Frequently Asked Questions

The NearlyFreeSpeech.NET FAQ (*)

Customization (*)

What canonical name settings are available?

How do I enable directory indexes for my site?

How do I create a website for the sole purpose of forwarding visitors to another website?

What should my site's canonical name be?

How do I change the text displayed for missing pages and other errors?

When should the rewrite log be used?

What path should I use for .htpasswd files?

How do I restrict which IP addresses can access my site?

How do I mark my site as static content so I won't be charged for CGI/PHP on a site that doesn't use it?

What is a per-alias document root?

Can I set up more than one alias for my site?

How do I control redirection of HTTP visitors to HTTPS?

How do I change the server type my site uses?

How do I make my site fast and scalable?

What is a run script?

Domain Name Service (DNS) (*)

How come www.example.com works but example.com does not?

Why are my active and authoritative name servers different?

How should I configure my third-party DNS to point to my site?

What name servers should I use with my domain?

How do I add NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS for a new domain name to my existing website?

I already have NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS for www.example.com. Will it cost more to add another.example.com (or example.com)?

How do I use a domain I registered elsewhere with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS?

I have NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS set up. How do I add a new site using a subdomain?

How do I configure NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS to work with my third-party email service?

What are the IP address(es) listed for my site used for? Are they name servers?

What is the "SPF Email Protection" option for DNS?

How do I add / remove DNS records for my domain?

How do I change the name servers for a domain registered with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Do you support wildcard DNS?

How come I can't remove that DNS record?

If I set up DNS for more than one domain, will they all use the same name servers?

Can I get secondary DNS in another location?

How do I point a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS record at my dynamic home IP address?

Are you yes-www or no-www?

Domain Registration (*)

How do I change the name servers of a domain registered here?

What are the steps involved in an inbound domain transfer?

I want to transfer a domain to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. Will my site/DNS/email go down if I do?

I have a domain with a proxy privacy registration service. Can I transfer it to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Can I add or remove RespectMyPrivacy on a domain I already registered here or transferred?

I let my domain expire a while ago. Now I'm trying to renew it and I get "renewal failed." Why?

What happens to my domain's name server settings during a transfer?

Is NearlyFreeSpeech.NET an ICANN-accredited registrar?

Will you remind me before my domain expires?

If I still have time left on my existing domain registration with another registrar, can I keep that time if I transfer the domain to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Why is my domain transfer taking so long?

Why is the domain I transferred to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET not pointing to my site?

What happens to my domain after it expires?

Why am I still paying for RespectMyPrivacy service on my expired domain?

Can I create child name servers (glue records) within my domain?

What does the error "The name server modification failed." mean?

What's the maximum number of years for which I can register a domain name?

How I do I get the transfer code for a domain registered here?

Do I need to put valid contact information on my domain registration?

Where are the actions for editing my registered domain?

Will you be adding additional top-level domains to register?

What happens if my domain transfer fails?

Can you send the domain transfer approval to a different email address?

I have a bunch of domains to register/renew/transfer. Can you help?

How do I renew my domain name?

What is whois verification?

How long does it take to transfer a domain away from NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

When should I renew my domain name?

What top-level domains do you support for registration?

Why does domain registration have different Terms of Service than NearlyFreeSpeech.NET hosting?

Why did my domain transfer fail?

How do I get rid of a registered domain I no longer want?

I renewed my expired domain. Why is it still parked?

Why does my domain registrar show as "external?"

How do I transfer a domain registration away from NearlyFreeSpeech?

What are the steps of a domain registration?

What does the error "the contact information you entered was not accepted by the registry" mean?

I deposited funds for my domain registration renewal but it hasn't been renewed. What's wrong?

I don't want to keep my domain. How do I stop receiving emails that it's going to expire?

Why doesn't the domain name I just renewed show up in the renewal monitor?

Why do I get "Invalid URL" when I click the email link to approve or cancel a domain transfer or verify a domain contact?

When is RespectMyPrivacy enabled during domain registration?

Does NearlyFreeSpeech allow managing DNSSEC (DS) records?

Email (*)

How much email can my site send?

I need email hosting for my domain. Where should I get it?

I sent a test message from my Gmail account through NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Email Forwarding, which forwards back to my Gmail account. How come it never showed up?

How can I stop spammers from sending email that says that it's from my domain?

How do I send email to others using a domain name for which I have NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Email Forwarding?

How do I set up third-party email services with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS?

I have NearlyFreeSpeech.NET Email Forwarding. Somebody tried to send me email and it was rejected. Why?

How do I remove / stop being charged for NearlyFreeSpeech.NET email forwarding for my domain?

Why can't I use an email address in a domain hosted here as my contact address?

Why can't I disable the spam filter/virus protection/greylisting on my email forwarding?

