to use FTP.

If you are receiving WebTrends reports, they are placed here by default.

To view your WebTrends reports, use a browser to navigate to the /log folder and use your FTP credentials to log in.

For example, the URL below might be used to view your logs:

If you are using Index server, note that this folder is not included in your catalog.


The /scripts folder contains any scripts we include in the default site. Most of the files are samples and contain example code that you can use elsewhere in your site.

We also use this folder for any default script overrides such as custom 404 pages.

Important: This folder normally includes a file named "500-100.asp".

This is an override of the default handler for HTTP 500 errors (Internal Server Error).

The default HTTP 500 error only contains the text "Internal Server Error". This script override provides the functionality to display detailed ASP script error messages including descriptions and line numbers.

If you remove this file or if you remove the entire /scripts folder, you will likely not be able to obtain advanced troubleshooting information when errors occur on your site.

If you are using Index server, note that this folder is not included in your catalog.


When your site was first created on our servers, we installed a folder called /upload.

This folder is intended for uploads using SA-FileUp or other similar components but it can also be used as a writable folder from your ASP scripts.

/cgi-bin (optional)

If we set up a a cgi-bin folder for you, you will be able run your Perl scripts. Note that you are in a Windows NT/2000 environment and your Perl scripts may need some modfification if they were originally written for a UNIX environment.

/data (optional)

If we set up a writable folder for you, our standard practice is to create a /data folder from the root of your website and grant the necessary permissions to the /data folder only.

The permissions set on /data are inherited by any child objects you create under /data.

These settings will allow you to run scripts elsewhere on your site that can create, update and delete files and sub-folders located inside /data.

You can also request any other folder name instead of /data if you wish.

Being an Alentus recommended standard, the advantage of using the folder name "/data" is that it makes it easier for our staff to recognize the use of the folder if they have to help you troubleshoot problems.

/ssl (optional)

If the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) option has been enabled for your site, you will find an /ssl folder located off your root directory.

Place any files you wish to have securely delivered into this folder, and reference them with the secure URL provided to you by Technical Support when the SSL option was enabled.

Note that this folder is not accessible from the web using your regular site URL. If try to use a URL like", you will receive a security error. You must use the specific secure URL provided to you by us.

Your subfolders and files are referenced under this URL.

Some example of valid secure URL's are shown below:
In addition to the folders listed above, you may also have application specific folders that we have placed in your site. If you have ordered any of our Ready-to-Run applications, we will load, configure and test the application when we create your site. For details on your Ready-to-Run applications please refer to the documentation supplied with your Welcome Kit.

Important Notes

The sample website is intended to provide you with working examples of ASP code and to provide you with an immediate web presence on the Internet. If you already have a site from your previous provider, you should still read this document before loading it.

If you are just starting and do not have your own content created, you can use the sample site as your starting point. Note that your hosting package does not normally include web programming and content developent from Alentus Corporation.

We can provide these services, however the costs of doing so are outside of your hosting costs. Please contact our Sales department for more information if you are interested in our site development and consulting services.

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