PLESK SERVER ADMINISTRATOR 5.0

Chapter 17. Domain Administration Page

A domain is a virtual address on the Internet for any organization or entity. To an Internet user, a domain appears as space on one server, regardless of its implementation. Domains are identified by their familiar Internet URL (uniform resource locator) addresses. Syntactically, a domain name is a string of names or words separated by dots. For example, www.plesk.com is the name of the domain where Plesk's information resides on its servers.

A domain belongs to a client. For example, John Smith may be a programmer whose domain is aceprogrammer.com. In the same respect, the ABCDE, Inc. company may own a domain by the name of abcde.com. The Plesk system administrator at your Internet service provider's organization must create your domain. However, you can remotely administer your domain once the account is established.

NOTE

You must officially register a domain and Internet address before you create it in PSA. You can do this using the Register option available within PSA or through any of the Internet registration services.

From the Domain Administration page, you can manage several aspects of your domain, including:

  • Turn the Domain ON/OFF

  • Allow Domain User Access (Set up the Domain Level Control Panel Login)

  • Access the Domain Report

  • Access the Domain Preferences

  • Register a Domain

  • Access Additional Services (Extras)

  • Manage Mail for the Domain

  • Customize DNS settings

  • Manage Databases

  • Set up Hosting

  • Create Web Users

  • Create Protected Directories

  • Manage the Domain SSL Certificate

  • Manage Log Files and Log Rotation.

  • Handle all your files in a more convenient way by means of File Manager.

  • Access FrontPage Web Administrator from the PSA control panel.

  • Set up Anonymous FTP

Turning a Domain On or Off

There are times when you may need to deactivate a domain. You can turn a domain on or off when you are logged on as a client.

The domain status consists of three icons:

[OK][ON][ON]

The first status icon indicates the status of the domain:

[OK] if the domain is operated within the disk space and traffic limitations.

[!] if the domain has exceeded disk space or traffic limitations. The PSA system evaluates disk space and traffic every 24 hours.

The second icon indicates whether the domain has been turned On or Off by the Administrator:

[ON] means that the domain is activated.

[X] means that this domain is presently turned off and presently deactivated or inaccessible. If the domain is turned Off, no service will be rendered to the given domain.

The third icon indicates whether the domain has been turned On or Off by the client:

[ON] means that the domain is activated.

[X] means that this domain is presently turned off and presently deactivated or inaccessible. If the domain is turned OFF, no service will be rendered to the given domain.

To turn a domain ON or OFF, follow these steps:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you want to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the ON/OFF button to change the domain's status.

  3. PSA asks you to confirm that you want to change the status of the domain. Click OK to change the status, or CANCEL to keep the current client status.

  4. If you are deactivating a domain, you should inform the domain owner why the status has changed.

Domain User

The domain user setup provides entry to the PSA control panel within a single domain. Domain users have the ability to administer mail accounts, web users, databases, protected directories, and the domain ssl certificate. Limits to the domain user are set by the Client and/or Administrator using the Domain Preferences.

Access to the control panel for the domain user is done using https://'domain name':8443. The control panel login will be the domain name, and the password will be whatever is set through the control panel.

To set up the Domain User:

  1. Click the DOMAIN USER button at the Domain Administration page. The Domain User Properties page appears.

  2. To allow access to the control panel for the domain user select the checkbox Allow domain user access.

  3. Enter the password in the Password text box, and then enter it again in the Confirm Password text box. Select UPDATE to complete the creation of the domain user and return to the Domain Administration page.

  4. Selecting UP LEVEL will ignore any unsaved changes and return to the Domain Administration page.

Domain Report

The Plesk Server Administrator (PSA) keeps a summary of pertinent data for every domain on the PSA server. You can view this information at any time. At the top of the page, the domain being reported on is listed in boldface. The domain report includes the following information as is applicable to the given domain:

  • Domain owner (client contact name)

  • Domain status

  • Creation date

  • Domain user access

  • Disk space limit

  • Actual disk space

  • Hosting type

  • Virtual host type

  • IP-Address

  • FTP Login

  • FTP Password

  • Traffic limit

  • Actual traffic

  • Disk space used by httpdocs

  • Disk space used by logs

  • FrontPage support

  • FrontPage over SSL support

  • SSI support

  • PHP support

  • CGI support

  • mod_perl support

  • Apache ASP support

  • Apache ErrorDocuments

  • SSL support

  • Disk space used by httpsdocs

  • Web statistics

  • Web users

  • Anonymous FTP

  • Disk space used by anon_ftp

  • Mailboxes

  • Redirects

  • Mail Groups

  • Autoresponders

  • Disk space used by mailboxes

  • Databases

  • Disk space used by databases

From that page you can also access Web server statistics, Secure web server statistics, FTP server statistics, Traffic usage history, and send the report by e-mail if desired.

To view the domain report follow these steps:

  1. On the Client Home page, click the domain name that you need to work with. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the REPORT button to see the domain-specific information and statistics.

  3. From here, you can do several things:

    • You can send the report by e-mail. To do that, enter the e-mail address in the appropriate field and click SEND BY E-MAIL.

    • You can access graphical site statistics for the domain by selecting the WEB STATS, WEB STATS SSL, FTP STATS options. Clicking these buttons will open a separate window where you will see the site statistics for the given domain. It should be noted that Webalizer, by default, is set to update statistics for the domain once every 24 hours. If you attempt to access Webalizer before it has operated its first update you will receive a notice that Webalizer is either not running or has not yet been started.

      NOTE

      In order to be able to utilize Webalizer the Web statistics checkbox must be checked at the Physical Hosting Configuration page for this domain.

    • To view the traffic history for the domain, click on the TRAFFIC HISTORY button. The Traffic history page will open, displaying the information on traffic usage by Months and Years.

    • To print a copy of the domain report page, select File/Print in your browser and a paper copy of the report will print.

    • To return to the domain record, click UP LEVEL. The report will close and you will return to the domain administration page.

Access the Domain Preferences

The Domain Preferences page displays the preferences that the Plesk administrator has set up for this domain. It also allows you to edit certain parameters.

The parameters available for viewing and editing from this page are:

  • Disk Space Limit - the amount of disk space allocated for this domain.

  • Maximum traffic limit - the maximum allowed amount of traffic per month

  • Maximum Mailboxes - the maximum number of mail accounts allowed for creation at this domain.

  • Mailbox quota - the limit set for the size of the mail accounts (mailboxes).

  • Maximum Mail Redirects - the maximum number of mail allowed for setting up at this domain.

  • Maximum Mail Groups - the maximum number of mail groups allowed for creation at this domain.

  • Maximum Mail Autoresponders - the maximum number of mail autoresponders allowed for setting up at this domain.

  • Maximum Web Users - the maximum number of web users allowed for creation at this domain.

  • Maximum Databases - the maximum number of databases allowed for creation at this domain.

  • The time the traffic statistics will be retained for.

  • For Mail sent to non-existent users, the client is able to select either a mail bounce message to return to the sender, or a catch-all email address to which the messages are sent.

  • The WWW prefix checkbox determines whether the given domain will require the www prefix in order to be accessed.

  • Allow Scripting for Web Users - enables the Web Users to download and execute scripts.

  • WebMail - allows utilizing access to mailboxes via web-interface. If the box is checked, the mailbox can be accessed by means of a web-client, which is made available from the URL: webmail.'domain.name'

To adjust the settings, follow these steps:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you need to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the PREFERENCES button to access the Domain Preferences page.

  3. To set the value for the desired parameter, click on the Enter Number radio button to the right of the parameter. Click in the text input field and enter the value. If the value entered does not satisfy limitations set by the administrator, a warning will be issued upon trying to UPDATE the settings.

  4. To set the time the traffic statistics will be retained for, check the Delete traffic statistics older than...Months, and type in the number in the input field provided.

  5. To utilize a mail bounce message, select the radio button for Bounce with phrase and enter the text that the mail bounce message is to contain.

  6. To utilize a catch-all email address, select the radio button for Catch to address and enter the appropriate email address.