How do I send email from my dynamic site hosted here?

What is greylisting?

What should I put in my SPF records to send mail from my site using my domain name?

General (*)

What's the most important thing to know about your service?

What's the most common mistake people make while signing up for NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Why do I have to enter my real name when creating a membership?

Can I beat your pricing if I get my own VPS?

How much does the average site really cost?

Do you provide email hosting services?

Is your service easy to use?

Do you provide DNS hosting services?

How many web sites can I host with a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET membership?

Do you register domain names?

How will I know if my account is about to run out of funds?

Why do you only offer prepaid service?

My web designer says I should use somebody else instead of you. What do you say?

Do you price-match your competitors?

How can you make money at these prices?

What is the minimum deposit?

Will you design my web site for me?

Do you offer collocation, dedicated servers, or VPS services?

Are you about to pop up a "chat now with sales!" ad on me?

What happens if I get slashdotted/reddited?

What if I want to set up a web site but don't have a domain name / don't want to fool with DNS?

How come your service isn't free?

What's the difference between bandwidth and storage?

Why doesn't your website look like other hosting provider sites?

Are your domain registration services intended for general-purpose usage?

What if my web site gets attacked?

Is your service only for controversial or extreme websites?

Should I set up my new small business website at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Will you pre-approve my web site content or usage for compliance with your Terms and Conditions of Service?

How much will my site cost to host with you?

What kind of uptime can I expect with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Is this cloud computing?

Where are you located?

Do you offer telephone support?

Someone else uses your service and wants my help with it. How do I help them?

Should I use NearlyFreeSpeech.NET or a VPS?

Getting Started (*)

What is the difference between Domain Registration, DNS Service, and a web site?

Why does my domain not point to my site yet? (Or: What is an alias and why do I need one?)

How do I connect to my site to upload files?

What's the recommended way to install WordPress on NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

Should I make my own backups?

How do I create a site on your system?

I uploaded a new page, but my browser still shows the old one. What should I do?

Is adding an alias to my site or creating DNS for a domain the same as registering it?

What's the easiest way to register a domain and set up a web site on your service?

After I set up, how long does it take for things to start working?

Where can I find more information about whether or not your service supports the software I want to use on my site?

How do I make a deposit?

Does it matter if filenames are uppercase or lowercase?

How do I remove a domain that is listed on my membership?

How do I delete a web site?

Log Files (*)

What is the easiest way to make sense of my log files?

Do my site's log files count as space usage for billing purposes?

I've enabled log files, now where are they?

What are log files and how are they used?

My log file is huge and I can't remove it. What do I do?

How does log rotation work?

How do I enable my log files?

Why aren't log files enabled by default?

The return code 304 shows up in my log files all the time. What is it?

How come the bytes in the log file do not add up to what you charged me for?

How many old log files will be kept during log rotation?

What are each of the fields in the access log?

I rotated my log files, but the access_log.old file was not compressed. Why not?

What is the format of the error log?

What happens if I change log file compression techniques?

Login (*)

What should I do if I've lost access to the email address associated with my membership?

How do I recover my login name or reset my password?

Why can't I access your service from an IP listed as a Tor exit node by default?

Why aren't I getting system emails (like password resets) from NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

What is the login recovery process?

Why do I get redirected to the login page without an error message when I try to log in to your member site?

What does the error "the login information provided is not correct" mean?

What should I do if the 2-factor device used for logging in to my membership is lost or broken?

What should I do if I've forgotten what email address is associated with my membership?

What do I do if my membership was frozen due to sharing or a fraudulent transfer?

Member Support (*)

What is the status of my support issue?

How can I get specific software installed for my site?

What is a system problem?

Do I really have to buy a subscription membership just to get a simple question answered?

Why was my system problem report closed as "works as configured?"

What are the options available for member support?

What are the various responses to a system problem report?

How can I give you private feedback about your service?

Why was my system problem report closed as "not a system problem?"

How do system problem reports work?

Can you help me restore something that has been deleted?

How do I "cash out" unused support points?

Why don't you answer @nfsn tweets?

Why don't you provide free support?

Why don't you provide more detail in response to system problem reports?

What is an assistance request?

How do I buy support points?

What if I can't figure out which support option to use?

Why does your support cost so much?

Why shouldn't I wait until I need support to set up a subscription membership?

What are support hours and expected response times?

MySQL (*)

How do I get a MySQL process?

Ok, I have a MySQL process. How do I create a database?

What is the DSN (hostname) I should use to connect to my MySQL database?

What is the difference between a MySQL process and a MySQL database?

If I lose my MySQL admin user password, can you help me get it back?

How do I access my MySQL database process from the ssh server command line?

Can I use ssh port forwarding to access my MySQL database from a remote location?

Where can I find more information on properly creating MySQL users?

