cPanel/WHM: Best practices

Our Dedicated Servers and VPS's with cPanel are very popular among our customers. The easy to use administration panel renders web hosting comfortably even for inexperienced Linux administrators. Almost all settings can be done via WHM, SSH access is rarely necessary.

We deploy cPanel servers automatically with a working standard configuration. Most settings are left default, some had to be added to make the server accessible. I want to show you a few points that are important after the installation.

The following steps can be done in your server WHM. Please log in to https://[server-IP]:2087 as root to continue.

Even if you have not worked with the WHM interface yet, you will be able to navigate through it easily. I find the search bar very useful to access the needed function quickly. It acts similar to the Windows 7 start menu search.

cPanel Search

  1. We start with Basic cPanel & WHM Setup.
    1. Notice the contact e-mail address in the first configuration line. We recommend changing it to a personal address to keep yourself informed about server activities. cPanel is quite active in this regard, so a separate in-box is advisable.
    2. You will find the default nameservers at the bottom of the page. We have predefined our nameservers here. Domains that you bought from us will work out of the box using this setting. If you run domains on other nameservers, you can define their addresses here.
  2. We continue with Configure Remote Service IPs. Choose the tab Remote Name Server IPs here. The following list of IP addresses are associated to the nameservers defined before. If you only use domains from us, no changes are necessary here. If you have domains on other nameservers, you can add their IPs to the list. Otherwise cPanel will refuse to add those domains as addon domains.
  3. The next point is Change Hostname. Our predefined hostname does not resolve to your server IP by default. You will have to define a new one with a working domain to avoid problems with e-mail transmission. You may leave the first section as it is, e.g. "vmi1234.example.com". If you use a domain that is not hosted on our nameservers, make sure to add an A entry for the sub-domain in your DNS management.
  4. A correct RDNS entry is another important factor for RFC compliant e-mail transmission. The PTR of an IP must match the server hostname. Please use our Customer Control Panel to set the entry for your server IP, e.g. "vmi1234.example.com".
    Update 19 December 2014: We now set a default host name in the contabo.host zone which resolves correctly. There are no adjustments necessary in this regard anymore.

After these steps, your cPanel server is ready to fulfil all general hosting tasks. If you need more help material, please see the comprehensive cPanel documentation.

Posted by: Tino | Tagged as: , , , , , , 3 Comments

New feature for our customers: DNS entries

domain registrationWhen you order a domain at Contabo, you receive all DNS entries that you require for it free of charge. But what if you need DNS entries for other domains? There now is a solution for this scenario as well:

With the new DNS feature of our customer control panel, our customers can create as many DNS entries as they like. Just like everything else in the Contabo customer control panel, the DNS feature is free of charge. Every customer can find it under the menu item "DNS Zone Management". After you have created a zone for the desired domain, you can add any kind of DNS entry (A, AAAA, MX, CNAME, etc).

You can reach the Contabo customer control panel at my.contabo.com. If you need DNS entries for domains which you have ordered at Contabo, simply contact our support department. For all other domains, you can use the DNS feature in the customer control panel.

New features are added constantly in the customer control panel and while the DNS panel is the newest one, it certainly has not been the last one! To always stay up to date, we recommend our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ContaboCom


Virtual Private Servers now almost for free!

VPS Discount
Once again our technicians have been working hard to improve the price-performance ratio of our popular virtual private servers (VPS). Although thousands of customers worldwide already trust in our services and rent virtual servers from Contabo, we do not rest on our laurels.
There's still this one goal. We simply want to be the best.

The result of our improvements: more performance, even more reliable servers - at a monthly price that is unbeatable on the hosting market.

Contabo Virtual Private Servers (VPS) - now more performance for even less money!
VPS price reduction
1 CPU Core, 3.2 GHz
4 GB RAM (guaranteed)
200 GB HDD
100 Mbps switch port
Unlimited Traffic
Only 7.99 EUR / month!
Setup fee starting with 0.00 EUR!

2 CPU Cores, 3.2 GHz
8 GB RAM (guaranteed)
400 GB HDD
100 Mbps switch port
Unlimited Traffic
only 13.99 EUR / month!
Setup fee starting with 0.00 EUR!

6 CPU Cores, 3.2 GHz
16 GB RAM (guaranteed)
800 GB HDD
100 Mbps switch port
Unlimited Traffic
Only 24.99 EUR / month!
Setup fee starting with 0.00 EUR!

Highspeed-support, high-end systems, lowest prices: What are you waiting for? Get your new VPS now!

Posted by: Katharina | Tagged as: , , , , 2 Comments

Operation Christmas Child – Christmas in a shoebox

Operatione Christmas ChildThousands of children in Europe suffer hardship. Children who never get gifts because their families simply cannot afford gifts. But thanks to the organization called “Operation Christmas Child“ exactly these kids get some gifts simply wrapped in a shoebox.
This year Contabo also participated in the promotion and sponsored several of shoeboxes.

Since 1990, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced charity through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.

The idea is quite simple:
Look for an empty shoebox, wrap the lid and the box separately in wrapping paper, decide if your gift is for a boy or girl (the age categories are 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14) and finally fill your box with new gifts like toys, hygiene items, school supplies, clothing and of course sweets. Everything that makes children's hearts beat faster, is allowed.

Yesterday, the shoeboxes sponsored by Contabo and its employees were picked up by a volunteer of the organization. According to the volunteer our boxes go to children in Serbia.

Contabo shoeboxesWishing them already merry Christmas is a little early, in my opinion, but we hope that the delivery will be without any complication in order that all gifts arrive at its new owners. Contabo wishes all recipients a lot fun with their Christmas surprise.
Contabo shoebox
All those who also would like to sponsor a shoebox can find further details here:
http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/ &


LAMP made easy

Logo_LAMPWe would like to make you aware of a novelty in our ASI. Some of you may have noticed already that we had implemented an additional LINUX option called LAMP some time ago.

This option is available from our website when ordering a VPS or dedicated server, that runs under either LINUX operating system CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu.

By that additional option, you will - with the aforementioned LINUX distributions - be provided with a complete webserver environment. In addition to the LINUX operating system (L) you will receive an installation of Apache 2(A), MySQL (M), and the commonly known script language PHP (P).  PHPMyAdmin tool is equally installed, to simplify the administration.

In order to establish a website it is necessary for the domain to resolve to the IP of the server. At first, please activate the default website.

a2dissite default
a2dissite default-ssl
service apache2 reload

To save the change you will have to reload the configuration finally. Now establish a configuration file for a virtual host in the following library: /etc/apache2/sites-available let's call it:  example.com

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerAdmin your.email@example.com
ServerName example.com
ServerAlias www.example.com
DocumentRoot /var/www/example.com/public_html/
ErrorLog /var/www/example.com/logs/error.log
CustomLog /var/www/example.com/logs/access.log combined

Creating the required directories:

mkdir -p /var/www/example.com/public_html
mkdir /var/www/example.com/logs

Sure enough, this new website needs to be activated now by creating a link to the configuration file in library: /etc/apache2/sites-enabled

a2ensite example.com
service apache2 reload

A phpinfo.php file is helpful to check if PHP is working correctly:

cat > /var/www/example.com/public_html/phpinfo.php << EOF
<? phpinfo(); ?>

If the webserver fails to start or refuses to read the configuration, it is always a good idea to check the logfiles for any errors. They are mostly located in  /var/log/apache2/*.  To be sure, you can check the configuration with the command /usr/sbin/apachectl configtest before restarting the webserver.

We would like to help the enthusiasts among you who can play around with LAMP without any stress of installing it.

Posted by: Stephan | Tagged as: , , , No Comments