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?

What path should I use for .htpasswd files?

When should the rewrite log be used?

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?

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

What is a per-alias site root?

How do I redirect HTTP visitors to HTTPS?

How do I change the server type my site uses?

What is a run script?

How do I make my site fast and scalable?

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?

I have a NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS domain already. If I add a second, different NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS domain can I safely assume that it will use the same name servers as my existing domain?

How come I can't remove that DNS record?

Can I get secondary DNS in another location?

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

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?

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

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

Is NearlyFreeSpeech.NET an ICANN-accredited registrar?

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

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

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?

Will you remind me before my domain expires?

Why is my domain transfer taking so long?

What is a push transfer?

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?

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

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

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?

What happens if my domain transfer fails?

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

Where are the actions for editing my registered domain?

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

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

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

How do I renew my domain name?

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?

Why does my domain registrar show as "external?"

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

What is whois verification?

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

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

What are the steps of a domain registration?

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

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

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

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?

What's the difference between adding a contact and editing one?

How do I transfer a domain registration away from NearlyFreeSpeech?

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?

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

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

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?

What is greylisting?

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

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?

Doesn't your pricing suck compared to that host that offers 10 bazillion GB (or "unlimited" anything) for $3 a year?

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 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?

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 account?

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 (*)

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

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

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?

Member Support (*)

What is the status of my support issue?

How do I request software installation?

What is a system problem?

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

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?"

What are the options available for member support?

How do system problem reports work?

How do I "cash out" unused support points?

Can you help me restore something that has been deleted?

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

Why don't you provide free support?

Why don't you answer @nfsn tweets?

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?

MySQL (*)

How do I get a MySQL process?

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

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

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')

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

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?

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

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

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?"

How do I enable or disable MySQL logs?

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

Non-Member (*)

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

Can I invest in NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

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?

Our Service (*)

How can I have multiple users edit a web site?

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?

How do I ssh out from the ssh server?

Will bandwidth charges apply to my ssh usage?

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

What is resource billing?

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?

I want to create a second website. Should I create a new membership or account first?

How did my account get overdrawn?

How do I cancel my membership?

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?

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 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?

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

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

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?

What is maintenance mode?

How can I share content between sites?

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 pay you with a prepaid / gift card?

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

How do I transfer funds between accounts on my membership?

What are the IP addresses of your name servers?

What is the GPG public key for use with signed duplicity remote backups?

Do you provide certificates for setting up https?

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

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

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?

Do you provide refunds for services already rendered?

How do I build a TLS chain file?

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 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 is your refund policy?

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

Do you allow adult content?

What happens if my account runs completely out of funds?

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?

Can I host a web or IRC proxy 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?

Programming (*)

Can PHP safe_mode be turned off for my site?

How does CGI work at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET?

How do I avoid PHP safe_mode issues when writing files under PHP Fast?

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?

What is a site realm?

How do I increase the PHP memory limit?

I am just learning HTML. Do you have any tutorial sites that you recommend?

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 CGI? PHP? SSI?

What database software do you support?

What common web applications work with your system?

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

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

What type of control panel do you use?

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

What software can I use to access your system?

Do you support TLS for member sites?

Why don't you offer static IP addresses?

What is your hosting network like?

Does 'NearlyFreeSpeech.NET DNS' support subdomains?

How big is a gigabyte?

How many MySQL databases can I have?

What sort of spam protection does your email forwarding provide?

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

Do you support IPv6?

Troubleshooting (*)

Why shouldn't I report that something is "not working" or "down?"

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?

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

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

How do I get rid of "Unknown Site" errors after my account runs completely out of funds?

When I enter my credit card information why does it say the address is wrong even though I know it isn't?

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

Technically, it means that the web process handling your request closed the connection without returning any data at all, not even HTTP headers. (It sent a "zero-sized reply.")

Unfortunately, there are a number of completely different reasons why this might happen that need to be investigated individually.

If the error message takes a very long time to be displayed (a minute or more), it may just be that the system got tired of waiting for a script or CGI application to respond. In this case, try to identify what's making your script run so slowly.

If the error message appears instantly, it probably means something is aborting the connection. If you receive this error from a CGI script, it may mean that your script (or its interpreter, if applicable) is core dumping.

To help debug this problem, make sure you have your error log enabled. If it happens immediately and there are no error log entries, it may be a core dump. In that case, find a public URL that does it reproducibly and submit it to us in a secure support request; we can check the system logs to find out if requests for that URL are indeed core dumping. If there are error logs, they will probably help identify the problem.

If you are running into this problem on a PHP site, it may help to add the following lines to your .htaccess file:

php_value pcre.recursion_limit 1000
php_value pcre.backtrack_limit 1000

The specific values to use vary from site to site. Some require settings as low as 10, others may be fine with 100000. You want the largest value that you can set without triggering the zero-sized reply. This is caused by a PHP/PCRE bug and is not under our control.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why do I get "permission denied" errors when logging in to the control panel of my WordPress site?

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?

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?

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

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

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

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?