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Newbie Needs help with Domain / Website

kooger21
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎15-09-2011

Newbie Needs help with Domain / Website

This is going to be a very simple answer for most, i have had a domain name registered with plus.net for a couple of years of which i havnt done anything with, i know want to start my own little site, the web space is also hosted with plus.net. Right now the question, i want all my pages to include a set of menu options, i have beem told i can use a server side include, can i get this to work, oh no. I have no idea why, please help. Oh and does my home page have to be index.shtml for this to work - any advice would be greatfully recieved - i would like this working before i progress with anything else, thanks
4 REPLIES
snozboz
Rising Star
Posts: 404
Thanks: 13
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎27-07-2007

Re: Newbie Needs help with Domain / Website

Be prepared for a long learning curve!  Worth it in the end though.
Plusnet webspace (no longer available to new customers, though you can get it through their Pay As You Host service) comes in two parts - the basic webspace can only host HTML pages with CSS styling, images, and client-side code like some Javascript.  The CGI webspace does all this AND it allows you to do more interactive sites, and have features like the menu you describe.  You will need to activate this from the Website Settings page of the portal.  You will probably also need to activate the MySQL database feature from the same page in the portal - this gives you access to a MySQL database which is often used by software running in CGI webspace to hold, sort, and access its data.
I recommend you read and fully understand the Plusnet help pages about their webspace features at https://portal.plus.net/support/hosting/webspace/index.shtml
as Plusnet's arrangements are not totally normal for other web hosts - so any code you write or download that you want to install in to your Plusnet CGI webspace will need certain settings changing slightly to work.
For reference information on HTML, CSS, and Javascript (which are the three main web technologies that actually run "client-side" i.e. in your browser, and don't need to be run from CGI webspace) I recommend w3schools.com that you read the reply below.  You do really need to understand at least the principles behind these three technologies to be able to write your own website.  
(You can of course avoid all this by using free templated & hosted services like Wordpress.com, Google's Blogger, Windows Live Writer... but this wouldn't be on your Plusnet webspace or CGI webspace and wouldn't easily use your Plusnet-hosted domain name.)  
Then there are different options for server-side code (which needs to be in the CGI webspace).  PHP is open-source and one of the main standards.  PHP is the closest thing to a programming language that you will need, but you don't need to understand the whole language to be able to use programs and code that is written in it.
Plusnet's CGI webspace comes with PHP running (though the version of this, and the version of MySQL that Plusnet runs is a bit old which can cause problems - see other threads in this forum for more).  You can upload your own (or someone else's) .php files to this space, visit them in your browser, and they will execute.  The idea with PHP is that it is code that generates different HTML (and CSS) depending on the results of the code and the user interactions.  This HTML (and CSS) is what the browser then sees and interprets to make a viewable webpage.
You may want to consider uploading a Content Management System (CMS) - a type of program that will run in your CGI webspace and give you an interface in your browser that you login to - to control it and set it up as you want, and then add content to your site quickly and easily while maintaining a structure automatically (including things like a dynamic menu, categories of "pages", the ability to change the look and feel of it quickly and easily, a way for people to comment on your site etc.).  Wordpress.org and Drupal.org are two examples I would recommend that run using PHP and MySQL which should work in Plusnet CGI webspace.  There are some good instructions for how to install Wordpress.org in to Plusnet CGI webspace on this forum.
You will need to raise a ticket to Plusnet (aka ask a question) to ask them to point your domain name to your CGI webspace - normally it is pointed at the normal webspace.
I hope this helps. I realise it is not as simple as you might have hoped :-)
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
Thanks: 954
Fixes: 10
Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Newbie Needs help with Domain / Website

Your web site does NOT have to be on CCGI to use Server Side Includes, but you do have to make some additions to your .htaccess file.
I think if you add the following it should work for html pages
AddHandler server-parsed .html

I use .shtml for the pages which have includes and so have
AddHandler server-parsed .shtml
AddType text/html shtml


jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Ben_Brown
Grafter
Posts: 2,839
Registered: ‎13-06-2007

Re: Newbie Needs help with Domain / Website

Quote from: snozboz
For reference information on HTML, CSS, and Javascript (which are the three main web technologies that actually run "client-side" i.e. in your browser, and don't need to be run from CGI webspace) I recommend http://www.w3schools.com/.  You do really need to understand at least the principles behind these three technologies to be able to write your own website.  


Ahem, http://w3fools.com/
snozboz
Rising Star
Posts: 404
Thanks: 13
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎27-07-2007

Re: Newbie Needs help with Domain / Website

Quote from: Ben
Ahem, http://w3fools.com/

I stand corrected jelv and Ben Brown.
Thank you both for this information too.
jelv, I intend to investigate this SSI stuff.  The wikipedia page seems to give a good starting point... what do you think?
Ben, In my reformed state of not recommending a certain site, I draw your attention to:


(which are linked from http://www.plus.net/support/hosting/webspace/index.shtml)
Wink