What are you actually offering when you market a web-hosting service? Is it bandwidth, and disk space, an IP address, a Domain Name Server, and email? Well, yes, but not really. Web hosting is about more than the sum total of its parts. Hosting is about reliability, security, and the tools that make web management both easy and transparent for your client, the end user. Web designers and IT consultants have recognized the advantages of host reselling for almost as long as there have been data centers offering shared accounts. Resellers enjoy the advantages of a sophisticated server farm staffed with savvy tech professionals with modest up-front costs. And the creation of formal programs and packages for resellers further simplifies the management of sub-accounts.
Archives for May 2010
When people need a user-friendly interface for managing their Web sites, they can trust in cPanel (“control panel”) to give them the powerful features they require. Computer binary and programming language code runs the Internet behind-the-scenes, but it can be extremely cumbersome for the novice business owner with other core competencies. It is easier to use point-and-click icons in an Application Programming Interface (API) that sends orders to the computer, network and Internet; it is easier to use cPanel.
One of the most popular programs for hosting a website is cPanel. Its popularity is due to its simple user interface and powerful administrative functions. In this article we will go over how to use some of the important modules.
First, we will look at how to protect a website directory from unauthorized access. Login to your server and select the icon on the main cPanel page that says “Password Protect Directories”. You should now see a list of your directories on your site; choose the directory you wish to protect. The next step is to type in a user name and password for this directory. That’s it, you have password protected the selected directory! It is this simplicity that makes cPanel a webmaster’s dream.
The second tip on configuring cPanel involves another security feature called the IP Deny Manage. The IP Deny Manager allows you to block an IP address, a domain name, or even a whole block of IP addresses. Using this feature is also simple, just click on the “IP Deny Manager” icon. This will bring up a page with a box at the top to add the ip or domain you wish to deny. Click the add button after you input the ip address and you have blocked that address. If you wish to remove a blocked address, simply click on the drop down box, select the ip or domain you wish to unblock and click the “Remove” button. Traffic is allowed once again from that machine.
The next useful security feature in cPanel we will explore is hot link protection. This tool will allow the webmaster to prevent other sites from linking directly to your content. You can define precisely which urls are allowed to hot link to your web resources. On the cPanel main page click on the icon that says “Hot Link Protection”. This will bring up a page with a text box in which you can type any urls that you wish to allow to directly link to your web resources. Below the large url textfield is a small input box that allows the user to determine what types of resources are able to be linked to. Separate different types by a comma. Below the resource box is an url redirect box that allows us to redirect the site attempting to hot link to us to another destination, alternatively we can show a customized error page.
Along with the previously mentioned redirect ability in the hot link utility is a dedicated redirect module. The icon on cPanel’s main page for this is labeled simply “Redirects”. When you open this you will see two input boxes near the top labeled “Add Redirect”. The one on the left is the address of your site to redirect from and the box on the left is the address to redirect the user to. You can redirect part of your website to another directory on your site or to a third party web address. After filling these input boxes in, leave the drop down box on temporary and click the “Add” button to enable redirection. Disabling this feature is as simple as selecting the drop down box under “Remove Redirect”, selecting the resource you were redirecting, and clicking the “Remove” button.
The next tip covers how to quickly set up an autoresponder email in the cPanel main page. The first step is to click on the icon labeled “Mail”. This will bring you to the mail manager interface. About half way down is the autoresponder setup; click this. Next, click on “Add Autoresponder”. This will open a form that looks similar to a regular email form in which you can set the various components of your email response. Before you begin, be sure you have a POP email address for the autoresponder. First, type in the email address of the autoresponder, the domain portion will already be filled in. The next input boxes are the standard “From” and “Subject” fields, fill these in and then type your auto reply message into the textbox area. You can enable the checkbox to allow html email or leave it unchecked for plain text. Finally, click the “Create” button at the bottom and your autoresponder is done!