Do free accounts get deactivated when idle too long?


#1

I received an e-mail saying my free account had been deactivated. Why? Once I setup my web pages, they need almost no maintenance thereafter, so why would I be updating them when there are no changes?

The Terms of Service (https://infinityfree.net/terms/) has no “deactiv” substring anywhere to declare that free accounts will become deactivated or why, so no idea of how long the account can be idle before it gets deactivated (and then deleted in just 5 days which is obviously not long enough to cover absence while on vacation). I saw no conditions specified in the TOS regarding automatic deactivation of free accounts.

When I attempt a search on “deactivated” at the support page, it just repaints. No list of hits and no mention there were no hits. The page just repaints.

The notification e-mail only said that my free account had been deactivated but not why. I logged into the client area and reactivated the account; however, there is no history to view why the account got deactivated or that it got reactivated. When I got into the file manager, the last file updated was on November 24, 2018. I got the deactivation notice on January 23, 2019. That’s a span of 56 days. Are free accounts going to keep deactivating at about 2 month intervals of being idle? If so, why aren’t account owners simply warned that the account WILL get deactivated in some number of days instead of a scare tactic of deactivating (which causes an outage regarding access of content) and follow with deletion? Your notification scheme is impolite and the process is heavy-handed.

I’d be willing to comply with the TOS if it actually stated that idle accounts will get deactivated, if “idle” were defined (access the web pages versus logging into the client area), and if the idle expiration duration were specified. I’d add a reminder to my Outlook program to login to avoid the threatening e-mail notification.


#2

Accounts which receive (almost) no visitors will be considered inactive. Inactive accounts are cleaned up automatically to make room for people who do use their accounts.

The only requirement to be considered active is a little bit of website traffic. You are not required to login to the client area, control panel or forum, or make changes to your website files.

So if your website doesn’t need much maintenance, that’s perfectly OK. But if you created a website at some points, and nobody ever looks at it again, then you might as well download the website to your own computer and store it in a file storage service.


#3

Seems inappropriate to used a free account for business use. For personal web sites, users don’t go through all the rigmarole of trying to up their ranking at the search sites to direct traffic to their site. I wanted to put my resume online to allow prospective employers to see it. Other job sites want me to design my online resume under their coding rules, and each would be different than another job site. I’m not trying to direct new traffic from anyone to my web site, just give out the URL to prospective employers that would like to see it immediately instead of me sending them a hardcopy or e-mailing it to them.
Personal-use web sites don’t get a lot of traffic. Business-use web sites strive to drive traffic to their site but that is not germaine to the purpose of a personal-use site. Guess your free sites are oriented to very small businesses that use your service for business use, and not for personal-use site that get traffic mostly at those times when the site owner doles out the URL to it. Until my employment history changes, there is no need to alter my personal-use site showing my resume. I don’t want a lot of traffic to see my resume.
At one time, LinkedIn was where users put their resumes to make then accessible online. However, that service has degenerated in a social site (i.e., those that desparately need their egos stroked by strangers pretending to be friends). They have also had security breaches where e-mails and passwords got stolen. I really don’t want to jump into that barrel of rotten apples (the community there) or trust there will be no further breaches.
Saving the HTML file set onto my local computer is not an option since obviously no employer will be able to see those files (to render within a web browser). I tried to put those files onto OneDrive but Microsoft’s service refuses to present the files uncorrupted but instead as documents to render within their scope of online documents, not for web pages. I’m not interested in enrolling or participating at any social site, just to have my resume available online whenever someone wants to look at it (which is mostly provoked by applying for a job or for a preview before an interview).
According to your instructions, me logging in will not reset an expiration timer. It is likely you monitor the IP address of visitors, so I cannot simply revisit my own site to up its visitation count to prevent it getting deactivated. This required minimum visitation quota should be specified in your Terms of Service rather than users finding out by trial and error.
This service seemed viable for free webhosting of my personal-use web sites (max of 3 but I’m only using 1 for now). I was wrong but that is understandable since quotas (for minimum traffic, abuse, etc) are not delineated. The user has to find out on their own. I found out your service is not appropriate for personal-use and mostly static sites that get very little traffic (other than what might prompt a momentary jump in traffic).
Thanks for your reply. Doesn’t seem your free service is appropriate for low-traffic sites with perhaps sporadic larger traffic loads. My personal-use site(s) will likely always expire due to very low traffic, and it’s not my intent to artificially bump up the traffic as a keep-alive event.


