15Dec/170

Basic information about our Webspace

Today we would like to give you some basic usage hints about our webspace packages. First of all, our webspace offers are based on cPanel which is well known and under active development. However, we would like to explain some points and present the most important features. In this post we will refer to the YouTube-playlist of the cPanelTV channel which contains many tutorials directly provided by the producer. You may also find it at the end of our explanations, so you do not have to search for the videos.

Concerning webspace packages there are few basic topics to be considered:

  • Make sure you use safe passwords. cPanel provides the option to generate a password according to chosen criteria and gives feedback of the security level of your password.
  • Installing updates: We maintain the hard- and software your webspace is based on, but do not have acess to your website. Therefore it is always important to keep the used CMS (content management system) up-to-date. Not only the visitors of your websites will thank you for not becoming a victim of possible attacks, but also us, as the risk of spamming via a hacked CMS can be minimized.
  • Commensurability: Our goal is to provide you with a lot of resources at a low price. Yet, you should consider whether a webspace is the best product for the intended purpose. A large online shop containing many products on a webspace is, for example, not recommendable. In case you are planning to host such a large online shop, kindly contact our customer support department and we will gladly assist you in finding the best hosting solution for your needs.

If you have other inquiries, our support will be at hand at the regular times as well. Just contact us!

But now we continue with the original topic of this tutorial, namely presenting some important and basic elements to operate cPanel.

Passwords

Earlier we mentioned safe passwords are important, unfortunately, even more will come with a webspace and add to your long list of already existing passwords. It is quite tempting to use the same password for all services, but this is absolutely not recommendable. An example: An attacker gets to know your administrator password using a security breach of your CMS. This password is also used for the login to cPanel, your email account, as database password and for ftp access. Therefore, the attacker will have access to all those services and will be able to send emails using your name, delete your data or upload illegal content. Unfortunately, this example is not hypothetical but rather common. Consequently our advice is: always use individual and secure passwords. Further examples are provided by cPanel in the video "cPanel Tutorials: How to change your password", where you will also find a tutorial how to change an existing password.

File manager

After your order has been completed, you receive an email with all required information and login details, including a URL to cPanel. After you logged into the system the question you probably ask yourself is "How can I upload my website?". We can inform you that there are multiple ways to proceed:

  1. The most common way is using FTP(S), which stands for "File Transfer Protocol (over SSL)" and is a standardized protocol to transfer files, the letter "S" for securing the connection by using SSL. We always recommend using FTPS, since this guarantees that the file transfer is encrypted, which is not the case if you use plain FTP. More details how you can create an FTP account can be found at the video tutorial "cPanel Tutorials: FTP".
  2. The file manager included in cPanel: This is the easiest way and should work from nearly all sources, in addition, the file manager provides the possibility to edit files or check out the content. A video guide is available, too. It is called "cPanel Tutorials: File Manager".
  3. Another option uses the so called "Web Disk" which uses WebDAV for file transfer and can mount the webspace as a drive within the local PC. Please check out the video "cPanel Tutorials: Web Disk" for more details.

MySQL and PHPMyAdmin

The two points MySQL and PHPMyAdmin need to be mentioned together, PHPMyAdmin is the software part which provides you with access to the databases with the login credentials you set. After you logged into PHPMyAdmin you are free to check the databases, delete records or perform any changes. In addition, you can upload or create a database backup using PHPMyAdmin, too. MySQL is the data base server installed by us. Nowadays nearly all content management systems require a database to save the information which should be shown on your website. A guide how you can create a database and a user ist shown within the video "cPanel Tutorials: MySQL Databases".

Domains

A webspace requires a default domain, which needs to be provided during the order process in order to create the account and provide you with the login details. But of course, additional domains can be added to your webspace. There are different ways to do so:

  1. You can always order new domains from us, for details please consult our website at https://contabo.com/?show=domains.
  2. You can transfer a domain from another provider to us using the auth code which needs to be provided by the current provider.
  3. You can register domains at another provider and use them together with the webspace, but please keep in mind, that this requires that the nameservers are changed to the ones shown within the customer control panel and a DNS zone needs to be created. A few more details:
    Under the menu item "DNS Zone Management" in your Contabo customer control panel at https://my.contabo.com you can create an unlimited number of DNS zones for your domains free of charge. Your domains can be registered by third party providers as well. The DNS zones are stored on our nameservers, and within these DNS zones you can define multiple DNS records such as the "A record", which makes a domain point to a certain IP address. You do not need to specify the DNS records individually when creating a DNS zone; just choose the correct target IP address, working DNS records will be set automatically. After the creation of a proper DNS zone and once our nameservers are assigned to your domain, you can use the domain on your webspace package in a very secure way. Please note that only the present domain provider is able to change the assigned nameservers, thus you will have to contact the domain provider directly, or optionally use an administration panel from your domain provider if there is any available. After all, you need to add the domain in your webspace package using cPanel. You can choose between adding it as an "Alias" (also known as "Parked Domain") or as an "Addon Domain".

An "Addon Domain" will have its own subfolder in your public_html directory. It will also have its own rights such as an independent FTP login and the option to administer email addresses for the new domain.

