Web site guide for dummies

Being rather tech-challenged, I don’t understand 99% of what is written here. Is there a simple explanation somewhere that explains in layman’s terms about web site creation/freshwdl, and all the other terms/sequences of events/costs involved?

Basically, you rent space on a web server from an internet service provider (ISP). That gives you an address to which you can upload files and where (if you publish the address, called the URL) other people can see the results.

To produce a weather page you can then get WD to upload data regularly, usually in the form of standard files called clientraw.txt (which contains 177 items), clientrawextra.txt (819 items, useful for graphs), clientrawhour.txt and clientrawdaily.txt.

FreshWDL is very simple: you download the app to your computer, change the settings in one file as explained in the accompanying readme.txt, and maybe change the name of the other file. Then upload both to the server.

The URL for your site can then be published, e.g. in your Forum profile. When a visitor looks at your site, the files on your server actually call other files from the author’s server and deliver a browser page.

My ISP is maui.co.uk, my space on its server is swanston.maui.co.uk, and my FWDL file is called swanston.html

So go to https://swanston.maui.co.uk/swanston.html to see my FWDL page :slightly_smiling_face:

You can get WD to produce a rudimentary web page, too. Go to .../SwanstonWX.html instead.

Once bitten with the web page bug, check that your ISP has PHP enabled and download one of the many templates out there. . .

Good luck!

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This could get boring for some, especially me displaying my ignorance, so if you have no problem with it, I’ll continue the conversation here, but happy to go back to the forum.

Downloaded FreshWDL a while back, thinking that I needed it to view some websites, read the text file but couldn’t nut out the rest. From your email, does it mean that I need to have a website first?

Do I need to use my own ISP? Read a few archived forum posts about looking for less expensive ones. Know less than nothing about this renting bit, but could probably learn from a web search.

What would be a rough yearly cost?

I cannot guarantee 24/7 internet connection, so the live site will not be there much of the time. Also files will need to be batch uploaded when I am online. Is this possible?

Checked your site, interesting stuff, especially the all time records, don’t think I could put up with those outdoor temperatures though.



To answer a couple of your questions…

FreshWDL is intended to work on a website. It’s possible that you might get it set up to work locally on your PC without running a web server, but that’s not documented.

You don’t need to use your own ISP, although if they offer a free website as part of your subscription that that would be a good starting point. If they charge for a website then you need to compare their costs to alternatives. Your website can be located anywhere in the world so you can shop around for the best service wherever you like.

I can’t really comment website costs - I’m in a different market with my requirements, but I’m sure others here will give you an idea of what it might cost you.

Had a bit of a search for hosts, but there is a lot of subterfuge going on in their adds. Found one, well recommended, for $1.99 AU for the first four years for new customers, but when you click on their discount offer button, it comes up $4.99. Domain charges after the first year are also nearly impossible to find. And they have the hide to talk about transparency! Have an email from their main customer service guy, so I’ll bone him about it. Could always use them for the four years and then jump ship to another cheap offer.
Anyway, thanks for your input, it has given me a good heads up, and a bit more confidence.

Well, the site will be there but the data will not be current. WD is usually run 24/7 to feed data to a website, otherwise it seems hardly worth setting one up.

I had thought about that a bit, but then looking at your site, and knowing your location, I can look at your records [current and historic], if something interesting has happened. The same could be said for other sites, if a list of locations is available, but it would be unethical of me not to provide the same for other enthusiasts. Some people may be interested to further investigate what they might have seen or heard in the news about another country, like droughts, rain events, cyclones and such.
I understand that the data will not be current until I start my PC and whatever else I need to do to get the site running, but I am guessing that FreshWDL will upload the historical data that was collected during the downtime?

I’ve used hetzner now for going on 2 years. Can’t believe how well it has worked with zero issues. Price is unbeatable imo. I register my domain through godaddy as never a good idea to have them with the provider - again imo. Highly recommend hetzner.

Never thought about that before, but I don’t think so.

FreshWDL doesn’t upload anything, it just reads the data that WD uploads.

The clientraw*.txt files are only populated when WD is running, and you normally instruct WD to create and upload clientraw.txt every “few” seconds and the others every 5 or 10 minutes.

I must admit I do not know if WD can populate these files with history data, if available, because WD will no longer process the raw data from my console’s data logger.

My servers are with Hetzner but they’re dedicated servers so considerably more expensive than simple web site services. I can’t fault Hetzner for performance or reliability.

There’s some rubbish in there: temp never got above 10°C on 22 Feb 2017 – and that’s warm for February here :laughing:

WD is not infallible. . .