ApplicationsCarleton College has four featured applications listed, but there are many, many more that can be utilized. Just click on All Applications in order to see what possibilities lie in wait for your domain! For more information about web applications, click here.
DomainsThe Domains section of cPanel allows you to manage your addon domains, subdomains, aliases, and redirected domains. Additionally, you can use the Zone Editor to map different parts of your domain to other hosting environments.
- Addon Domains act as second website with its own unique content. Please note, you are required to register the new domain name before you can host it. Reclaim Hosting, our hosting provider, offers a service for this, although there are other domain registration companies if you’d prefer to look elsewhere.
- Subdomains act as a second website with its own unique content without having to register a new domain name. In general, you use your existing domain name and change the www to another relevant term. For example, student.sites.carleton.edu is a subdomain of sites.carleton.edu.
- Redirects map old domains to your existing domain.
- Aliases allow you to create additional domain names to be mapped to the current domain.
- Zone Editor handles DNS (Domain Name System) and allows you to see what’s happening behind the scenes when someone visits your website. For more information, see the “What is DNS?” section of this documentation.
FilesWithin files, you are able to manage and organize all the files on your domain. To truly see the capabilities of these tools – just click and explore!
- File Manager allows you to manage all files connected to your account, including renaming, uploading, and deleting them. You can also get to your file manager using the Quick Links section at the top left of your cPanel.
- Images lets your manage images that have been previously saved to your account.
- Directory Privacy allows you to set a password to protect certain directories of your account.
- Disk Usage helps you monitor your account’s available space.
- File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files online. More information can be found in the “Setting up FTP” section of this documentation.
- R1Soft Restore Backups is the recommended backup option of the three backup icons displayed. You can read more about it under the “Automated Offsite Backups” section of Reclaim’s blog post “Backups Done Right”.
DatabasesThe Databases section allows you to create MySQL and PostgreSQL databases and users, and to modify and access to them. SQL stands for Structured Query Language. SQL is an international standard in querying and retrieving information from databases. PostgreSQL is an object-relational database management system.
- phpMyAdmin: manages a single database as well as a whole MySQL server.
- MySQL Database & MySQL Database Wizard: allows you to store and manage large amounts of information over the web; these are essential to running web-based applications, for example: bulletin boards, content management systems, and online shopping carts. The Wizard guides you through the setup of a MySQL database and user privileges.
- Remote MySQL: You can use this to add a specific domain name so visitors can connect to your MySQL databases.
MetricscPanel offers a number of different monitoring and statistic tools to help you administer your hosting account. Some of the more important and useful functions are explained in more depth below.
- Visitors: Use this to see your 1,000 most recent visitors for each of your domains.
- Errors: This displays the last 300 errors on your site; helpful if looking for missing files or broken links.
- Bandwidth: Bandwidth represents the amount of information that your server transfers and receives. Use this function to view the bandwidth usage for your site; see total usage, or by month. Includes web and mail usage.
- Raw Access: This is another stats function that allows you to see who has visited your website without graphics. A downloadable zip file of your site’s activity is availble.
- Awstats: Allows you to see your website visitors with visual aides.
- CPU and Concurrent Connection Usage: Lets you visualize the CPU and RAM usage of your site.
SecuritycPanel has an entire security section devoted to protecting different parts of customer web sites from the unauthorized access of their viewers. The cPanel Security section includes SSH Access, IP Blocker, SSL/TLS, Hotlink Protection, Leech Protection and ModSecurity.
- SSH Access: Allows secure file transfers and remote logins online. Watch a video on how to manage SSH Keys on Reclaim Hosting.
- IP Blocker: This function allows you to block a range of IP addresses to prevent them from accessing your website. This is done by simply searching a qualified domain name.
- SSL/TLS: The SSL/TLS Manager will allow you to generate SSL certificates, certificate signing requests, and private keys. These are all parts of using SSL to secure your website. Information is sent encrypted instead of in plain text.
- Hotlink Protection: Prevents other websites from directly linking to files on your website.
- Leech Protection: Prevents your users from giving out or publicly posting their passwords to a restricted area of your site
- ModSecurity: Protects your website from various attacks using a web application firewall, provides additional tools to monitor your Apache web server.
- SSL/TLS Status: Allows you to view, upgrade, or renew your Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates.
SoftwareThe Software section of cPanel is located towards the bottom of your cPanel dashboard. The functions that get used most often in this category are Optimize Website and the Installatron Applications Installer.
- Optimize Website: This function allows you to optimize the performance of your website by tweaking the way Apache handles requests
- Installatron Applications Installer: Another route to the “View More” in Web Applications, which lists all available features that can be installed on your domain.
AdvancedThe Advanced Section is located at near the very end of your cPanel dashboard. We recommend using this area only if you are familiar and comfortable with utilizing these features.
- Track DNS: this allows you to find out information about any domain; trace the route from the server to your computer, for example. This can be helpful to make sure your DNS is set up properly.
