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What is Aardvark Hosting?
Aardvark Topsites PHP is a free topsites script. It is licensed under the GNU general public license (GPL). It’s built with PHP Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) and MySQL.
Topsites are used to track and list a group of related websites by popularity. Aardvark Topsites PHP script allows tracking of important popularity statistics, such as pageviews, for sites in its list (e.g., a topsite might feature the top 100 movie fandom sites, or the top 100 free software sites, etc.). It also allows access to member stats and stats for the entire topsites group list. Security features include anti-cheating protection and spam protections, such as completely automated public turing test to tell computers and humans apart (CAPTCHA).
Other Aardvark features include, but are not limited to: script control from admin area, customizable skins in hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheet (CSS), integrated control panel for members, customizable categories, member rank on site badges, and search engine optimization (SEO) friendly links. The functionality compares favorably with other commercial scripts.
Demo & Installation
You can refer to a demo on their website to see how a normal topsites list functions. You can access the admin area and the control panel to play around with the features. In the demo, you can also see how some individuals have customized their topsites lists.
Aardvark Topsites is open source, which means everyone can access the source code of this project and can even contribute a customized code to be included in the project. Being open source also means there are a lot of knowledgeable individuals willing to pass on their Aardvark Topsites experience to others. If you want a skin (template) for your topsites, you can make a custom one if you possess the technical know-how, or download one from a third-party site that has made one.
Requirements for installation are simple PHP and MySQL. Also, the GD library with FreeType support is required for the CAPTCHA function to work. Installation is just four steps and supported on most hosting plans. Contact your hosting provider before installing the software to ensure compatibility.
Aardvark Topsites script is vulnerable to cross-site scripting, which results from improper validation of user-supplied input by the index.php script. Remote hackers could use the ‘q’ parameter to exploit this vulnerability in a specially-crafted URL to upload a malicious script in a compromised web browser while staying within the security context of the infected site, after the URL is clicked.
This vulnerability could allow a hacker to snoop the victim’s cookie-based authentication credentials. They could also include an arbitrary remote file that includes a malicious PHP code and execute it in the context of the compromised webserver process. This could allow the hacker to compromise the script and the underlying server.
Aardvark Topsites PHP was last updated in 2009. The current version is 5.2.1. It supports multiple languages including Bosnian, Danish, Czech, Arabic, Finnish, French, English, Greek, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Kurdish, Lithuanian, Italian, Norwegian, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian, Portuguese (Brazilian), Swedish, Spanish and Turkish. The previous version was 5.1.2. The only reason you might want to use the older version is if the latest version hasn’t been translated into your native language.
Why use Aardvark Hosting?
By allowing you to track a group of related websites based on popularity and metrics like pageviews, Aardvark Topsites give you the opportunity to measure your own performance against related sites. If your site is less popular than other sites on the list, you would know that you need to make changes to improve its rankings and to compete with others.
Also, you can show your site’s rank with a button, along with any other stat. If your site is popular, this would work to your advantage as advertisers and angle investors may come across your site.
Points to remember
Any webmaster would love to use a script that’s 100% secure from vulnerabilities, but the truth is no reliable hosting provider would make such a promise. Look for Aardvark host with a solid reputation for installation support, customer service, and guidance to mitigate/prevent remote attacks. To ensure things go smooth, look for a hosting package that includes the most stable, latest and compatible versions of MySQL & PHP.