Control Panel (CPanel) operating manual will assist in
getting you familiar with the many features we have to
offer. Whether you're looking for a quick start to
uploading your files, or would like to familiarize
yourself with the advanced features, this manual
provides easy to follow step by step instructions on
just about everything you'll need to know. New users
are encouraged to print this manual and read it over
at their leisure.
you've just signed up with ArkWebs.com, you're
probably wondering how to test out a few of the
features and begin populating your web site with
files. You're just a couple of steps from doing just
that, but first things first. Your welcoming email
contains the basic information you'll need to access
your account and get things underway. Print it out, or
open it up in a separate window, as you'll need to
refer to it during these tutorials.
Table Of Contents:
to upload your files:
your FTP clients:
the web site file system:
ins and outs of DNS and how it effects your domain:
up and managing Sub-Domains:
up Domain Email:
These are stated in
the first paragraph of the welcoming email (New Hosting Account
Information) email. Until you change
them, they're needed to authenticate (log in to) everything from
FTP, to Email access, C-Panel, and MS FrontPage if you're using
it. In short, use this Username and Password for any access
you're attempting to your account.
your account via its URL or associated IP number:
If you've just
signed up for hosting with ArkWebs.com, chances are you've begun
the process of a domain transfer to our servers, in some cases
we will be handling this transfer for you. On average it takes
anywhere from 48 to 72 hours for all worldwide DNS records to
reflect your domain name as pointing to our servers. While
everything in our welcoming email refers to the domain you
signed up, we recommended you use the accompanying
"IP" number until you can verify your domain is
actually answering to your new account on the ArkWebs.com
To access your Control Panel once your domain name is working,
just add /cpanel after your domain name. ex: http://yourdomain.com/cpanel
replacing yourdomain.com with your domain name. To access your
WebMail use http://yourdomain.com/webmail
. Please keep in mind that this will NOT work until the
domain name is answering to our servers.
The IP number we've
provided you with will soon be registered to your domain name. Until
such time as your domain is officially answering to our servers,
you can use your new IP number to access and setup your web site. For
detailed explanation specific to your web site, please see the
NOTES section following the section entitled "Access
Your Online Site Control Panel" in your "Welcome
Letter". For example, if your assigned IP was 22.214.171.124,
your welcoming email would provide the URL
http://126.96.36.199/~username/ as an option for accessing your
new account. Again, it's a great way to test all those
features and make sure everything is functioning smoothly before
launching your web site.
your account via FTP:
These accounts are generally accessed the same
way as a dedicated IP account would be. Again, if your domain
name is not officially pointing to our servers yet, use the IP
number and username, which was sent to you in your welcome
email. If you have additional questions regarding the ins and
outs of FTP, please see our FTP support section, which covers it
in broad detail.
explanation specific to your web site, please see the section
"FTP LOGIN INFO:" in your "Welcome
To access your
C-Panel account manager, you can login into it by adding
/cpanel after your domain or IP address:
accounts that have been up and running for more than
(For new accounts, but, change the IP number to the one
we sent you in the email)
Again, if your domain name is not pointing to our servers yet,
calling it with the IP number we provided you will enable access
to your account during the period of propagation.
to upload your files:
Your html files, and
or the files you want to make accessible to the World Wide Web
must be uploaded to your accounts web space. When you first FTP
into your account, you'll be taken to your "Home"
directory. Don't confuse this with your "web
directory." The home directory is "not"
accessible to the World Wide Web; it's a private directory where
critical system files reside. DO NOT delete files that have been
created by the system, otherwise your web site may disappear
directory - (Where web accessible files are placed)
These are the two
directories where files you want accessed from the web must be
placed. Open the folder "public_html". This is your
"web accessible directory." The folder named
"www" is actually a shortcut to public_html, (both of
them take you to your web directory). Upload the files you want
accessible to your visitors and feel free to make the
appropriate sub-directories that your site may require.
Based on version 4.2
Please note that
there are a number of versions of Cute FTP floating around. As a
result, some of the instructions provided here cannot possibly
reflect all versions that have been released in the past 5
years. The only small difference you may encounter is where some
of the options can be found (depending on the client version
you're using). In any event, everything is pretty much the same.
Let's get started:
1. Open or Run the Cute FTP program
2. Select "File"
3. Select "Site Manager"
4. Select "New"
- Label for site:
Enter a name for this account. For example,
"My Root Account."
- FTP Host Address: ftp.mydomain.com
(some require just mydomain.com)
- FTP Site Username: Your main
system login name
- FTP Site Password: Your main
- FTP Site Connection: Port: 21
- Login Type: Normal
About Cute FTP:
There are a few advanced features you may want to
be aware of. These features may need to be enabled if you're
having problems accessing your site via an FTP client. The
following will explain:
Trouble accessing your site via FTP:
This can sometimes occur if your accessing the
Internet from behind a firewall, personal router, or using an
Internet connection sharing system such as NAT (Network Address
Translation). This is often the case in a home or small office
where several computers are being shared by one Internet
connection. Symptoms include, difficulty logging in via FTP, and
or maintaining a reliable upload or download session.
Use Passive Mode instead:
From your FTP main interface,
1. Edit (from the main dropdown
2. Settings - A dialog box called
"Settings" now appears. Select:
4. Firewall - This opens the
Connection/Firewall dialog box:
5. Check the box that says "PASV
6. Click OK
Do not touch any of the other settings!
Ignore all other settings you see
here except for the "PASV_mode" setting!
Give it a try and see how it works. If you're
still having problems, you should contact your ISP to see if
they can make the necessary changes required for you to access
your site via FTP. There are a vast number of network
configurations ISP's sometimes use, and some of which that can
cause problems for users wanting to access the web beyond that
of a web browser.
How to view all files in your
account (For Advanced Users).
Advanced users may want ability to view all
"hidden" files in their directories. While most of
these are critical system files, there are a few, which can be
manually edited by "Advanced Users." This is done by
inserting an entry into the "File Masking" feature in
Unmasking Hidden Files:
1. Open Cute FTP
2. Go to the site manager
3. Select your account
4. Select "Edit"
A dialog box opens called
1. Check the "Enable Filter" box
2. Click the "Filter" button
3. Check the " Enable Remote Filters
(Server Applied Filer) " box
4. In the "Remote Filter" window, type this command -a
5. Click ok and that's it!
The -a command will
unmask "all" files in your web account.
