Table of Contents  | Policies | FAQs | Features Glossary | Tips & Tutorials | Downloads
Support Manual: Advanced Features

Return to Table of Contents

Server Side Includes (SSI)
Customize Missing Docs Page
Mime Types
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
Cron Jobs
Real Audio/Video

Server Side Includes (SSI)
Your domain is capable of supporting the use of SSI.  In order for the system to process the include, you must save the page with a .shtml, .sht or .shtm extension rather than a .htm or .html extension. A sample SSI would be:

 <!--#exec cgi="cgi-bin/footer.cgi"-->

As shown in the example above, the URL must be relative and not a full call. The following would not work:

 <!--#exec cgi=""-->

These are the five other SSI commands available and what they do:
config       - sets the error-message format, time, or size
echo        - inserts the variable values of an SSI into your web page
flastmod   - inserts a date/time stamp of when a file was last updated
fsize         -  will insert the size of a file into your web page
include     - insert the content of an HTML file into your web page.

  • inserting the following tag in your .shtml page where you want the date and time inserted using the flastmod SSI command. 
<!--#flastmod file="filename.shtml" -->

This will return the result in the default date format (Note: the SSI will return the local time zone of the SERVER you are using, not YOUR timezone where you work on your

Tuesday, 19-Oct-1999 10:14:12 EST

  • Use the time format (timefmt) to just include the date without the time.
<!--#config timefmt="%x" -->

<!--#flastmod file="filename.shtml" -->

This will result in the format:


  • To mix the format around use the date code above. For example to create just the month and year, use the following SSI command:
<!--#config timefmt="%B %Y" -->

<!--#flastmod file="filename.shtml" -->

This will result in the format:

October 1999

  • You can also configure that vexing message that says "an error has occured while processing this directive" by using the config errmsg argument.  Maybe you don't want your surfers to know if you have an SSI problem so you could include an error message that says "Have a great day!" and then if you saw that on your page you would

  • know that actually means there is a problem with your SSI tag.
<!--#config errmsg="You can put any message you want to here" -->
  • Probably the most useful SSI command is include which will allow you to include signature files to pages, or even to combine and build full SHTML pages out of several different pages. For example, say you want to include a legal copyright notice at the bottom of every page. You could just type it in, or cut and paste to every page, but there is an easier way using SSI, plus you can change all pages with the SSI call by just modifying one file. Cool, huh?

  • Let's create an HTML (not SHTML) file and save the completed file as copyright.html with only the words Copyright 1999 yourcompany, inc. Your HTML should look something like this:

<p>Copyright 1999 Yourcompany, INC.</p>


Now save copyright.html in a directory named test on your website. Create an SSI include on an SHTML page inside the same directory by typing:
<!--#include file="copyright.html" -->
And now on each page inside the same test directory you put the above tag you will see:
Copyright 1999 Yourcompany, INC
  • But what if you want to do an SSI include on pages outside the test directory?  If it is a subdirectory of test, then you are ok with the existing file argument, but if it is in any other directory outside of test then you will need to use the virtual argument instead. The virtual argument is used to begin the search for files from the ROOT level. The ROOT level is the basically the place where you start putting your www files. When you just type your domain into the browser it pulls up the index file (by default) in your ROOT level. Therefore the ROOT level path to the test directory would be: /test/copyright.html 

  • Why is the virtual argument important? Well, in order to include a file you have to use the right path to it. You might compare this conceptually to using an IMG tag in your HTML programming and selecting the correct path to your image. If you don't get the path to your image correct then you will be greeted by a broken link. Now lets construct the SSI include tag using the virtual argument:
<!--#include virtual="/test/copyright.html" -->

Customize Missing Docs Page
A file already exists in your www directory. It's called missing.html. You can edit it to your liking, or create your own. As long as it's called missing.html and is in your root www directory, the server will display it whenever someone tries to access a page on your domain that does not exist. 

In order for Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) to display the missing.html page, the file has to be at least 5k in size.

Mime Types

MIME types ( Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions ) help the server inform the browser what type of content is being received, so it can load the appropriate plug-ins and such. Our servers are configured by default for all popular MIME types. However, Apache's "AddType" directive offers you the ability to immediately add any MIME types that you might need to your account.

The following is an example of the "AddType" directive:

----------- BEGIN .htaccess ---------

AddType application/x-shockwave-flash swf

----------- END .htaccess ----------

NOTE: The Flash MIME type is actually preconfigured for your use -- it is included here for example purposes only.
Many mime types are already supported on the server, however you can add more or customize your site to overide the default settings that we have set up.

