The Welcome E-mail

Soon after signing up for an account with DrakNet, you should receive a welcome e-mail from us which will include your User Name and Password. You will need these to access various features of your account, the most important of which are described below.

Where italics are used in the following sections, please substitute your own User Name, Password or domain name, as appropriate.

Your Domain Name

New domains and transfers generally take 24 to 48 hours to be entered into the nameserver database. Often a new domain is available for use the very next day after registration, but it can take anything up to a week for the domain name information to fully propagate across all Internet servers throughout the world.

If you chose to have a new domain name registered through us when you signed up for your account, then you need take no further action.

If you chose to register your own domain, or if you are "transferring" an existing domain, then you will need to enter the following information at your registrar in order to point your domain at your new account:

Primary nameserver: ns.drak.net
Secondary nameserver: ns2.drak.net

The procedure for "transferring" a domain varies from registrar to registrar, but basically involves updating the primary and secondary Domain Name Servers (or DNS Servers) for your domain using the information given above. Your registrar should be able to point you to the appropriate form for updating your domain's DNS information. If you should run into any difficulties getting your domain name transferred, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help. You will be given a URL with your IP so you can access your files while your domain name propagates.

Accessing Your Control Panel

Your Control Panel allows you to do almost everything you need to create and maintain your web site. Your online site statistics are also available here. A full list of Control Panel options, with short tutorials on their use, is available in the Online Manual from within the control panel.

You will be given a link to access Cpanel immediately, before your domain name propagates. Once your domain registration or transfer has taken place you may instead access your Control Panel by typing www.yourdomain.com/cpanel (replacing yourdomain.com with your own domain name).

Before gaining access to your Control Panel you will be prompted for your User Name and Password, for security reasons.

Creating And Uploading Your Webpage's

This section assumes that you will not be using Microsoft Frontpage to design and publish your site. If you are planning to use Frontpage, please skip to the next section.

The most common way of designing a web site is to first create and test it on your local computer. There are a large number of software packages available which are designed to make this process as easy as possible, for both beginner and expert alike. Many of these programs are available free of charge.

Once you are ready to copy your site onto the Internet, you can upload it using your choice of FTP program. We recommend using either WS_FTP or Cute FTP when uploading your web pages, but any other FTP program may be used if you prefer. Your site can be uploaded to our servers immediately after receiving your Welcome E-mail, which will contain the necessary information to set up your FTP program correctly.

When you first connect to your account by FTP you will see a folder listing similar to the following:

Your web page files should be uploaded to the public_html folder, so be sure to move down into this folder (by double clicking it in most FTP programs) before uploading your web pages. You will need to replace the index.html file already in this folder with your own version of this file which should contain the home page for your site. You can, of course, also upload web pages to subfolders if you wish (any subfolders to be used for web pages should be created under the public_html folder).

When using your FTP program, please do not delete any other preinstalled files or folders. Many of these files are essential for the smooth running of your account. Deleting or renaming them may cause corruption which can only be corrected by completely resetting your account. You can learn more about these preinstalled files by reading the The Folders In Your Account section below and the Preinstalled Files and Folders section of our FTP tutorial.

Small numbers of pages may also be conveniently uploaded, and even edited live online, using the File Manager which is available in your Control Panel.

Using Microsoft FrontPage

If you plan to use Microsoft FrontPage, you will need the "FrontPage Extensions" to be installed for your account before publishing your site. If you didn't opt for the FrontPage Extensions to be preinstalled when you filled out our Order Form then you will need to contact us and we will install them for you.

Please note that you will need to wait until your domain registration or transfer is fully completed before publishing using FrontPage.

You should then publish your site to: http://www.yourdomain.com/

For more detailed help with using FrontPage, please see your FrontPage manual.

Accessing Your E-mail
To access your e-mail account(s), you will need to configure your e-mail program to use the following information:

Incoming (POP3) Mail Server: mail.yourdomain.com
Outgoing (SMTP) Mail Server: Please use your ISP's outgoing mail server (eg smtp.freeserve.net) User Name and Password: Please use your normal account User Name and Password to access your default mailbox

Note: If you are using Earthlink for your ISP you will need to do this:
Outgoing (SMTP) Mail Server: mail.earthlink.net
Please use your ISP's outgoing mail server (eg smtp.freeserve.net)
User Name and Password: Please use your normal account User Name and Password to access your default mailbox

For more help with e-mail, including step by step instructions on setting up the most common e-mail programs and creating additional mailboxes, please refer to your control panel documentation.