NEVER REMOVE OR ALTER FILES WHICH HAVE BEEN
CREATED BY THE SERVER or C-Panel!! Unless you're an advanced
user, please leave all files that have been created by the
system alone! Doing otherwise could cause serious problems with
your account, and in some cases take it offline completely. When
in doubt "ASK", do not Delete!
Please note that there are a
number of versions of WSFTP floating around. As a result, some
of the instructions provided here cannot possibly reflect all
versions which have been released in the past 5 years. The only
small difference you may encounter is where some of the options
can be found (depending on the client version you're using). In
any event, everything is pretty well much the same.
1. Open your WSFTP client
2. The dialog box "WS_FTP" Sites should display. If
not, click the "Connect" button.
3. Select "New"
You should see this dialog box:
be taken through these options:
New Site/Folder: Choose a
name for this account
Host Name or IP address: www.yourdomain.com
User ID: Main system login
4. User Password: Main
5. Select "Save
You should now be able to FTP into your site!
Notes About WSFTP:
Main Username and Password:
The main Username and Password was sent to you in
your welcoming email, and are also the same ones used to access
the C-Panel. If you've changed your main Username and
Password before setting this up, then use you must use them
Trouble accessing your site via FTP:
This can sometimes occur if your accessing the
Internet from behind a firewall, personal router, or using an
Internet connection sharing system such as NAT (Network Address
Translation). This is often the case in a home or small office
where several computers are being shared by one Internet
connection. Symptoms include, difficulty logging in via
FTP, and or maintaining a reliable upload or download session.
If this is the case, try "Passive Mode."
Open the WSFTP account manager
2. Highlight your account
4. Select the
5. Check the box called
6. Click "OK"
Select passive mode, click
"OK", and try it again.
How to view all files
in your account (For Advanced Users).
Advanced users may want ability
to view all "hidden" files in their directory. While
most of these are critical system files, there are a few, which
can be manually edited by "Advanced Users." This is
done by inserting an entry into the "File Masking"
feature in the client.
Unmasking Hidden Files:
1. Open the WSFTP account
2. Highlight your account
3. Select "Properties"
4. Select the "Startup" tab
5. In the "Remote File Mask"
window, enter -a
command will unmask all files in your web account.
NEVER REMOVE OR ALTER FILES WHICH HAVE BEEN CREATED BY THE
SERVER or C-Panel!! Unless you're an advanced user, please leave
all files that have been created by the system alone! Doing
otherwise could cause serious problems with your account, and in
some cases take it offline completely. When in doubt "ASK",
do not Delete!
the web site file system:
index.html file and why you should use it:
This again is where a number of
newer webmasters become stumped. They upload all of their files
and directories, and then want to access them with their
browser, but they forget to save their welcoming page as
index.html, so here's what happens: They access their site as http://www.mydomain.com
or using the associated IP number, for example, http://188.8.131.52/~username/,
and what they see is their entire file directory structure!
Yikes!...It looks just like exploring the C drive on your
computer! You don't want visitors seeing that, do you?
When you access your site by calling it as http://www.mydomain.com
or the assigned IP (for example), http://184.108.40.206/~username/,
the web server looks for the "index.html" file as the
(default file) to be sent to visitors, this is why http://www.mydomain.com/
by itself will automatically display the home or welcoming page.
It's because the server automatically looks for index.html
whenever a domain or directory is called without a filename
appended to it such as this, http://www.mydomain.com/file.html
If it can't find index.html, it will simply list "your
entire web directory" to everyone that access's it, which
is a MAJOR security risk! ALWAYS, use an "index.html"
file in any directory you create, including your
"root" web directory. In general, it's always a good
idea to use "index.html" as your main page in
"all sub-directories" of your account. Forgetting
to place an index.html in your root web, or any subdirectory of
your web for that matter will effectively leave all of its
contents viewable to the world.
Another small detail, which can
throw many newer users into a tailspin is the case of
characters. Unlike your local PC, the Unix file system is very
particular about "uppercase" and "lowercase"
file and directory names. Therefore, if you were to install a
script, (let's say the wwwboard discussion board for example),
the name of this script would be wwwboard.pl. If you call
WWWBoard.pl it will appear as if the script does not work or is
actually not there. This is because the UNIX system is case
sensitive. If you name a picture file "me.jpg", then
this is what you must call it as. Naming it me.JPG for
example, (observe the uppercase) tells a Unix web server to
treat it as a totally different file name.
Unix file servers are exceptionally fussy on this issue, so make
sure you pay close attention to the "case" when
uploading files, or installing and configuring cgi based
scripts. The same rule applies for all files including your
.html pages. Again, the server treats .html and .HTML as two
entirely different files. Want to keep in simple? Try to stick
with lowercase letters in all file names and extensions.
your files in the correct mode (ASCII or Binary)?
Uploading files in the wrong format for images (binary files)
will result in a garbled appearance of the picture on the
screen. For CGI (.cgi) or PERL (.pl) scripts, this mistake has
to be the most common cause of that annoying error known as the
(Server 500 Error - Malformed Headers), or something to that
effect. While this can be the result of many various programming
errors, the most popular among new users is uploading their
scripts in the wrong format. Your cgi scripts must
always be uploaded in ASCII mode. Alternatively, if you
upload an image or .exe file, it must be done in Binary
difference between ASCII and BINARY?
In short, html or text based files are supposed to be
transferred in ASCII mode. Uploading them in Binary mode
will append ^M to the end of every line. In most cases, this is
alright with html files because your browser will ignore them.
However, with other text files such as cgi or perl scripts,
uploading them in binary will damage them, and cause a
"server 500 error". This is because binary mode has
added ^M to the end of every line, which is not supposed to be
in the program. This is what causes the additional message of
Malformed Headers, which often displays at the bottom of the
"Server 500" message when a CGI script has crashed.
Once again, Binary mode is used for transferring
executable programs, compressed files and all image/picture
files. If you try to upload an image in ASCII mode, you will see
nothing but random characters the page where the image is
suppose to appear. ASCII mode has corrupted the binary coding in
the jpeg or gif image. If this happens, just re-upload it in
your FTP client to automatically detect ASCII and Binary file
Most FTP programs have an auto mode, which tells the FTP
program to automatically detect the file type you're
transferring and select the appropriate mode. By default, most
FTP programs will attempt to transfer everything in binary mode,
but when Automatic is selected, the FTP client will check
a list of known ASCII extensions, (for example, .pl, .cgi,
.txt). If it detects one of these extensions, it automatically
switches to ASCII mode.