- Indexes: This manager customizes the way a directory can be seen (or not seen) online.
- Error Pages: In two simple steps, you can select the domain you wish to work with, and then create/edit error pages for that site that viewers will see.
- Virus Scanner: is essentially what it sounds like; start a new virus scan in Mail, Entire Home Directory, Public Web Space or Public FTP space.
PreferencesThe Preferences area allows you to change your language, change the style of the interface, and your contact information. While we recommend that you leave your primary contact email as your school email address, you are more than welcome to add a second! Further, within Contact Information, you can update your notification preferences.
- Password & Security: allows you to change your cPanel password. (Needed for FTP connection, for example)
- Change Language: This tool allows you to change the language used in your cPanel Dashboard.
- Change Style: Use this tool to customize your cPanel interface; choose between Basic and Retrothemes.
- User Manager: Find how to use User Manager here
1.1.Understanding Accounts & Passwords
One aspect of sites.carleton.edu that users may find a bit complicated at first is understanding the different accounts (and associated passwords) that you can manage as part of your participation in the project. This article outlines the types of accounts that you are likely to have, what they are for, and how you go about resetting passwords on each of them.
Your cPanel Account
When you first sign-up for your domain and hosting, a cPanel account will be generated that provides you with access to your slice of the sites.carleton.edu web server. Your cPanel account is automatically associated with your Carleton College Sites username. Therefore, your Carleton College Sites username will grant you access to your cPanel account.
Your Application Administrator Accounts
Every time you install a new application in cPanel, an Administrator Account for that application will be created. You will likely use these accounts very often – every time you need to login to your application to manage the associated website, you will use this account.
For example, if you install WordPress to manage your Web site, every time you need to add content to WordPress, change your theme, approve comments, etc. you will use this account to login.
Usually, you will be given the opportunity to choose the username and password for that account. We recommend choosing something that you are likely to remember but that is strong and secure.
Upon installation, you will likely receive an email confirming the user-id/password combination you chose. It will also have information about how to access the login page for that application. You may wish to make sure you don’t delete this message.
Depending on the application you’re working with, managing and resetting the password for this account will vary. If you’ve used Installatron (in cPanel) to install the application, however, you can always review the account credentials:
Login to cPanel through https://sites.carleton.edu/dashboard/
Click the Installatron icon in the Software/Services section.
Find the application you installed under My Applications.
Click the Edit button (this looks like a blue wrench).
Scroll down to find the Administrator Username and Password.
In addition, most applications should have some kind of password reset link on the login page. For more information on resetting your application password through Installatron, click here.
Other Types of Accounts
In addition to the account types outlined above, there are a few other kinds of accounts you may have as part of sites.carleton.edu:
When you sign up for subdomain/top-level domain on Stateu.org, cPanel will automatically create an FTP account for you by default. You’ll also have the option of manually creating your own FTP account. You can learn about their differences here.
Application User Accounts: In addition to the Administrator Account that you set up when installing an application, most applications will also let you set up user profile accounts within each application.
1.2.File Structures and the File Manager
Web hosting is, at its basic core, files and folders on a computer that is connected to the internet and setup to distribute them. How that computer (typically a server) is set up to do that is covered more in LAMP Environments but this article will explain the idea of the file structure and how it relates to what you view on your domain.
When you signed up for your domain, a web hosting account was created. Although you typically will interact mostly with the web interface to create subdomains, install applications, and other common tasks, you might occasionally also need to work directly with the files in your account. The File Manager in your cPanel is one way to see these files. You can also create an FTP account in cPanel and use an FTP program to interact with these files (FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and it’s a way of using a desktop client to transfer files to and from your Web server space).
Let’s take a look at the File Manager built into your cPanel to get a better understanding of the file structure that makes up your website(s).
- Login to cPanel with your Carleton College Sites username and password.
- On the homepage of your control panel, you’ll have all the various tools listed. You can easily find the File Manager by using the search tool in the upper righthand corner and typing File Manager. You can also find its icon under Files.
- You are now sent to the File Manager and can navigate the folder structure there.
You’ll notice when the File Manager opens up that this looks very much like a folder on your computer. There are a few folders in it as well as files, and you can navigate down into those folders and see what’s inside of them. At the top level of the File Manager, you also have the option of interacting with files and folders you select by moving them around or removing them. There is a larger article all about how to use the file manager at Accessing Your Files through the File Manager so we won’t talk much about how the interface works here. Instead, we’ll cover what those folders and files actually mean and how they relate to what someone sees when they visit your website.
By default, you have a variety of folders at the root of your web space (the first screen you see when you open up the file manager). Some of them are created automatically to store information about the panel and setup of certain sites. These folders are things like access-logs, etc, ssl, and tmp. You can safely ignore most of those folders because they don’t correspond to actual websites. Let’s look at which folders do and how it all works.
