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HYPERMART.NET

Free Site Hosting Service Review
Checked May 13, 2001
 
http://www.hypermart.net offers free hosting for business sites. The free service allows you to setup a subdomain such as yourname.hypermart.net or use a directory URL such as http://hypermart.net/yourname. Pick one or the other, but do not address your site using both!

If you want, you can virtually host your own domain name there for free. You are still responsible for paying the $70.00 Internic Registration Fee. This is a fee all sites with their own name must pay no matter where they are hosted.

I set up my account late at night, and by the next evening, the subdomain was reachable using my browser. You do have almost immediate access to your site using http://www.hypernet.net/yourname, but I would wait until the subdomain becomes active before doing your links. This way you can use absolute paths with the root or "/" being you! Wait the day before setting up for real.

The main requirement at Hypermart is that you allow them to display their sponsor's advertisement on your pages near the top. They refer to this area as being above the crease, or within 320 pixels of the top of your page. The banners are about 400X60 and I have not noticed any ads that I personally would find offensive.

In exchange, you get:

  • Real FTP access. Not a screwy html/cgi based file manager, but true to life Unix FTP access.
  • Unix Apache Server with most things in sensible places.
  • Nicely written FAQs and discussion groups are available as well for members.
  • 10MB storage space.
  • Ability to install your own CGI scripts.
I found working with their server was rather uneventful. This is what I like. To port any of my scripts over to their servers, just do the following:
  • Replace any occurrance of "/usr/lib/sendmail -t" with "/var/qmail/bin/qmail-inject"
  • The path to perl 5 (First line in a script) is /usr/local/bin/perl and perl 4 is /usr/bin/perl
  • If you use the subdomain name, i.e, yourname.hypernet.net you can call your cgi-bin scripts as /cgi-bin/script.cgi
  • The physical path to your files seems to be
    /data3/hypermart.net/yourname/ on some servers
    Check your path carefully using FTP as the DOCUMENT_ROOT as shown in diag.cgi is not correct!
  • All pages are paresed for Server Side Includes (SSI). DO NOT name your pages with the .shtml extentsion.
Overall Impression: Hypermart.net is now part of the GO2NET network, but they have retained their own character. Their servers can be quite busy at times, but are usually pretty reliable.  

 



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