#4

I should clarify this a bit.

There are some hosting providers where you, the website owner, must login to a control panel or forum to keep the account active. We don’t do that. There are many situations where your website can be very active but you never touch the control panel, because all maintenance is done through the admin panel of the site itself. So the only thing we measure to check for inactivity is website traffic.

As long as someone still visits your website, it will remain active. That someone can be you as well. All we need is some sign that the website is still being used and hasn’t been forgotten.

If you just quickly open the website every week or so to see if it still works, the account should stay active. If you do the same any time you send the link out, that might work as well.


#5

As long as IP address tracking isn’t employed to monitor traffic to the web site then I can periodically visit my own site to keep it alive. For now, I’ll add a reminder to visit about twice per week. Once per week doesn’t seem sufficient since the error message noted that less than 5 visits were recorded in the last month. Eventually I’ll figure out a way to script a keep-alive visit, like using curl to connect to the site.

Thanks for the information.


#6

Okay, to use a keep-alive script to update stats for my web site, I have a batch file run a Powershell command that downloads a file. Under my web site, there is a /files folder with a couple files saved there (that are normally accessed using my web page with a dropdown list). The Powershell script runs okay, downloads the file, yet I cannot see any stats change in the cPanel. Where do I look to check that downloading a file updates the access count to keep my web site alive? Or does downloading a file not count as access (but then a web browser is just downloading a file, too).


#7

Access to most kinds of automated scrapers is blocked on our hosting. And to my knowledge, these kind of bots requests are stopped at the system level and do count towards your website’s resource usage. Did you check whether your script can download the file successfully? Or does it only get a 403 Forbidden response?

The stat counters in the control panel mostly work with daily generated stats. They are not live counters which are updated with every hit.


#8

Instead of downloading and using wget, I found a Powershell script to do the same thing, which is (in one command line in the .bat file):

powershell -command (new-object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('http://{myacct}.epizy.com/files/resume.doc','D:\TEMP\resume.doc')

{myacct} is the name of the web site account. The .bat file makes sure the target folder exists before downloading the file; else, Powershell will error (with some rather unintelligible error message).

The web site is for my resume and one of the downloadable files is resume.doc. When I run this Powershell script, it does successfully download the .doc file. The .bat file first attempts to get the file using Powershell. If the retrieval fails, a prompt appears along with a pause to alert me the retrieve failed. After a successful retrieval, the batch file deletes the file (so it doesn’t exist on the next run to allow testing if the file got retrieved in the next run).

I do get the resume.doc file from my web site, so the Powershell command is working. It isn’t web crawling to retrieve all files of the web site (which wget could do although I could also use it to retrieve just one file). I don’t want to download the web site, just one file from it. Seems to be working.

At first, I did not see a change in the “Daily hits used” count in cPanel “Statistics” pane for the web site’s account. Looks like those stats accumulate and get updated every hour. When I started, the web site had about 9 daily hits. After testing the Powershell command and batch file that uses it, and waiting several hours to come back, the cPanel stats show 74 daily hits, so it looks like the site is getting its access count increased.

Since the batch file using Powershell to retrieve a file is working to retrieve a file and the stats show an increase in daily hits, it looks like I’ve come up with a keep-alive script which I’ll add to Task Scheduler, so I don’t have to remember to do this daily or often enough to prevent idle expiration of the account. You said that it takes 5 hits per month to keep alive an account, so twice per week should be sufficient. If the file retrieve fails, I’ll see the error prompt in the command shell in which the .bat file runs.


#9

Hi

maybe it’s easier to sign up for a google webmaster tools (“search” is new name)
so google bot will make enough traffic digging your site regularly

it is even easier to set your website as a home page in the browser
and whenever you open your browser, it will load yourwebsite first :slight_smile:

you can also automate it all with script…
image


closed #10

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