An "Alias", on the other hand, has no own subfolder, it is linked to the main folder. Creating redirections and email addresses is also possible with "Aliases", of course.

Email

Most likely a webspace is used for email purpose, too. Basically there is one major point which should always be kept in mind: Webspace plans are not designed to send masses of emails. The option "Email" offers quite a lot of different functions and we unfortunately cannot discuss them in detail, but most of them are explained within the cPanelTV videos linked below.

Please note, that the videos may include options which are not offered by us or are not available with all packages. In addition, it is unfortunately not possible to install additional PHP modules upon request. Should you require special modules, we recommend to check out our VPS and Dedicated Server offers.

Softaculous

In order to provide an easy way to use our webspace products, we have a feature included which offers you the possibility to install quite a lot of software packages without having to search for installers, uploading them and performing the manual installation. This feature is called "Softaculous" and you can check out more details by having a look at our homepage:

https://contabo.com/?show=webhosting
https://contabo.com/?show=webapplications

If you have any questions regarding the above mentioned points or other general requests we are available via email and telephone.

 

Update:

Brand new: The Contabo Website Builder - available free of charge in all of our webspace plans. Create your own website in just a couple of minutes!

Posted by: Paul | Tagged as: , , , , No Comments
30Nov/170

Comparison of administration panels: cPanel vs. Plesk vs. Webmin

We are often asked which panel we would recommend. Since there is a variety of different panels with different functions and focus, we cannot easily answer this question. Currently we offer cPanel, Plesk, LAMP und Webmin, which we will introduce here.

cPanel/WHM

cPanel is a webhosting panel which allows to administrate a great number of users in an easy way and configure the installed services. In order to avoid security breaches many settings are pretty restrictive, which may cause issues due to the demands of your software. In addition, without plugins from external developers, it would not be possible to use nginx as an example. The software cPanel is divided into two parts, the interface for users is called cPanel, the administration interface WHM (WebHostMananger).

The developers provide a really detailed documentation which explains nearly all functions cPanel/WHM provides:

https://documentation.cpanel.net/

If errors occur or special questions appear which are not answered within the documentation, it is always a good possibility to ask for this within the official forum:

https://forums.cpanel.net/

And for those who do not know cPanel/WHM or want to check out what was changed before updating the own installation, a demo and the changelog are available:

https://cpanel.com/demo/
https://documentation.cpanel.net/display/CL/Change+Logs

If you are a new user, you may check out their YouTube channel, too:

https://www.youtube.com/user/cpaneltv

Plesk Onyx

Plesk understands itself as a platform for developers, thus it has a lot of software already installed and software like Docker, Ruby, etc. can be installed with a few clicks. In addition to this, a lot of features can be installed, using free or paid addons, which can be installed with a few clicks, too. Nevertheless, it is even an alternative to start a webhosting. At the moment, three different versions are offered, all details regarding the differences and the official addons can be found within the following document provided by Plesk:

https://www.plesk.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/plesk-onyx-licensing-guide.pdf

Plesk provides a detailed documentation, too:

https://docs.plesk.com/en-US/onyx/

In addition, a knowledge base with the most common problems and errors - and corresponding solutions - is provided:

https://support.plesk.com/hc/en-us

Moreover, the developers and community are active within the forum and provide assistance in case of problems:

https://talk.plesk.com/

Webmin

Webmin is no classic interface for webhosting, it is a server administration panel which provides a graphical interface to configure the installed services with the goal making server administration easier. An overview of the supported services can be found within the official documentation:

http://doxfer.webmin.com/Webmin/Webmin_Modules

In addition to the supported modules it is no problem to add additional software via SSH or develop more addons for Webmin to extend the list of services, this is possible due to the fact, that the source code is provided via GitHub:

https://github.com/webmin/webmin

As already mentioned, Webmin is by default no webhosting interface like cPanel or SSH but there was an additional software stack developed which provides the functionality required for webhosting:

https://www.virtualmin.com/

If you only want to use the server as a mail server, cPanel, Plesk and even Virtualmin may be a little bit to heavy, you can think about Webmin, too, since there is an additional addon which provides the basic mail server software:

http://www.usermin.com/usermin.html

LAMP

LAMP has already been offered since a few years and is not a panel like the other ones already mentioned, it is a software stack which contains (Linux,) Apache, MySQL and PHP; this is the basic software to start with your own web presentation. We already published a tutorial about this called "LAMP made easy".

Webmin + LAMP

After we had started offering LAMP, we were often asked why it is not possible to select both Webmin and LAMP. Since we always note down your feedback, we started offering both solutions as one package, so that you can start directly with your webpage after we have sent out the login details to you.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are different Panels on offer and the decision, which one to choose, also depends on the chosen operating system: cPanel can only be combined with CentOS, whereas Plesk can also be used with Windows Server. By the way: You can test Plesk one month for free (available for our VPS) and get used to the many functions this panel offers!

21Oct/130

Ubuntu 13.10 available

Ubuntu logoSince today you are free to install Ubuntu 13.10 on your VPS or Dedicated Server by using our Customer Control Panel. The main focus on this release was set on improvements for mobile devices. For server environments, it offers the Kernel 3.11 and updated packages.

More information can be found here:

DistroWatch - Ubuntu

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