What directory should I put my files in?Written by Brad Markle
The following article only applies to older InMotion Hosting Accounts. If your account was created after 2012, then you will not see an INDEX.HTM file. In order to reduce confusion, the DEFAULT.HTM file is the file that is used for the "Under Construction/Website coming soon" notification. When an index.htm/html/php file is placed in the root directory, it will automatically be read first and becomes the primary index file for the website.
Where should I upload my files? - The Document Root
Your Main Domain
All domain names in your account have a document root. The document root is the folder that stores the files for your website. The document root for your main domain name is the public_html folder. When someone accesses your main domain name, our server loads the website using the files in your document root, which is the public_html.
Note! The public_html folder and the www folder are the same location. The www folder is a "sim" link or "shortcut" to your public_html.
Addon and Sub Domains
When configuring addon and sub domains in your cPanel, you can specify the document root to be something other than public_html. This is what allows you to host more than one separate website on your account. If you have an addon domain named domainB.com, it will usually load the files from a document root of public_html/domainB. The document root does not have to be public_html/domainB however, as you have the ability to set this when adding the addon domain in your cPanel.
What file loads first? - The Directory Index
For example, if you type in domain.com/contact_us.php, the server will return the contact_us.php page. If you type in simply domain.com, the server will load the directory's index file. Our servers are setup to first load a file named index.htm. If index.htm is not found, it then tries to load index.html. Finally, if index.html is not found, the server looks for index.php.
Changing the directory indexSome website design applications will name the home page something other than index.htm (index.html or index.php). For example, the application may name your homepage Welcome.html, Home.html, or really anything else. If your application does this, you will need to modify your site so that the directory index matches the name of your website's first page. You can do this using a .htaccess file.
A note about .htaccess
A .htaccess file is a configuration file you can use to update many different settings. If you don't have a .htaccess file, you can simply create a new file named .htaccess. As the .htaccess file begins with a dot (.), it is considered a hidden file. If you are using the cPanel's File Manager, please be sure to select the option to Show Hidden Files (dotfiles), otherwise you will not be able to see your .htaccess file. If you do not see this prompt when opening your File Manager, click the, "reset all interface settings" link at the bottom of your cPanel to reset your File Manager settings.
In the following example, we'll assume that the homepage for your website is named Welcome.html. We need to update the .htaccess file so that the server knows to load Welcome.html first, instead of index.htm. Open (or create) the .htaccess file in your domain's document root and add the following line:
Yes, it is that easy. Please note that the server is case sensitive, so be sure to use the proper case. For example, Welcome.html is different than welcome.html.
How to remove the landing page?
When your account is first setup on our servers, a landing page is included that says, "Website Coming Soon! Stay Tuned. This page belongs to a member of the InMotion Hosting network...". If you have uploaded your website but still see this page, refresh the page in your browser. If this does not help, it usually is then an issue with your directory index. The landing page that we place in your account is named index.htm. If the homepage of your website is index.html, your index.html file will not load first because index.htm (our landing page) overrides your index.html. Simply delete our index.htm file, refresh the site in your browser, and you should then see your website.