  7. Check or uncheck the WWW prefix checkbox to determine whether the given domain will allow the www prefix to be used to access the domain. If the box is checked, Internet users will be able to access a domain (i.e. domain.bogus) by utilizing either the domain name itself or the domain with the "www" prefix. If the box is unchecked it will not be accessible with the "www" prefix (i.e. www.domain.bogus).

  8. Check or uncheck the Allow scripting for web users and WebMail checkboxes to enable or disable the corresponding options.

  9. The UPDATE button is used to submit any and all changes.

  10. The UP LEVEL button returns you to the Domain Administration page.

NOTE

Selecting UP LEVEL without selecting UPDATE will cancel all changes.

NOTE

If data is improperly entered (i.e. the wrong format of an email address, et cetera), an error message appears with a notice of the error.

Registering a Domain via MPC.

When a new domain is created it must be officially registered. There are a number of Internet services where you can register your domain but there is only one that is offered by Plesk Inc.

To register a new domain, follow these steps:

  1. Click the REGISTER button at the Domain Administration page to access the MPC Gate page.

  2. From MPC Gate page you can access the services provided to you by My.Plesk.com. To do that, enter the MPC Login and MPC Password into the provided corresponding text input fields and click Log in.

  3. In case you forgot the password, click on the link "forgot your password" located at the bottom of the page, the page will open, where you will have to enter your Login and e-mail address in the appropriate fields, and click the Send Password button.

  4. On the Domain Registration page, enter you domain name, select necessary top-level domains and click Look Up. The page will open displaying availability of the domain(s) selected. If the domain you would like to register is unavailable, it is marked by the link "taken", by clicking on this link you can retrieve the WHOIS information.

    If the domain is available, you will see the checkbox next to its name to provided for you to confirm the registration and the drop-down list of registration periods and prices.

  5. Click on the Register Now button. The list of Name Servers for your domain(s) will appear on the Name Servers page.

  6. Click on the Proceed To Register button. The Domain Name Purchasing Confirmation screen will open.

  7. Enter the registration and billing information in the fields provided, your credit card data, and click on the Registration Agreement link to proceed to the Registration Agreement.

  8. Read carefully the Agreement, and after that click the "back to purchasing confirmation" link.

  9. Click in the checkbox to confirm that you have read, understood and accept the Registration Agreement. Click the Confirm Order button.

    Now your domain is registered.

Accessing Additional Services (Extras)

From the Domain Administration page you can access external services (other than registering domains and managing domains registration) provided through My.Plesk.com. To do that, click the EXTRAS button.

Managing Mail

PSA allows the client to perform several email administration functions. PSA uses the qmail system to help you set up email accounts and services.

You can create and manage email boxes for individuals or customers within your domain. Email management functionality includes:

  • Create, edit or delete email boxes and edit individual mailbox quotas.

  • Redirect or forward messages from one email box to another email address.

  • Create, edit or delete email groups (several individual accounts grouped together under one email address for convenient multi-copy messaging).

  • Create and remove mail aliases for a mail name.

  • Create, edit, or delete email autoresponders (automatic reply to email sent to the given mail name)

Mail Names page

When you create email accounts for domain users, you are creating email boxes, which will be accessible via POP3 or IMAP protocols. Mailbox creation is as easy as typing in a name and password. Follow these steps to manage mail names:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you want to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the MAIL button. The Mail Names Management page appears. From this page, users can:

    • Create a new mail name.

    • View a list of mail names currently existing under the specified domain. To the left of each domain name on the list there are four icons representing different mail account types. They are:

      • Mailbox (represented by the Mailbox icon)

      • Redirects (represented by the Outgoing Envelope icon)

      • Mail groups (represented by the People icon)

      • Autoresponders (represented by the Revolving Envelope icon)

    • Click on a specific mail name to access to the Mail Name Properties page for that given name.

    • Search the mail names list for a certain pattern. It may help you in case you have a great number of mail names in the system and you need to work with a particular one. To search the list, type the pattern string in the text input field and click SEARCH.

    • Sort the list by various parameters. To sort the list by a certain parameter in ascending or descending order, click on the name of the parameter. An arrow will appear indicating the order of sorting: down for descending order, up for ascending.

    • Delete mail names. To remove one or more mail names, check the checkboxes in the Sel column of the mail names list corresponding to the mail names you wish to remove and click REMOVE SELECTED. The Mail Names Removal page appears. There you will need to either confirm the removal (check the checkbox and click SUBMIT) or CANCEL it.

  3. To create a new mail name, click in the Mail Name text box provided and enter the desired name. Click ADD to submit this name. You then access the Mail Name Properties page, where you can adjust the Mail Name properties.

  4. The new mail name appears on the mail names list.

NOTE

The four icons to the left of each mail name are faded (grayed out) when they are inactive. The icons appear in color when active. To change the activation settings, the user must click on a given mail name. The Mail Name Properties page displays. From here, the user can enable any of the features.

Manage Mail Name Properties

The Mail Name Properties page allows the client to activate any combination of mailboxes, mail redirects, and mail groups for a given mail name.

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you want to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the MAIL button. The Mail Names page appears.

  3. In the Mail names list, click on the name you want to edit. You then access the Mail Name Properties page.

  4. The mail name is displayed at the top of the page. To change the mail name, click in the name field, change the name, and click UPDATE.

    NOTE

    From the Mail Name Properties page, you can also enable and set up:

    • Mailbox Accounts and Quotas

    • Mail Redirects

    • Mail Groups

    • Mail Autoresponders

    • Mail Aliases

  5. When you are finished with editing mail name properties for the domain, click UPDATE to accept changes and return to the Mail Names page.

Manage Mailbox Accounts

You can set up a mailbox and password for your mail name. This mailbox will be accessible using either POP3 or IMAP protocol.

NOTE

An administrator can limit the number of mailboxes a client can have for a given domain.

To create a mailbox for a given mail name, from the Mail Name Properties page, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the check box provided next to Mailbox.

  2. When enabling a mailbox for the first time for a mail name account, you must enter a password.

    • The Old Password will say "NONE" if you have yet to enter a password. Once it is entered, the password cannot be viewed from this screen.

    • To enter a password, click in the New Password text box and enter the selected password.

    • To properly update the password, you must re-enter the password in the Confirm Password text box.

    • To set up the mailbox quota, select the Default for domain radio button to set the limit to the maximum available in the given domain, or select Enter size and enter the quota you wish to set, in KiloBytes, for the given mailbox. Note that this limit may not exceed the default set for the domain.

    • Once you have enabled the mailbox, entered the passwords and set up mailbox quota, click UPDATE to submit the information.

    • To change a password, simply re-enter the new password in the New Password text box, re-enter this password in the Confirm text box, and click UPDATE.

NOTE

Once enabled, the mailbox icon on the Mail Names page appears in color.

Manage Mail Redirects

You can forward or redirect email from one mailbox to another email address. By creating an email redirect or alias, messages are sent to a different email box without the sender needing to know the new address. Email can be redirected to an address outside the domain. Use this feature to:

  • Temporarily forward mail when someone is unavailable to receive it

  • Send mail to a new mail box if a mail box user is leaving the organization

  • Forward mail to a new account which will eventually replace an old mail box (e.g. someone is changing their mailbox name but hasn't had time to inform all correspondents of the change yet)

NOTE

The administrator has the ability to limit the number of mail redirects that the client can create for a given domain.

In order to create or enable a mail redirect for a given mail name, from the Mail Name Properties page, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the check box provided next to Redirects.

  2. In the text field to the right, enter the appropriate address to which to forward mail sent to this mail name.

  3. To change the redirect address for a given mail name, click on the existing entry in the Redirects box and change it to the new address.

  4. Click the UPDATE button to enter these changes.

NOTE

Once enabled, the redirects icon on the Mail Names page appears in color.