Your main domain will correspond with a folder called public_html. Whatever files and folders are inside of this folder are available on that main domain. If you installed WordPress here you’ll likely see a lot of WordPress-related files within it (which were probably helpfully put there by the automated installer). Let’s say we uploaded an image called mypicture.jpg directly into the public_html folder. That image would now be available at yourdomain.com/mypicture.jpg. The slash after your domain implies “this file is inside this folder”. But what if we had a folder inside the public_html folder? How does that appear? This is typically called a subfolder so let’s put a folder in public_html called “images” and put our image, mypicture.jpg, inside of that folder. What would you type in a browser to get to that file now? The location would be mydomain.com/images/mypicture.jpg. So subfolders are also indicated by a forward slash after a domain.
What about subdomains? You can have completely separate sites called subdomains that appear as nameofsubdomain.yourdomain.com. But where are they in the file structure? When you create a subdomain, cPanel will ask you to give the subdomain directory a name. If I had a subdomain called photos.mydomain.com for example, I might want to name the folder “photos” (by default your control panel will call the folder by the name of the subdomain). Folders for subdomains are located inside the public_html folder. So when you go to the File Manager and navigate to public_html, you’ll see folders listed for all of your subdomains and once you navigate inside one of those folders, you’ll see files and folders specifically for that subdomain that appear on the web at that subdomain’s address.
File Manager in cPanel is great to view these files and folders, but it can be limiting if you want to upload an entire folder of information to your website. If you find yourself wanting to do more with the files and folders on your web space you may want to consider using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). FTP will allow you to upload and download files to and from your File Manager (i.e. your website) in bulk. For information on using FTP, click here.
1.3.Accessing Your Files through the File Manager
Your Carleton College cPanel includes a File Manager that allows you to interact directly with the files stored in your web hosting account. This can be useful if you want to upload software that cannot be automatically installed via the Web Applications section of your cPanel, if you need to change the name or permissions of a file or group or files, or if you want to edit a plain text file. To access your files via the File Manager, use these steps:
- Login to sites.carleton.edu with your Carleton College Sites username and password.
- Once logged in, you’ll be on the homepage of your cPanel. The easiest way to navigate your cPanel is by utilizing the search bar in the top right panel. Search File Manager. When you press enter, you will be automatically redirected to the File Manager. You can also find the File Manager icon under the Files section.
- On the left side of the “File Manager” window, you’ll see a navigation menu containing the file structure of your web hosting account. More information about the contents of these files and folders can be found in the File Structures and the File Manager documentation article.
- In the navigation menu, choose the public_html directory. This will take you directly to the folder that contains the files associated with your website(s). You’ll notice your current location (the public_html folder) is bolded and highlighted in this menu. Click the [+] (expand) icon next to a folder to see what subfolders it contains, or click on the name of the folder to view all of its contents in the file browser on the right side of the page. You can also navigate through the folders in your account by double-clicking on them in the menu on the left side of your file manager.
- To select an item, click once on its icon in the file browser. You can also use the “Select All” button above the file browser, or your computer’s keyboard shortcuts (Shift, Command, Control, etc), to select multiple items from this list.
- Depending on what you have selected, different options will be available to you in the action menu across the top of your file manager. For example, if you have selected a folder, you can rename it or Change Permissions on it.
- If you know exactly what location you want to skip to within your web hosting account, you can type it into the box directly above the navigation menu and click Go.
- Alternatively, if you know the exact name of the file or folder you are looking for, but not its location, you can use the Search box to find it.
1.4.Subdomains vs. Subdirectories
When you’re first getting started with a new space on a new Web host, you might think of yourself as owning a small “territory” of the Web. Everything you place in your public folder on the server becomes available for anyone on the Web to see (assuming they know the address of your site and the files you’ve placed there).
If you’re just putting up a handful of static, HTML pages which you want to make available to colleagues, friends, or family by sending them links, then working with this large, unorganized space may work. But as soon as you get to the point where you want to organize your site, you’re going to need a new strategy.
Consider this scenario: you want to have a personal blog on your new Web space, where you share pictures and short written pieces with family, friends, and colleagues. In addition, you’re working on a large research project that requires you to build a Web-based repository of digital images related to your discipline. You want to use one application (say, WordPress) to manage your personal blog. For your research project, you’ve settled on another open-source application (Say, Omeka). Both of these are applications that need to be installed on your Web host, but you can’t just put them both at your main domain name – if you did, both sites would quickly experience conflicts and errors. You need to cordon off separate spaces for your different Web “properties.”
There are two primary strategies for parceling up your Web space. You can create subdomains or subdirectories. But before you can understand the difference, you need to first understand what we mean when we talk about your root domain.
Let’s say you’ve registered a new domain for sites.carleton.edu called blog.sites.carleton.edu. Anything that is stored at this core URL is considered to be at the root of your domain. Nothing comes before the address or after the address. You can certainly decide that you simply want to have a single site on your Web host (say a blog running WordPress), and you can set that blog up at your domain’s root. To get to your site in this scenario, users would simply go to blog.sites.carleton.edu.