.htaccess in your home directory (full path: /home/domain) will control your entire site. You can also place them in subdirectories, in which case the file will control only files under that subdirectory. The .htaccess file can be created on the server while logged in via telnet/ssh/plusmail, or created locally and uploaded in ASCII mode via FTP> -- whichever you prefer.

 Below are some common tricks used to improve customer web sites:

 Custom Error Pages

 Apache allows you the ability to replace the default error message pages with pages of your own design. Doing so is as simple as creating the pages and adding one directive for each type of error to your .htaccess file.

 The most common error page is the "404 File Not Found" error generated when a user tries to access a non-existent URL at your site. If your domain was and you created the page to replace the default page, you would add the following directive to your .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html
This directive uses "relative addressing" (e.g. the is removed, as Apache already knows the domain name of your site).

NOTE: This is an example.  Your 404 File Not Found page can easily be modfied by editing your missing.html file located in your www directory.

 Other common error messages you might wish to replace are the "500 Internal Server" error that results when a CGI script crashes, and the "401 Authorization Required" error that occurs when, for instance, someone tries to access a password protected directory without a proper username. If you followed the same file naming conventions as the above example, your directives might look like:

ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html

ErrorDocument 500 /errors/500.html

ErrorDocument 401 /errors/401.html

ErrorDocument 403 /errors/403.html
An explanation of each error code:
404 - File Not Found

500 - Internal Server Error

401 - Unauthorized 

403 - Forbidden
Changing the Default File

 When a URL specifying only a directory is requested (e.g., Apache looks for files with these names (in the order they appear):







The .htaccess directive "DirectoryIndex" can be used to override this behavior. For instance, say you have files named index.html and index.php3. Using the default, index.html will be returned because it's searched for first. By placing the line:
DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
in your .htaccess file, you can force Apache to look for index.php first and look for index.html only if there is no index.php file present.

 "DirectoryIndex" can be used to make any file you'd like the default -- there is nothing requiring you to use the default set of filenames. For instance, you could have:

DirectoryIndex firstpage.html first.html first.php
and the web server would first look for firstpage.html, first.html, and first.php, returning a directory listing if none of those files were present in the directory.

 Allowing Directory Listings

By default, the server is configured not to allow directory listings, i.e. your visitors are not able to view directory contents that do not contain an index.html file. This behavior can be changed with the "Options +Indexes" directive. To view all files in a directory that does not contain an index page, create a .htaccess file in that directory with the following directive:

<Limit GET>
Options +Indexes

For more information about MIME types please follow this link:

NOTE: If you have FrontPage extensions installed, Mime types should be added using FrontPage's method instead. See Microsoft's site for more information.

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)
WAP and XML MIME types are configured on our servers, and can be used with any account. WAP allows mobile and wireless devices to browse Web pages in a specialized format called Wireless Markup Language (WML). Telephone service providers all over the world are quickly establishing WAP portals for their customers, and Web portals are launching adaptations of their Web service targetted for the new wireless access methods. More Detailed Information:

Cron Jobs
Cron is the ability to run a program based on the system clock. We allow up to one operation per day between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. We will need to enable this for your domain. Please send an e-mail to support to request this. In your e-mail, include the following:

  • your domain name
  • the url to your script
  • a brief description of what the script does
  • the time you want the script to run (time must be between 12:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.)
Real Audio/Real Video (available on qualifying accounts)

How do I use HTTP streaming for RealAudio and/or RealVideo?

The HTTP protocol enables audio and video content providers to stream
RealAudio and RealVideo from a World Wide Web server.

To stream RealMedia content using HTTP:

1. Upload your encoded RealAudio or RealVideo files (files with the .ra
   or .rm extensions) to your realaudio directory. **UPLOAD IN BINARY MODE**

2. Use a text editor (such as Notepad) to create a metafile containing
   a RealAudio URL.

For example, the contents of your file should be in the following

3.  Save your metafile in as text using a .ram filename extension. **UPLOAD IN ASCII MODE**

4.  In your HTML document, reference the metafile in a hyperlink.

    For example:

    <A HREF="filename.ram">
    <A HREF="">

*Please note: The tag should not be used in your metafile.

5.  When a user clicks on the link, the audio file(s) begin to download.
    The RealAudio Player begins playing after a few seconds; it does
    not need to wait for the entire file to be downloaded.