The Folders In Your Account
When you connect to your account by FTP you will see a number of preinstalled folders. Some of the most important of these are listed below, together with a brief description of their purpose.

mail
This is a system folder and should not be accessed directly. It contains configuration information and data relating to your e-mail accounts.

public_ftp
This folder is where you should place files for your anonymous FTP users to download.

public_html
This is the folder to which you should upload your web pages in order for them to be visible on the web. See Creating And Uploading Your Webpages above. You will find a subfolder called cgi-bin in this folder. This is the subfolder to which we recommend you upload any CGI scripts (see the next section).

tmp
This is a system folder and should not be accessed directly. It is used to store various temporary files, including the reports produced by the Web Statistics programs in your Control Panel.

www
This is not a real folder in its own right but is instead a kind of link to the public_html folder. Accessing this "folder" will take you to exactly the same place as directly accessing the public_html folder.

CGI Scripts

Your "cgi-bin" folder has the following absolute Unix path: /home/user_name/public_html/cgi-bin. The URL to your "cgi-bin" folder is: http://www.yourdomain.com/cgi-bin. We recommend that you place all your CGI scripts in this folder as it offers additional security, but they can be installed in any other folder if you find this more convenient.

Please make sure that you have the file permissions set to 755 in order for your scripts to be executable. For Perl scripts, the first line of your script needs to be: #/usr/local/bin/perl.

General Troubleshooting Tips

Your Password:

Please note that your password is case sensitive. For this reason you should always make sure that your "Caps Lock" key is turned off when entering your password.

Filenames:

Filenames are case sensitive, so they must match exactly or you will get a file not found error. It is, arguably, a good idea to use lower case exclusively when naming files for the web, to eliminate any danger of using the wrong case when accessing a file.

Your Default Home Page:

When your site is accessed on the web using just your domain name, without specifying a particular web page, the server will attempt to find a default file in the public_html folder to display as your home page.

The server will first look for a file called index.html, but if no such file exists it will look for the following files in the order listed below:

index.html, index.htm, default.htm, default.html, index.shtml, index.shtm, home.html, index.php, index.cgi

When you first access your account you will find a sample index.htm file already uploaded to the public_html folder. If the program you are using to create your site uses a name other than index.html or index.htm for your home page, you will need to delete the preinstalled index.htm file so that the correct home page will be recognised. Your home page will still need to be given one of the names in the list above in order to be displayed by default.

If the server is unable to find any of the listed filenames in the public_html folder then it will display the error "Forbidden - You don't have permission to access / on this server".

FTP and file types:

You should transfer HTML pages, Perl CGI scripts and text files as ASCII Text file type. You should transfer images and compiled CGI scripts as Image or Binary or Raw file type. Most FTP programs are intelligent enough to use the correct file type automatically for the commonest file types (based on the file extension).

CGI scripts:

If your script doesn't work, make sure the permissions are set right for both the scripts themselves, and any files or folders they need to access. It is also worth double checking that the paths are set correctly. Also, please ensure that Perl CGI scripts are uploaded as ASCII Text whilst compiled CGI scripts are uploaded as Binary (see the previous section on "FTP And File Types").

For more tips on avoiding problems with CGI scripts, please refer to Troubleshooting CGI Scripts in the CGI section of our Online Manual.

Where To Go From Here

Once you have mastered the basics of using your account, you will probably want to learn about many of the more advanced features and functions available to you. A good place to start is by getting to know your Control Panel which has icons for administering most of the features of your account. It is also well worth having a quick read through the other sections and tutorials available in the Online Manual from within your Control Panel.

If you have any outstanding questions or require assistance at any time, please feel free to contact us. We may be contacted either by e-mail at support at drak.net or by filling out the support form from within your customer service/live billing area. Please state both the domain name and user name of your account when contacting us.