Finch

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  1. My CSS, JavaScript and other assets don’t appear to be loading
  2. Does Finch work with Wordpress?
  3. My site only loads some content within each page
  4. My site doesn’t load at all!
  5. I get a ‘Connection revoked!’ message when sharing my site
  6. The links on my site take me to the wrong place
  7. Will Finch work alongside my VPN?
  8. What operating systems are supported?
  9. What do you do with my data?
  10. I’m just getting a blank ‘it works!’ page when sharing my site
  11. Symfony is blocking development requests made through Finch
  12. Why does my shared site load slowly?
  13. Can I protect my shared sites with a username and password?
  14. Can I use my own subdomains instead of those generated by Finch?
  15. What about using a completely custom domain?
  16. Can I use my account on multiple computers?
  17. Can I share my account with other people?
  18. Can I use Finch to load test my sites?
  19. Can I use Finch to proxy requests to publicly available websites?
  20. Is my connection secure?
  21. Will Google index my site if I leave the connection open?
  22. My connections keep timing out—how can I prevent this from happening?
  23. Are WebSocket connections supported?
  24. My development site uses basic HTTP authentication but it doesn’t seem to be working
  25. Why aren’t my Typekit font sets rendering properly?
  26. What happens if I exceed my hourly usage allowance on the free plan?
  27. Are my credit card details safe?
  28. How am I billed for my current subscription?
  29. Can I downgrade to the free plan from a Premium subscription?
  30. Can I delete my account entirely?
  31. I’m still stuck…

My CSS, JavaScript and other assets don’t appear to be loading

This is often the result of every link on your site (including those which load in CSS and JavaScript) being generated as an absolute URL. This means they reference a domain like http://localhost or http://mysite.dev which won’t work when viewing your site with Finch—often resulting in an unstyled page lacking CSS, JavaScript and sometimes images.

There’s an easy fix to this in most cases though: simply enable the ‘Replace local site links’ option before sharing your site:

This feature fixes the vast majority of issues, particularly when using WordPress, Drupal and other systems which use absolute URLs. If it does’t quite work for you then please get in touch as we’d love to help you out!


Does Finch work with Wordpress?

Yes! In fact, it’s been especially tuned to do so.


My site only loads some content within each page

This is probably because your site has some external links to assets (such as CSS and/or JavaScript) which are hard-coded to load over http://. By default Finch provides you with a link running over https://, meaning most browsers will refuse to load any in-page content they deem ‘insecure’. There are two workarounds for this:

  1. Simply take the ‘s’ out of the https:// part of your Finch URL and view your site over http instead, or preferably:
  2. Use protocol-relative URLs.

Using protocol-relative URLs is as easy as changing links such as:

<script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-2.1.0.js"><script>

To:

<script src="//code.jquery.com/jquery-2.1.0.js"><script>

These links will now use whatever protocol the page which loaded them is using; as such there is absolutely no impact in switching to them whatsoever.


My site doesn’t load at all!

Sorry about that! The chances are we can do something about it; please do just let us know what the problem is and we’ll do our best to get you underway.


I get a ‘Connection revoked!’ message when sharing my site

This means that your connection has been rejected because it looks like you’re sharing a website which is already publicly available (i.e. it exists on the internet). Sometimes this is because you’ve remapped a public domain to a local site which we don’t know about - if so please use another alias for your local site instead.


The links on my site take me to the wrong place

This usually has the same root cause as CSS & JavaScript not loading. As such, try enabling ‘replace local site links’ and see if it fixes the issue.


Will Finch work alongside my VPN?

Yes! As long as the computer you run Finch from can ‘see’ the site you want to share then things should work just fine. If you need to connect to a VPN to view a development site simply ensure this is running as normal while sharing the site.


What operating systems are supported?

Both the desktop and command-line applications have been actively tested on Ubuntu Linux, Mac OS X and Windows 7 upwards. Please get in touch if you think you’ve found an incompatible platform and we’ll do our best to fix it!


What do you do with my data?

As little as possible—it’s yours after all. Please see our privacy policy for more information and if you have any questions whatsoever please email us at privacy@meetfinch.com.


I’m just getting a blank ‘it works!’ page when sharing my site

This is often the result of running an Apache webserver on your development machine and using its VirtualHost mechanism to route inbound requests appropriately. You can tweak how your requests identify themselves to your web server by logging in to your account and visiting the ‘Active sites’ page.

If this still doesn’t quite cut it then check out the ‘Forwarding with a custom host header’ section of the Advanced Usage guide to learn how to send Apache the correct information to route your requests.


Symfony is blocking development requests made through Finch

If you’re trying to access your Symfony site via the app_dev.php front controller you’ll probably receive the following error:

You are not allowed to access this file. Check app_dev.php for more information.