Manage Mail Groups

A mail group is a list of several email accounts that are grouped together under one email address for convenient multi-copy messaging. For example, if you want to send the same message to 5 people in the programming department, you can create a "Programming" email group that includes the individual email addresses for all 5 staff members. So, when someone sends a message to the Programming email group, he/she only types and sends one message. Copies of the message are emailed to all 5 individuals. By using mail groups, the sender does not need to know each individual's email address, just the group name. In this way, mail groups save time.

NOTE

The administrator has the ability to limit the number of mail groups that the client can create for a given domain.

To create a mail group for a given mail name, from the Mail Name Properties page, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the checkbox provided next to Mail Groups.

  2. To create a new mail group, ensure the box is checked, then click the ADD button.

  3. The Add Mail Groups box appears.

    NOTE

    Group members can consist of either external mail addresses (those not belonging to this domain) or accounts existing within the domain.

  4. To add an external mail address to a Mail Group, fill in the correct address in the enter external recipient mail text box, and click ADD.

  5. To add an existing account from the same domain, click on the desired address in the Select registered users list, and click ADD.

  6. The selected addresses will appear in the box to the right of the mail groups checkbox on the Mail Name Properties page.

  7. To delete one or more group members, highlight the selected group member in the box to the left of the mail group check box. Click the REMOVE button.

  8. A warning will appear. Click OK to confirm that you want to delete the address from the mail group.

  9. After completing your changes, click UPDATE to submit all changes.

NOTE

Once enabled, the mail groups icon on the Mail Names page appears in color.

Clicking on the MAIL GROUPS button located at the top of Mail Name Properties page, you will access the Mail Groups Management Page.

All mail groups created for the domain are displayed on that page and two lists are provided: the list of mail groups you are currently subscribed to is located on the left side, and the list of available mail groups is on the right.

  • If you wish to subscribe to a new mail group, select the desired group from the list of available mail groups, click ADD.

  • If you wish to unsubscribe from a mail group, select it in the left side list, click REMOVE.

  • Click UP LEVEL to return to the Mail Name Properties page.

Managing Mail Aliases

You can create a number of mail aliases for your mailname.

In order to manage mail aliases, click on the MAIL ALIASES button located at the top of the Mail Name Properties page. The Mail Aliases Management page appears.

From that page you can create and remove the mail aliases:

  • To create a new mail alias, enter the name of the alias into the Mail alias name input field. Click ADD. The alias will immediately appear in the aliases list.

  • To remove an alias, check the corresponding checkbox in the Sel column. Click REMOVE SELECTED. You can also click on the Sel column header to select all list items.

  • You can also sort the list of aliases by name in ascending or descending order. To do that, click on the Name header of the list. The arrow will show the order of sorting.

  • You can search through the list of mail aliases. To do that, enter the pattern string in the field next to SEARCH button, click SEARCH.

  • Click UP LEVEL to return to the Mail Name Properties page.

Manage Mail Autoresponders

A mail autoresponder is an automatic reply that is sent out from a given mail name when incoming mail is received at that address. Autoresponders can include both a text message and attached files. This mail function is often used on mail accounts for individuals who need an automated response because they are away, or are unable to check their mail for any number of reasons. On the autoresponders' section of the Mail Names Properties page, you can upload and include attachment files for your autoresponders, enable the autoresponders function for a given mail name, and access the autoresponders' list.

In order to enable and set up an autoresponder for a given mail name, from the Mail Name Properties page, follow these steps:

  1. To first enable autoresponders for a mail name account, click in the checkbox provided next to Mail autoresponders. When the check appears, autoresponders are enabled for the mail name. If you click again, it will uncheck the box, and autoresponders will be disabled.

  2. For the Autoresponder feature you have the option to include file attachments. To include a file to be selectable within the set up of autoresponders for the given mail name, use the Browse button to search for and select the desired file(s). (File sizes should be limited to no more than 1MB.) For your information, the total size of all uploaded files is displayed under the repository box.

  3. Click the SEND FILE button. The attachments will then appear in the Repository.

  4. These files will be available for any autoresponders that are set up for the given mail name. To delete one or more files highlight the desired file(s) and click the REMOVE button. A warning will appear prior to deleting the selected file(s).

  5. To add a new mail autoresponder, click the ADD button.

  6. A pop-up screen prompts you to enter a name for the autoresponder. Enter the desired identification name, and click OK to submit.

  7. The Edit Mail Autoresponder page appears.

    • The selected autoresponder name is listed for the given mail name account. You can click in the text box where the autoresponder name is listed, and edit the name. Click UPDATE to submit.

    • The ON/OFF status for the autoresponder is shown. [ON] indicates that the autoresponder is on. [X] indicates that the autoresponder is off. You can adjust this setting by clicking the ON/OFF button. This status icon also appears on the autoresponders list on the Mail Names Properties page.

    • Beneath the Request text input box, you can determine whether an autoresponder responds to specific text found within either the subject line or body of the incoming email, or if it responds to ALL incoming requests.

    • To set up the autoresponder to always respond, regardless of the contained text, click the bottom radio button for always respond.

    • Using the Request text input box and radio buttons, you can set up the autoresponder to send an auto response when an incoming request contains defined text in its subject line or body.

    • Click the in the subject radio button to respond to specific text in the subject of the request, or click the in the body radio button to respond to specific text in the body of the request.

    • You can select a specific subject to appear in your autoresponder using the Answer with subject option. To simply respond with the same subject as was received from the incoming request select the radio button for the default setting. To specify a specific subject line select the radio button beside the text box and enter the desired text.

    • In the Reply-To address field, you can specify the return address that will be set up in the autoresponder message. This is done for the messages not to be directed to the autoresponder itself, when users click "Reply to the message" in their mail client software.

    • You can enter text to be included in the autoresponder in the Answer text field.

    • Using the ADD and REMOVE buttons, you can attach files to be included in the autoresponder. These files must be uploaded into the Repository on the Mail Names Properties page. Select the uploaded file from the Attach files list, and use the ADD button to attach the file to the autoresponder. Click REMOVE to remove a file.

    • You can limit the frequency at which the autoresponder responds to the same unique address, after receiving multiple emails from it. In the Reply to the unique email address not more than [ ] times a day input field, you can set the autoresponder to respond not more than a specified number of times a day. The default setting is to respond not more than 10 times in one day to unique mail addresses.

    • You can define the number of unique addresses that the autoresponder will remember. Enter the desired number in the Store up to: field.

    • This memory enables the system to implement the answer-frequency and respond-once functionality. In the event of extremely high mail volume, to protect server performance, you can limit the address memory of the system database.

    • To specify an email address to which incoming requests are forwarded, enter the new email in the Forward request to e-mail field. Email requests meeting the properties established on this page will be forwarded to this alternate email address.

    • Click the UPDATE button to submit all changes.

Customize DNS Settings

Through PSA, a user can customize DNS settings for each domain created. The Plesk administrator can also enable the client to customize his/her own DNS settings; however, it is very important that the client possesses a strong understanding of DNS prior to making any modifications to the DNS settings.

NOTE

Improper setup of DNS results in improper functioning of your web, mail and ftp services.

DNS Settings Page

There are five types of accessible DNS records:

A = Address - This record is used to translate host names to IP addresses.

CNAME = Canonical Name - Used to create additional host names, or aliases, for hosts in a domain.

NS = Name Server - Defines an association between a given domain name and the name servers that store information for that domain. One domain can be associated with any number of name servers.

MX = Mail Exchange - Defines the location of where mail should be delivered for the domain.

PTR = Pointer - Defines the IP address and host name of individual hosts in the domain. Translates IP addresses into host names.

When you first enter this screen, you see the DNS status for the domain, as well as the default DNS settings created for the given domain. PSA will pull the default DNS settings from those set up under the Server DNS option.

Changing DNS Settings

In order to change DNS settings, follow these steps:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you need to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the DNS button to access the DNS Settings page.

  3. The DNS Zone Status icon indicates whether a DNS is turned on or off.

    • If you wish to turn DNS on or off for the domain, select ON/OFF.

    • Turning the DNS zone off will refresh the page, so that only a list of nameservers remains.

