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Showcase FAQ

Over the years netINS Tech Support has been asked dozens of questions a day about Basic Showcase. Many of the same questions are asked over and over again, so we've put together this list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Before calling or emailing netINS Technical Support, see if the answer to your question is listed below...


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What is Basic Showcase?

Basic Showcase is a web hosting service provided to dialup and highspeed customers of netINS. It provides up to 20MB of storage for a personal site that you have full access to at all times. The Basic Showcase server features:

  • Several programming languages to create scripts
  • Multiple, redundant servers to provide maximum uptime
  • Your own 'areaname' to point to your site
  • Access Statistics
  • 20MB of space to store your site
  • Online signup with immediate access

All of this comes with your dialup or highspeed account with netINS. If you are interested in getting started, start here. The signup process takes about 3 minutes.

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Can I change my basic showcase description?

Certainly! You simply need to go to our User Preferences page and change your information there. You will also be able to change your site descriptors as well as several other site-specific settings. Like how many late-night 'funnies' can be left in the FAQ.

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Do you support Front Page?

While it is OK for customers to use Microsoft's FrontPage and Web Publishing Wizard to design and maintain their WWW pages, please keep the following points in mind when working with your Showcase account:

  • FrontPage Extensions do not work on the Showcase Web Server. Therefore, those "bots" will not work, and you should use traditional CGI scripting methods for using counters, etc.
  • The Web Publishing Wizard is good for uploading pages, but it doesn't handle maintenance too well (file renaming or deleting). For better site maintenance, we suggest using a traditional FTP (file transfer protocol) program. Take a look at the Windows Support section for instructions to download and use a program like WS-FTP.*
  • When uploading your HTML files, remember that the main "default" or "home" page must be called index.html. Otherwise, you will be stuck with the default placeholder page when you view your site.

Due to some configuration problems with how the Front Page Extensions work within our servers we are not able to offer them.

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None of my links will work!

If you find the links to graphics or other pages in your Showcase directory do not work, check for the following:

  1. CASE MATTERS! If your filenames are in lowercase letters, then the links to those files have to also be in lowercase letters. If your filenames are in capital letters, then the links must be in capital letters.
  2. Double check the spelling (yes, that's obvious, but it's a very common mistake).
  3. Is the file really there?

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Can I get more server space for my account?

Basic Showcase accounts are given 20MB of space at the time of creation. They are not able to be expanded.

If you are in need of more space, you may wish to consider our netINS Web Hosting service, where you can not only buy virtually unlimited amounts of web space, but have access to databases and your own domain name as well.

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CGI errors - stops working/doesn't work at all/server errors

There could be several different reasons your CGI code isn't working or stops working. Most of these involve code problems where the code hasn't been written correctly or a "logic error" (errors produced when syntactically the code is correct, but the results produced are not what was desired) is involved.

Another very common reason CGI isn't working is due to the fact that the file containing the code hasn't been modified to be 'executable'. This means that the webserver cannot 'run' the program. You have the ability to make your scripts executable via your FTP application of choice.

netINS will also attempt to provide the latest versions of code interpreters and compilers. With these upgrades, some code may no longer be compatible. If we announce an upgrade has taken place and your code stops working, you may need to research what changed between versions and rewrite the errant code.

Due to the sheer number of programming languages supported by the showcase server and the infinite number of programming styles used, netINS is not able to support any script or applications that are not provided by netINS. We do offer as many tools as possible to help troubleshoot code errors. The best being the error log produced by the webserver. Check here when the server reports there was an "Internal Server Error". Chances are, a very helpful error is caught by the webserver and logged.

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Can I change file permissions with my FTP program?

Yes! Using your FTP program, you have the ability to change particular file permissions. This is particularly important when using CGI scripts and you get the error "Script not executable. Issue 'chmod 755 filename'". For some screenshots on where to go in some of the more popular FTP clients, go here.

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How do I get my website listed in search engines?

Most Search Engine Sites have a form to let you "submit" your WWW page to their directory. There may be a link or button on their site labeled Add URL... that's where you want to go! Once you fill out the form, these sites will verify the existence of your page, and then put it in their listing (usually with a week or so).

Some Search Sites have "robots" that search and catalog all pages on the WWW. Chances are, your pages will eventually show up in their listings (even if you don't submit anything). This could take up to a few weeks. Submitting your site directly to them could speed up the process.

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My site still says "Under Construction"... why?

If you have uploaded your files into your Showcase account, but you still see the Under Construction page, double-check the following:

  1. Did you upload your files to the .web sub-directory of your site?
  2. Did you replace the index.html file with your homepage? (remember, the default page of your site must be called index.html or index.htm)
  3. If your homepage is called index.htm, did you remove the index.html file?

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I use WebTV/MSNTV, can I use the Basic Showcase service?

Unfortunately, if you are using a WebTV or MSNTV box , you do not have the appropriate tools to CREATE a web site. You will need either a computer or have someone with a computer and Internet access to do it for you...

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How do I password protect certain pages or my entire site?

We have put together a quick tutorial on a way we would recommend you do this. Please follow this link for more information.

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Can I offer Anonymous FTP service with my Showcase account?

No. Showcase is a Web hosting service, and can only be accessed via the World Wide Web. If you have files that need to be downloaded by the public, they can be placed within your web site area.

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Can I link my domain name to my basic showcase account?

Unfortunately, we cannot link domain names to existing basic showcase accounts. If you wish to have your domain hosted by netINS, you will have to apply for a netINS Web Hosting account.

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Can I stop a browser from listing a directory?

There are two ways to accomplish this. One is to create an empty index.html file and upload it to the directory in question. The other is to place a .htaccess file in that location.

To do this, simply open your favorite text editor and type in the following line:   Options -Indexes   then save the file, naming it .htaccess. Upload this file to your directory and that will turn off the browser's ability to list a directory.

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I get "Error 503-No port command" error in WS_FTP, what is wrong?

This error occurs because of a bug with "Passive Transfer" mode within the program. To fix, simply disable Passive Transfer by unchecking this feature in the Advanced section of the "Session Properties" screen.

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Can I change my Showcase area name?

Yes, it is possible to have your area name changed. All that you have to do is choose a new name that does not exist and submit the changes via email to webmaster@netins.net. Keep in mind, netINS will not forward traffic from the old address. Your old area name will no longer work once the change has been made.

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How can I deny viewing of certain areas of my site?

Simply create a file called ".htaccess" and add the following two lines to it:

order deny,allow
deny from all

Place this file in the directory you wish to have "blocked". When users try to view that directory or any file inside of it, they will get a standard "Forbidden" message. Note that this does not prevent your FTP access to this directory.