By Default, most of the well-known files to be uploaded in ASCII
are already entered, however you can manually add additional
extensions that you would like to transfer in ASCII mode by
selecting the feature called "Extensions". Here, you
can additional extensions that will cause the FTP client to
toggle to ASCII mode automatically upon detecting an extension
entered in this list. Remember, you must set your transfer mode
to Automatic for this to work.
types and what they represent:
Various file types can effect both the behavior of your files,
as well as how the server treats them. While there are numerous
file extensions, which represent a host of various file types,
we'll stick to the basic ones in this quick overview:
The .html file:
This is one is the most commonly used and the most one of you
are already familiar with. Html stands for "HyperText
Markup Language". Essentially, it tells the server, as well
as the clients browser, to process and display the .html coding
in a way that is meaningful to the end users browser.
The .htm file:
Many of you have probably noticed this newer extension appearing
in place of the traditional .html one. In short, .htm is most
often created, and or generated from the Microsoft FrontPage web
editor. The two are essentially the same and provide the same
basic purpose. Unless you're using FrontPage, you will probably
use the .html extension at the end of your web pages.
The .gif and .jpg file:
Most commonly used because of
their good compression for use in web pages. Generally, .gif
files are the fastest loading, as they remove a lot of unseen
information, which is not required to maintain image integrity;
but to a point, the .jpg format will allow more flexibility in
compression and quality, however jpeg's can also result in
The .cgi and the .pl
.cgi and .pl extensions are most often used for
perl scripts. Perl scripts are small text based programs that
are executed on the server side and perform a host of
interactive functions on a web site. When a .pl or .cgi file is
called it tells the server to process it using the "Perl
Interpreter." The Perl Interpreter understands the
programming within the script and will perform the sub-routines,
which will yield your desired effect. This desired effect could
be anything from a simple web page counter to more complex
programs such as discussion forums, e-commerce platforms, or
online auctions. In many cases you can download these
"ready to go" scripts for free, and in others you may
have to purchase them.
If you're planning on using
Microsoft FrontPage to manage your web site, there are a couple
of things you may want to keep in mind:
There are two basic types of web hosting. Unix hosting and then
Microsoft. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, Microsoft
plays by its own rules. As a result, FrontPage does not always
conform to the rules of Unix, so you should be extremely careful
when accessing a FrontPage web via FTP. It's easy to damage the
FrontPage web, as well as it's associated server extensions, and
if it happens, you may loose the ability to administrate it from
within FrontPage. To avoid problems like this:
Do not alter or delete files that are part
of a FrontPage web
Do not delete, move, or alter directories
ending in _vtf. These are part of the FrontPage extensions
You should publish your web to http://yourdomain.com
without any folders. FP 2000 and higher will default to the root
directory. Remember! when accessing your website, DO NOT
delete any folders, which end in _vtf! This will kill your
FrontPage web, and we'll have to reinstall the extensions for
you. For additional information on FrontPage, please see a
dedicated tutorial on it.
Where to place
your CGI scripts:
Although there is nothing dangerous about placing cgi scripts in
random directories on your site, it is best if you keep them in
their own known as the "cgi-bin" directory. This
minimizes security risks and allows you to maintain your cgi
programs in one common directory.
One of the first things you must do when configuring a script,
is set the correct path to the Perl interpreter, which is the
engine responsible for processing the script. The path to Perl
on our servers is: #!/usr/bin/perl
path to Sendmail:
Some programs such as those that send email will need to know
where the servers "Sendmail" program is located. The
script will typically have a setting like this: $mailprog =
'/usr/sbin/sendmail'; and will want you to set it
appropriately. Sendmail on our servers can be found here: /usr/sbin/sendmail or
directories within your cgi scripts:
When you configure a cgi script for any server, it may ask you
to set variables such as the base, relative, and CGI directory/url
settings. Here's an "example" using Matt Wright's
wwwboard.pl script. Obviously, each script may vary, but this
should provide you with some basic idea:
$basedir = "/home/username/public_html/wwwboard";
$baseurl = "http://www.yoursite.com/wwwboard";
$cgi_url = "http://www.yoursite.com/cgi-bin/wwwboard.pl";
Most scripts come with documentation on how to set these
directories. Please make sure you read and understand them
before configuring. New to cgi? Here is a page with questions
and answers to numerous questions evolving around the inns and
outs of using cgi within your scripts: http://www.w3.org/Security/Faq/www-security-faq.html
Another excellent site, which provides step by step chapters is:
There are a number of file permissions which can be used for a
variety of different purposes, however, we'll limit this
tutorial to the ones most commonly used. To begin with, it's
important you understand the three categories of permissions,
The owner is you. In most cases, this is not so much of a
concern, as you can only obtain owner permissions in one of two
1. FTP into your account using your Username and
2. Login via Telnet with the same information.
This represents a group of users who have access to a particular
directory. For example, a password protected directory, whereas
only members can access it upon providing the correct Username
and Password. In this case, any permissions you assign to
"Group" would be applicable to users with access to
that particular directory.
This is the most important one of all. Public permissions
determine what your site visitors can and cannot do with your
files. ALWAYS make sure you understand what a particular
permission does before assigning it to a file. If not, you may
wakeup to find your website demolished by some clown who was
snooping about and gained access to your files.
To set file permissions:
1. Login with your FTP client
2. Open the directory where the file you wish
to set permissions on resides
3. Right click on the file and select CHMOD
A box similar to the one above will appear
Observe how you
can "select" the individual permissions you want, or
simply enter the 3 digit number if you know what it is. Most
instructions included with downloaded scripts will tell indicate
this to you.
By default, all files uploaded to the server
automatically have permissions set to 644. The setting 644 is
relatively safe, as it provides "Read" and
"Write" access to the owner, while limiting the rest
of the public to "Read Only" access.
When setting permissions for cgi scripts, the most common
permissions setting is 755. 755 allows the owner "Read and
Write" access, while allowing the Group and Public
"Read and Execute" permissions. So what are we
actually saying? In short, when users access your cgi script,
the server has been instructed to grant them permissions to
"Read and Execute" it. Sound scary? It's not
Remember that a script is a program that must be processed by
the server. As long as the script is written properly, you can
safely allow users to execute it, and thus providing the desired
results. For example, if they wanted to post a message to your
wwwboard discussion forum, then they would need these
permissions to execute wwwboard.pl, which would write their new
message to an html file, which is displayed on the main forum.