    • If you are running remote DNS, and therefore want to turn DNS off for the domain, you should first create the appropriate NS entries for the domain and remove any inappropriate NS entries possibly created by the default DNS template created under the Server function. At that point, turn DNS off. You see that the name server(s) for the domain remains listed as a link.

    • You can perform a test on these name servers by selecting any of them. Selecting any name server will perform an NSLookup to check for the DNS records for your specific domain on that specific name server. NSLookup is used to verify the A record for the domain, the CNAME record for www, and the MX record to ensure that these basic records are resolved properly on the remote name server. The results are interpreted and presented through the user interface.

  4. In order to add a DNS entry, select the type of record you wish to create and click ADD. Each record type has its own different setup.

    • For an A record you will need to enter the domain name for which you wish to create an A record. If you are simply defining an A record for your main domain, then you leave the available field empty. If you are defining an A record for a name server then you will need to input the appropriate entry for the given name server (i.e. ns1). Then, you need to enter the appropriate IP address to which to associate the domain name. Then select UPDATE to submit your entry.

    • For an NS record, you will need to enter the domain name for which you wish to create the NS record. If you are defining an NS record for your main domain, then you will leave the available field blank. Then, enter in the appropriate name server in the field provided. You will need to enter in the complete name (i.e. ns1.mynameserver.com). Then, select UPDATE to submit your entry.

    • For a MX record, you will need to enter the domain for which you are creating the MX record. For the main domain, you would simply leave the available field blank. You will then need to enter your mail exchanger, this is the name of the mail server. If you are running a remote mail server named "mail.myhostname.com" then you would simply enter "mail.myhostname.com" into the field provided. You will then need to set the priority for the mail exchanger. Select the priority, 10 being the highest and 40 being the lowest, from the drop down list. Keep in mind you also would need to add the appropriate A record, and/or CNAME if applicable for the remote mail server. Select UPDATE to submit your entry.

    • For a CNAME record, you will need to first enter the alias domain name for which you wish to create the CNAME record. You then need to enter the domain name within which you want the alias to reside. Any domain name can be entered. It does not need to reside on the same server. Select UPDATE to submit your entry.

    • For a PTR record you will first enter the IP address for which you wish to define the pointer. Then enter the appropriate domain name for this IP to be translated to. Select UPDATE to submit your entry.

  5. You may remove any DNS records by selecting REMOVE beside the record you wish to delete. Before anything is processed you will be asked to confirm the deletion.

On the DNS Settings page, you can switch the DNS zone type from master to slave.

To switch the DNS zone, follow these steps:

  1. On the DNS settings page, click on the SWITCH button. The DNS Zone Properties page appears. The DNS zone type will change to slave, and it will be so stated.

  2. Enter the DNS master server IP in the field provided, and click ADD. The new DNS master server record will be added immediately to the list of DNS master servers.

  3. To remove a DNS master server record, select it by clicking in the appropriate checkbox in the Sel column, then click REMOVE SELECTED.

  4. You have also the option of searching the DNS master servers list for a certain pattern. It may help you in case you have a great number of DNS master servers' records in the system and you need to work with a particular one. To search the list, type the pattern string in the text input field and click SEARCH.

  5. Sort the list by various parameters, if needed. To sort the list in ascending or descending order, click on the IP-address header of the list. An arrow will appear indicating the order of sorting: down for descending order, up for ascending.

To switch the DNS zone type back to master, click on the SWITCH button again. You will return to the DNS Settings page.

DNS Example Setups

Example 1

A hosting company (we'll use abcde.com, which is for example purposes only, and is not intended to represent any existing companies or domains) wishes to setup their PSA enabled server as the primary DNS server for all the domains they create and will run secondary DNS services on an external server (the recommended configuration). The PSA enabled server has an IP address of 10.10.10.1 and the external name server has an IP address of 10.10.10.2. These addresses will be used for ns1.abcde.com and ns2.abcde.com respectively. IP address 10.10.10.1 is also the main server IP address that was set up during PSA installation.

NOTE

All name servers need to be properly registered. They need to specifically be registered as name servers with Internic. Also, all domains must be registered with the appropriate name server information.

* The first step in the process is to create the domain abcde.com on the server. By default, when a domain is initially created, even before hosting has been configured, PSA sets up a DNS record for the domain. This DNS record is created based on the DNS template that is created by the Admin under the SERVER - DNS option. For the purpose of this example we will use the default setup prior to any modifications made by the Admin under the SERVER - DNS option. With this default setup a properly registered domain will resolve. However, the setup does require some modification. The initial assumptions are that the domain is a name-based account and that DNS, Mail and FTP services are to be handled locally. So the resulting default DNS settings for a domain named abcde.com are as follows:

* The next step is to create A records for the name server names you will be using. Every name server name must have a specific IP Address associated with it. Manipulate the DNS records for abcde.com to reflect the following. Exact instructions for adding and removing DNS records are described earlier in the section or can be found by selecting Help within PSA.

No other entries are needed.

* From that point on you would only need to change the NS records for each individual domain, such as abcde2.com, to be ns1.abcde.com and ns2.abcde.com and then remove the A record that is created for the default name server (ns.abcde2.com). The result for a different domain, abcde2.com, would be as follows:

This would be repeated for all the domains created on the server.

NOTE

PSA creates the Primary Zone Files for every domain on the server. It will not create any Slave Zone Files for the secondary DNS. If you plan to setup both primary and secondary name servers locally on your PSA machine it important to understand that you will technically have no Slave Zone Files. For some registrars this can cause rejection of your domain registration request. It is always recommended that secondary DNS services be run on a separate physical server from the primary.

Example 2

A hosting company, abcde.com, wishes to run both their primary and secondary DNS services remotely from the PSA enabled server. They have two name servers: ns1.anameserver.com and ns2.anameserver.com. Their PSA enabled server has the IP-Address of 10.10.10.1.

NOTE

By default, when a domain is created in PSA, it is assumed that DNS is being resolved locally. In the case described above, abcde.com needs to add in the appropriate NS records within each newly created domain and then turn DNS off for that domain.

* The first step is to modify the default PSA DNS settings for the new domain, abcde.com, to include the appropriate NS records. The result would be as follows:

* Then select the ON/OFF button. PSA will remove the DNS records, however you will still see the records that you had entered as the NS records for the domains. The result would be as follows:

You can then perform a test on these name servers by selecting either of them. Selecting either name server will perform an NSLookup to check for the DNS records for your specific domain on that name server. If there are any errors PSA will report them to you.

Databases Management

Within PSA there is the ability to create multiple mysql databases as well as multiple users within each database. Also, directly accessible via PSA, is a link to PhpMyAdmin, a PHP interface that abstracts mysql into a web-based administration tool, allowing you to sort, edit, and create tables within a given database. Database limits are set through domain preferences and database disk usage is calculated within the domain's total allotted disk space.

Searching the Database List

PSA allows you to search the Database List for a certain pattern. It may help you in case you have a great number of databases in the system and you need to work with a particular one. To search in the Database List:

  1. Select the input field and type in the pattern string.

  2. Click the SEARCH button.

  3. If there were any items found matching the pattern string entered, they will all be displayed in the form of the reduced Database List.

  4. If no matches were found it will be so stated.

  5. The button SHOW ALL will revert to displaying the whole list of databases.

There is also another way to ease the process of working with a large list of databases. An option of sorting the list by several various parameters is made available to you. You can sort the Database List by Type and Database Name. To sort the list by a certain parameter in ascending or descending order, click on the name of the parameter. An arrow will appear indicating the order of sorting: down for descending order, up for ascending.

Creating a New Database

  1. Click the DATABASES button at the Domain Administration page. The Databases Management page appears.

  2. To add a new database select the Database name field, enter the desired name, and select ADD. The Database Editing page appears.

  3. To add database users to the newly created database enter the user name into New user text box and select ADD. The Database User Management page appears.

  4. Enter your new password in the New Password text box, and then enter it again in the Confirm Password text box. Select UPDATE to complete the creation of the new user. Selecting UP LEVEL will ignore all entries and return to the Database Editing page making no changes.

