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Detailed Instructions Page Index



Web Page Basics

    Your URL (Home Page Name)
    Basic or Professional Members (see the Membership Wizard for details) may receive a personal web page on request. If you indicated you wanted a page at signup, your URL was sent in your welcome letter. Otherwise, use the Feedback Form at the bottom of any SFF Net page to request one.

    Once you have requested a page, you'll receive an email telling you the URL (Universal Resource Locator) name of your new home page. The URL is the address by which the rest of the world finds you.

    [*] http://www.sff.net/people/HomeDirectory/
    The HomeDirectory in the URL gets replaced by your Home Directory name (usually your SFF Net user name). HomeDirectory is the name of a real directory name on our system, where you keep your files. Browsers use the HomeDirectory name, plus a Default Filename, to load your home page.

    Index files are crucial special files. The index file is the file that gets loaded if browsers don't specify a specific filename for a site. For example, a user entering http://www.sff.net/people/bettyb/ in their browser will get BettyB's index.html file just as if they'd actually entered http://www.sff.net/people/bettyb/index.html)

    All SFF Net People Pages must have a file called either index.html, index.htm, or index.htp in the root of the home directory. We recommend using index.html. Your subsequent (supplemental) filenames can be anything you want.

    NB: The default name may change in the future, so it's important that you not include it in your URLs. In fact, it has changed. The default was index.htp from 1995 until Feb 2002. Now it's index.html. But don't worry if you still have index.htp files. Here's how it works:

    New--> Your default filename can be any of the following.
    1. index.html
    2. index.htm
    3. index.htp

    The server will search for index files in a specific order. First it looks for index.htp. If not found, it looks for index.html. If neither one is found, it looks for index.htm. If none of the three is found, the the server displays a "404 File Not Found" or other error message to tbe browser.

    IMPORTANT: If you have more than one index file (i.e both index.htm and index.htp) in a directory you may get confused as to which is the actual file being served. You should have exactly one index file in any directory.

    Note: There's an important concept about URLs here that you must understand.

    • Your complete home page URL is http://www.sff.net/people/HomeDirectory/
    • Your default page filename is index.html

    In both cases, your actual default home page filename is index.html. Here's where people sometimes get confused: Your home page URL should not include your default page filename!

    Your home page URL, also known as your default URL, ends with a slash character, not a page name. The server will automatically add the page name on the fly. This rule applies to any default page in any directory. If you're pointing to the default page in a directory, leave off the page filename.

    Yes, http://www.sff.net/people/joeblow/index.html refers to the same physical page as http://www.sff.net/people/joeblow/ -- but these are different URLs to the computer. When you use the actual page filename to refer to a default page, you will mess up search engines, links, and yourself later on.

    [Note] Think of your default page filename as the Name of God: It's known, but never said.

    When you write a link to your home page, leave off the page filename. When you write a link to any home page anywhere leave off the page filename. Only non-default pages have names in the Internet world. Thus, if you have page2.htm and page3.htm in your directory, you not only should but must include the page filename in those URLs. But the link back to your main page should not have a page filename.

    Ditto when referencing someone else's page. If you want to link to Jeffry Dwight's page, the URL is http://www.sff.net/people/jdwight/ -- the default page filename is left off.

    Relative URLs

    You may refer to any main URL on SFF Net by forming the URL as noted above but leaving off the http://www.sff.net part. Thus, if you want a link to the main SFF Net page, the link is <a href="/">, not <a href=/index.asp"> or <a href="http://www.sff.net/">.

    The leading / in relative URLs refers to the web server's root directory.

    Your Home Directory
    We'll use your username to create a directory for you on www.sff.net. Only you (and systems administrators) will be able to put files in that directory, or change files there. Anyone browsing the web can read files in your directory, however, so keep that in mind.

    New--> When you upload files to your site using FTP, you have a choice of server names to use:

    • If you FTP to people.sff.net, you will automatically be deposited directly into your website's directory (recommended).

    • If you FTP to www.sff.net, your website's directory is down two levels: /www/People/username.

    For example, let's say your username is JaneDoe. If you FTP to www.sff.net, your directory will be /www/People/JaneDoe. Programs like WS_FTP and others call this the "remote folder" or "remote directory."

    Note that capitalization is significant in FTP - "janedoe" and "JaneDoe" are two different folder names. You must capitalize your folder names to match the way they are listed on the FTP server.

    On the other hand, if you FTP to people.sff.net, you don't have to change directories at all. You will already be in the /www/People/JaneDoe directory, and your "remote folder" is already set to /www/People/Janedoe for you.

    Storage Limits
    Basic and Pro accounts have a storage limit for the People page (see Plans for details). This refers to the size of files, in megabytes, you can store in your site folder (including subfolders you create below it). If you regularly exceed your limit, we will notify you in email and make arrangements for you to upgrade your service.

    Making Your Site "Live"
    To make your homepage go "live" and appear on the People Page listing, you must delete the file in your home directory called delete.me.


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