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Setting up a web server the easy way R. Chris Fraley | http: //www. web-research-design. net/P 593/
How the Net Works web user types a URL into the browser web server web user the browser renders the HTML file as a web page locates requested HTML file and sends it to user’s computer
Web servers • There a number of ways to obtain access to a web server – Your university or business – Set up your own using a spare computer – Use a professional web hosting company
Web servers • For the purposes of this course, I’m going to show you how to set up a free account with Netfirms—a professional web hosting company. • Why Netfirms? – They provide free server access with CGI capabilities – The “free” part means that they place ads at the top of your pages, but those ads are not obtrusive like some other companies (i. e. , no pop-ups, not flashy). – Upgrading is simple and low-cost – Great tech support – Easy to transfer files to-and-from the server
• For this class I STRONGLY encourage you to get a paid account so that you do not have to deal with adds, long load times, server downtime, etc. If you only use the free account, you WILL get frustrated and I don’t want that frustration to be taken out on me because I’m sensitive in that way. • Let’s begin. . . • Go to http: //www. netfirms. com/web-hosting/ • Note: The screenshots that follow are old, but will help absent people catch up. For those viewing ppt only, keep in mind that we did this “live” in class.
Click the “Free Web Hosting” link.
Click the signup now button to continue
Click the link for a free Netfirms sub domain
Enter the domain name of your choice and then click the search button
Click the “continue” button at the bottom of the page (not shown here)
Enter your information here. Be sure to enter a valid email address because Netfirms will send you the information you need to use your account (e. g. , passwords) to that e-mail address. Press the “continue” button when you’re finished.
Review your order and click “continue”
Congrats! Now go check your e-mail
You’ll need this info when you login Note: I’ve hidden the password in this slide. This is the URL for your web site. Click on this link to visit your new web site.
Your default page will look something like this. Notice that the URL is http: //aps 2005. netfirms. com
Enter your member name and password then click the “login” button.
File manager can be used to transfer the web pages you create to your account.
Things to know about your Netfirms account • There are two major directories • www – this directory will hold all the files that end with *. htm, *. html, or *. txt. In other words, this directory will hold web pages or other documents you want people to be able to see. • cgi-bin – this directory will hold all CGI/Perl scripts you write (or borrow) to process data (i. e. , to perform dynamic web functions). These files will typically end with the *. pl extension.
Netfirms’ File Manager The “cgi-bin” folder will hold any Perl/CGI scripts that you write. The “www” folder will hold any HTML files that you write.
File manager • You can transfer files from your computer to the Netfirms server by using Netfirms’ “File manager” application. • This application provides an interface that allows you to upload files from your computer to the server, in the same way that you may upload files that you’re submitting for publication or to granting agencies. • Click on directories to see their contents; click the “Up” button to move backwards through a directory. Click “upload” to upload a file to the server.
Create a new directory • Later we’re going to write programs that save data to a text file on the server. • To keep everything organized, we’ll save data files to a directory called “data” • This directory does not exist by default in your Netfirms account; you must create it.
To create a new directory: 1. Chose the “directory” option 2. Enter “data” in the textbox 3. Press the “create button”
This shows you which directory you are currently navigating. The new directory is now listed.
Click here if you need to change permissions
Caveat • As of 2009, it is now possible to run Perl/cgiscripts in your www directory. Your cgi files do NOT have to exist exclusively in your cgi-bin directory to operate. • For the sake of consistency with the book and good ole’ fashioned organization, however, I will continue to encourage you to place perl files in cgi-bin directory and standard HTML files in your www directory. Just keep in mind that, literally, this is not required.