The new message would reside in a directory on your site so
other users could view it. Most cgi, perl and other scripts
you'll be installing come complete with instructions telling you
which permissions you'll need to set them to.
Setting permissions on files is a relatively simple task,
however, make sure you fully understand what it is you're
allowing the public to do with your files. For example, some
less experienced users often make the fatal mistake of simply
setting ALL of their files to 777. While 777 will automatically
allow executing privileges, it also allows full "READ,
WRITE, and EXECUTION ability to the entire world!!!!
This is how web sites get hacked! While most visitors have good
intentions, all it takes is one person whom snoops about your
files seeking an "Open Back Door." This could result
is them gaining full access to your directories, which means
they can do anything from deleting your entire site, to defacing
it with obscenities.
Using Server Side Includes - SSI
SSI works in conjunction with a web page usually with the
.shtml extension. The .shtml extension tells the server to
do something different with the web page. When you append the
.html or .htm extension, this tells the server to
"read" the page only. The .shtml extension tells the
server to "Execute" the page, in addition to just
So, why would you want to execute the page? There are various
commands you can program into a web page, which the server will
look for and parse when the file is called as .shtml. In many
cases, this mode is used in conjunction with Server Side Include
(SSI) tags, to call a CGI script. For example, you have a
visitor counter script, and we'll call it count.cgi. Every time
someone visits your website, you want the script to be called,
so that it logs the visitor into a file.
To do this, you would place an SSI tag into your web page. The
tag in this case, would look something like:
<!--#exec cgi="/cgi-bin/count.cgi" -->
This small tag, which is hidden in the html coding of your page
is telling the server to:
1. Go to the cgi-bin
2. Execute count.cgi
That's it! The information has been captured and processed by
the count.cgi script. Of course, that's the short version of
what happens. The long version would no doubt, would take us far
beyond the scope of this document.
PLEASE do not use the .shtml extension on "all" of
your web pages unless it's absolutely necessary. With a busy web
site, this means that every page must be executed, as opposed to
just read. This, as you can appreciate, can add considerable
memory and CPU load to the system. As always, read the
instructions that came with your script carefully. They should
provide specific instructions on how to configure the script, as
well as the SSI tag.
ins and outs of DNS and how it effects your domain:
Understanding DNS and Name
This is an area which causes a great deal of confusion
amongst both webmasters and end user clients. Before we go any
further, let's look at this quick analogy: DNS can be considered
something similar to that of a phone book. When you move from
one location to another, your last name stays the same, but your
phone number may change. In order to point your name to the new
phone number, you must contact the telephone service provider,
which will assign you the new phone number. In addition, they
update all directory information data basis to reflect you as
pointing to this new phone number.
What is DNS?DNS stands for "Domain Name Server." The domain
name server acts like a large telephone directory in that it's
the master database which associates a domain name such as
(http://www.mydomain.com) with the appropriate IP number.
Consider the IP number something similar to a phone number: When
someone calls http://www.arkwebs.com,
your ISP looks at the DNS server, and asks "how do I
contact Arkwebs.com?" The DNS server responds, it can be
found at: 220.127.116.11. As the Internet understands it, this
can be considered the phone number for the server which houses
Where are all of the DNS
This is slightly more complicated, but for the purpose of
this overview, we'll try to keep it as general as possible.
There are 2 basic places DNS records reside:
International Root name servers (13 exist throughout the world)
and your domain registrar, where your current DNS settings
When you register/purchase your domain name on a particular
registrars "name server", your DNS settings are kept
on their server, and in most cases point your domain to the name
server of your hosting provider. This name server is where the
IP number (currently associated with your domain name) resides.
The entire hierarchy is somewhat involved, but in short, the
world Root Name Servers can be considered the master listing of
all DNS records, and there are currently 13 of them in the
world. These name servers are where all the master DNS records
are kept. The DNS server of your ISP will typically query the
Root Name Servers once every 24-hours. This is how they update
all of their DNS tables, which in turn, resolve www requests to
the IP number of the server they reside on.
Changing your Name Server
settings, so your domain points to your ArkWebs.com account:
Your "Name Server Settings" must be updated to
point to your account on ArkWebs.com's servers. You originally
purchased your domain name from a registrar like Network
Solutions, and this register is where your current DNS settings
reside. That is, unless you transferred your domain name to an
alternate registrar, in which case, you would control your DNS
settings from there.
The "Register" your domain resides in, communicates
your 'current' DNS settings with the International Root name
servers, which is turn share this information with ISP's,
routers, and cache engines around the world. In essence, it's
like a worldwide directory that other computers can refer to
when they want to match a domain name with its associate IP
number. This IP number is how the particular server your website
resides on is located.
your domain manager:
Simply go to your domain registrars web site and look
around for links which point to something like domain manager,
manage domain, or something of that administrative nature. In
your welcoming email, you were sent DNS settings, which look
similar to this example of our own server:
Most of the newer registrars such as the "OpenSRS"
based entities have turned this into a 5-minute process. You
simply login to your domain account, select "manage
domain" and you'll be presented with an option to update
your new DNS numbers. Contrary to popular belief, Network
Solutions now also provides an online interface to change these
settings, so this process with them is no longer as complicated
as it use to be, however, it's still not as simple as the
OpenSRS based system. If your particular registrar does not
provide a domain manager of some type, then you'll need to send
them a message requesting a change of DNS. This is an unlikely
scenario as most every registrar now allows you to manage your
own domain settings from a web based interface.
Once you've accessed the "management interface" of
your domain name, look for a setting which says "change or
manage DNS settings." In most cases, you can simply cut and
paste the DNS settings we've sent you directly into the spaces,
which correspond to your DNS management settings. Remember, the
DNS settings we're displaying here are an "example."
The 3 to 4 day propagation
period - Understanding what happens during this time frame:
In short, patience is a virtue. Remember what we talked
about earlier in this chapter regarding the shear size and scope
of the worlds DNS system? In short, when you change your DNS
settings, these new settings must propagate throughout the
worlds DNS servers. It also means that every ISP (Internet
Service Provider), must update their DNS records to reflect
these new changes, which in most cases, is done automatically
every 24 hours, but not always however...
