Archive for April, 2011

Installing DotNetNuke

Monday, April 25th, 2011

DotNetNuke is a content management system available for use on Windows web hosting services. DNN is based on ASP.NET and can be used with either a Microsoft Access or Microsoft SQL Server database, meaning that the application will only be fully functional when used in Windows web hosting environments. What makes DNN different from other CMS systems is that there is a community edition that can be used by anyone for free, but for businesses and larger websites who are looking to get more out of a CMS then there are also professional editions available that will come with additional features and will be accompanied by full support from the software vendor.

Downloading DotNetNuke

To download DNN, you should point your web browser towards www.dotnetnuke.com. From there you should select the “Download” button that is located at the top of the page.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 17.34.11 Installing DotNetNuke

You will then be presented with the following download and installation options:

  • Microsoft Web Platform Installer – if you are a server administrator and have access to your Windows VPS server or Windows dedicated server via Remote Desktop then the Web Platform installer will provide you with a simpler installation path
  • Install package – this is the more traditional method through which you will download the files required, upload them to your web server and then will run the web-based installation wizard
  • Source code package – if you wish to make changes to the core of the application, you should choose his package as you will be able to modify the source code of DNN as you wish.

For the purpose of this tutorial we are going to use the “install” package. Once you have clicked the “Install Package” button, you will be taken to an external download website where your download will begin automatically.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 17.38.07 300x170 Installing DotNetNuke

Once you have downloaded and uncompressed the files, you should be left with a directory structure similar to the one below.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 17.41.20 101x300 Installing DotNetNuke

Beginning the Installation Process

Prior to uploading the DotNetNuke files to your web space, you will need to setup a Microsoft SQL Server database that you can use with the application through your web hosting control panel. You will then need to correct the connection string in your web.config file so that the installation wizard is able to establish a connection to your database.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 18.23.49 300x18 Installing DotNetNuke

Once you have corrected the connection string and uploaded the contents of the download to your web space, you should setup the following permissions on your virtual directory:

  • IIS user – this user account should be granted read, write and modify permissions on the virtual directory that DotNetNuke is located in
  • ASP.NET network user – this user account should be granted full control over the virtual directory.

Once you have corrected the permissions, you should navigate to the directory that you have placed DNN in through your web browser. You should be presented with the following installation page:

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 18.52.00 300x204 Installing DotNetNuke

There are three different installation options to choose from:

  • Custom – if you wish to customize your DNN installation then you should select this option as it will provide you with more options for the duration of the installation
  • Typical – if you want to use the “standard” configuration options used by a majority of users then this is the right choice for you
  • Auto – if you don’t want to muck around with the installations options and simply wish to install the application as quickly as possible then you should select this option.

For the purposes of this tutorial we will select the “Typical” option.

The wizard will then check that you have the correct permissions set on the directory that DNN is located in.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 18.54.50 300x192 Installing DotNetNuke

If you don’t have the correct permissions set, the installation wizard will provide you with instructions on how to solve this.

Next, you will need to setup the database connection so that the database can be populated with the relevant configuration information.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 19.42.29 300x272 Installing DotNetNuke

You will need to enter the following data:

  • File or database – you can choose to attach the existing database file, or if you wish to use a separate Microsoft SQL Server database then you will also be provided with this option
  • Server – this is the server on which your Microsoft SQL Server database is going to be hosted, usually the local server
  • Database – this is the name of the database that you wish to use
  • Database login credentials – you will also need to supply the username and password of the Microsoft SQL Server database user that you wish to use with the database.

Once you have completed the form, click “Next” and the database installation scripts will be run for you.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 19.45.14 300x211 Installing DotNetNuke

Once the database scripts have completed, you should click the “Next” button; you will then be taken to a page where you can setup the main admin user account for your website.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 20.00.27 300x231 Installing DotNetNuke

You will need to enter the following information to continue:

  • First name and last name – you should associate your own name with this account as you are likely to be the webmaster of the site
  • Username – you should set this to something applicable such as “host” or “admin”
  • Email address – it is important for you to associate an email address with this account in case you happen to forget your password.

You should also configure the SMTP server settings so that the application can send out emails.

It is now time to setup the main options for your DotNetNuke website, including the name of your site, so that you can begin to customize the installation.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 20.09.02 300x220 Installing DotNetNuke

It is recommended that you enter the following data to aid with the completion of the installation:

  • Full name – this is going to be associated with the admin account which will be used to manage the main website, unlike the super user account which is more important for the management of the technical aspects of the application
  • Username and password – these will also be associated with the admin account
  • Portal title – this is what you want the name of your website to be, for example it could be your business name if you are developing a business site
  • Template – if you are yet to develop your own design for DNN, you can choose to use a pre-built template.

