Latest upgrades, improvements in free hosting: PHP changer

Sorry for the delay because we know this was really needed and asked for many times. PHP changer and upgrade to 5.6. Please ensure your website loads correctly with the current PHP versions.

But what if… what if your website is not loading with these newest PHP versions? Well, the developers have secretly created a new FREE TOOL, the PHP CHANGER:

  • You can change to an outdated PHP version if your website is not ready to upgrade: 5.4
  • You can compare which one of the current versions works best for your website: 5.5 and 5.6
  • You can also try the newest PHP version: 7.x

This tool was already in use in premium hosting. From now on, it is also available to all free hosting accounts. This tool allows you to try your Web App with different PHP versions including version 7. This means you can future proof your web projects and start developing with next-gen PHP coding practices.

From here we want to say thanks to our Development Team and our Technical Staff. All of them have been working really hard to make this tool a reality. Thank you very much.

New anti-bot protection: Checking Browser message

If you are watching a Checking Browser message that’s because we recently added a new security mechanism that will protect free hosted websites from malicious bots, spiders and spammers. This measure will make your free website load faster, help to reduce data transfer and improve general performance on free hosting services.

You may not see it in action because many browsers are actively hiding URLS, but if you inspect the URL toolbar when you visit a free website for the first time, the URL will look like:
yoursubdomain.yourdomain.tld/?ckattempt=1

It occurs just once in the first visit and you need to enable JavaScript in your browser besides accepting cookies.

This has the potential to affect forms in your WordPress, Joomla!, Drupal, etc. If this protection system is breaking your forms in some way, please generate a new ticket so we can investigate further.

You may suggest your visitors to write their posts, comments or articles in notepad, textedit or another text editor software on their computers or devices. After that they can copy and paste the posts, comments or articles into your forms. This way, your users can resubmit their posts, comments or articles without having to rewrite again.

Latest free hosting improvements: access logs and error logs

As you read in our newsletter, all free hosting mipropia.com members have now Apache logs ready to download from control panel. And can also be downloaded via FTP, with FileZilla for example.

To download logs from control panel, please read Tutorials – Control Panel – Logs

To dowload logs with FTP client and if you only have one subdomain (the one you took when you signed up for free hosting, remember?):
A new directory named logs is created inside your root directory and it is at the same level as your htdocs directory (your public and visible directory)
ROOT /
+ /htdocs/
+ /logs/
Inside the logs directory you’ll find two directories: access and errors
ROOT /
+ /logs/
+ /access/
+ /errors/
Inside access and errors directory you’ll find text files WITHOUT EXTENSION from 01 to 31 (or 30 or 29 or 28 depending on the month)

Suggestion: import the text file into a spreadsheet so you can filter and inspect your logs easily

If you have more than one subdomain or addon domains:
New directories named logs are created in each additional subdomain or addon domain and also one new directory named logs is created inside your root directory (this is for the subdomain you took when you signed up for free hosting, remember?)
ROOT /
+ /example.com/
+ /htdocs/
+ /logs/
+ /htdocs/
+ /logs/
+ /subdomain.example.net/
+ /htdocs/
+ /logs/

You can use these logs to detect website errors such as missing files, misspelled URLs and resources or general free hosting server errors which may be caused by .htaccess misconfiguration.

Authentication Required for WordPress and Joomla login

If you have a WordPress installation in your free hosting account, whenever you access to your wp-login area you will see a new Authentication Required pop up CAPTCHA window. You will need to read and enter the randomly generated username and password displayed. Correctly. After that you will get access to your WordPress login area. This is to stop spambot networks from trying to access your WordPress with brute force attacks.

If you better prefer not having this login Authentication Required box in your WordPress login area, you should add to your .htaccess file the following code:


<filesmatch "wp-login.php">
Satisfy Any
</filesmatch>

This is also applies for Joomla! installations. But if you want to disable the Authentication Required window, you should add this code to your Joomla! .htaccess file inside the administrator folder:


Satisfy Any

Create a new ticket if you have questions or problems with this issue.

Error codes in websites – create your own error pages

How to configure your website error pages with one simple .htaccess file. Control 404 Not Found errors as a well as 400 Bad Request, 401 Unauthorized, 403 Forbidden, 500 Internal Server Error and 503 Service Unavailable errors.

  • To start controlling your own website error messages you need to create a text file and name it .htaccess and save it.
  • Open it and write the following line:
    ErrorDocument 404 default
  • Save and upload the .htaccess file to your htdocs directory.

Note: Depending on your device and/or operating system you may not be able to view and/or create file names starting with a dot because those are hidden by default. You might tweak your device and/or operating system to make it show hidden files. But this is out of the scope of this article.

  • If your device and/or operating system don’t allow you to create file names preceded with a dot, then name it HTACCESS and save it.
  • In the same fashion, open it and write the following line:
    ErrorDocument 404 default
  • Save and upload the HTACCESS file to your htdocs directory.
  • Finally rename the file in the web server from HTACCESS to .htaccess.

Now, if someone types a nonexistent document, say example.com/iinnddeexx.html, he/she will see the generic 404 Not Found server response. Some of the causes for this response are:

  1. visitor mistyped the URL to a resource
  2. visitor followed a malformed link
  3. the requested resource was not found, it may have been moved or deleted

We recommend to create the .htaccess file with the default 404 rule as soon as you can. The advantage to use it is that the load on the servers is minimized. The disadvantage is that the default error message is not very useful for the average visitor.

A good compromise is to create a meaningful and lightweight 404 error page.
Continue reading Error codes in websites – create your own error pages