SoAJ Web hosting
Last updated 15 August 1999
The Society of Archbishop Justus offers web hosting to some organizations affiliated with the Anglican Church around the world. If we offer to host your web pages, this web page is the documentation of what we are offering and how to use it.
Web hosting is something that people who have server computers do for people who do not have server computers. If you have made web pages, and you want people to be able to look at them on the Internet, you need to store a copy of them on a server computer.
Normally people get web hosting by buying it from an Internet Service Provider. You pay them money, and they let you put web pages on their computers.
The Society of Archbishop Justus owns some server computers that are connected to the Internet. We are willing to allow some groups to use our servers free of charge; other groups we ask for a small amount of money. We are a nonprofit organization, but we do pay quite a bit of money for Internet service and we try to recover some of the expenses.
Fundamentally we are like Robin Hood. If you do not have a lot of money, we will let you use our server computers free. If you have more money than we do, then we would like you to give us some of it so that we can afford to let less-wealthy groups use our service free of charge. Ultimately we make the decision as to who pays and who does not, but usually our decision is simple: if we think that your organization helps the Anglican church, we will let you use our computers. If we think you deserve to use our computers free of charge, we will not charge you.
We do not host personal web pages, even if they contain Anglican-related information.
If we invite you to host your pages on our servers, we will not give you any instructions about what you can or cannot put on those pages. We won't invite you to use our server if your organization does not have something in common with ours, and if worst comes to worst and we cannot tolerate what you are doing, we will quietly ask you to find another server.
But we do require that you explain, on your web pages, that they are yours and not ours, and that if someone is displeased with the content they should contact you and not us. It should be obvious, to a reader of your web pages, who you are and how to contact you. If you don't do this, then people will contact us, which doesn't help anything, because we will never edit your pages.
You use your computer to create web pages. You can do this any way you like. You can make them by hand, or use any web-page creation tool. We like to use Adobe DreamWeaver (a big complicated expensive program) and Symantec Visual Page (a small simple inexpensive program) to make our own web pages. But anything will work.
Some web-page-creation programs want the web server to do special things. We run the industry-standard Apache web server. It does not have Front Page extensions or any other nonstandard extensions. If you make web pages that comply with international standards, they will work just fine on our servers. If you make web pages that use proprietary features, they might not work on our servers.
Our advice for making church web pages is relevant to other kinds of web pages, too. If you are making web pages for a parish or diocese you should certainly read that advice. We think everybody should read our "Design Tips" page.
The name that you give to a web document when you save it is the name by which it will be known on the web. This means that you would pick names that consist only of letters and numbers. It is especially important not to use spaces, apostrophes, question marks, or ampersands in the name of a web page. Use short names, and make sure that every HTML file has a name that ends in ".html", in lower case. If you are using an older PC you can put just ".htm" at the end, if you want.
The first page needs to be named "index.html". The rest you can name whatever you like.
When you are finished making web pages you will need to upload them to our server computers.
A URL is the name by which a web browser finds a web page. This page has the URL http://justus.anglican.org/guest/hosting.html
That means that it is stored on a computer named justus.anglican.org, in a folder named guest, and is in a file named hosting.html
When we make you the offer of web hosting, we will tell you what your base URL is. That means we will tell you the part that will be prefixed to each of your file names to get a URL. If we tell you that your base URL is http://justus.anglican.org/host/ab41/ then if you upload a file named garden.html, its URL will be http://justus.anglican.org/host/ab41/garden.html
If your organization is entitled to a domain name that is part of anglican.org (see "Claiming Your Domain Name") then your URL will fall under this scheme. Otherwise you will be our guest, and your URL will be part of our name and will contain "justus.anglican.org".
When you make your web pages, and each time you update them, you will need to upload them to the server computer. This means that you will copy the files from your computer to the server. Then, once they are on the server, people can look at them with web browsers.
There are two kinds of files, and each needs to be uploaded differently. They are text files and binary files. You must learn how to tell which is which. In general html files will be text files and images will be binary files. You must make sure that when you upload a file, it is uploaded with the right options. Image files need to be uploaded in "raw" mode if that is one of your options. Text files need to be uploaded in "Unix" mode if that is one of your options, else just "text" mode.
If you use a web-page creation program that can do its own uploading, then you can just upload from inside that program. Many of these programs make uploading quite automatic. Otherwise you will have to use an FTP program. If you are using a Macintosh, you should use the program "fetch"; nothing else comes close. If you are using a PC, there is no obvious equivalent to "fetch". Windows comes with a program named FTP, but it is a very primitive DOS program. There are various freeware FTP programs for Windows, but none of them dominates as completely as "fetch" dominates the Mac world. The one we like the best is called WS_FTP, from Ipswitch Software.
When you are notified that you will be offered web hosting on an SoAJ server, you will be told a computer name, a login name, and a password. Use an FTP program to connect to that computer using that login name and that password. You will find that there is a folder named "www" already created in the server account. Any files that you wish to be visible on the web must be placed in that folder. For example, if your base URL is http://justus.anglican.org/host/stm503/, and you upload a file named "test.html" into the folder "www", its URL will be http://justus.anglican.org/host/stm503/test.html
Please make sure that you keep a copy of your pages. Server computers are not intended to be the master copy of anything. We do our best to keep it running, but if a disk should fail, we will buy another one and install it and wait for you to upload another copy of your pages. Keeping your files safe is your responsibility.
Every bookstore in the world seems to have books about making web pages. Most of what they say is true. The web itself is full of information about making web pages. If you have tried all of the other resources, we can try to offer some help, but all of us have full-time jobs and many responsibilities, and we can't promise that we'll be able to answer your query straightaway. But we will answer you.