Where do the Root Name
Servers receive their information from?
The Root Name Servers will query "domain
registrars" several times a day. Domain Registrars, being
entities such as Network Solutions, Register.com and the newer
OpenSRS based systems. The Root Name Servers will gather this
information from the many registrars now in existence, and
update their master records accordingly. Now your ISP must
access the Root Name Servers, and update their DNS records,
which reside on their 'local' DNS server. This process is fully
automated and most ISP's will check the Root Name Servers for
updates every 24-hours. Beware however, that some lame ISP's
will delay this process for as much as 2 to 4 days in some
cases. If that happens, it will no doubt cause additional
confusion, as everyone else will be reaching your new account on
our servers except you. This is because your ISP has not updated
their DNS records, and or have not cleared their DNS cache,
which means they'll still be pointing your domain name to your
old server. If it's a new domain name you've registered, then
you'll receive a blank "Site Not Found" page.
DNS Cache and your ISP:
There is also the issue of DNS cache, which is something
we won't go into great detail about here, but here's the short
version. Every time you access a site from your ISP, they cache
the URL, as well as its associated IP number. If their network
is properly setup, these DNS cache records should
"Expire" at least every 24-hours. If they did not
(which is often the case), you'll experience this: You enter
URL, and it keeps taking you back to your old server
In a large number of cases, it's the result of an ISP who
"Did Not" configure their servers to
"Expire" the DNS cache records at the appropriate
intervals. Unfortunately, this adds additional confusion to
their clients, and especially the ones whom are trying to point
their domain name to a new server. Yes, it will make you want to
scream sometimes, however, if you understand whom is actually at
fault, then you'll know who to scream at.
The DNS propagation process is not
limited to ISP's!
Just when you thought you had it all figured out!
Unfortunately, there's more...The Internet itself must
update/clear its DNS cache as well. When we say the Internet, we
mean the numerous intermediate "points of access"
you're routed through before reaching your final destination.
For the most part, these intermediate points of access consist
of "Internet Routers" and "Internet Caching
Engines." These too maintain their own DNS cache, which
assists them in routing traffic/resolving URL's to the correct
destination IP's. Don't worry though, as Internet routers are
usually faster at clearing their DNS cache than ISP's are.
What to expect during this 2
to 4 day propagation period:
In most cases, the propagation process will take at least
48 hours to complete. The first thing that happens is the
"World Root Name Servers" will check all of the
various Domain Registrars for updates. Ok, so now the Root Name
Servers have done their job. The rest of it is up to the many
ISP providers who should be updating their DNS records
(at least every 24 hours) but, as we said, a number of them will
Side effects that can be
expected during the propagation time frame:
It's perfectly normal for strange things to happen within
the 48-hour propagation period, but sometimes longer. While we
could provide a full list of all the anomalies that can occur
during the DNS propagation period, we'll stick to some of the
most common scenarios that most people experience:
HELP! My friends can reach my new
site, but I'm still being directed to the OLD ONE!
This is a classic case of your friends ISP (who did
update their DNS records), but your ISP unfortunately did not.
As a result, your ISP is still pointing your domain name to the
old DNS record, which is your old hosting account. Wait a couple
of more days, and if it appears that everyone but you can access
your new account, then contact your ISP and tell them to expire
their old DNS cache records.
WOW! http://www.mydomain.com was
taking me to my new ArkWebs.com
account just a minute ago, but when I try it now, I'm being
taken back to my old hosting account - what's up with this?
In all likelihood, your ISP may be in the process of
clearing their DNS cache, and or updating their local DNS server
records. During this small interval, it's normal to fluctuate
between the new and old web site, as the old DNS records may not
have completely expired from their cache yet. Give it another
several hours and it should be fine.
HEY! My new site comes up for me,
but my friends are being directed to my old one!
Break out the coffee and donuts, and consider yourself
lucky. Your ISP is on the ball and updates DNS records and/or
clears the DNS cache in short regular intervals. Your friends
may be using an ISP which is not as fast, and/or as efficient at
doing so. The only remedy for this is time. Eventually, the
other ISP's DNS cache will expire and be replaced with the
updated DNS records.
What's going on with my email? When I
try to access it, I receive a "host does not exist" or
a "cannot authenticate" error message.
This can happen for a number of reasons, but in most
cases, it's because your new DNS records have not fully
completed the propagation process yet. Consequently, you may be
trying to access your old email account on your "old
server", which you may have already cancelled, or it's in a
state of DNS flux, which means it points to the new server one
moment, and the next, points back to the old server.
Give it some more time and it will eventually settle down. In
the meantime, consider accessing email from your account using
the WebMail based reader. If your domain has not propagated as
of yet, you can access your email account via WebMail with your
IP number. Example: http://18.104.22.168/webmail/
This will allow you to access your default mailbox on
your account. Replace the IP number with the one we sent you.
Microsoft FrontPage will not accept
a Username and Password, or displays the error message
(FrontPage Extensions Are Not Installed).While you should be able to access FrontPage with your
associated IP number (until your domain is resolving to our
servers), this is not always the case. FrontPage can behave in a
number of different ways depending on which direction the wind
is blowing. In some cases, it will allow you to initiate an
upload session, but upon asking for your Username and Password,
will not recognize them. If this happens, the best thing to do
is wait until your domain name is answering to our servers. One
thing we know for sure, is FrontPage will work without much of a
problem if you're using the full www.mydomain.com URL to manage
your site with. Feel free to try it with your IP, but we cannot
guarantee it will work.
It's been over a week. Everybody else
can access my new site except me!
Was your domain originally hosted by your ISP? If so,
they may not have deleted this entry in their DNS files. This
results in you, and/or anyone else accessing the net from this
"particular ISP" being directed to your old web site
on their servers. A number of ISP's forget this small detail,
which can result in weeks of utter confusion and frustration. If
this is happening to you, contact your ISP and make sure they've
made the necessary changes to their DNS records.
Checking your DNS update
status (outside of your ISP):In the event you're becoming impatient, and or are
wondering if the rest of the world outside of your ISP can
access your new site, you can proxy yourself to another network
and test it there. In many cases, you'll be surprised to see
your site responding perfectly, yet when you attempt it directly
from your ISP's servers, it does not exist.
There are several services, which allow anonymous surfing across
the net. While this is not the intent here, they can be used for
trouble shooting domain resolution problems. How? Because
they proxy you through their network, which means your URL
requests are controlled by "their" DNS cache records.