When you want to do more than just have a single site at the root of your site, you need to decide now to organize your space. One way to do so is by setting up subdomains.
You’re may already be familiar with the concept of subdomains, even if you don’t know it. Consider Google’s website at https://google.com. As you browse features of that site, you’ll notice that the domain changes. When you’re looking at your Gmail account, for example, the domain changes to https://mail.google.com. Now the root of the url is mail.google.com, indicating that you’re on the part of the site that is dedicated to Google’s mail services.
In this instance, mail.google.com is a subdomain that provides a different utility than google.com. The domains serve two purposes: they help to organize the site from a technical perspective, but they also serve as indications to the users that they are in a new/different space.
As you work on your site, you’re welcome to create as many subdomains as you like, and in each subdomain you can actually create a distinct, individual Web site.
The alternative for organizing your space is to simply set up subdirectories. These function much like file folders on your computer. Instead of creating a blog at blog.yourdomain.com you would place it in a subdirectory called “blog” making the address yourdomain.com/blog. Setting up subdirectory is really easy. You can create folders on the fly when installing applications (like WordPress), and you can also manually create them in your file browser.
There is one particular issue you need to be aware of: Let’s say you’ve installed WordPress to be your primary blog at yourdomain.com. Later, you decide you want to install WordPress again for a separate image gallery site, and you want to place it at yourdomain.com/gallery. But, if for some reason you’ve already created a page on your WordPress site called “Gallery” then the url yourdomain.com/gallery will already be taken. If you try to create a subdirectory of the same name, you’ll get a conflict and errors.
Tips & Review
Subdomains are generally a cleaner, more elegant solution to organizing your site. You’re less likely to get conflicts or errors. However, when using subdomains the process is slightly more complicated: You must create subdomains first before you can install anything in them.
Subdirectories don’t create as pretty URLs as subdomains, but they’re easier to set up. They can, however, result in conflicts with existing Web pages.
As soon as you create subdomains or subdirectories to organize your site, you need to consider how people are going to find them. If you’ve created a new primary blog at blog.yourdomain.com, and someone goes to just yourdomain.com, they won’t see that new site. It is possible to set up redirects to avoid this issue. You can also always create links from pages on one subdomain of your site to another.
If you really just need one site, sometimes installing at the root of your domain is the easiest thing to do, at least as you’re getting started. You can always add more pieces to your territory later with either subdomains or subdirectories.
1.5.Setting Up Subdomains
A subdomain is one way of organizing and separating content on your site. To create a subdomain, use the following steps:
- Log into sites.carleton.edu with your Carleton College username and password to access your cPanel.
- Once logged in, you’ll be at the homepage of your cPanel. The easiest way to navigate your cPanel is using the search feature in the top right panel. Click the Search box and type “subdomains” (without the quotes). When you press enter, you will automatically be taken to the Subdomains page. Or, you can scroll down and click the Subdomains icon under the Domains section of cPanel.
- Choose a name for your subdomain and type it into the Subdomain box. Just like top-level domains, subdomains can only contain numbers, letters, and hyphens, and the best subdomains are simple, short, and descriptive.
- Once you’ve typed in a name, cPanel will automatically populate the Document root field for you. This will create a folder to contain your subdomain’s files. You’ll usually want this folder to match the name of your subdomain, so it’s easy to identify where different files live in your account. You might want to change the document root if you already have a folder in your account that has the same name as the subdomain you are trying to create, although this should be rare. Once you’re done, click Create.
- Once you’re done, click Create. If everything went well, you should see a message that your subdomain was created successfully.
Your subdomain will now be available as an option for automatic installation of various software (WordPress, MediaWiki, etc). If you prefer to install web applications manually, you can do so in the document root (folder) you created in step 5.
1.6.Applications Available in Installatron
Installatron, the script installer that is part of the Carleton College cPanel, allows you to easily install Web applications to your Web space. Login to your Dashboard, and under Applications > All Applications, you will see all the available applications.
1.7.Installing Applications with Installatron
Installatron is a script installer that allows you to quickly and easily install Web applications to on the Web space. By default, when you use Installatron, the application you add will be automatically upgraded whenever a new version is available (and a backup will be kept, just in case).
Installing Applications Using Installatron
- To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel by going to https://sites.carleton.edu/dashboard/.
- Here you’ll log in with your Carleton College Sites username and password.
- Once logged in you’ll be on the homepage of your control panel (cPanel). You will need to scroll down until you see a section of your cPanel labeled Web Applications. Within this section, you will see a link to the Installatron which you should click. Or, you can type “installatron” (without quotes) into the search bar. When you press enter you will automatically be redirected to the Installatron page.
- A listing of all of the applications you can install by default in Installatron will appear. Navigate to the one you want to install, and click the icon.
