Setting Up a Hosting Account for a Web Site
To host a Web site on the server:
- Go to Home > Domains group title menu > Create Domain.
- Select the user account to which the site will belong (click an option button to the left of the user name).
- Click Next >>.
- In the Domain name field, leave the WWW box selected, and type your domain name example.com. Having the www alias preceding a domain name will allow users to get to the site no matter what they type in their browsers: www.example.com and example.com will both point to the same site.
- From the Assign IP address menu, select the required IP address. You should select a dedicated IP address (not shared among other sites), or, in terms of Parallels Plesk Panel, exclusive IP address to be able to install an authentic digital SSL certificate for securing customers' communications to your hosting server.
- In the Use domain template settings menu, select the template you created, or leave the default domain value selected if you did not create custom templates. To facilitate setup of new Web sites, the control panel uses settings inherited from domain templates. After your Web site is set up, you can replace the default settings with other settings.
- Under Switch on service, leave the Mail and DNS check boxes selected if e-mail accounts and DNS zones will be served by the mail and DNS services running on this server.
- Under Hosting type, select the Web site 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. For more information, refer to the Parallels Plesk Panel 9 Administrator's Guide, section Serving Domain Names for Sites Hosted on Other Servers (Domain Forwarding).
- Type in the username and password that will be used for uploading Web site content over FTP and Microsoft FrontPage.
- Select the Configure advanced Web hosting settings check box and click Next >>.
- Specify the following settings:
- 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 (available only for Linux hosting). 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.
- Hard disk quota (available only for Linux hosting). 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
- Access to the server over SSH or Remote Desktop with FTP user's credentials. This allows a site owner to upload securely Web content to the server through a Secure Socket Shell or Remote Desktop connection, however, allowing access to the server also poses a potential threat to the server security, so we recommend that you set this option to Forbidden.
- Create and publish Web site using Sitebuilder. This allows a site owner to create and manage his or her Web site using the Sitebuilder program installed on your server.
- Microsoft 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 options Microsoft FrontPage support, Microsoft FrontPage over SSL support, and Remote FrontPage authoring allowed.
- Support for hosting services and scripting languages. Specify which of the following programming and scripting languages should be supported 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 > Web Hosting Settings).
- Web statistics. To allow the 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 from the Web statistics menu, and select the accessible via password protected directory /plesk-stat/webstat 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.
- Additional write/modify permissions (available only for Windows hosting). This option is required if Web applications under a domain will be using a file-based database (like Jet) located in the root of
httpsdocs folders. Please note that selecting this option might seriously compromise the Web site security.
- Use dedicated IIS application pool (available only for Windows hosting). This option enables the use of dedicated IIS application pool for Web applications on a domain. Using dedicated IIS application pool dramatically improves the stability of domain Web applications due to worker process isolation mode. This mode gives each Web site hosted on the server the possibility to allocate a separate process pool for execution of its Web applications. This way, malfunction in one application will not cause stopping of all the others. This is especially useful when you are using shared hosting package.
- Click Next >>.
- Specify the following settings:
- Overuse policy. Specify what should be done to the site when disk space and traffic limits are exceeded: To block the site, select the Overuse is not allowed option. To allow the site to operate, select the Overuse is allowed option.
- Maximum number of subdomains. Specify the number of subdomains that can be hosted under this domain.
- Maximum number of domain aliases. Specify the total number of additional alternative domain names that the site owner will be able to use for his or her Web site.
- Disk space. Specify the total amount of disk space allocated to a hosting account associated with the domain. This amount is measured in megabytes. It includes disk space occupied by all files related to the domain/Web site: Web site contents, databases, applications, mailboxes, log files and backup files.
- Maximum amount of traffic. Specify the amount of data in megabytes that can be transferred from the Web site during a month.
- Maximum number of Web users. Specify the number of personal Web pages that the domain owner can host for other users under his or her domain. This service is mostly used in educational institutions that host non-commercial personal pages of their students and staff. These pages usually have web addresses like http://your-domain.com/~username. If you wish to allow execution of scripts embedded in personal Web pages, select also the Allow the web users scripting check box. See the Hosting Personal Web Pages section for details.
- Maximum number of MySQL databases. Specify the number of databases that can be hosted in a domain.
- Maximum number of mailboxes. Specify the number of mailboxes that can be hosted in a domain.
- Mailbox quota. Specify the amount of disk space in kilobytes that is allocated for storing e-mail messages and autoresponder attachment files to each mailbox in a domain.
- Maximum number of mail forwarders. Specify the number of mail forwarders that can be used in a domain.
- Maximum number of mail autoresponders. Specify the number of automatic responses that can be set up in a domain.
- Maximum number of mailing lists. Specify the number of mailing lists that the domain owner can run in a domain. The mailing lists are served by the GNU Mailman software, which may or may not be installed on the server. If it is not installed and your customers would like to use it, you may want to to install it. To allow the use of mailing lists, you should also put a check mark into the Mailing lists check box under the Preferences group.
- Maximum number of Java applications. Specify the maximum number of Java applications or applets that the domain owner can install under a domain.
- MySQL databases quota and Microsoft SQL databases quota. Specify the maximum disk space amount in megabytes that MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server databases respectively can occupy under a domain.
- Maximum number of additional Microsoft FrontPage accounts (only for Windows hosting). Specify the maximum number of additional Microsoft FrontPage accounts that can be created under a domain.
- Maximum number of MySQL databases and Maximum number of Microsoft SQL server databases. Specify the maximum number of MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server databases that can be hosted under a domain.
- Maximum number of additional FTP accounts (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the maximum number of additional FTP accounts that can be created under a domain.
- Maximum number of shared SSL links (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the total number of shared SSL links that can be used under a domain.
- Maximum number of ODBC connections (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the total number of ODBC connections that can be used under a domain.
- Maximum number of ColdFusion DSN connections (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the total number of ColdFusion DSN connections that can be used under a domain.
- Expiration date. Specify the term for a hosting account. At the end of the term, the domain (Web site) will be suspended, its Web, FTP and mail services will no longer be accessible to the Internet users, and domain owner will not be able to log in to the control panel. Hosting accounts cannot be automatically renewed, therefore, in order to bring the hosted domain name/web site back to operation, you will need to manually renew the hosting account: click the Domains shortcut in the navigation pane, click the domain name your need, click the Resource Usage icon, specify another term, click OK, then click the Unsuspend icon (Domains > domain name > Unsuspend).
- Click Finish.
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. For more information, refer to the Parallels Plesk Panel 9 Administrator's Guide, section Setting Up Additional Domain Names for a Site (Domain Aliases).
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. For more information, refer to the Parallels Plesk Panel 9 Administrator's Guide, section Serving Domain Names for Sites Hosted on Other Servers (Domain Forwarding).