These services update/expire their DNS cache far more often than
ISP's, which makes them well suited for testing your domain name
through a network, which operates with the latest DNS updates
across the web.
To run this check you can try accessing your site through a
service like this:
Both of them allow you to enter a URL and proxy your request
through their servers. If your site is accessible from these
servers, then chances are, your ISP has yet to expire their old
DNS cache records.
Working on your account
during the DNS propagation period:
You can still work on your new account until your domain
name finds it way to our servers using your "IP
Number", which was included in your welcoming email. Your
IP number is how your new domain will be identified on our
servers. Using it at this point will provide a means for you to
access your account, as well as test your new site by using
something like http://
you'd replace it with the IP number we sent you).
One easy way to check and see if your domain is answering
to our servers yet, is to create a file called "test.html"
and place it in your web directory. Keep checking the
and see if it works. When it does, you'll know your
domain name is answering to your account on "our
servers", and has been officially transferred.
is a Sub-Domain?
A sub-domain is one which resides under your
top-level domain name, but in many ways behaves as a
"totally independent domain". You'll observe that many
of the larger corporations use these, as they're somewhat more
professional looking, and do a better job of creating an
independent precedence for service or product lines, which
appear as separate web entities.
Example: You're a GM dealer with a site such as GM.com. You sell
everything from Pontiac's to Cadillac's. To better organize your
online presence, you could create sub-domains for your various
automotive lines. These would appear as http://pontiac.gm.com
Also note that in most cases the domain need not be
called with the "http://" or "www" protocol.
pontiac.gm.com can be called
exactly how it appears here.
Setting up a sub
Thanks to C-Panel, this task has been made
easier than ever and can be achieved as follows:
1. Login to C-Panel
2. Select Sub Domains
3. Enter the name of your new sub domain
4. Hit "Add"
That's it! Your new sub-domain is now ready for use. To find it,
login to your "main web directory" through C-Panel by
selecting "files" or simply use your favorite FTP
client. You'll see it residing as another directory. Upload your
files to this directory just as you would with any other. For
example, if you created "pontiac", then a directory
called "pontiac" is what you'll be looking for.
All new sub-domains are created with their own
independent cgi-bin. This means your new sub-domain operates
independently of everything else, and is almost like having a
whole new domain. Feel free to configure all cgi scripts which
are pertinent to the functioning of this sub domain. A nice
feature as it saves your main cgi-bin from becoming cluttered
and somewhat disorganized; especially if you utilize a lot of
Independent email for the new sub
domain - (In final development)
Yes, you'll observe duplicates of all
"configured pop email accounts" appearing beside the sub-domain,
and or all sub-domains you've created. Now I know you'll
be tempted to use (what appears to be) a perfectly good email
address's, BUT please "Don't!" This is a feature
that is in final development. While it may look somewhat
confusing at first glance, it's really not. In the near
future, you'll be able to configure these email accounts for use
with your sub-domains. For example, if you configured
then you'll be able to use the address firstname.lastname@example.org
For the time being, please configure email address's that
correspond to your standard "top-level" domain,
and just ignore the sub-domain duplicates. ALSO: Any
duplicate sub-domain email address's you see appearing in your
pop mail setup configuration "DO NOT" count towards
your allocated number of pop mail boxes we've provided.
Domain Email Systems:
a Pop Email account:
The difference between private
pop mail accounts, and simply using the "Catch-All"
There are two kinds of email address's you can use, starting
with the "catch all" method:
With the catch all method, you don't have to worry about setting
up individual pop3 email accounts. Simply set your email client
to your "default" email address (displayed in
C-Panel), and "all" email sent to email@example.com
will land in this box, or whatever you've set your
default address to. This is an easy way to catch all email sent
to your domain.
In your Email client, feel free to configure multiple
outgoing accounts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It really doesn't matter, as email@example.com
will land in the default account. Therefore, you
would configure all of your email accounts with the
"same" Username and Password as your "Default
domain Email Account."
EXAMPLE: Let's say you want to receive email from firstname.lastname@example.org
and email@example.com. If both of these addresses are the ones
you'll be using, then the only thing that changes is the address
- the Username and Password is "always" the same.
The pop3 email account method:
In this case, you configure a "private" pop3 email
account for one or many users who will be receiving and sending
email from your domain. Once an email address is configured as a
pop mail account, it operates privately and independently from
your main standard/default mail system. Any mail sent to a
private pop email account "can only be received" by
logging into that account with the separate username and
password you have assigned it.
Your default "catch all" account will not intercept
any mail being sent to a pop3 email account, which is what makes
it 'private'. Pop3 accounts are useful if there are a number of
people (for example employees) who would each need a private
This way everyone at your company can utilize private email. The
default email address plays a slightly different role in this
case: If a sender uses the 'wrong' Email name or syntax,
then that message would bounce to your "default catch
all" account, and at which time, you could probably figure
out who the sender was trying to contact. They do, however, have
to at least send it to your correct domain name, (i'e', firstname.lastname@example.org).
This would end up in your "default" mailbox.
How to configure a pop3 email
1. Login to C-Panel
2. Select "Mail Manager"
3. Select "Add Account"
4. Enter an email name and password
5. Select "Create"
That's it, done! Your private pop3 email account is now ready
for use. If you're a little lost on how to manually configure an
email account with Outlook Express (still the most popular email
program), please see the detailed tutorials on how to configure
Outlook or Netscape mail readers.
If you've enabled Sub-Domains you'll observe a duplicate
email account which corresponds to each sub-domain you've added.
Please ignore these duplicate addresses for the time being. This
is a new feature under development and will soon enable the
ability to configure email accounts for sub-domains. For the
time being please configure email address's that correspond to
your "regular" domain, and just
ignore the sub-domain entries. ALSO: Duplicate sub-domain email
addresses you see appearing in your pop3 email setup "DO
NOT" count towards your allocated number of pop3 email
boxes we've provided. In short, just ignore them for now
Your Default Email Address:
It appears pretty simple, but read through this documentation
as this controls much more that you'd expect. As mentioned
in the previous chapter, your "default email address"
is the one which can be used as a "catch all", or in
other words, to "catch all mail"; which would be
addressed to email@example.com. Using a catch all can be a
blessing and sometimes a curse.