- After clicking the icon, a page will appear with information about the application, links to resources, and a link to install it.
- Click Install this application when you are ready.
- A page will appear with a number of settings you can choose/change. The image below shows these settings; here is a rundown of them:
- Location: You’ll need to choose where to install your new application. You can install it at the root of your domain or in a subdomain (which you need to set up first). In addition, you can place your application in a folder (in either your root domain or a subdomain)
- Version Information: You can choose a version of the application. Generally, we recommend choosing the default version. It is likely to be the most recent, stable release.
- Updates & Database Management: By default, the system is set up to automatically upgrade (and create backups upon upgrading) all applications. In addition, by default, the database will be set up for you automatically. We recommend NOT changing these options.
- Username/Password: An username/password will be automatically generated for you. You can choose to change this if you like.
- Click Install: After installation, you’ll be taken back to the main Installatron page, with details about the application you just installed. At any time you can come back here to review the application details, back it up manually, or uninstall it.
To get to your new site, you can click the “website” link. What’s more, with certain applications you can use this space to log in to the admin area.
In addition, you’ll have received an email with your username/password and a link to your new site.
Any application that you install in Carleton College using the cPanel/Installatron is set to automatically create a backup of the whole app every time the software updates. The backups expire after 14 days, but they can quickly eat up quota space in that time, especially since some apps (such as WordPress) update automatically. Follow the steps in each section below to take more control over the space that backups use in your account.
1. Turn off the automatic Installatron backup
- Go to your cPanel
- Go to Applications > WordPress > My Applications.
- From there, select the wrench next to your site’s name.
- Scroll down to Automatic Update Backup and set that to Do not create a backup
2. View restore points in R1Soft Backups App
The R1Soft Restore Backups app can be found in the “Files” section of your cPanel dashboard.
This app should already be active so there are no additional steps you need to take to set it up. R1Soft automatically creates an off-site backup of your files and databases nightly. You can open the app from your cPanel to verify that there are restore points listed. More information about how this app works can be found in this documentation from our hosting provider, Reclaim Hosting, under the “Automated Offsite Backup” heading: https://reclaimhosting.com/backups-done-right/.
3. Create a manual Installatron backup before major changes
While R1Soft creates daily backups of all of your content, it’s best practice to have a backup of your application from right before you start tinkering, just in case anything goes wrong. That way you won’t lose any content that’s been added or changed since the latest daily backup. As a bonus, backups created through the Installatron are easy to restore with a single click. These manual backups can even be sent to an offsite location like Dropbox to save space.
To create a manual backup:
- From your cPanel, click My Apps in the Applications section.
- Click the checkbox to the far right of the application name (labeled 1 in the screenshot below).
- Click “Backup” below the bottom of the application list (labeled 2 in the screenshot below).
- On the next screen, enter a descriptive label and click Backup again. The backup will run with a status bar.
2.Setting Up FTP
There may be times when you need to upload files to your website in the Carleton College web hosting environment. There are a number of scenarios when this might be necessary:
You’re working with an application that allows you to install plugins/extensions, but the files need to be manually added to your file manager in order to install them. (Note: This is not required for WordPress which allows you to install themes/plugins through the WordPress dashboard.)
You’ve developed a custom site/pages using a Web design program, and you need to upload the files you created to your file manager
You’re installing an application that isn’t part of applications list in Installatron.
One way to upload files is by using the File Manager that is part of cPanel. However, sometimes you’ll find it easier/necessary to use File Transfer Protocol (FTP) to move files to your site. This can be particularly useful if you’re working with a Web space where you’re not the owner (so you don’t have access to the File Manager in cPanel) or if you need to provide file access to someone else to your space on the Web server. File Manager also only allows you to upload files one by one, so if you’re working with large amounts of data then FTP will be preferable.
What exactly is FTP?
File Transfer Protocol is a method that allows you to remotely move files to a Web server from another location – usually your local/personal computer. Using a pre-defined FTP account (with a username and password), you can configure an FTP client (a program you run on your computer that allows you to transfer files via FTP.
There are lots of FTP clients that you can use; some are free and some are not. A few free ones you might consider:
For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll show you how to set up FTP in FileZilla, (Cyberduck instructions can be found here) but you should be able to generalize these instructions to use in any FTP client.
Get Information about Your FTP Account
If you’re connecting via FTP to your own space on Carleton College, or if you’re setting up an FTP account for someone else to use, you’ll need to start by getting the proper FTP credentials from cPanel:
- Login to sites.carleton.edu.
- In the Search Box at the top of the page, search for “FTP”, and click the FTP Accounts icon that appears.
- Every cPanel has an FTP account by default, and you can find those credentials by scrolling down on the FTP Accounts page. You also have the option to create a new FTP account, which can be done by filling out the Add FTP Account form with a username and password. Unless you change it, the new FTP account will be limited to a directory with the same name as the account you’re creating. You can change this to a different directory, if you want to grant this account access to a different location. NOTE: Make sure you know/remember the password you enter. When you’re done, click Create FTP Account.