To solve this issue, simply open web/app_dev.php and look for the following lines:

if (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP'])
        || isset($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR'])
        || !in_array(@$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'], array('127.0.0.1', 'fe80::1', '::1'))

We just need to change the middle part of the if statement to the line shown in bold:

if (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP'])
        || (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR']) && !isset($_SERVER["HTTP_X_FORWARDED_BY"]))
        || !in_array(@$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'], array('127.0.0.1', 'fe80::1', '::1'))

This instructs Symfony to allow the request if the x-forwarded-by header is present (it will be when you’re using Finch). Alternatively you may delete the entire line if you’re feeling adventurous—both approaches will work!


Why does my shared site load slowly?

Generally speaking the limiting factor in the speed of a shared sites boils down to how fast you can upload data through your connection. On most home connections this speed will be significantly less than your download capability; it is not uncommon for it to be as low as 10% of your download speed. This is because during a session the computer running the client application is effectively acting as a server; all traffic in and out goes through your Internet connection.


Can I protect my shared sites with a username and password?

Yes, absolutely. Premium accounts support basic authentication.


Can I use my own subdomains instead of those generated by Finch?

Yes! Premium accounts support allow you to go one better and actually reserve a subdomain. Once reserved a subdomain will remain under your control until you delete it.

To share a saved site from the command-line application simply run:

$ finch forward --site mysubdomain

To share a saved site from the desktop application simply hit the share button!


What about using a completely custom domain?

You can do that too, but again only if you have a Premium subscription.


Can I use my account on multiple computers?

You can; check out the documentation on signing into your account. You can use your account across as many different computers as you want, but you can’t share your account details with other people.


Can I share my account with other people?

No; this is against our terms of use. If you need an account for two or more users you’ll need to set up an Organisation account.


Can I use Finch to load test my sites?

No—this is not only against our terms of use but will also yield completely innaccurate results as you will be benchmarking a development site, on development hardware, most likely running over a consumer-grade network connection.

If our monitoring system detects an unusually high volume of requests they will be throttled before eventually leading to the termination of the connection if the request volume does not diminish. Repeat offences may lead to the suspension of your account.


Can I use Finch to proxy requests to publicly available websites?

No—this is against our terms of use. Our monitoring system checks if shared hosts are visibile from the public Internet; if they are users will be warned and the session in question will be cut off. Repeated abuse may result in your account being suspended.


Is my connection secure?

Yes. By default traffic between browsers and shared sites, and between shared sites and the computer running the client application is encrypted. You can also view your site over http instead of https; in this case the traffic between the Finch service and your browser is unencrypted, but the traffic between the Finch service and your Finch app remains encrypted.


Will Google index my site if I leave the connection open?

No; all requests to /robots.txt return a response indicating that the content of the site should not be indexed. This does not stop robots—well meaning or otherwise—accessing your sites, but it will stop well behaved ones from adding it to their search index. If you want to completely block unwanted visitors be sure to use basic authentication.


My connections keep timing out—how can I prevent this from happening?

To disable the automatic desktop app timeout simply head to the Settings page and then disable the ‘Automatic idle timeout’ option.

To disable the automatic command-line client timeout simply supply the --no-timeout option when sharing one or more sites:

$ finch forward localhost --no-timeout

If the above doesn’t seem to work please ensure you have the latest version of finch by running npm update -g finch.


Are WebSocket connections supported?

Yes; WebSockets are supported on the Premium plan.


My development site uses basic HTTP authentication but it doesn’t seem to be working

If your development site already uses basic access authentication then you should not use the authentication layer offered by Finch as the credentials will most likely conflict with one another. You should rely on your own authentication instead in these instances.


Why aren’t my Typekit font sets rendering properly?

You probably simply need to add *.usefinch.eu and *.usefinch.us to your allowed domains. If you’re on the free plan you’ll need to add *.usefinch.io instead. You can find this under ‘Kit Settings’ after launching the Kit Editor.


What happens if I exceed my hourly usage allowance on the free plan?

This is a soft limit; no existing connections will be interrupted but you will not be able to create any new ones until your monthly quota is renewed or you upgrade to a Premium account.


Are my credit card details safe?

Yes. All card payments are processed by Stripe meaning your card details never even so much as pass through our servers. All communication with Stripe takes place using a secure, encrypted connection.


How am I billed for my current subscription?

All plans are billed in advance for the following subscription period; when you initially upgrade to a Premium or Organisation subscription your credit/debit card will be charged accordingly. Any changes made during the current period will simply be pro-rated into your next subscription cost.


Can I downgrade to the free plan from a Premium subscription?

Of course. Simply head over to your ‘My details’ area once signed in and select the option not to automatically renew your Premium subscription next time around. When the time comes you’ll simply be dropped back onto the free plan, although you can upgrade to Premium again whenever you wish.


Can I delete my account entirely?

Yes; you may delete your account at any point. Please note that refunds are not currently issued for any unused allowance relating to the current billing cycle.


I’m still stuck…

Sorry; that’s most likely our fault. There are bound to be numerous things Finch doesn’t get right; development setups are often as idiosyncratic as individuals so there’s every chance the app doesn’t currently share your site(s) correctly.

We value any feedback you have immensely; please do get in touch with any experiences—good and particularly bad—so we can improve things going forward. In the meantime, thank you for your patience!