Once you have completed the form and click “Next”, you should then proceed to click “Start Building Your New Site”. From there you will be taken to your new website.

Screen shot 2011 04 24 at 20.15.44 263x300 Installing DotNetNuke

In conclusion, DNN is a highly functional ASP.NET CMS that will provide Windows web developers with a reliable platform on which they can develop scalable websites that will be able to stand the test of time.

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Installing the Joomla CMS

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Joomla is one of the most powerful content management systems available and as a standard installation will provide webmasters with an application through which they can manage their websites without having to constantly update multiple pages, but there is also the opportunity to expand the application through the use of third-party plugins. As Joomla is an open source application, you won’t have to pay a penny to use it meaning that it is ideal for big businesses as well as not-for-profit organizations. It is recommended that you combine Joomla with a low cost web hosting service such as a Linux shared web hosting plan as by doing this, you will be able to save yourself quite a bit of money.

Downloading Joomla

To download Joomla, you will first need to navigate to the Joomla website, which is located at www. Joomla.org; from there you will want to click the “Download” button.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 17.44.45 Installing the Joomla CMS

You will then be presented with different options depending on the version that you wish to use; unless you have a reason to use an older version, it is recommended that you choose the latest version to ensure that any security issues that have been raised with previous versions have been patched.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 17.49.12 300x185 Installing the Joomla CMS

To commence with the file download, simple click the “ZIP” text located next to the specific package that you wish to use. You can then simply save the file to your desktop.

The extracted root folder structure should be similar to the one below.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 17.58.24 146x300 Installing the Joomla CMS

Uploading the Joomla Files to Your Web Space

Once you have downloaded the Joomla files to your desktop and extracted the ZIP file, you will want to upload the uncompressed files to your web space so that you can commence with the installation of the application.

You will also need to setup a MySQL database through your web hosting control panel prior to running the installation wizard so that your Joomla installation will have a central location in which it can store all of its configuration data.

Once you have uploaded the contents to your web space, you should navigate to the folder that Joomla is contained in through your web browser. You will be directed to the page below.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.36.41 300x129 Installing the Joomla CMS

Once you have selected the language that you wish to use, click the “Next” button.

From there you will then be taken to a page that will carry out checks to ensure that your web hosting environment is capable of running Joomla properly.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.37.05 300x139 Installing the Joomla CMS

If any errors occur then the installation wizard will provide you with the instructions that will direct you on how to solve individual errors. If there are no errors then you should be able to click the “Next” button to continue with the installation.

You will then need to agree to the GNU license, which governs the use of certain open source applications and is applicable to the use of Joomla.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.37.17 300x167 Installing the Joomla CMS

Next, you will need to enter your MySQL database connection details so that Joomla can function properly.

Joomla installation database configuration Installing the Joomla CMS

You will be required to enter the following details:

  • Host name – this is the name or IP address of the server on which your Joomla database is going to be hosted
  • Username – you should configure a separate MySQL user account other than the root user to improve security
  • Password – all MySQL user accounts should be password protected as to ensure that hackers and other malicious attackers aren’t able to gain unauthorized entry.

After that and depending on the web hosting service that you are using, you may need to enter your FTP login details.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.38.00 300x128 Installing the Joomla CMS

You can simply skip this step by clicking the “Next” button if it doesn’t apply to you. If it does apply to you then you will need to enter the following details:

  • FTP username – this should be an FTP account that is separate from the main one that you use to upload your main content to your website and should be limited to the Joomla directory for added security
  • FTP root path – this is the root path to the location of where Joomla is installed in your web space.

You will then need to enter the main configuration details for your Joomla website as the connection to the database has now been established.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.38.23 300x182 Installing the Joomla CMS

To create a site that suits your needs, you should fill out the following information fields appropriately:

  • Site name – this should be the name of your company or related to the topic of the website that you wish to create
  • Your email – you should enter a valid email address as this will be used to reset the admin password if you happen to forget it
  • Admin username – your username doesn’t have to be “admin”, you can set it to be anything that you want
  • Sample data – you can even choose to install sample data, a practice that is recommended if you are a beginner, which will give you an idea on how Joomla works if you haven’t use the CMS before.

Once you have set out the main configuration to meet your needs, you can then proceed to use the application as you wish. It is recommended that you remove the installation folder so that no further amendments can be made to your configuration, except by yourself through the admin area.