- Once you’ve created the new account, you’ll see it appear in the list at the bottom of the FTP Accounts page. In addition to any accounts you’ve created, in the Special FTP Accounts section, you’ll see the default FTP Account. You’ll know this account because the username corresponds to your cPanel username. This FTP account has full privileges to access all directories within your cPanel.
- For whichever account you need credentials for, click the Configure FTP Client link.
- Write down the username, server, and port information that appears. You will need to use this (or you will need to provide this to the person you are giving FTP access) along with the password you created in Step 3 in order to configure your FTP client.
For cPanel’s default FTP account, use the following settings:
-Connect via SFTP (more secure than FTP)
For an FTP account that you manually created (shown in Step 3 above), use the following settings:
-Connect via FTP (cPanel doesn’t allow an SFTP connection for manual accounts)
Configure FTP in Your FTP Client
Here are a few things you need to know about the Web host that will make it easier to understand what you can do with your new space.
The Web Server
The Web server is the main computer that is associated with the sites.carleton.edu hosting account. It is literally a computer that has special software on it that allows it to be accessible via the Web. The files that run your applications, images, video, or any other files you upload into your Web space are stored on this server.
(For comparison’s sake, your desktop or laptop computer, by default, doesn’t allow this; I can’t access files on your computer through a Web browser by default. You can actually install Web server software on your own computer, however, essentially making your files accessible over the Web.)
In order to run properly, a Web server has to have an operating system installed and some kind of Web server software. Our Carleton College hosting environment runs the
LINUX operating system and an
APACHE Web server.
The Database Server
In addition to the Web server, there is also an associated database server. This is another computer, but it is configured with software that allows it to host databases. It is also connected to your Web server so that your applications (hosted on the Web server) can retrieve data (from databases hosted on the database server).
Databases come in many varieties. The kind of database you can use for a Web application depends on the kind of software that’s installed on the database server. Our Carleton College hosting environment runs
The Programming Language
When you install open-source software on your Web account, it’s going to be written in a programming language. Our Carleton College hosting environment has software installed on it that allows it to understand different programming languages. If you install software that’s written in a language that your Web server doesn’t read, it won’t work.
The Carleton College Sites hosting environment can currently interpret
Add it Together: LAMP
If you take a look at all the descriptions above, you can determine that we are running what is known as a LAMP server for sites.carleton.edu:
Linux (operating system)
Apache (Web server)
MySQL (database server)
PHP/PERL/PYTHON (programming language)
Applications that are written for LAMP environments will, presumably, run on the server. However, some applications do require additional extensions or libraries that aren’t included in a LAMP environment by default. The applications you can install via Installatron (in cPanel) should work just fine.
LAMP environments are unique because all components are open-source, meaning Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, PERL, and PYTHON are open for anyone to use for free. Anyone can also modify them and redistribute them. As a result, there are lots of online resources for using these systems that have been built by their communities of users. But, also as a result, since you’re not paying for these systems, you can’t just call up a company and ask them to fix a problem.
WordPress is an online, open source blog application. Powering over 30% of the web, WordPress is easily one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in existence today. WordPress forked from b2/cafelog in 2003, and WordPress MU multiple website functionality has been integrated since 2010. You can read more about the WordPress backstory here.
- Once logged at https://sites.carleton.edu you’ll be at the homepage of your control panel. Scroll down and look under Web Applications, then click the WordPress button.
- This page gives you more information about the WordPress software. To begin the install click Install this Application in the upper-righthand corner.
- On the next page, the installer will ask for some information about this install. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to install it. For example, you could install it in a subdomain you have created by selecting it from the drop-down menu. You also have the option of installing WordPress in a subfolder by typing in the folder name in the Directory field. Click here for more information about subdomains.
- By default the installer will automatically backup your website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely. The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details. Finally, you’ll need to create an initial username and password for the WordPress install. Enter that information in the final section and click Install.
- The installer will take just a few moments to install WordPress and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete, you will see a link to your new WordPress site as well as a link to the backend administrative section for your WordPress site.
Congratulations, you’ve now installed WordPress! Now you can start customizing it with themes, plugins, and more.
WordPress is a platform intended to allow you to share your thoughts and ideas freely and easily with the world. However, there are options to publish to a more limited audience.
The first way is to limit who can find your website. That is done by keeping search engines, like Google, from seeing (known as indexing) your site.
- To do this, we’ll start at the Dashboard.
- Navigate to Settings > Reading. Normally the box next to Search Engine Visibility is unchecked. If you decide to check the box, it will “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” It will depend on the search engine to honor your “request”. Some search engines will simply ignore it. Obviously, this is not a sure-fire way of keeping your blog private.