The "catch all" is excellent if you have a high
number of people who mistype your email address, as these
addresses (even though mistyped), will simply be bounced to your
"catch all" or "default" email account. That
is providing they at least managed to spell your domain name
If you're not planning on using multiple "private email
boxes", then you can keep life very simple - just configure
the default email address in your mail reader and leave it at
that. This way, you'll receive everything sent to your
domain. There are indeed pro's and con's to this method,
which will be discussed in the following tutorial.
Setting your default/catch all email account:
Note: By default, or until you
change it, the default email address will be the same as your
1. Login to C-Panel click on the
"Mail Manager" icon
2. Select "Default Address"
3. Select "Set Default Address"
4. Enter a desired default email address
Just enter a name, (the @yourdomain part is added
Select "Change" and you'll see a
confirmation box, which displays your new default email address.
That's it, you're done!
order to receive mail which finds its way into your
"Default Mailbox", you must configure the default
address in your email program (i.e. Outlook Express). If you
don't, then all mail which bounces to this address will sit on
the server unread. This is easy to do in Outlook Express,
as it allows you to configure and monitor multiple email
accounts. Email readers such as older versions of Netscape, on
the other hand, are limited to "one" email account. Actually,
you could re-configure your email reader to check your default
email box every few days, but who wants to be bothered with that
trouble? We suggest using an email reader which allows you to
configure multiple pop3 email accounts.
The Webmail Alternative: You
can also check your default email account, or another other mail
account by logging into it through the "WebMail"
interface. Log into your control panel, click on the "Mail
Manager" icon, select "WebMail" and log in to it
using your "Main Account" Username
and Password. This will allow to to check your default
email box, as well as other mailboxes without having to
configure them in your email reader. In fact, using any
pop3 accounts "Username and Password" will log you
into that particular account through the "WebMail"
interface. NOTE: When logging
into any email account, whether automatically using an email
program like Outlook Express, or through the WebMail interface,
you must use the whole email address as the username, e.g.
The downside of enabling the "Catch All":
Problems can sometimes arise when Spammers or junk
mailers use this feature as a means to pump their trash into
your mailbox. As long as the "catch all" is enabled,
then all they must do is send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and it will reach you.
On the other hand if you're using "specific pop3 email
accounts", you could opt to disable the "catch
all", which would mean that only visitors or associates who
you've given a specific address to can send mail to a particular
email account on your domain.
In this case everything else, (that you have not configured
as a pop3 email account) is bounced back to the sender. In our
opinion, we suggest leaving your "catch all" enabled
for the time being. If Spammers begin sending random junk
messages using email@example.com, then you can disable
your "catch all" feature.
Disabling your "Catch All Feature"Instead of entering a syntax correct name, like
"alex231" or "jon12u" use illegal syntax.
This will effectively disable your email "catch all."
For example, use characters that are known as
"illegal" to the email system such as (>>>>????),
which by the way, will work just fine. These illegal characters,
which cannot be used in an email address, will render the
"catch all" feature useless. Go to your
"change default email address" link and add something
like the above as default name. Or use one of these command
alternatives shown in bold:
:fail: no such email address returns (bounces) all
un-routed email with "no such email address" as an
attached error message
:blackhole: deletes all incoming email, does not
return or bounce anything.
What happens now?When Spammy or Jimmy junk mailer attempts to use a random
email address to Spam you, it will be bounced back to them. That
is, unless they happen to get a hold of one of your
"legitimate" pop3 email account names, in which case
you'd have a different problem on your hands. Yes, you could
either deal with it, or change the address.
Here is what now happens to a sender using firstname.lastname@example.org
This is what the sender would receive. Please note that a
classic, but annoying junk mail example is being used here:
This message was created automatically by
mail delivery software (Exim).
A message that you sent has not yet been delivered to one or
more of its recipients after more than 24 hours on the queue on yourdomain.com.
The message identifier is: 14m7gv-0007gl-00
The date of the message is: Mon, 04 June 2001 01:23:02 -0400
The subject of the message is: MAKE
The address to which the message has not yet been delivered is:
Delay reason: error in alias file /email@example.com:
missing or malformed local part (expected word or
"<") in "******>>>" (Bad
No action is required on your part. Delivery attempts will
continue for some time, and this warning may be repeated at
intervals if the message remains undelivered. Eventually the
mail delivery software will give up, and when that happens, the
message will be returned to you.
So what actually happened here?
When the "catch all" email address
attempted to process an incoming message from firstname.lastname@example.org,
and then forward the (junk message in this case) to the
"catch all/default" email address, it freaked out and
said forget it!! The default email address was set to
(>>>>????) and it is clearly an email address using
illegal characters, so the sending process was aborted.
Therefore, the email system bounced the email message back to
the sender. There are numerous tricks and special recipes you
can do to "manually" write into the Unix email system
for doing essentially the same thing, however, through the
C-Panel this would certainly seem to be the easiest way of
accomplishing the task.
Email Auto Responder's
What is an Email Auto Responder?Email auto responders will automatically send a
customized auto response (that you compose) to any visitor whom
emails the address configured with one. More specifically,
automated responses are sometimes used to send additional
information about your service or product by having a visitor
email something like email@example.com. In most other
cases, they are used to send a 'courtesy reply' to anyone who
sends a query to your companies main email address. When
visitors email this address, they receive a response such as: Thanks
for contacting our company! Someone will be replying to your
email soon. If you require immediate assistance, please call
555-222-1212. Thanks!, and so forth.
There are two types of Auto
The silent Auto Responder:
In this case, you configure the responder to send the
desired information when it's emailed, however you 'do
not' receive copies of the inquiries that people
originally sent. This method is typically used if you
have a product and want people to email an address for
additional information on it. You simply tell them to email
firstname.lastname@example.org, and they receive additional information
on it. Again, you 'will not' receive receipts of the
visitors emailing the auto responder. If you want to do this,
please read the next paragraph.
The Auto Responder that sends you the original inquiry:
In this case, the auto responder is setup to work with a currently
configured pop email account. Now the sender receives
your automated response, and you receive their original inquiry.
