Webmasters FAQ

Table of Contents

Using Your New Account

Adding Bells and Whistles

Uploading - Problems

Permissions and Passwords

Freeware, Shareware, and Other Good Stuff

This page was last updated on: Wednesday, 31-Dec-2014 13:30:34 MST

The Three Terrible RootsWeb Rules

How do I request a RootsWeb Account?
How do I follow up on a previously submitted request for an account?

RootsWeb is currently processing all user account requests on a weekly basis. If you requested an account for a USGW, WGW or Society web account and have not heard back from us yet, please send us a reminder note. You can request a new web account at the Account Request form:


To contact us about the status of a pending request use the following address:

  • accounts@rootsweb.com
    Make sure you include your name, email address, county or state (or country) name.
    Why Won't rootsweb.com Let My FTP Connect?

    The rootsweb.com machine is RootsWeb's main mail server, and it's *very* busy since ROOTS-L moved in. You should refrain from ftp'ing into rootsweb.com and instead use the users.rootsweb.com host, which is very lightly loaded and configured to be FTP-friendly. Make sure to update your FTP client with this information as well.

    How Can I Have a Counter at RootsWeb?

    There are two ways to have a page counter on your pages. The easiest is to just include a little snippet of code like:

    You are our <!--#exec cgi="/cgi-bin/counterord"--> visitor -- thanks for stopping by!

    If you prefer to have a graphic style of numbers with a box around them - without any text around it, use:

    How Can I Have a "Last Updated" Date at RootsWeb?

    Just include a little snippet of code like:

    Mount Pinos Webspinners -- <!--#echo var="LAST_MODIFIED"-->

    That's what produced the date at the top of this page!

    Using Forms and Scripts

    One of the easiest ways to jazz up your pages is by using some simple forms for guest books and data entry screens. You can accomplish almost anything you want to add to your site by learning how to use Mail Merge. Mail Merge is a special kind of CGI script that allows information to be entered through an online form and "mailed" to another user or to an output file. It is fairly easy to use but takes alittle bit of practice and patience to get things to work right away. If you want to enhance your website with online forms -- take a few minutes to read our Basics of Mail Merge FAQ.

    Using Java Applets and Animated GIFS

    Java is a relatively new software language for use on the internet. An Applet is a snippet of code that can be embedded within a html file and when a java enabled browser views the page -- it will execute the script code. Examples of simple java scripts include banners and some animated gifs. Java is fairly rough on system resources and can cause some browsers to lock up when viewing a web page. It is a good idea to limit the use of java applets in general -- remembering that there still is a good number of users out there with older versions of internet software.

    An animated GIF is just that - a GIF that moves! These can be really fun, wacky, or functional. Animated GIFS are slightly larger than normal gifs so they can be slow to load in a browser screen. You can make your own animated GIFS with any good paint program and either an freeware software tool like Microsoft GIF Animator or Animagic.

    Using Microsoft Front Page 98

    RootsWeb does not presently support Microsoft Front Page 98 extensions. Plans are in the works for a dedicated server system to allow full use of the Microsoft program but that is still a good ways down the road.

    If you do choose to publish web pages with FP 98 please be considerate of the fact that a good majority of users on the internet may be using server systems and browsers that cannot process some of the Advanced Html coding on your pages. This can cause simple problems like your page won't load properly or completely or it can cause extreme problems where some user's browser screens will lock up and they will have to reboot their system each time they try to visit your page.

    Adding a RootsWeb Logo to your page

    If you would like to support RootsWeb by adding one of our graphic logos to your page - you can find them here.

    I Uploaded My Page (or GIF), But I Can't Find It

    The most common cause of this problem is that Unix filenames are case-sensitive and the name of the file you uploaded has some capital or lower case letters you didn't expect. It's a good idea to consistently use lower case. The Webmasters describe how to upload files to RootsWeb page has advice about this.

    My Pages Look Weird or My GIFs Won't Load

    A common source of this problem is that you uploaded your HTML page in "binary" mode or your GIFs in "text" mode.

    How do I change my Password

    If you need to change your password you will need to send email to accounts@rootsweb.com and include your account name, old password, and email address. You will also need to state why you need your password changed.

    My Mailmerge Guestbook Won't Work

    This can happen for many reasons, but the most common problem is that the "log" or output file has its Unix permission set such that users coming in over the Web can't write to it.

    You can reset the permissions with any good quality FTP client. WS_FTP, CuteFTP and FETCH for the MAC allow permissions changes to be made through the ftp screen. To read more about FTP - Uploading to RootsWeb click here.

    I get a permission denied when I try to access a file. Why?

    More than likely the file you are trying to access has its permission set improperly. If you are trying to write to a guest book, for instance, the output file needs to be set to world read and writeable. If the problem is with one of your files, you can fix it by changing your permission setting through your FTP client.

    Where else can I find information?

    These are useful links worth exploring: