Setting Up Hosting Account for a Web Site
To host a web site on the server:
- Click the Clients shortcut in the navigation pane.
- Click the required client in the list.
- Click Add New Domain.
- Specify the domain name just as you have registered it. Leave the www check box selected if you wish to allow users to access the site by a common and habitual URL like www.your-domain.com.
Having the www alias preceding a domain name will not cost you anything, but it will allow users to get to the site no matter what they type in their browsers: www.your-domain.com and your-domain.com will both point to the same site.
- If you have previously created a domain template for this client and predefined all hosting features and resource usage allotments (as described in the chapter Simplifying Setup of Domains and Web Sites), select the required template from the Select template box.
- If you have a number of IP addresses to choose from, select the required address from the Select an IP address drop-down box.
Bear in mind that e-commerce sites need a dedicated IP address (not shared among other sites) to implement Secure Sockets Layer data encryption.
- Make sure that there is a check mark in the Proceed to hosting setup check box and click OK.
- Select the Physical hosting option to host the Web site on this machine.
Upon completion of this procedure, your control panel will set up the domain name server on this machine to serve the new domain name and prepare the web server to serve the new Web site: a new zone file with appropriate resource records will be added to the Domain Name Server's configuration files, a web space will be created inside the Web server's directory, and necessary user accounts will be created on the server.
Note: If the site is hosted on another machine, and you wish to set up your control panel's DNS server only to serve the DNS zone for that site, select either Frame forwarding or Standard forwarding option. With standard forwarding, a user is redirected to the site and the actual site's URL is shown in the user's browser, so the user always knows that he or she is redirected to another URL. With frame forwarding, a user is redirected to the site without knowing that the site actually resides at another location. For example: your customer has a free personal web site with his or her Internet Service Provider or a free Web host, and the Web site address is http://www.geocities.com/~myhomepage. The customer purchased a second level domain name www.myname.com and wants you to provide domain forwarding to his Web site. In this case you would normally choose the Frame forwarding service. See the chapter Serving Domain Names for Sites Hosted on Other Servers (Domain Forwarding) for details.
- Specify the properties of a hosting account:
- SSL support. Secure Sockets Layer encryption is generally used for protecting transfer of sensitive data during online transactions on e-commerce Web sites that run on dedicated IP addresses. SSL certificates that participate in the encryption process are usually applied to a single domain name on a single IP address, therefore, each site that needs SSL protection must be hosted on a dedicated IP address. An exception to this is subdomains, which you can protect with a wildcard certificate. Installing an SSL certificate on a Web server that hosts several web sites with different domain names on a single IP address (shared or name-based hosting) is technically possible, however, it is not recommended: the encryption will be provided, but users will get warning messages on attempt to connect to the secure site. To allow SSL encryption for Web sites, select the SSL support check box.
- Use a single directory for housing SSL and non-SSL content. By default, when users publish their sites through their FTP accounts, they need to upload the web content that should be accessible via secure connections to the httpsdocs directory, and the content that should be accessible via plain HTTP, to the httpdocs directory. For the convenience of publishing all content through a single location –
httpdocs directory, select the Use a single directory for housing SSL and non-SSL content check box.
- FTP login and FTP password. Specify the user name and password that will be used for publishing the site to the server through FTP. Retype the password into the Confirm Password box.
- Hard disk quota. Specify the amount of disk space in megabytes allocated to the web space for this site. This is the so-called hard quota that will not allow writing more files to the web space when the limit is reached. At attempt to write files, users will get the "Out of disk space" error. Hard quotas should be enabled in the server's operating system, so if you see the "Hard disk quota is not supported" notice to the right of the Hard disk quota field, but would like to use the hard quotas, log in to the server shell and run the command
- Shell access to server with FTP user's credentials. This allows a site owner to upload securely web content to the server through a Secure Socket Shell connection, however, allowing shell access also poses a potential threat to the server security, so we recommend that you do not allow shell access. Leave the Forbidden option selected.
- FrontPage support. Microsoft FrontPage is a popular web site authoring tool. To enable users to publish and modify their sites through Microsoft FrontPage, select the FrontPage support and FrontPage over SSL support check boxes, set the FrontPage authoring option to allowed, and specify the FrontPage Administrator's login and password.
- Support for programming and scripting languages widely used in development of dynamic Web sites and server-side Web applications. Specify which of the following programming and scripting languages should be interpreted, executed or otherwise processed by the web server: Active Server Pages (ASP), Server Side Includes (SSI), PHP hypertext preprocessor (PHP), Common Gateway Interface (CGI), Fast Common Gateway Interface (FastCGI), Perl, Python, ColdFusion, and Miva scripting required for running Miva e-commerce solutions. By default, PHP is configured to operate in safe mode with functional restrictions. To learn more about PHP safe mode, refer to http://php.net/features.safe-mode. Some web applications may not work properly with safe mode enabled: If an application on your site fails due to safe mode, switch the safe mode off by clearing the PHP 'safe_mode' on check box in the hosting account properties (Domains > domain name > Setup icon in the Hosting group).
- Web statistics. To allow domain/web site owner to view the information on the number of people visited his or her site and the pages of the site they viewed, select the statistics program you need from the Web statistics menu (AWStats is recommended), and select the accessible via password protected directory /plesk-stat/ check box. This will install the statistics software of your choice, which will generate reports and place them into the password protected directory. The domain/web site owner will then be able to access Web statistics at the URL: https://your-domain.com/plesk-stat/webstat using his or her FTP account login and password.
Note: When you switch from one statistics program to another, all reports created by the previously used statistics program are deleted and new reports are created in accordance with the information read from log files kept on the server. This means that if you configured the system (at Domains > domain name > Log Manager > Log Rotation) so as to keep log files only for the last month, then Web statistics will be available only for the last month.
- Custom error documents. When visitors coming to a site request pages that the web server cannot find, the web server generates and displays a standard HTML page with an error message. If you wish to create your own error pages and use them on your web server or allow your customers to do that, select the Custom error documents check box.
- Click OK.
Now your server is ready to accommodate the new web site, and the site owner can publish the site to the server. For instructions on publishing a Web site, refer to the Publishing a Site section of this guide.
Note: If you transferred this domain name from another Web host, you will need to update the host DNS address with the domain name registrar so as to point to your name servers: log in to your registrar's web site, locate the forms used to manage the domain host pointers, and replace the current DNS host settings with your name servers' host names. The information on new name servers will spread across the DNS system within 48 hours.
If you have registered several domain names that you would like to point to a site hosted on this server, you should set up domain aliases. Refer to the Setting Up Additional Domain Names for a Site (Domain Aliases) section for details.
If you need to host several domains on your machine that will point to a site hosted on another server, you should set up domain forwarding. Refer to chapter Serving Domain Names for Sites Hosted on Other Servers (Domain Forwarding) for details.