Now that you have a web hosting account, you’re ready to get your web site up and start sending and receiving e-mail. In order to do anything with your account, you have to know how to access it. There are several ways you can access your account:

Web-Based Control Panels make it easy to access almost all of the features of your account from any internet-connected web browser.
Secure Shell (SSH) Telnet is the way you access your account in its native Linux environment. When you’re logged in by telnet, you will have to type in the commands to be executed, similar to the old pre-Windows DOS environment.
FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is what you’ll use to upload your web site’s files to your account’s www directory.
Microsoft FrontPage is a popular tool for creating and publishing web pages.
E-mail allows you to send and receive electronic mail.

Secure Shell (SSH) Access

Secure Shell (SSH) Access

In order to increase the security of networks, servers now support Secure Shell (SSH) connections. SSH is a secure shell system; it encrypts data between a client and server. This is in contrast to telnet (or FTP, or most other services), that send information in plain text. SSH encrypts all traffic, including passwords, typed text, X graphics, etc. It is meant to be a drop-in replacement for both telnet and rsh.

Some servers have been upgraded to SSH2. If you experience problems connecting via SSH, try modifying your session settings to connect via the SSH2 protocol with 3DES encryption.

In order to connect via SSH, you will have to install an SSH client on your computer. The standard Windows telnet client, and most of the older third-party telnet clients do not offer SSH capability. We recommend the following SSH clients:

Other clients for Windows, Mac, and other operating systems are listed at

What is Telnet?

Telnet was one of the first tools built by the architects of the Internet so that resources could be shared easily.

Telnet is the means to connect directly to your web space on our server. What this means is that you, from your computer at home or work, can log-on to your hosting space on our server and utilize the software programs or data files located there. An easy way to visualize this is to think of your keyboard directly attached to a distant computer and not to your local computer.

What can I do in Telnet?

Similar in appearance to the Windows DOS prompt, you can type in commands (yes, TYPE in commands – no clicking allowed here) to perform specific functions. The most commonly used commands are simple and easy to remember. There are several functions that you may wish to perform in telnet, such as untarring (unzipping) files, moving entire directories from one location to another, deleting files or entire directories, etc.

Here are some programs that are available to you in telnet:

  • pine – a more powerful email program
  • ftp – to FTP onto other sites
  • telnet – to telnet to other sites
  • pico – an easy to use text editor

In general, Telnet provides a pretty complete POSIX environment. You access these programs by typing in their names and then following commands relevant to each program. If you need help with any of the programs, at the shell prompt, type man and the name of the program (e.g., man pine to get instructions for that program online. If your problem is not knowing the name of the program, try apropos {subject} (e.g., apropos mail).

Telnet is CaSe SeNsItIvE!

It is important to remember that Unix is case-sensitive, and that “Index.htm” is not the same as “index.htm.” This also holds true for your account passwords.

Do I HAVE to use Telnet?

Most of the functions you can perform in telnet, you can perform using other tools as well. For example, you can edit your maillists, redirect file, and permissions either in telnet or from your WebControl panel. It’s your choice — just use what you’re comfortable with.

Some Basic UNIX Commands

The following are some basic commands that will help you become acquainted with the UNIX environment:

  • ls: Lists the contents of your directory.
  • ls -a: Lists all files in the directory, including hidden files (hidden files begin with a “.” (e.g., .htaccess.)
  • cd: Changes the directory. For example, to move from your “root” or “home” directory to your “www” directory, type the command, cd www; to move up one level (e.g., from your “www” directory back to your “root” directory), type cd …
  • cp: Copy a file. Syntax is cp <sourcefile> <destinationfile>.
  • mv: Move a file, or rename a file. Syntax is mv <source> <target>.
  • rm: Remove, or delete, a file. Syntax is rm <filename>.
    NOTE: Use this command carefully — there is no UNDO command in UNIX.
  • mkdir: Creates a directory. Usage is mkdir <directoryname>.
  • rmdir: Remove or delete a directory. Syntax: rmdir <directoryname>.
  • pwd: Returns the system path to the current working directory. Useful not only when you’re lost, but when you need the correct system path for CGI files, etc.
Accessing your Files through FTP

Accessing your Files through FTP

The process by which files are transferred to the web server is called “FTP” (File Transfer Protocol). You have unlimited access to your account by both SSH (only some web hosts) and FTP 24 hours a day.

Online services which offer an Internet gateway, such as AOL, CompuServe, and Prodigy may have a built-in FTP interface. If you have a PPP Internet account, you need an FTP “client” (a software program that performs the FTP function.)

Two of the most popular FTP clients for Windows machines are CuteFTP and WS_FTP (Update 2012: FileZilla seems to be the most popular nowadays). For Macintosh users, Fetch FTP seems to be the standard.

Can’t I use my Frontpage to upload my site?

Yes, you can. Please review the information on the “Using Frontpage” page.

IMPORTANT:If you have requested FrontPage extensions on your account, you should NEVER use regular FTP to upload your files. This will damage the extensions. Stick with one or the other all the time.

FTP Client Configuration

We recommend using CuteFTP, although you’re free to use the FTP client of your choice. All FTP clients require the same 3 basic pieces of information in order to establish a connection. This information was provided to you in your account “welcome” e-mail.

  • FTP HostName: Generally, this is your domain name and/or IP number;
  • FTP Username: Often, but not always, your domain name without the TLD extension (e.g., if your domain name is, your username is probably fred.)
  • FTP Password: The password associated with your username.

Your login type should be normal, and the FTP port should be 21.

Usually, that information is all that’s necessary to configure your FTP client to connect successfully to your account. If you have problems connecting, check the following:

  • If you’re attempting to use your domain as the FTP Host Address, make sure that your domain name is resolving to the correct domain nameservers (DNS). If it’s not, try connecting to your IP number, instead.
  • Try changing your Passive (PASV) mode and/or Firewall settings (e.g., if PASV is set to ON, switch it to off; if it’s off, change it on; etc.)

Uploading Your Web Site

When you first connect via FTP, you will be in your account’s home directory. All of your web files must be uploaded into your www directory. Depending upon your account type, this directory will be named either www or mainwebsite_html.

With most FTP clients, you just need to double-click on the directory name to navigate into it.

As soon as a file is uploaded to the web server, it is available for all to see. If, after uploading a file, you are still unable to see the updated file, you may need to hit your browser’s Refresh button and/or delete your temporary internet files.

Account Web Control Panel

Account Web Control Panel

We offer hosting accounts utilizing one of two possible web control panels. The basic functionality of each control panel is essentially identical, although they differ in layout and terminology.


SiteMadeEasy Plusmail Control Panel

SiteMadeEasy Plusmail WebControl URLS:



Ensim Site Administration Panel

Ensim Site Administrator URLS: 

Documentation for the Ensim control panel is built into the control panel. Just click the HELP link from the navigation area after logging in, or …