Autograph Systems Web Services

The links below take you to login pages for services available for websites hosted at Autograph Systems. These services are available to you at no additional cost.
Note: for security purposes, you must enter your Autograph Systems Customer ID and password to access most of these services.

Accessing Services

Email Account Access

Instructions on setting up email accounts, configuring your email application to send and receive mail, using web mail, and more.

Web Site Hit Statistics

The web statistics page enables you to get statistics on which pages on your website are visited most.

November 3, 2006: Added a path/page filter, so you can narrow the results down.

February 2, 2007: The path/page filter is significantly faster now.

Secure Online Payment

Pay for your web services (or other Autograph Systems invoices) online. We accept Visa and MasterCard. (Note: this only works with Safari and Internet Explorer: Firefox and Chrome reject our secure certificate. Someday we’ll get the new page working.)

DNS Management

Create and edit host names, mail servers, and the rest. (Feel free to contact us for help.)

Page Counters

Create hit counters to display on your web pages. (Tutorial and access link)

SSI & CGI Access

Enable SSI and CGI access on your web site. (Contact us for configuration assistance.)

Web Store

If you have a web store with us, access configuration services here.

Configuration Notes

Configuring Your Web Design Program (or FTP Client) to Manage Your Website

Files are uploaded to your website via File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. Configuring your FTP client requires that you enter four pieces of information: 1) the website name, 2) your user ID, 3) your access password, and 4) the 'path' to the files you want to upload.
Depending on your particular program, the fields may have different names, but the information below should be sufficient to enable you to configure your client.

Custom Error Pages

If a user tries to load a page that does not exist on your web site, they will be directed to a generic (and rather unhelpful) error message.

You can provide a custom error page for you site simply by creating a folder named "errors" at the root of your site and adding a file named "index.html" to it. That file will be loaded when a user tries to load a non-existent web page on your site. (Note: the file name changed from "errors.html" to "index.html" in October, 2009.)

Click to see a sample (my error page).

Search Engine Tips

Most people want their websites to appear in the various search engines. Without forcing the issue, the normal method of getting a website indexed is to just let the search engines find your site on their own. In other words, you shouldn't have to do anything at all, and your pages would be added. However, if you didn’t want your site (or portions of your site) indexed, you needed to include a special file (named "robots.txt") to instruct the indexing robots on what to do. Without a robots.txt file, the search sites were to assume that they could index everything.

Recently, I noticed a slight change: now it seems that some search engines look for the robots.txt file and — if they don’t find it — they don't go any further. In other words, you now have to explicitly give them permission to index your web site. I don't believe this is true for all of the search engines, but if you are eager to make sure your web site is included in the search engines, you should make it a point to include a robots.txt file in the same folder as your home page. If you need more information about robots, the Web Robots Site is the authoritative place to go. Feel free to contact Autograph Systems if you have any questions.

As of January, 2006, it seems that the most popular search engines no longer use meta tag data (Description and Keyword meta tags being the commonly used ones) when indexing a site. The most common criteria seems to be the actual text on your web page and the number of other sites that link to your site. Autograph Systems lists all customer web sites on the Our Customers Web Sites page. If you are part of any organization that maintains a web site, you should make sure they link to you as well.

Learning More About Building Web Sites

Web services provided by Autograph Systems run on OS 9 and OS X Macintosh servers running WebStar and Apache server software. The friendly folks at 4D (the makers of WebStar) have put together a very nice page of links to help people learn how to make better web sites. If you're looking to learn new tricks, this is the place to start.