Understanding and changing server side Indexes

The index page is the first page of your site that can be reached by your visitors. If for any reason your specific index file becomes corrupted or is missing for any reason, the control panel you are using to host your website has the ability to control what is displayed on the world wide web. The server has three options that you can choose from within the “Web Options” tab of your hosting control panel. The three options are Enabled, Disabled, and Fancy.


When the server is pointed at a specific directory it will typically look for a file called “index.html”. When the server finds the file “index.html” it will send the page to be loaded by the browser trying to access your website.


When disable it selected it forces the server to refuse to list the files and folders within your domain name if the server is unable to find an index file within the directory.


If Fancy is selected and the server is unable to find an index file it will preform “fancy indexing” and return to the browser the following information:

  • Set the title and main header to “Index of dir”
  • Provide the header file for this directory if any is provided.
  • A complete list of the files within the directory.
  • Each file name is a active link to that existing webpage.
  • The first is a “Parent Directory”.
  • The server will provide to the browser the last modification date, size of the file, and an icon indicating the types of files included within the directory.

If you are not sure on which aspect best serves your website we recommend leaving this option disabled and instead make sure to keep an up to date index file within your domains home directory.

Changing your Indexes

If you wish to change to Enable indexes for your site please follow these steps.

  • Within your hosting control panel click on the square icon that says “Web Options”. (if your not sure how to log into your hosting control panel please visit here)
  • Under the header “Settings” in the row titled “Indexes” select the bubble for the index option you are wishing to use on the server. The server is set to default at “Disabled” but you have the option to change it to either “Enabled” or “Fancy”server-side-indexes-001
  • After you have selected the index option click on the “submit” icon in the “Settings” section.server-side-indexes-002
  • Once you have clicked on the “Submit” icon make sure to click on “Apply” within the “Server Configuration” row.directory-index-image-005After you have clicked on the “Apply” link the changes will take effect within 15 minutes on our Linux servers. If you are using a Windows server these changes will take effect immediately.

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