  5. Once you have completed the creation of the new database and its users select Up Level to return to the Database Management page.

  6. To add further databases, follow the steps outlined in 1-5 above. To return to the Domain Administration page select UP LEVEL.

Editing an Existing Database

  1. Click the DATABASES button at the Domain Administration page. The Databases Management page appears.

  2. Click on the database that you wish to edit. The Database Editing page appears.

  3. To add database users to the selected database enter the user name into New user text box and select ADD. The Database User Management page appears.

  4. Enter your new password in the New Password text box, and then enter it again in the Confirm Password text box. Select UPDATE to complete the creation of the new user. Selecting UP LEVEL will ignore all entries and return to the Database Editing page making no changes.

  5. To edit the password of an existing database user, select the user from the database user list. The Database User Management page appears.

  6. To delete existing database users select the users that you wish to delete using the checkboxes on the right of the screen and select REMOVE SELECTED. You will be asked for confirmation prior to final deletion of the selected users.

  7. To access and/or edit database content you can do so using the PHPMYADMIN option. PhpMyAdmin provides a web-based graphical interface for mysql. This can be used to make content edits to your existing databases.

  8. Once you have completed all edits of the database and its users select Up Level to return to the Database Management page.

  9. To delete existing databases select the users that you wish to delete using the checkboxes on the right of the screen and select REMOVE SELECTED. You will be asked for confirmation prior to final deletion of the selected users.

  10. To edit further databases, follow the steps outlined in 1-9 above. To return to the Domain Administration page select UP LEVEL.

Changing Hosting Settings

You may have hosting privileges established in your domain so that you can provide various Internet services (e.g. software applications, a forwarding address, and FTP transfers). PSA allows three different types of hosting services:

  • Physical Hosting - This is the most common type of hosting service, creating a virtual host (disk space on the local server) for the client. The client controls and publishes his own website without having to purchase a server and dedicated communication lines.

  • Standard Forwarding - With this type of forwarding, all requests to the domain are forwarded by your server to another Internet address (no virtual server is created). When an end user searches the Internet for the client's domain, he is routed to another URL, and the address in his browser window changes to the new URL. This may be confusing to the end user.

  • Frame Forwarding - All requests to this domain are forwarded to another Internet address (no virtual server is created). But with this type of forwarding, the end user sees the client's domain name in his browser, not the forwarding address. PSA uses frames to "trick" the browser into displaying the correct domain name. The problem with frame forwarding is that some search engines do not index frame pages and some browsers do not support frames.

The system administrator has already performed all the technical system administration for hosting services relating to your domain; however, the type of hosting service set up for your domain determines the extent to which you can manage your hosting parameters. If you have physical hosting, you can use FTP software to access your hosting directions. Additionally, you can change the FTP password, set log rotation schedules, and enable/disable FP support, only if FP has been activated for your domain by the Plesk administrator. If frame or standard forward hosting is set for this domain, than you can change (or toggle between these two types) forwarding for the given domain. You may also be granted a right to choose among all three types.

Follow these steps to administer your hosting services:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you want to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the HOSTING button. A page with a choice of types of hosting appears.

  3. Select the type of hosting and click NEXT. Depending upon the type of service chosen, a customized hosting configuration page appears.

Physical Hosting Configuration

There are several physical hosting services for your domain. Some of them may or may not be made available by the administrator for you to configure:

  • FTP services, or file transfer capabilities - FTP allows end users to upload and download files from the Internet site to remote PCs. If you have an FTP account, you can change its access password. You may want to change the password occasionally for security purposes.

  • FrontPage support - You can authorize remote editing of the website, for this domain, using Microsoft's FrontPage web publishing tool.

  • SSI - SSI stands for "server-side include", a type of HTML comment that directs the web server to dynamically generate data for the Web page whenever information is requested. SSIs can also be used to execute programs and insert the results; therefore they represent a powerful tool for web developers.

  • PHP - PHP is an HTML scripting language for creating dynamic web pages.

  • CGI - CGI is a set of rules that describes how a web server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (based on the CGI program) communicates back to the web server.

  • mod_perl - Perl is an interpreted high-level programming language. Perl is very popular among System Administrators who use is for a vast number of automation tasks. Most CGI programs are written in Perl.

  • Apache ASP - Active Service Page support enables the use of dynamic web applications. Apache::ASP allows for the use of Active Server Pages utilizing with Perl scripting only.

  • SSL - Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates provide additional security for web sessions, for e-commerce applications and for other private or confidential applications. By enabling this option, users access your website with the command https://.

  • Web statistics

  • Apache Error Documents - allows custom error-message files to be used for displaying whenever an error occurs (i.e. 404 - URL Not Found).

Follow these instructions to manage your virtual host (physical hosting account) services:

  1. You access this page from the Hosting Type page when you select Physical Hosting. Use this page to set up or modify a physical hosting account.

  2. Depending on the limits set within the given Client's Preferences, you can create two different types of virtual hosts: name-based or IP-based. The Plesk Server Administrator (PSA) defaults to the most commonly used type, name-based. If you want to change the host type, click the IP-based choice. Then, select a valid IP address from the drop down list. The list of available IP's will reflect the settings within the given Client's Preferences.

  3. You may set or modify the FTP login name and password. FTP allows end users to upload and download files from the Internet site to remote PCs. If you want to provide FTP services, click in the FTP login box. Then, enter or edit a login name to be used for accessing FTP file transfer services on the domain.

    NOTE

    The maximum ftp user name length should not exceed 16 symbols, which is required for compatibility purposes. As the FreeBSD operating system does not support user names longer than 16 symbols, the clients who are running RedHat Linux and having users registered in the system with names longer than 16 symbols (as allowed by RedHat Linux OS) and willing to migrate to FreeBSD would encounter certain problems during restoring of data backed up on RedHat Linux.

  4. TAB to the FTP Password text box and enter or edit the FTP password.

  5. TAB to the Confirm FTP Password text box and enter the FTP password for confirmation.

  6. In the System shell field, you can view the shell access availability, defined by administrator.

  7. To allow the use of FrontPage server extensions, check the checkbox for FrontPage Support and FrontPage over SSL support check boxes to install FrontPage server extensions into the domain. FrontPage is Microsoft's Web publishing tool. It is one of the most commonly used tools for creating a client's website. FrontPage includes several extensions that provide special functionality. If you want this domain to support these extensions, be sure that a check mark appears in the FrontPage box.

    NOTE

    If you eventually decide to turn off the FrontPage support for a domain, note that the file '.htaccess' and subdirectory '_private' will still remain in the httpdocs directory after you have disabled the ForntPage support. If you are sure that you will no longer need the .htaccess file, you should remove it manually. Otherwise, you will not be able to browse the domain (depends on the access permissions set in the FrontPage).

  8. TAB to the Authorization ENABLED choice. You can authorize or disable remote editing of the website using FrontPage. If you are supporting FrontPage, you should disable authorization for additional security. This setting is changeable by the Admin, Client, and Domain User logins to the control panel. For security purposes the main server administrator should notify their Clients and Domain Users that FrontPage authorization should be disabled whenever not in use. To activate FrontPage authorization, make sure this choice is selected. If you want to turn off FrontPage authorization, select the Authorization DISABLED choice.

  9. If FrontPage support is selected, then the FrontPage Admin Login, FrontPage Admin Password, and Confirm Password fields must be entered. This login and password will be used to login to the domain when FrontPage is being used. Click in each box and enter the desired Login and Password.

  10. TAB to the SSI support check box. SSI stands for "server-side include", a type of HTML comment that directs the web server to dynamically generate data for the Web page whenever information is requested. SSI can also be used to execute programs and insert the results; therefore they represent a powerful tool for web developers. If you want the SSI support enabled, make sure a check mark appears in the SSI box.

  11. TAB to the PHP support check box. PHP is a server-based HTML embedded scripting language used to create dynamic Web pages. If you want to support PHP scripting in HTML documents, make sure a check mark appears in the PHP box.