What are the default databases present in my MySQL process?

Why do I have to pay for a stopped MySQL process?

When I change my member password, do my MySQL passwords change too?

What does the MySQL Error Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/tmp/mysql.sock' (2) mean? (or socket 'please_see_the_faq')

Why do I get an error "Cannot log in to the MySQL server" when I try to log in to phpMyAdmin?

When I try to log in to phpMyAdmin I get the error "the username was not provided." What should I do?

Why shouldn't I use my MySQL admin username from my web site?

What 'Host' value should I use when creating MySQL users?

How can I remove my MySQL process?

How do I enable or disable InnoDB for my MySQL process?

How can I make automatic backups of MySQL?

What does it mean that my MySQL process is "damaged?"

What username and password do I use to administer my MySQL process?

How do I upgrade from MariaDB 5.3 to MariaDB 10.x?

How do I enable or disable MySQL logs?

Why do newly-created MySQL processes seem so expensive?

Non-Member (*)

One of your customer's sites offends me. Who do I email to have it taken down?

How do I report a violation of your Terms and Conditions of Service or illegal activity?

How do I report that my copyrighted content is being distributed by a site you host?

I visited a site that is hosted with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. Why did I receive an "access denied" error?

What happens when I report a technical problem with someone else's services?

How do I report a technical problem with a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET site?

How do I contact the operator of a site you host?

I am a journalist doing a story on a site you host. May I interview you?

One of your members hosts something for me (or my/our organization). Will you give me access to it?

Why do you host really, really offensive content?

How do I take over responsibility for something hosted by one of your members?

If I think services you host are currently unavailable due to lack of funds; is there anything I can do?

Our Service (*)

What is adjunct membership?

What is the fine print on the "two cents" free trial?

What is a resource accounting unit?

What is an alternate emergency contact?

How exactly are storage charges calculated?

Will bandwidth charges apply to my ssh usage?

What is resource billing?

What are the default directories created when I set up a new site?

How do I transfer something to another member?

The IP addresses listed for my site have changed since I last looked. Should I be concerned?

How do I set up HTTPS (TLS) for my web site?

To manage services for multiple entities, should I create multiple memberships or accounts?

How do I cancel my membership?

How did my account get overdrawn?

How can people contribute funds to support my site?

Can I have my member login / member name / site name / MySQL process name changed?

Why was I warned that my PayPal deposit is nonrefundable?

How come I can't ping/traceroute stuff on your network?

If I want to start my site over, should I delete it and make another with the same name?

I tried to change my contact email address but I never got a confirmation email. How do I get another one sent to me?

How do I sign up my friend for NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

You forwarded me a DMCA notification affecting my site. Now what?

How do I set up TLS using my own key and a third-party certificate?

What is maintenance mode?

How do I transfer something from one account to another on my membership?

Why does my bank's website say you charged me a bunch of times?

How can multiple people manage services hosted here?

I don't log in to your site all the time. How do I stay up to date on news and announcements?

How do I see what users I have granted adjunct access to my site?

How do I transfer funds between accounts on my membership?

How do I hand over control of hosted services to someone else?

What are the IP addresses of your name servers?

How do I change the contact email address I gave you when I created my membership?

Why can't I cancel my membership?

How do I get a receipt for a deposit I made?

What is unbilled storage?

How can I send funds to another member's account or site?

How do I remove TLS?

Is my website non-production, production, or critical?

Do you provide refunds for services already rendered?

Is penetration testing of sites hosted here allowed?

What is account sharing?

Since your service is prepaid, how do I know when to add funds?

What do I do if I find a typo or mistake in your documentation?

Policy (*)

What's the catch?

What payment methods do you accept for account deposits?

What is your refund policy?

What if I want to host unpopular or controversial content?

What is customer service like for subscription members?

What is customer service like for baseline members?

What happens if my account runs completely out of funds?

What if my site uses less than $0.01 of bandwidth in a month?

Do you allow adult content?

Do I get interest on my deposit?

Can I get a credit if your service goes down?

What's the difference between an 'account' and a 'membership?'

If I use your web hosting, will you put banners or ads onto my site?

Do you impose CPU limits?

May I send email from a website hosted at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

What if my site gets a DMCA complaint?

Do you provide anonymous hosting?

Can I use my NearlyFreeSpeech.NET site to accept credit cards?

What types of sites should not be hosted on your service?

How do I sign up for my company/club/organization?

Will you honor a court order requiring the takedown of my site?

Can I use your ssh server as a web/SOCKS proxy?

What is supplemental verification?

What will you do if I send you email instructing you to do something to my membership?

Is anything recoverable from a membership that has been closed?

What is the "MFFAM" policy?

Programming (*)

What is a site realm?

How do I set up the server to allow web scripts to write files?

