Simplifying Setup of Web Sites
Before you start hosting Web sites, you should create hosting configuration presets, referred to as domain templates. The templates cover all resource usage allotments, permissions and resource limits that you can define for a hosting account, plus mail bounce and Web statistics retention settings. There is a predefined domain template available from the control panel: You can modify it as required and use it, or you can create your own templates. The default template cannot be removed.
To create a domain template:
- Go to Home > Domain Templates > Create Domain Template.
- Specify the following settings:
- Template name. Specify a name for this template. During setup of a new hosting account for a Web site, you will be prompted to select the required template by its name. Therefore, we recommend that you choose a meaningful name that describes the amount of allotted resources. For example, Mail hosting, 1GB disk space, 500 mailboxes.
- Mail to nonexistent users. Specify the domain-wide mail bounce options: When somebody sends an e-mail message to an e-mail address that does not exist under your domain, the mail server on your domain accepts mails, processes it, and when it finds out that there is no such a recipient under your domain, it returns the mail back to sender with the "this address no longer accepts mail" notice. You can choose to:
- change the default notice if you do not like it (leave the Bounce or Bounce with message option selected and type another message into the input box),
- forward undelivered mail to another e-mail address (select the Forward to address option and specify the e-mail address you need), or
- reject mail without accepting it (select the Reject option). This setting can decrease mail server load caused by a large amount of spam, which is often directed at randomly generated user names. However, for spammers this can somewhat speed up scanning your mail server for valid e-mail addresses.
- forward to external mail server (available only for Windows hosting). With this setting, all mail addressed to nonexistent users will be forwarded to the specified external mail server.
- Webmail. Specify whether the users of mailboxes in this domain should be able to read their mail through a browser based webmail application, and select the webmail application that should be used.
- Subdomains. Specify the number of subdomains that can be hosted under this domain.
- 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.
- Traffic. Specify the amount of data in megabytes that can be transferred from the Web site during a month.
- 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.
- Databases (available only for Linux hosting). Specify the number of databases that can be hosted in a domain.
- MySQL databases (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the maximum number of MySQL databases that can be hosted under a domain.
- 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.
- Mail redirects. Specify the number of mail forwarders that can be used in a domain.
- Mail groups. Specify the number of mail groups that can be hosted in a domain.
- Mail autoresponders. Specify the number of automatic responses that can be set up in a domain.
- Mailing lists. Specify the number of mailing lists that the domain owner can run in a domain. To allow the use of mailing lists, you should also put a check mark into the Mailing lists check box under the Preferences group.
- 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 (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the maximum disk space amount in megabytes that MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server databases respectively can occupy under a domain.
- FrontPage accounts (only for Windows hosting). Specify the maximum number of additional Microsoft FrontPage accounts that can be created under a domain.
- FTP accounts (available only for Windows-based hosting). Specify the maximum number of additional FTP accounts that can be created under a domain.
- Microsoft SQL server databases (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the maximum number of Microsoft SQL Server databases that can be hosted under a domain.
- Shared SSL links (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the total number of shared SSL links that can be used under a domain.
- ODBC connections (available only for Windows hosting). Specify the total number of ODBC connections that can be used under a domain.
- 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 Limits icon, specify another term in the Expiration date box, click OK, then click Unsuspend (Domains > domain name > Unsuspend).
- Log rotation. All connections to the Web server and requests for files that were not found on the server are registered in log files. These log files are analyzed by the statistical utilities running on the server, which then present graphical reports on demand. If you need to view the contents of these raw log files for debugging purposes, go to Domains > domain name > Log Manager, and then click the log file name you need. To prevent these log files from growing too large, you should enable automatic cleanup and recycling of log files:
- select the Switch on log rotation check box,
- specify when to recycle log files,
- specify how many instances of each log file processed by Parallels Plesk Panel's statistical utilities to store on the server,
- specify whether they should be compressed,
- specify whether they should be sent to an e-mail address after processing.
- Web and traffic statistics retention. Specify the number of months during which the Web and bandwidth usage statistics should be kept on the server.
- DNS. Specify whether the DNS server on your Web host should act as a master (primary) or slave (secondary) name server for the domain name zone. A primary name server stores locally the zone file it serves, while a secondary server only retrieves a copy of this file from the primary. You would normally leave the Master option selected.
- Physical hosting account. If you are going to host not only domain names (DNS zone settings), but also Web sites, select the Physical hosting check box and specify the hosting features:
- Hard disk quota. In addition to the soft quota, you can specify 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 "Out of disk space" error.
- 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.
- Create and publish Web site using Sitebuilder. This will enable the site owner to create and manage a Web site using Sitebuilder.
- 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 Microsoft FrontPage support and FrontPage over SSL support check boxes and set the Remote Microsoft FrontPage authoring option to allowed.
- Support for programming and scripting languages 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.
- 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 statistical package you need from the Web statistics menu, and select the accessible via password protected directory /plesk-stat/webstat check box. This will install the statistical 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.
- Custom error documents. When visitors coming to your 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 server, select the Custom error documents check box.
- Shell access to the server with FTP user's credentials (available only for Linux hosting). 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 leave the Forbidden option selected.
- Additional write/modify permissions (available only for Windows hosting). This option is required if Web applications on the site are 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 the site. 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 a shared hosting package.
- Use dedicated 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.
- Maximum CPU use (available only for Windows hosting). To limit the amount of CPU resources that domain's IIS application pool can use, clear the Unlimited check box and type in the number (in percents).
- Performance. To avoid excessive usage of bandwidth, which can lead to resources overage, you can set various performance limitations for a domain.
- Maximum bandwidth usage. To limit the maximum speed (measured in kilobytes per second) that a domain can share between all its connections, clear the Unlimited check box and type in a number in kilobytes.
- Connections limiting. To limit the maximum number of simultaneous connections to a domain, clear the Unlimited check box and type in a number.
- Click OK to complete creation of a template.
During setup of a hosting account for a new domain (Web site), you will select the required template and the hosting account will be created and allocated the resources and hosting services you defined.
To reflect the changes in your domain templates that will apply to the newly created Web site hosting accounts:
- Go to Home > Domain Templates.
- Click the template name corresponding to the domain template you want to update.
- Modify the settings as required and click OK.
Note that modifying templates does not affect the existing domains and Web sites.
To remove a template that you no longer need:
- Go to Home > Domain Templates.
- Select a check box corresponding to the template you no longer need.
- Click Remove. Confirm removal and click OK.