  12. TAB to the CGI support check box. CGI is a set of rules that describes how a web server communicates with another piece of software on the same machine, and how the other piece of software (based on the CGI program) communicates back to the web server. If you want to support CGI, make sure a check mark appears in the CGI box.

  13. TAB to the mod_perl support check box. Perl is an interpreted high-level programming language. Perl is very popular among System Administrators who use it for a vast number of automation tasks. Many CGI programs are written in Perl. If you want to support Perl, make sure a check mark appears in the mod_perl box.

  14. TAB to the Apache ASP support checkbox. Apache::ASP allows for the use of Active Server Pages utilizing with Perl scripting only. It enables the development of dynamic web applications with session management and embedded perl code.

  15. TAB to the SSL support check box. SSL certificates provide additional security for Web sessions. SSL certificates are often used for e-commerce applications and other private or confidential applications. Enabling SSL creates an httpsdocs directory in the FTP account, and provides https protocol; as a result, users access the domain with the command https://newdomain.com. If you want to be able to implement an SSL certificate, make sure a check mark appears in the SSL box.

  16. TAB to the Web statistic check box. Activation of web statistics will result in the installation of a graphical statistics package for the domain. This package is accessible via the PSA interface within the given domain's Report page or via the internet using the URL http://'domainname'/webstat.

  17. TAB to the Apache Error Documents checkbox. Selecting this option will place the domain's error documents into a location that is accessible via FTP allowing you to customize your own Apache error documents.

  18. When you are satisfied that you have fully defined the hosting services for this domain, click UPDATE to return to the Domain Administration page.

NOTE

If you do not want to save the physical hosting parameters you have entered, or if you need a different hosting type, click UP LEVEL to return to the Domain Administration page.

Forwarding Configuration

If you have either of the two forwarding options defined for your hosting services, standard or frame, then you can change between the two types of forwarding. Also, you can edit the URL to which domain transactions are redirected or forwarded.

  1. To change the type of forwarding you have, from the Hosting page, click on the type you want to change.

    NOTE

    Confirm that you really need to change the type of forwarding before actually changing it. Only a Plesk administrator can change a forward hosting account to physical hosting. A client cannot make this change.

  2. Click NEXT to access the URL page.

  3. To change the forwarding address, click in the URL text box and enter or edit an Internet address to which you wish to redirect all domain traffic.

  4. Click UPDATE to submit changes.

Web Users Management

A web user is a user account within Apache. It is used to define locations for personalized web pages with individual FTP access. The result of creating a web user is a subdirectory within your domain (e.g. domain.com/~webuser).

A list of all of the web users within a given domain will appear on the main Web Users page. At this page you can:

  • Select any web user name to edit the web user password and/or to add or remove different scripting options.

  • Search the web users' list for a certain pattern. It may help you in case you have a great number of web users in the system and you need to work with a particular one. To search the list, type the pattern string in the text input field and click SEARCH.

  • Sort the list by web user's name. To sort the list by a name in ascending or descending order, click on the name of the parameter. An arrow will appear indicating the order of sorting: down for descending order, up for ascending.

To create a new web user:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you need to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the WEB USERS button. The Web Users page appears.

  3. To add a web user, enter the Web User name in the text box provided next to Web user name: and click ADD.

  4. You are taken to the Web User Password Entry Page, where you must enter and confirm the password for your new web user and select from the available scripting options for the given domain (availability of scripting options is set in the Domain Preferences). To do this, enter a password in the New password text box, and then re-enter it in the Confirm password text box. Then select from the available scripting options if applicable. Once you have completed all entries, click on UPDATE to enter the information. Selecting UP LEVEL will return you to the Web Users page without assigning a password or scripting capabilities to the given web user. Although the directory will be created, it will not be accessible via FTP using the web user name.

  5. As you create web users, the user names appear on the Web User Management page in the web user list.

  6. To change web user passwords or edit scripting options, click on the user name in the web user list. This takes you to the New Password page.

  7. When you are done, click UP LEVEL to return to the Domain Administration page.

To remove one or more web users, check the checkboxes in the Sel column of the web users' list corresponding to the web users you wish to remove and click REMOVE SELECTED. The Web User Removal page appears. There you will need to either confirm the removal (check the checkbox and click SUBMIT) or CANCEL it.

Important Notes On Web Users

  • For security purposes, the password must be between 5 and 14 characters and cannot contain the user name.

  • Each web user creates a system account within Apache; therefore, you cannot have two web users with identical names on the same server.

  • New web users can access the directory using FTP software by entering the domain name under which the web user account was created and using the appropriate web user name and password.

  • Your administrator CAN limit the number of web users you can create. You will receive a warning if you try to exceed this number, and will not be able to do so.

Protected Directories

This feature is active if virtual hosting (physical hosting account) has been configured for your domain. It creates secure directories in your virtual domain, in which to place documents. Secure directories are recommended to ensure security of confidential and private information. It is possible to create directories under either the standard virtual host accessible via http protocol, or if applicable for the given domain, under the SSL virtual host accessible via https protocol. Icons are used next to each directory name in the directory list to define which virtual host type (SSL or non-SSL) the directory resides within. An open lock depicts non-SSL; a closed lock depicts SSL.

Creating a Protected Directory

Follow these steps to create secure directories for the domain:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you want to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the DIRECTORIES button. The Protected Directory Management page appears.

  3. To create a new directory, click the ADD button.

  4. This takes you to the Protected Directory Control page. Enter the name of the protected directory you wish to create in the Protected Directory field provided.

  5. For Directory Location: you can choose either a non-SSL or SSL secure directory. To choose a non-SSL directory, click in the radio button next to Non-SSL. To choose SSL security for the directory, click in the radio button next to SSL.

  6. If the directory has SSL enabled, it will appear in the Protected Directory list with a gray Lock icon beside it. If the directory is non-SSL, a gold Unlocked icon will appear next to the directory name in the directory list.

  7. Click in the Header Text text box. When an user tries to access the protected directory, the text in this box displays as the Realm they are entering. In this text box, enter the header text.

  8. To add a new user, under Protected Directory Users click in the New User: text box, and write the name of the directory user.

  9. Click the ADD button.

  10. You are taken to the directory user password page. Here you must enter your new password in the New Password text box, and then enter it again in the Confirm password text box.

  11. Click the UPDATE button to submit. You will return to the Protected Directory Control page. The new user will appear in the Protected Directory Users list. Clicking UP LEVEL will return to the Protected Directory Control page without creating a password for the given user. Although the user is created no access to the directory will be granted until a password is created for the user.

  12. To remove existing directory users select the users that you wish to remove using the checkboxes on the right of the page and select REMOVE SELECTED. You will be asked for confirmation prior to final deletion of the directory users.

  13. To access a directory user in order to edit the user password, click on the user name in the list, and you will again be taken to the directory user password page. Here you can edit the password.

  14. Select UPDATE to submit your changes and return to the Protected Directory Control page.

  15. Click UP LEVEL to return to the Protected Directory Management page without saving any changes.

Changing a Protected Directory

You can edit a protected directory definition to:

  • Add a user

  • Change a password

  • Delete a user

  • Rename the directory

  • Change header text

  • Change the SSL status

Follow these steps to edit protected directories:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you want to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. Click the DIRECTORIES button. The Protected Directory Management page appears.

  3. Click on any directory from the list that you wish to change.

  4. You will be taken to the Protected Directory Control page.

  5. From here, you can edit the directory by following the same steps outlined above, in the Creating a Protected Directory section.

  6. Click UPDATE to complete all changes to the system and to return to the Protected Directory List page.

Searching the Protected Directories List

PSA allows you to search the Protected Directory List for a certain pattern. It may help you in case you have a great number of directories in the system and you need to work with a particular one. To search in the list:

  • Select the input field and type in the pattern string.

  • Click the SEARCH button.

  • If there were any items found matching the pattern string entered, they will all be displayed in the form of the reduced Protected Directory List.

