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Accessing a web server with HTTP

Posted on 2007-11-17
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
A friend of mine asked me to do some work on his web site which is being hosted at http://www.v-i.us/ I have been doing web design for a few years now so I did not think there would be any problem.  When I contacted the people hosting his site for FTP information, they sent me this message:

"The website does not have FTP access. Instead, there is HTTP access. If the web authoring software you use does not support HTTP access, you can manage the files through a webfolder."

I have to admit that I don't know what he's talking about, and since he's unavailable right now to help me, I was hoping that someone on Experts-Exchange could point me in the right direction.  I think I may just end up moving his site to our company's web server, but I want to know for sure that that is the only option. What really bugs me is that right on his web site, he says that they offer FTP access. Thanks for any help that you can give me.
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Question by:jay_jenks
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by:grahamnonweiler
ID: 20305950
I believe they are referring to WebDav folders - which uses HTTP for read/write. Assuming this to be the case, and the fact that this is a "public" facing website, my advice would be to move the site as quickly as possible to either your own server (as you mentioned) or another host that provides FTP.

Actually, having just looked at http://www.v-i.us/ I would say without any hesitation - move the site!

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by:grahamnonweiler
ID: 20305963
PS: I love the anomolies on the V-I site....

" we chose to use Microsoft® Windows 2000 and Microsoft® IIS 5 for our server platform. The reasons were simple: reliability and speed"

Microsoft dropped support for 2000 last year - IIS5 was notoriously unreliable!

But the best part is definately....

"We provide you with full 24-hour access to your site so you can work according to your schedule. You have full telnet, ftp and http access. We also provide SSL and secure certificate authentication. Shell accounts are included."

Apart from the explicit mention of FTP - I wonder what you would use telnet and a shell account on a windows box for!

Without doubt its time to move your friends website.




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Author Comment

by:jay_jenks
ID: 20306035
And yes, I believe that you are probably right.  One more question, one of the first things that my friend wants me to do is to get his contact/feedback form working correctly.  What I planned on doing was installing our nice company-use program called Form Processor Pro. Of course with this program I need to be able to access the cgi-bin directory and also set various levels of permissions. Even if I were to use the current hosting companies method, do you think that would be a problem?  Again, I'm 99% sure that this just needs to be moved, but the more ammunition I have when I tell my friend, the better.  Thank you.
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grahamnonweiler earned 125 total points
ID: 20306697
From what I can see from the V-I site their hosting is pretty limited - in that it is hardly main-stream - and as a consequence would doubt that they would provide access to CGI nor in fact be able to support such usage. If it is true that their "server" (as it is almost certainly only one) is running IIS 5 then CGI support will be sketchy at best and server-side scripting would probably be restricted to ASP or a derivative thereof.

In fairness, V-I is probably a vertical market software house that offered web hosting to its clients as an add-on, and in that respect they probably met the needs of their customers. The majority of the verbage on their website does look as if it was copied/pasted from some of the web hosting companies that were popular 5 to 6 years ago.

There are so many web hosting companies out there now offering much more than V-I and at ridiculously low rates it would seem an easier choice to use a company that could support most basic of website hosting requirements - such as FTP access and "stock" CGI scripts.


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Author Comment

by:jay_jenks
ID: 20308544
Thank you.  You've given me a good understanding of what I'm dealing with and I'm definitely recommending a switch to our servers on http://www.softlayer.com/ in fact, I don't think I would want to mess around with this project, if for some reason we do not make the switch.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jay_jenks
ID: 31409756
Thank you, you've given me a good understanding of what we are dealing with.  I'm definitely recommending that my friend switch over to our servers at http://www.softlayer.com/ and I'm not sure that I would want to work on this project, if for some reason we did not make that switch.
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