- You also have options on individual posts to keep them private, so that only people who are logged in to your site can view a given post. You can also password protect posts with a password you supply. Choose the Private radio button to keep a post hidden behind the login, or choose the Password protected button and then type in the password you wish to use. Click on OK when you are finished. Then be sure you click the Update button to save your post with the new settings.
Omeka is an open-source web application that can be used to create and display online digital collections. Developed by programmers at George Mason University, Omeka was designed to be user-friendly, both during installation and setup and during daily usage.
You can learn how to use this application in the official Omeka Support Documentation. This support guide will help you get started and begin creating your Omeka site.
To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel (https://sites.carleton.edu/dashboard) using your Carleton College username and password.
- Once logged in you’ll be on the homepage of your cPanel. Navigate to the Web Applications section of the cPanel and find Featured Applications. Then select Omeka.
- This page gives you more information about the Omeka software. To begin the install, click install this application in the upper-righthand corner.
- On the next page, the installer will ask for some information about this install. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to install it. If you’re wanting to install Omeka on your main domain, you can leave the directory area empty. If you created a subdomain, you can select it from the drop-down menu. You also have the option of installing Omeka in a subfolder by typing in the folder name in the Directory field. Click here for more information about subdomains and subfolders.
- Scroll down to the next Setting section. Set an Administrator Username and Administrator Password. You will need this again shortly.
- By default the installer will automatically backup your website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely. The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details. Click Install to continue.
- The installer will take just a few moments to install Omeka and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete you will see a link to your new Omeka site as well as a link to the backend administrative section for your Omeka site. Click the Omeka Admin link to configure your new Omeka installation.
- When you visit your new Omeka Admin link, you are asked for the admin username and password. Enter the Username and Password that you set for the administrative superuser (i.e. yourself).
- Begin adding content in the Admin Dashboard. You’ll find lots of instructions, tips, and ideas on the Omeka.org documentation site.
Just as you would install plugins, installing themes to Omeka is very similar. Omeka has a few themes installed automatically that you have access to. But there are more themes available at http://omeka.org/add-ons/themes. There is no automatic installer so you would need to upload the theme to your File Manager in cPanel.
Start by finding the the theme you’d like to install. Download the theme by clicking on the red button.
After, you’ll go to your specific Omeka install. Click on themes.
You can drag and drop the .zip file into the window or you can click select a file.
Once your file is uploaded to the themes folder you need to go in and extract the files from the .zip folder. Click on the theme file you just uploaded then click on extract.
You’ll need to confirm that you want to extract the files. Click extract files.
Once the theme is extracted you can delete the .zip file and the theme will now be available for activation within your Omeka administration interface.
As you begin to use your Omeka install on Reclaim Hosting you may wish to add additional functionality by way of the various open source plugins available at http://omeka.org/add-ons/plugins/. Although Omeka doesn’t currently include an automated installer for plugins, the process of uploading them to your space is outlined here.
To get started you’ll want to log into your cPanel. In cPanel you’ll access the File Manager located under the Files section.
In the File Manager you’ll navigate on the lefthand sidebar down to your plugins folder which should be one of several folders within your Omeka install (your root directory for your domain is public_html).
Here you will see all plugins currently in your Omeka install. To add a new one you want to have downloaded the zip file locally to your computer from Omeka’s website first. Then click the Upload button to upload the file.
The interface will allow you to drag and drop or select from your computer one or more zip files for the plugins you wish to upload. Once the upload has completed you can return to the previous screen using the link at the bottom of the page.
You should now see a zip file for your plugin in the plugins folder. The last step is to extract the contents of the zip file to the same folder. To do this select your file and click the Extract button.
Once the plugin is extracted you can delete the zip file and the plugin will now be available for activation within your Omeka administration interface.
- To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel (https://sites.carleton.edu/dashboard) using your Carleton College username and password.
- Navigate to the Application section and select Scalar. You can also use the search function as well.
- When you click on the Scalar icon, you will be taken to the Scalar information page. Click install this application.
- On the next page, fill in the different fields accordingly:
-Select the domain or sub-domain where you’d like your Scalar site to live. You can create a sub-domain by following directions in the section Setting up Subdomain. The directory is optional. If you are using a sub-domain, you may not need to use a sub-directory. You can learn more by reading Subdomains vs Subdirectories.
-Under version, select the version that is most recent.
-By default the installer will automatically backup your website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely.
-The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details.
-Finally, in Settings, you’ll need to create a username and password for the Scalar install. A password can be generated for you, but you should try to create your own.
- Click Install.
- Once the installer is finished loading, you will be taken to the My Apps section of the dashboard. Here you’ll find links to login to your scalar installation.
- Log into your new Scalar instance with the credentials you set during the install process.
MediaWiki is an open-source publishing platform that can be used for creating a collaborative document repository. It’s the software that drives the Wikipedia website.
You can learn how to use this application at the official MediaWiki Help Pages. This support documentation wiki will show you how to manage all aspects of your wiki, including customizing its appearance, editing content, and changing user settings.