Screen shot 2011 04 23 at 18.38.41 300x129 Installing the Joomla CMS

Once you have completed the configuration wizard, you will then be taken to the admin control panel, from which you will be able to configure the application further.

In conclusion, Joomla is a powerful CMS that can be used in a number of different scenarios to meet the requirements of big businesses and individuals who require a reliable framework on which they can develop stable websites capable of coping with high visitor loads without facing any issues. Although there are many open source CMS solutions available, Joomla is able to provide businesses with a custom solution that can be modified further through the use of a plugin framework that can be used to extend the functionality of the application, along with a styling framework that can be used to develop additional themes and designs to enable the application to fit in alongside existing websites.

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Using the WHM Control Panel

Monday, April 18th, 2011

WHM is available as part of the cPanel control panel suite and whereas cPanel is designed for client-side use, WHM is designed for use by resellers as it provides them with a separate interface through which they can manage their reseller web hosting account – it can also be used by server administrators for server management and management of the wider cPanel system as a whole. Using WHM is completely different to using cPanel because of the more advanced features that are offered, along with the fact that a completely different layout is used; for this reason it is important for you to fully investigate the separate features of WHM prior to using it for the first time so that you are fully aware of what you are doing.

Logging In

The login address for WHM and your account login details will be provided with your Welcome Email once you have purchased a Linux reseller hosting account from us. When you click the link, you should be taken to a login page similar to the one below:

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 11.21.451 229x300 Using the WHM Control Panel

Once you have logged into WHM, you will be taken to the homepage, which will provide you with links to the main areas of the control panel and will allow you to manage your reseller hosting account effectively.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.48.321 300x114 Using the WHM Control Panel

Creating a New Web Hosting Plan

In order to be able to provision web hosting accounts in a quick and efficient manner, you should create web hosting plans that will provide each account with a template so that you can create multiple accounts with the same resource levels and feature sets.

To begin the process of creating a web hosting plan you will first want to select the “Packages” icon from the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.52.52 Using the WHM Control Panel

From there you should select the “Add a Package” icon.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.53.21 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will then be taken to a form that you will need to fill out with the relevant details in order to create a web hosting plan.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 13.55.27 186x300 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will need to enter the following details:

  • New Package Name – you should name your web hosting plans in series so that they go up in a particular order, with the most powerful web hosting plan being awarded the highest number or most recognisable name
  • Quota – this is the disk space quota that clients using this web hosting plan will have available to use – you should take into consideration the amount of disk space that you have available with your own reseller account as this will dictate how many web hosting accounts you will be able to host yourself
  • Bandwidth – similar to the disk quota allowance, you will need to consider the amount of bandwidth that you have assigned to your reseller hosting account prior to choosing how much to include with your own web hosting packages as this will limit the number of clients that you can host
  • Feature limits – you may wish to limit the number of accounts that your hosting clients are able to create using specific features, such as email accounts and FTP accounts, for specific reasons – with each web hosting plan you will be able to dictate such limits, but its important to note that if you have unlimited amounts of such features provided with your own web hosting plan then passing this on won’t affect the performance of your own reseller web hosting account.

Once you click the “Add” button, your web hosting plan should then be created for you.

Adding a New Client

Unless you have automated systems to do it for you, you will need to manually create each client account every time somebody purchases a new web hosting package through you. To begin with, you will need to click the “Account Functions” icon located on the homepage:

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 14.10.48 Using the WHM Control Panel

From there you will want to select “Create a New Account”.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 14.11.18 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will then be taken to the account creation form that you will need to fill out in order to create a new web client account.

Screen shot 2011 04 15 at 15.10.57 289x300 Using the WHM Control Panel

You will need to enter the following details to facilitate the account creation process:

  • Domain – this is the domain name that your client wants to be associated with their web hosting account, this should be the primary domain that they are going to be hosting on their Linux web hosting account
  • Username – this will be automatically created for you using the domain name provided, although you can opt to use another username if you have your own accounting naming scheme
  • Password – all web hosting accounts should have a password applied to them to prevent any unauthorized access to the server
  • Email – it is important that every web hosting account has an email address associated with it to enable passwords to be reset if account holders forget their account login details
  • Package – if you have set up your own pre-defined web hosting plans that you can select to create a web hosting account using a particular plan
  • Mail routing settings – if you an account has specific email settings, for example if they are using an external email provider such as Google Apps, then you can change the role that the server has in providing the account with email services.

Once you click the “Create” button, your web hosting account will be created for you. It should be noted that your account limits will be shown on the right-hand side during the account creation process as this will aid you with calculating how many accounts you will be able to host under your reseller account.

