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Free Weather Website Templates

They're free, but use at your own risk

The scripts referenced here are used in the operation of this weather station, and may be freely copied and used to support your station. Please note that you use these scripts at your own risk. No warranty is expressed or implied. I accept no liability for any damages that may ensue from their use.
You will need to configure them for your own particular weather station website.
RSS feed for Scripts Updates A RSS Feed is available to help keep you informed on updates to the scripts.

If you find one or more of the scripts useful to you, please consider making a donation to help offset the routine expenses of operation of this website.
Thanks for your kind support!

A Version History is available -- check back from time to time to see if there are updates to scripts you have downloaded earlier. Announcements of version updates and new scripts are made on WXForum.net and Weather-Watch forums and saratogaWXPHP Twitter account as they become available.

This page was updated Thursday, 30-Jul-2015 9:51 AM

Your Weather Website - Start with these considerations

Now that you've decided to create your own weather website to show weather conditions in your area, here are a few things to consider before you start to implement the PHP template set:

Hosting and domain name

  • If you have a choice between Windows/IIS or Linux/Apache hosting, I strongly recommend you go with Linux/Apache -- there have been numerous instances where the Windows/IIS/PHP installations required extra fiddling with the code to make it work, while with Linux/Apache hosting, that is seldom the case.
  • Do sign up for paid hosting - the free PHP hosting sites generally have restrictions on what will be allowed, and also tend to add extra code to your pages (to advertise their free hosting) which will make image processing PHP scripts (like the thermometer.php) not work at all. Their extra HTML added to your pages will also tend to make the pages not-valid when run against the HTML validators. Best to avoid the 'free' hosting.
  • If you really want free hosting, then avoid 000webhost.com - their free hosting will not support .txt files (so AJAX updates won't work), and annoyingly add code to each PHP page returned (which means the thermometer on the dashboard or any image-generation PHP script will not work).
    I have tried altervista.org free hosting and the scripts/template work there IF you change the PHP settings to allow fconnect()/cURL to any external destination -- if you don't do this step then the forecast (weather and UV) and alerts will not work. Depending on your number of site visitors, you may need to pay to extend your traffic alottment of 10Gb/month.
  • You will need to run PHP5+ for these templates. While some parts of the templates may run fine with PHP4+, that version has been deprecated by www.php.net and you should make sure that your site is configured to run PHP5+ for all .php pages.
  • Do get your own domain name for your website from a 'big name' registrar like GoDaddy, HostGator, 1and1, Network Solutions. Yes, it can be part of a package (hosting+domain name), but make sure it is a hoster that is likely to remain in business. Many folks have suffered loss of service when their domain registrar has gone bankrupt. Make sure you have 'auto-pay' set up with your domain registrar, so when your domain is up for renewal, it won't expire due to non-payment. Recovering an expired domain name is very difficult, and may be impossible if a domain-squatter snaps it up before you can get it renewed. Also make sure your hoster is on 'auto-pay' too.
  • For hosters, consider godaddy.com, 1and1.com, or hostgator.com, but be sure to specify the Linux/Apache package.

    Give SaratogaWX credit with your signup for 1and1.com or your signup for godaddy.com
    It won't cost you anything but I'll receive an affiliate credit from your signup using those links.
    Thanks in advance for your kind support!

  • If you must host your own website on a PC, I'd recommend you use XAMPP all-in-one Apache/mySQL/PHP on the system. Be aware that such hosting may violate the terms-of-service with your internet ISP, and generally, it is less 'safe' to host on your own system than to have a professional hosting company who are responsibile for the security configuration of your website. I use XAMPP for testing stuff, but only access it locally on my home network behind my firewall router .. it is not offered to the internet at all.

Use a local master of the website to configure/maintain

  • Unlike the HTML-only template sets where all the HTML files must be uploaded regularly by your weather software to have the embedded tags be processed for weather condition variables, the PHP template set is uploaded once to your website, and all the weather variables are contained in the [WXname]tags.php file and used by the templates to display the weather conditions wherever they are needed. So, you have to setup your weather software to upload the [WXname]tags.php file on a regular interval. For the AJAX updates, your weather software has to upload a realtime update file for the AJAX script to read. These files are weather software specific:
    Cumulus uses 'realtime.txt', VWS uses 'wflash.txt' and 'wflash2.txt', Weather-Display and Meteohub use 'clientraw.txt' and WeatherLink doesn't have a native 'realtime' file, but you can upload a WLrealtime.txt file at 1 minute intervals if you like.
  • Create a directory on the system you'll use to maintain the master copy of your PHP files for your website and unpack the contents of the distribution .zip files into that directory. Make sure you preserve the internal directory structure for the templates. Use this offline directory as the 'document root' for your website. Upload ALL the files and directories to your website with a good FTP client program (like FileZilla). It's important to have the FTP client upload all files in ASCII mode EXCEPT the graphics files (.gif, .jpg, .png) which must be uploaded in BINARY mode.
  • Do the editing and configuration of Settings.php, Settings-weather.php and the wx...php pages on your offline master copy of your website, then upload to your website. Don't use file editors associated with a cPanel on your site, as they will tend to convert the text to UTF-8 and cause 'funny characters' to appear in odd places on your website. Be aware that some WYSIWYG HTML editors (like FrontPage/Expressions Web) are not always 'kind' to PHP pages, so use notepad to edit PHP pages if your pages don't work correctly after upload. I use Adobe CS4 Dreamweaver and notepad++ to edit my pages. There are many PHP-friendly HTML editors out there (both free and purchased).
  • After you upload and try out your new website, you may find that some features are not working as expected, and some content is missing. Do a 'view source' on the page that is having the problem, and you may see messages in HTML comments in the page that show what the error is. Usually, the problem is missing or unwritable cache files needed by the support scripts. These templates use the /cache directory to write all temporary files.
    Make sure that the /cache directory is writable by PHP.
    You can also run the check-fetch-times.php script on your weather website -- it will show details and error messages for scripts requiring fetch of data from external websites.

 

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