How to setup an Auto Responder:
1. Login to C-panel
2. Click on the "Mail manager icon and then select
3. Select "Add Auto Responder"
4. Enter the "Email Address" to send the auto response
5. Enter a "From" name, (for example, my company)
6. Enter a "Subject", (for example, thank you)
7. Enter your message in the "Body" area
Select "Create" and
that's it! Your auto responder is now online. To test it, email
its address and see if you receive the auto response. If you've
configured it to an existing pop3 email account, you should
receive 2 responses. The first, which is your inquiry, (that you
just sent to yourself), and the second, which will be the
Remember! If you want to receive the
"Incoming Inquiries" in addition to sending the
automated response, then add an email address, which is already
configured as a pop email account. If you do not wish to
receive the original incoming inquiry, then simply enter a name,
which is not configured as one of your existing pop3
If at anytime you want to update, edit, or delete an auto
response, simply go back into "Auto responders" and
you'll see the current responders configured, as well as options
beside each of them to change or delete.
Unwanted Email Messages:
From time to time you may experience either a junk mailer or
some other menacing individual who keeps sending you annoying
email messages. C-Panel has a built in feature that allows you
to block these email messages in a multitude of ways. You can
block them by:
- Message Header
- Message Body
Of course, if all you want to do is block one specific
email address, then you don't have to worry about getting fancy
with it; just enter the email address to be blocked, and that's
it, your done!
How to use the block email function:
1. Login to C-Panel and click on the "Mail Manager"
2. Select "Block an Email"
3. Select "Add Filter"
If all you want to do is block a single email address, then
simply leave the current setting as it is, and enter in the
email address to be blocked, for example, email@example.com,
click "Activate" and that's it...
When you click "Back", or login to this feature
the next time, you'll see the list of email addresses, and or
expressions you've blocked. Beside each one of them will be a
"Delete" option, so that you can remove the block from
your account at a future time. NOTE: When you
block an email address, or some other keyword, this filtering
will be enabled on "All Email Accounts" within your
For those of you who experience frequent problems with
junk email messages, you'll be please to see this option
provides a broad range of blocking. Instead of having us try to
explain every last one of them here, this is a feature you'll
really want to experiment with yourself.
Doing so will allow you to become familiar with the ways that
email can be blocked and will also help you with customizing a
recipe that works best for your domain. Play around with the
settings, and try to block words, or phrases based on the From
name, Subject, or Message Body. Now, send an email to your
account and see if the terms and criteria you selected are
providing the filtering you want.
It may take a little time to master but it's fun, and a great
way to broaden your abilities on web site administration.
FINAL NOTE: If you're totally new to email
blocking and wish to explore its full potential, we highly
suggest you test it before launching your site. This way you
don't have to worry about accidentally disrupting email for your
Hint: Unless you're 100% sure of what a
setting will do, always delete it when you're finished, or until
you have time to run a series of tests on it. You want to ensure
it is blocking what it's supposed to, and not
legitimate email messages!
A big junk mail problem:
If you're experiencing a high volume of junk mail, then
there's a good chance Spammers are taking advantage of your
"catch all" option. To disable this, please see our
tutorial on "Default Email Address."
Email forwarding is a feature which forwards an email - that
originated from your domain - to another email address. The
forwarding address can be another email address within 'your
domain', or an 'external email' address, (for example to your
home ISP email account). There are two types of email
Forward silently to another address:
In this case the email address from your domain (setup
for forwarding) will divert all messages to the forwarding
address you've selected without sending you a copy of the
original message. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org will
automatically forward all messages to email@example.com. Pretty
Forward to another address, but also send you the
This is the method most commonly used. For example, you
have two other partners who wish to receive all incoming
inquiries to the company. Perhaps you're the one who responds to
them, but your counterparts would like copies of the incoming
activity as well. The method for accomplishing this is pretty
well the same as above, except in this case you would configure
one of your existing pop3 email accounts, as this is how you'd
receive a copy of the original incoming message.
Example: When General@company.com (your companies main address)
is mailed, you would typically be the only one to receive the
response, however if you've configured forwards for your two
counterparts (Bob and Mary), then firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
would also receive a copy of the incoming email messages.
How to setup a mail forward:
1. Login to C-Panel and click on the "Mail Manager"
2. Select "Forwarders"
3. Enter a configured pop email account name if you want to
receive original inquiries. (Enter a non-configured email
address if you do not)
4. Enter the email address you want it to relay a copy of the
5. Select "Add Forward"
All messages will now be
forwarded to the forwarding address with a copy sent to you.
Need to Forward to
more than one person?
Simply repeat the above process using the same address you've
setup as the forward and enter the additional recipients you
would like to send a copy of the message to. All email
forwards will be listed in your "Email Forwarder"
administrator. You can delete forwards when you no longer
Testing your forward.
If you want to test your new email forward, it is
recommended that the email account you're testing from is not
one of the accounts you're using in conjunction with the
forwarder you've just setup. For example, if you've configured
firstname.lastname@example.org to forward copies to email@example.com and
firstname.lastname@example.org, then send a test message from an email
address other than one of the addresses you've just setup,
otherwise it can somewhat confusing in figuring out which
message was coming from the actual forward and which was the
original sent from you.
your mail through the web based interface
extends the versatility of the email system by allowing you to
access any one of your email accounts through its own WebMail
interface. You have the choice of accessing all mail through the
web, or any of your private pop3 email accounts. Gone are the
days of having to create several email accounts on various free
html based mail systems as now you have your own, which operates
from "your account."
Accessing your mail through the web mail interface:
1. Login to C-Panel and click on the "Mail
2. Select "Add Remove Accounts"
Beside the email account you wish to access
select the "Read
WebMail" button. A username and password
prompt will appear, and are the same as the username and
password you created with that particular account. NOTE:
Remember to use the full email address as the
account login name for the account you're accessing.
The first screen you'll see:
If it's the first time you're accessing this email
account through WebMail, a setup screen appears. Actually, all
this really does is display how you'll be identifying yourself
in email messages. Everything is pretty much the same as what
you setup as the original pop3 email account, however, check it
closely and make sure everything is appears as you want it.
Does everything look correct?
If so, then click "Save" and a dialog box pops
up, which confirms your settings as being saved successfully.
and you'll be taken to your WebMail inbox. To the top
left of the screen, you'll observe the following icons. Clicking
on any one of them will do the following.
||Compose a new message
||Refresh the screen
||View user preferences
||Open address book
||View or add new folders
||Empty your trash folder
To delete or move a message, select the small box beside it. Select
where you which to place it using the drop down menu (top right
of screen), then click "Move".
address book, allows you to add and edit email
address's. You can also export your Outlook
or Netscape Address Book, which equips your
account with all the email address's you currently use.