  • If no matches were found it will be so stated.

  • The button SHOW ALL will revert to displaying the whole list of domains.

There is also another way to ease the process of working with a large list of directories. An option of sorting the list by several various parameters is made available to you. You can sort the list by several parameters. To sort the list by a certain parameter in ascending or descending order, click on the name of the parameter. An arrow will appear indicating the order of sorting: down for descending order, up for ascending.

Removing a Protected Directory

To remove one or more directories, follow these steps:

  1. Check the checkboxes in the Sel column of the Protected Directories List corresponding to the directories you wish to remove.

  2. Click on REMOVE SELECTED. The Protected Directory Removal page appears.

  3. For every directory you chose to remove the name of the directory and the names of this directory users will be displayed.

  4. If you are certain that the displayed information is correct and wish to proceed with deleting, check the "Yes, I wish to remove protection from these directories" checkbox. Then click SUBMIT. If you decide to not delete these directories or wish to modify the list of directories chosen for deletion, click the CANCEL button.

Both buttons will return you to the Protected Directory Management page, one submitting the changes, the other one leaving everything unchanged.

NOTE

Deleting a protected directory in PSA does not delete the directory off the server. It simply takes the protected status off the directory. Meaning that the directory and its contents will now be reachable via the Internet without the need for login and password.

Manage the Domain SSL Certificate

PSA enables you to upload a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate, generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR), generate a Self-signed Certificate, and/or purchase a SSL certificate through a registered certificate authority. Each certificate represents a set of rules used when exchanging encrypted information between two computers. Certificates establish secure communications; this is especially important when handling e-commerce transactions and other private transmittals. Only authorized users can access and read an encrypted data stream.

Notes on Certificates:

  • In order to use SSL certificates for a given domain, the domain MUST be set up for IP-Based hosting.

  • When an IP-based hosting account is created with SSL support, a default SSL certificate is uploaded automatically. However, this certificate will not be recognized by a browser as one that is signed by a certificate signing authority.

  • The default SSL certificate can be replaced by either a self-signed certificate or one signed by a recognized certificate-signing authority. The self-signed certificate is valid and secure, but many clients prefer to have a certificate signed by a known Certificate Signing Authority.

  • You can acquire SSL certificates from various sources. You can purchase a certificate directly through your control panel interface through the Buy Certs option; using our services web-site My.Plesk.com (MPC). Also, you can generate a certificate with the SSLeay utility and submit it to any valid certificate authority. This can be done using the CSR option within PSA.

  • If using a SSL certificate issued by a certificate authority other than Thawte or Verisign, a rootchain certificate is required to appropriately identify and authenticate the certificate authority that has issued your SSL certificate.

  • If the given domain has the www prefix enabled, you must set up your CSR or self-signed certificate with the www prefix included. If you do not, you will receive a warning message when trying to access the domain with the www prefix.

  • Remember to enter your certificate information in PEM format. PEM format means that the RSA Private Key text must be followed by the Certificate text.

  • All certificates are located in the ../vhosts/'domain name'/cert/httpsd.pem file. Where this directory reads 'domain name', you must enter the domain name for which the certificate was created.

Generating a Self-signed Certificate or Certificate Signing Request

To generate a self-signed certificate or a certificate-signing request, follow these steps:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you need to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. If you have established an IP based hosting account with SSL enabled, the CERTIFICATE button will be enabled.

  3. Click the CERTIFICATE button. The SSL Certificate Setup page appears.

  4. The Certificate Information: section lists information needed for a certificate Request, or a Self-Signed certificate.

  5. The Bits selection allows you to choose the level of encryption of your SSL certificate. Select the appropriate number from the drop down box next to Bits:.

  6. Choose your country from the drop-down list. To enter the information into the provided text input fields (State or Province, Location (City), Organization Name (Company) and Organization Department/Division Name (optional)) click in the text boxes and enter the appropriate information.

  7. To enter the Domain Name for the certificate, click in the text box next to Domain Name: and enter the appropriate domain.

  8. The domain name is a required field. This will be the only domain name that can be used to access the Control Panel without receiving a certificate warning in the browser. The expected format is www.domainname.com or domainname.com.

  9. Click on either the SELF-SIGNED or REQUEST button.

  10. Clicking SELF-SIGNED results in your certificate being automatically generated and installed.

  11. Selecting REQUEST results in the sending of a certificate-signing request (CSR) to the email address you provided in the fields discussed above. When a CSR (certificate signing request) is generated there are two different text sections, the RSA Private Key and the Certificate Request. Do not lose your RSA private key. You will need this during the certificate installation process. Losing it is likely to result in the need to purchase another certificate.

  12. When you are satisfied that the SSL certificate has been generated or the SSL certificate request has been correctly implemented, click UP LEVEL to return to the Domain Administration page.

Purchasing an SSL Certificate

To purchase a certificate through My.Plesk.com (MPC) proceed to:

  1. From the Client Home page, click the domain name that you need to work with from the list provided. The Domain Administration page appears.

  2. If you have established an IP based hosting account with SSL enabled, the CERTIFICATE button will be enabled.

  3. Click the CERTIFICATE button. The SSL Certificate Setup page appears.

  4. The Certificate Information: section lists information needed for a certificate Request, or a Self-Signed certificate.

  5. The Bits selection allows you to choose the level of encryption of your SSL certificate. Select the appropriate number from the drop down box next to Bits:.

  6. Choose your country from the drop-down list. To enter the information into the provided text input fields (State or Province, Location, Organization Name (Company) and Organization Department/Division Name (optional)) click in the text boxes and enter the appropriate name.

  7. To enter the Domain Name for the certificate, click in the text box next to Domain Name: and enter the appropriate domain.

  8. The domain name is a required field. This will be the only domain name that can be used to access the Control Panel without receiving a certificate warning in the browser. The expected format is www.domainname.com or domainname.com.

  9. Click on either the SELF-SIGNED or REQUEST button.

  10. Clicking SELF-SIGNED results in your certificate being automatically generated and installed.

  11. Selecting REQUEST results in the sending of a certificate-signing request (CSR) to the email address you provided in the fields discussed above. When a CSR (certificate signing request) is generated there are two different text sections, the RSA Private Key and the Certificate Request. Do not lose your RSA private key. You will need this during the certificate installation process. Losing it is likely to result in the need to purchase another certificate.

  12. Click on the BUY CERTS button to gain access to the certificate management interface on My.Plesk.com. The MPC Gate page appears.

  13. This page allows you to create an account (the Create Account button) and access (the Log In button) MPC from where you are taken through step-by-step instructions on how to purchase and manage your certificate.

  14. In case you already have an existing account on MPC but forgot the password for it, there is a button provided especially for such occasions: Forgot Password?. Click it and enter your MPC account login name when requested into the provided text input field. Your password will be sent via e-mail to the address specified in your user profile.

  15. When you are satisfied that the SSL certificate has been generated or the SSL certificate request has been correctly implemented, click UP LEVEL to return to the Domain Administration page.

NOTE

If you do not wish to purchase certificates at this time but do wish to view the certificates currently owned by you, you may proceed directly to the MPC Gate page by clicking the VIEW CERTS button. At that you will not be prompted to fill in the details at the SSL Certificate setup page.

Uploading Existing Certificate w/o Private Key

To upload a file containing the certificate authorized by the Certificate Signing Authority:

  1. Click the CERTIFICATE button at the Domain Administration page. The SSL Certificate page appears.

  2. If you wish to upload a Certificate File authorized by the Certificate Signing Authority, click the Browse... button under the Upload previously purchased Certificate File (without private key) section to select the file (the file must be in .txt format)

  3. Then, click SEND FILE to copy the certificate to the server.

Uploading a New Certificate w/ Private Key

To upload a new certificate:

  1. Click the CERTIFICATE button from the Domain Administration page. The SSL Certificate page appears.

  2. If you wish to upload a certificate file from a local computer, under the Uploading Certificate File section, click the Browse... button to select the file (the file must be in .txt format).