In conclusion, WHM is one of the most powerful reseller web hosting control panels available and provides resellers with the features that they need to effectively manage their own web hosting clients within the confinements of their own resources. Although WHM may seem hard to use at first, once you get use to it you will be able to complete certain processes in no time at all; the facility to incorporate particular automation applications with WHM can reduce your reliance on having to complete some tasks manually, such as account creation, although these can cost extra to implement.

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Using the cPanel Control Panel

Monday, April 11th, 2011

The cPanel control panel is the most popular control panel application available for Linux web hosting as it has proven itself to be reliable and cost effective whilst retaining its relatively low price tag. Linux web hosting services are used by a majority of web hosting consumers which is why it is important for hosting companies to deploy a sturdy but easy to use control panel that can be used by even the most inexperienced of users; as well as powering most shared web hosting platforms, cPanel is also the control panel of choice for many VPS server and dedicated server hosting customers.

Creating an Email Account

Creating an email account using cPanel is a fairly simple procedure. To begin with, click the “Email Accounts” icon that is located under the “Mail” title on the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 14.44.51 Using the cPanel Control Panel

After that you will then be directed to a page that will contain the relevant form as well as a list of existing email accounts.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 14.46.02 300x195 Using the cPanel Control Panel

In order to create an email account you will need to fill in the following details:

  • Email – this is the name that you want to precede your domain name to form the email address, i.e. “example” would be translated to [email protected]
  • Password – you will need to password protect your email account to reduce the chances of hackers gaining access and viewing the contents
  • Mailbox quota – you may wish to put a limit on the amount of content that a single mailbox will be able to host because the disk usage of each email account will eat into your overall disk space usage.

Once you have clicked “Create Account” you should then receive a conformation message and your new email account will then appear in the list below.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 14.56.45 300x39 Using the cPanel Control Panel

Creating a MySQL Database

To begin with, click the “MySQL Databases” icon that is located under the “Databases” title on the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 15.00.32 Using the cPanel Control Panel

You will then be directed to a page that will provide you with a list of your existing MySQL databases and database users. To create a new MySQL database, you will need to fill out the form at the top of the page.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 15.04.12 292x300 Using the cPanel Control Panel

It is simply a case of typing in the name of your new database and clicking “Create Database”; it is important to note that the name of your database will be preceded by your cPanel account name.

If you wish to create a database user then you will need to enter the following details into the form:

  • Username – this, like your database name, will be preceded by your cPanel account name
  • Password – you should always apply a password to your MySQL database user accounts so that hackers aren’t able to view any of the data stored in your databases through the use of a compromised account.

Once you have created a database and a database user account, you will need to assign the user account to the database and will need to explicitly set the permissions that you wish for that account to have over the database concerned.

Screen shot 2011 04 08 at 15.10.18 Using the cPanel Control Panel

File Manager

The file manager in cPanel is one of its richest features and provides you with the ability to manage the files that you have hosted in your web space without the need to more complex options such as FTP.

To access the file manager, you will need to click the “File Manager” icon located under the “Files” title on the homepage.

Screen shot 2011 04 11 at 17.54.03 Using the cPanel Control Panel

After that, you will be provided with the option of where you want the File Manager to direct you towards. If you are going to be uploading documents to your publicly accessible web space then you will want to choose “Web Root”.

Screen shot 2011 04 11 at 17.56.10 300x227 Using the cPanel Control Panel

The File Manager will provide you with a multitude of basic options that you can use to manage the contents of your web hosting account’s disk space.

Screen shot 2011 04 11 at 17.58.43 300x105 Using the cPanel Control Panel

The File Manager will provide you with access to basic features such as:

  • Folder and file creation – if you need to create a new web page or folder on the move then you will be provided with an interface that will allow you to code files on the fly
  • Upload and download files – if you’re away from your main computer and require access to a file that is only stored in your web space then you can download it through the File Manager – this works both ways as it means that you can also upload files
  • Change permissions – every now and then you may need to tweak the permissions on certain files or folders in order to make your web pages and scripts function properly – this isn’t a big issue as cPanel provides you with the option to do this quickly and easily.

In conclusion, cPanel is one of the most feature-rich web hosting control panels available for the Linux platform and provides you with a multitude of options that you can use to effectively manage your Linux web hosting plan, regardless of whether you’re using Linux shared hosting or Linux dedicated hosting. The cPanel control panel is available for a low cost for dedicated web hosting services if you feel that you need a web based control panel to aid you with the management of your web hosting account; as a shared web hosting customer you should be able to expect cPanel access to be provided as standard with your Linux web hosting plan.

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