How does CGI work at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

What can I do if I want a script to run every so often on my site (like cron)?

How do I customize my PHP configuration?

What is the path to the root of my site in PHP?

Where can I read more about how PHP works at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

What is the best HTML editor to use with your system?

How do I increase the PHP memory limit?

What references do you recommend for web technologies?

Do you have register_globals enabled for PHP?

What is the path to the root of my site for CGI scripts?

How do I change the version of PHP that my site uses?

I used an absolute path in an SSI and it didn't work. What should I do?

How do I control what user a CGI script runs as?

Can I compile my own CGI application on your servers?

How do I write files from scripts run by the web server?

Technology (*)

Do you support PHP? FastCGI? SSI?

What database software do you support?

What common web applications and frameworks work with your system?

Can I use .htaccess files to customize my web server configuration?

Do you support TLS for member sites?

May I install other types of servers that are not web-based?

What type of control panel do you use?

What software can I use to access your system?

What are the most common things that do not work on your system?

Why don't you offer static IP addresses?

Does 'NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS' support subdomains?

What is your hosting network like?

How big is a gigabyte?

How many MySQL databases can I have?

What sort of spam protection does your email forwarding provide?

We do not provide spam protection per se. As a forwarding server if we discarded spam messages, any "false positives" that were incorrectly flagged as spam would be forever lost. That obviously won't work.

Complicating this, not all of our members are alike. They have a broad difference of opinion about what constitutes spam and/or undesirable messages. Some people provide tech support and need to be able to receive forwarded copies of spam and viruses that most of the rest of us would never want. One size does not fit all!

What we do instead is enforce strict restrictions on the email servers that attempt to send email through our forwarding systems. These restrictions are no problem for legitimate email servers (they should all be passed by default on a properly-configured system) but they represent a tough barrier for the sort of compromised, virus-infected servers that send most of the world's spam. This blocks most illegitimate messages based on delivery mechanisms, not the context of the message. If you want, you can read all about our Email Acceptance Policy.

Although a fair amount of spam slips through this net, it has been pre-screened in such a way that a client-side junk email filter, such as those offered by most email software, can rely on information about its delivery to be accurate and therefore do an excellent job of filtering the spam according to your specific personal criteria without becoming confused by all kinds of forgeries and maliciously-crafted messages.

Naturally, whatever email server ultimately handles the messages we forward for you may also impose content-based junk email filters.

The net result of this is a highly effective, layered defense that, through its dependence on client software under your control, best meets your specific needs.

What kind of hardware and OS will my site be running on?

Do you support IPv6?

Troubleshooting (*)

How should I describe problems I'm having when seeking help with them?

Why can't I delete or change the permissions of these files my web application created?

If I have a directory called example, why can't I refer to it as /example?

Why does my site keep redirecting to the wrong alias?

What does it mean that a site "has temporarily exceeded its connection limit?"

I can't access my site at all. What should I check first?

Why does your credit card form say my address (or zip) "failed validation" even though I know it is correct?

What do I do if someone is trying to waste my site's bandwidth?

What does the error message "Zero Sized Reply" mean?

Why do I sometimes receive an "Access Denied" error when visiting my site?

Why shouldn't I refer to my site as "example.com" in the forum?

Why am I getting a "premature end of script headers" error when I try to run a script?

Why doesn't my .htaccess file work with Apache 2.4?

Why do I get "The requested URI could not be accessed" when logging in to the control panel of my WordPress site?

Why is there a tiny bug icon on a page in the member interface?

Why do I get a message about "technical difficulties" when making a Dwolla payment?

Uploading (*)

What is the connection information to upload files to my web site?

How do I upload my content to my site?

Can I access my web site via ssh?

What directory do I upload my web site's files to?

What hostname should I use for SFTP?

What program should I use to connect via ssh?

Why do I have to enable FTP in two places to get it to work?

What is SFTP?

Can I configure my ssh connection to use a public key?

I tried to SFTP to ftp.xxx.nearlyfreespeech.net and it failed. Why?

What are the fingerprints for the NearlyFreeSpeech.NET ssh keys?

I am having trouble uploading with FTP. What could be wrong?

What if I think the name of your ssh server is too long?

I can connect to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET just fine, so why is your FTP or ssh server unreachable or timing out?

Is automated SSH/FTP access to the system allowed?

Wikified (*)

How can I set up simple password protection for part or all of my site?

If I use AWStats, how can I keep just anybody from looking at my statistics?

How do I set up Dreamweaver to upload files to my site?

While running AWStats, I get the message "Error 500: Internal Server Error (Premature end of script headers)." What's wrong?

While running AWStats for the first time, I get a message about permissions. What's going on?

How can I customize NearlyFreeSpeech's provided AWStats script?

When I try to run AWStats it just times out. What's wrong?