Electric Embers: Handcrafted hosting, powering the fires of change

Shared Web

NOTE: The Shared Web service is no longer offered here, but this section is still maintained for reference by the remaining users of this legacy service.

Your account information page

Your SFTP/SSH connection settings and site access statistics are available at your own account information page, accessible at the web address of the form:


Substitute your own username in the URL, and enter your web hosting username and password when prompted.

Uploading/accessing your files with SFTP

The HTML and PHP files that make up your Website go in the public_html directory inside your home directory (or in other _html directories if you have more than one site).

To upload files, connect to your account using SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure Copy) on port 21001; your web hosting account does not support the unencrypted FTP protocol. If you are moving your Web site from a previous host, you’ll need to first connect to their server and download all your site’s files, then upload them to EE. Connection settings are available on your account information page.

Many free and commercial file transfer programs support SFTP. (If you use MacOS, Transmit, Yummy FTP, Cyberduck, and Flow are among your options, or you can use the built-in command line “sftp” program via Terminal. Cyberduck and WinSCP are options for Windows, and Nautilus or gFTP (or sftp or scp on the command line) for Linux.

You can preview your EE-hosted site at http://username.electricembers.net before your domain name has been pointed there.

Logging in via SSH

Using an SSH client, you can connect directly to the UNIX shell to do many things with your account such as move, rename, edit, or delete files, change permissions or your password, view Webserver logs, create cron jobs, etc. Connection settings are available on your account information page.

SSH (secure shell) clients are built into Mac OS and other UNIX-like operating systems. In OSX you can find Applications–>Utilities–>Terminal, then simply type

        ssh -p 21001 username@web.electricembers.net

For Windows, we recommend Putty as a good SSH client.

Changing your password

To change your password, log into your account via SSH and issue the command passwd. We strongly recommend choosing a multi-word passphrase.

Statistics and logs

You can find statistics for your website’s traffic on your account information page.

You can also find the current raw access and error logs at weblogs/your-domain.org and weblogs/error/your-domain.org, if you connect via SSH or SFTP. (7 days’ access log archives are at weblogs/old/your-domain.org.[1234567].gz.) These record the IP address, date, time, and filename of each request. It can often be useful when debugging your site to keep an eye on the error logs with a command like

       tail -f weblogs/error/your-domain.org

To protect your data from catastrophic events, and to some extent from human error on your side or ours, we back up all user data (files and databases) every night. The backups are stored both on a separate server in our main data center in San Francisco and on a remote server near Sacramento, CA. We can recover data from any of the following points in time:

  • 1-6 nights ago
  • 1-6 weeks ago
  • 1-6 months ago

Please let us know immediately if you discover a need for restoring any data from our backups.

Making your own backups in addition can still be useful for some purposes, but often represents wasted disk space, disk churn, and CPU time, so we suggest not using any automated backup tool within your account. If you do have a specific need to make your own backups under your direct control, please do not store more than one backup of the same data here at any time. If you’d like to make multiple backups of the same data, you should transfer them offsite to your own PC or another storage system, which will be much more effective and secure anyway, and delete the EE-hosted copies.

CGI scripts

Executable CGI scripts written in perl, PHP, python, or any other language should be placed in the cgi-bin directory inside your home directory (alongside the public_html directory.) For reference in your scripts, the paths to Perl and Sendmail executables on our system are:

Password protecting pages

If you want to password-protect certain areas of your Web site or the whole site, the best ways to do that involve cookies or sessions that are managed by your Web application. But the easiest and most general way uses the built-in authentication mechanism of Apache, our Web server. You can read about setting up Apache authentication, including the advantages of using the somewhat more secure Digest authentication instead of Basic. Since many users just want the most basic protection and aren’t too worried about the details, we’ve created a script that will ask you questions and set up the necessary files for you using Basic or Digest authentication. To run this script, log in to your shell account over SSH and type the command protect-web, and it will ask you a series of questions before setting up the protected access.

Sending email from your website

There are four ways your website code can generate and send email:

  1. Your code can use the PHP function mail(), or another similar function in whatever language you’re using;
  2. Your code can directly call the sendmail binary at /usr/sbin/sendmail;
  3. Your code can submit mail over (unauthenticated) SMTP by connecting to web.electricembers.net on TCP port 25;
  4. Your code can submit mail over (probably authenticated) SMTP by connecting to your own email server using its preferred settings.
Software Versions

We are currently running Apache 2.4, PHP 8.0, Perl 5.32, Python 3.9, and Ruby 2.7.

Frequently Asked Questions:

I lost my password. How can I retrieve it?

An authorized contact on your account should email help@electricembers.coop to request a password reset.