  3. Then, click SEND FILE to copy the certificate to the server. Or if you want to type in the text of the certificate without downloading a specific file, click in the text box and enter and paste the certificate information.

  4. Click SEND TEXT to implement the text on the server.

    NOTE

    Ensure that the private key text block is included along with the SSL certificate text block when using the SEND FILE or SEND TEXT options.

    EXAMPLE FORMAT:

    -----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

    [[ENCRYPTED BLOCK OF TEXT]]

    -----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

    -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----

    [[ENCRYPTED BLOCK OF TEXT]]

    -----END CERTIFICATE-----

  5. When you download the certificate to the server, PSA checks for errors. If an error is detected, PSA restores the old version of the SSL certificate, and PSA warns you to update the certificate. At this point, you can try again to enter text or to download the certificate file.

  6. When you are satisfied that the SSL certificate is correctly implemented, click Up Level to return to the Domain Administration page.

Uploading the Rootchain Certificate

If you are using a certificate that has been signed by an authority other than Thawte or Verisign then it is likely that this will require the use of a rootchain, or CA, certificate. To install a rootchain certificate for the domain:

  1. Click the CERTIFICATE button at the Domain Administration page. The SSL Certificate Setup page appears.

  2. The icon next to Use rootchain certificate for this domain appears on this page.

  3. If the icon is [ON] then the rootchain certificate will be enabled for this domain. If the icon is [X] this function will be disabled.

  4. To change the status of the rootchain certificate, click the ON/OFF button.

  5. To upload your rootchain certificate, first make sure that it has been saved on your local machine or network. Use the Browse... button to search for and select the appropriate rootchain certificate file.

  6. Then click the SEND FILE button. This will upload your rootchain certificate to the server to assure proper authentication of the certificate authority.

  7. When you are satisfied that the rootchain certificate is correctly implemented, click UP LEVEL to return to the Domain Administration page.

Log Files and Log Rotation Management

Log Files Management page allows you to manage the log files: view, remove and save on a local machine. From that page you will access the log rotation preferences configuration.

  • The Log Files list can be sorted by name in ascending or descending order. To sort the list, click on the Modification date, Name, or Size header of the list. An arrow will show the order of sorting.

  • You can search through the list for a certain pattern. It may help you in case you have a great number of log files in the list and you need to work with a particular one. To search through the list, type the pattern string into the text input field and click SEARCH. If there were any items found matching the entered pattern string, they will all be displayed in the form of a reduced list. The button SHOW ALL will revert to displaying the whole list.

  • For your convenience, you may also type in the number of lines to be displayed per page in the lines of log file for viewing input field.

  • To view the log file, click on its name in the list. The log file content will be displayed in a separate Log Files Viewer window.

  • You may also wish to save a log file on your local machine. To do that, click the appropriate diskette icon in the Get column of the list. After that you will need to specify the location on your local machine and the file name for the downloaded log file to be saved, and then click Save.

  • To delete one or more log files from the list, check the corresponding checkboxes and click the REMOVE SELECTED button.

  • Click UP LEVEL to return to the Domain Administration Page.

To configure Log Rotation preferences, follow these steps:

  1. Click the LOG ROTATION button, when on Log Files Management page. The Log Rotation Preferences configuration page will open.

  2. Click on the ON/OFF button to enable/disable log rotation. The log rotation status is indicated by an appropriate icon.

  3. Select the log rotation periodicity to be based on:

    • log file size - enter the size in kilobytes in the appropriate field

    • time - select from the drop-down list. It can be set to Daily, Weekly, and Monthly.

  4. Specify the maximum number of log files in the appropriate input field, if desired

  5. Check the Compress Log files checkbox to enable compression

  6. In the Send mail to input field, enter the e-mail address, for the log files to be sent to.

  7. Click the UPDATE button to submit changes.

  8. Click UP LEVEL to discard any unsubmitted changes and return to the Log Files Management Page.

File Manager

Once you have configured hosting for a domain, you can use a file manager to handle all your files in a more convenient way.

To access the file manager functions, on the Domain Administration Page, click on the FILE MANAGER. The file manager control panel will open in a new browser window and display a root directory structure and contents.

Using the File Manager:

  • To browse the directories, click on the Folder icon under the Type column.

  • To change permissions for a directory or a file: click on the corresponding permission number in the Perm's column. A permissions settings page will open, allowing you to set the required permissions for all three levels: Owner, Group, and Public. Select the desired settings from the drop-down boxes, then click Change to submit.

  • To rename a directory, click on the blue arrow icon in the Actions column. A new page will open allowing you to rename the selected directory. Type in a new name for the directory and click Do.

  • You can also change a timestamp of a directory or a file. To do this, click on the Touch icon. The time stamp will be updated with the current local time.

  • To remove file or directory, click on the Delete icon.

  • To upload a file to the current directory, type in the path to its location, or point to it clicking the Browse... button. Click Go.

  • To create a subdirectory that will be located in the current directory, type in the directory name in the appropriate field, and click Go.

  • To create a file, type in a file name in the corresponding field, check (uncheck) the "html template" box, and click Go.

  • You can also edit a file, clicking on the Edit icon in the Actions column. The File Manager's editor panel will open, allowing you to edit manually the file source. After you are done with editing, click Save to save the file, Save and Exit to save the file and quit the file editing mode, Cancel / Exit to cancel editing mode and return to the FileManager window, or Restore original to discard the alterations made.

Accessing FrontPage Web Administrator from the Control Panel

You can access FrontPage Web Administrator directly from the Control Panel, clicking on the FP WEBADMIN button, or FP-SSL WEBADMIN if you wish to access over secure SSL connection. These buttons are located at the bottom of the Domain Administration page, provided that the hosting is set up for the domain, and FrontPage is available.

NOTE

The FrontPage Web Admin software should be installed and configured properly for this function to work, and the FrontPage and FrontPage over SSL support should be enabled in your Plesk Server Administrator software.

Anonymous FTP

Within PSA the Client, given domain creation capabilities, can setup Anonymous FTP capabilities for a given IP-based virtual host. Anonymous FTP is used to allow an open, yet controlled, environment for visitors to the domain to download and/or upload files to and from the domain account. Users will be able to log into ftp.'domain name' with the standard anonymous user name and any password. PSA allows the setup and limitation of incoming file space, connected users, and bandwidth usage throttling. Administrators should take care when allowing the use of anonymous FTP and be sure to use all the limitation capabilities within the interface wisely. If setup with excessive limits, it could lead to problems with server resources as well as excessive bandwidth usage.

To set up Anonymous FTP:

  1. Click the ANONYMOUS FTP button at the Domain Administration page. The Anonymous FTP Feature Management page appears.

  2. By default anonymous FTP capabilities will be inactive. To activate anonymous FTP select the ON/OFF button. The status indicator next to Anonymous FTP account status will identify the status as either ON or X (off).

  3. Select the checkbox beside Allow uploading to incoming directory to allow visitors access the anonymous ftp site to upload files into the /incoming directory.

  4. Select the checkbox beside Limit disk space in the incoming directory to set the disk space quota (ie hard limit) on the /incoming directory. Then select the Up to field and enter the disk space, in KiloBytes, you wish to allow for the /incoming directory. If no specific limit is set, or zero is used in the Up to field, the setting is unlimited.

  5. Select the checkbox beside Limit maximum simultaneous connections number to set limits on the number of users who can be simultaneously connected to the anonymous FTP site. Then select the Up to field and enter the number of connections allowed. If no specific limit is set, or zero is used in the Up to field, the setting is unlimited.

  6. Select the checkbox beside Limit download bandwidth for this virtual FTP domain to set throttling up for the anonymous FTP site. Then select the Up to field and enter the maximum average bandwidth, in KiloBytes per second, allowed. If no specific limit is set, or zero is used in the Up to field, the setting is unlimited.

  7. Once you have completed all changes, select UPDATE to submit all changes and return to the Domain Administration page.

  8. Selecting UP LEVEL will ignore all changes made and return to the Domain Administration page.

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