To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel (https://sites.carleton.edu/dashboard) using your Carleton College username and password.
- Once logged in you’ll be at the homepage of your control panel. Navigate the Applications section of the cPanel and click All Applications.
- Find and select MediaWiki.
- The next page gives you more information about the MediaWiki software. To begin the install, click install this application in the upper-righthand corner.
- On the next page, the installer will ask for some information about this install. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to install it. If you’re wanting to install MediaWiki on your main (the root) domain, you can leave the directory area empty. If you created a subdomain, you can select it from the drop-down menu. You also have the option of installing MediaWiki in a subfolder by typing in the folder name in the Directory field. Click here for more information about subdomains and subfolders.
(By default the installer will automatically backup your MediaWiki website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely. The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details.)
- Finally, you’ll need to create an initial username and password for the MediaWiki install. Enter those credentials in the Settings section and click Install.
- The installer will take just a few moments to install MediaWiki and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete you will see a link to your new MediaWiki site as well as a link to the back-end administrative section for your MediaWiki site.
Congratulations, you have now completed the installation of MediaWiki! You can now start to create collaborative documents on your own domain.
The default Mediawiki installed has been customized to make it a bit harder for spammers to overwhelm wikis with illegitimate content and comments. This is done by modifying the LocalSettings.php file (a file that is included in every install in which it is possible to provide configurations details).
By default, Mediawiki allows anonymous users to create pages and edit pages in the wiki. The modifications change this in the following ways:
Anonymous users cannot edit existing pages
Anonymous users cannot create pages
Registered users must click the confirmation link in the registration email in order to edit or create pages
This approach should drastically reduce unsolicited content and comments on Mediawiki installations. One further step that administrator might take is to turn registration off after a predetermined amount of time. Users must create accounts by this date; after that, the settings are changed so that registrations are no longer open.
To add this setting, you must edit LocalSettings.php in your Mediawiki install:
- Login to cPanel and browse to your File Manager.
- In the File Manager, browse to the folder within public_html that contains your Mediawiki install. If you installed the wiki at the root of your domain, you won’t need to go any further than public_html. If you installed the wiki in a subdomain or subdirectory, you’ll need to find the directory that is associated with that space.
- Locate LocalSettings.php. Once selecting the file, click download in the top menu bar to download the file as a backup before proceeding. Then click Edit in the top menu bar to edit the file.
- Confirm that you want to edit the file.
- Browse to the bottom of the document, and locate the custom settings that were added during the Mediawiki install and the following line:
$wgGroupPermissions['*']['createaccount'] = false;
8.1.What is DNS?
Remember back before everyone had computers that fit in their pocket, how companies would ship a book full of phone numbers to your doorstep? We might have known who we were looking for, but we needed to look up phone numbers unless they were your crazy relatives that you learned to memorize. When you get your own domain name, by default it’s nothing more than a shortcut, an address, or (to fit this very imperfect analogy) a phone number. When you type a domain name into the address bar of your browser, someone has to identify it and tell it what to display. That’s where a name server comes in.
A name server is a computer, running as a server, that keeps a record of all the domain names that are associated with it and keeps track of where those domains should go. In the case of sites.carleton.edu, the nameserver is the same computer that runs the hosting. You can peek under the hood and see this in action by going to the
Websites and Domains tab of your cPanel account and clicking on
DNS Settings. DNS stands for Domain Name System and the name server on sites.carleton.edu gives control to it to identify what should be displayed when someone types in your domain. Consider the fact that you might have one or more subdomains in your account. The name server and DNS are able to identify those subdomains and let the world wide web know that they exist and point to some files/folders on a computer somewhere.
When you signed up for a domain through the sites.carleton.edu system your nameservers were chosen for you. So when people type in your address, the server responds with information about your account. When you migrate an account away from one hosting platform like sites.carleton.edu and onto a new service, it will require you to change the nameservers so that your domain name points to a new server with its own files and structure. It’s also possible to have subdomains that point to entirely different servers than sites.carleton.edu.
8.2.What is Domain Mapping?
Domain mapping, simply put, is deciding where visitors should be directed when they visit various pieces of your website. Domains and subdomains can be mapped directly to folders located within your webhosting account, where you may have installed WordPress, Omeka, MediaWiki, or other web applications. Domains and subdomains can also be mapped to some third-party providers.
8.3.Export your domain
To export your domain, we will create a backup of both the files in your domain and the databases that your domain draws from. First, click on the ‘Manage Your Account’ menu at the top of your screen and select ‘Migration Information.
- To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel (https://sites.carleton.edu/dashboard) using your Carleton College username and password.
- Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the cPanel interface. Now click on the Manage Your Account menu at the top of your screen and select Migration Information.
- To create a backup of your files and databases, simply click the button labeled Add Backup. The system will take a moment to create a backup. When it is complete, you will see the new backup appear below the button. You can click on this backup to download the file.