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Domain hosting

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,339
Thanks: 595
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Domain hosting

Something to think about!
At the moment domain hosting is tightly linked to the account being used to host them. Some issues this gives:
  • Mailboxes are not unique to the domain (john@accountname.plus.com is the same as john@mydomain.co.uk)
  • What happens when people close their broadband account - no option for domain to stay put - at a price!
  • Clashes between URL's on different domains (only affects ccgi where you don't point to a folder)
  • Can't move domain easily between accounts - or change account name
    Would turning the way domains are linked to accounts on it's head give some opportunities?
    On the hosting server you have independent accounts - these are the primary accounts on the hosting server - not the internet connection accounts using portal usernames. Some of these would link one to one with usernames on the portal, other separate hosting accounts would be used for domains hosted under the up to 5 etc and include the £1 domains, others would be totally independent paid for accounts. All that is different about the three types of accounts would be the way they are billed. The first two would be paid for in wooden dollars from the internet connection accounts.
    This would mean that all domain control and configuration would be totally removed from the portal - the only link would be a financial link. You could therefore use any control panel you wanted.
    On the mail servers you log in to different accounts using mail.plus.net, mail.force9.net etc. Mailboxes for hosting could be on something like hostmail.plus.net to differentiate them.
  • jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
       Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
    Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
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    8 REPLIES
    Ianwild
    Grafter
    Posts: 3,835
    Registered: 05-04-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    PJ  You can join in :-)
    mcgurka
    Grafter
    Posts: 764
    Registered: 09-10-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    I think a cpanel / plesk-esk style system would be useful for this... perhaps have the UN/PW integrated with the PN system... but the actually homepages as a 'billable addon' to the account.
    Granted it would take a lot of things out of the portal at present, but at the benefit of being able to create platforms from the customer end, and allowing billable addons (more traffic etc) fits the bill for the project?
    Ianwild
    Grafter
    Posts: 3,835
    Registered: 05-04-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    Hmmm - Are we just talking about the functionality that a tool like Plesk gives in terms of domain control? we'd always want to integrate that with the portal, and both Plesk and Cpanel have horrendous problems that make them impractical for us I reckon. (Look at Zen's nightmare with Cpanel at the moment). For DNS management, replicating the stuff Plesk does would probably be easier than moving all the domains to Plesk management anyway.
    Anyway, John, I've read your post 5 or 6 times now and I still can't quite understand what you are getting at. Let me take your points:
        * Mailboxes are not unique to the domain (john@accountname.plus.com is the same as john@mydomain.co.uk)
    Each domain has a specific entry in the mail database, so fixing this is just a case of making the portal tool treat each domain separately, and replicating the mailbox config separately for each domain. The fix basically doesn't touch on the domain control system itself, it's about mail admin, so no change to how we handle domains would affect that. The biggest challenge is probably just in designing a UI that wasn't too complicated. Instead of doing that, a hosting only account (for say £1 a month) would probably achieve the same thing.
        * What happens when people close their broadband account - no option for domain to stay put - at a price!
    We do have that option by giving people a Generic Services account and charging £x (Between £10 and £25 I imagine) a year for the domain registration and/or hosting. The plan to build this is at an advanced stage of sign-off, and there is actually dev time scheduled (we could be making about £2K a month more than we are tight now given we are hosting that many domains for free on free accounts!). Again, this isn't really about the domain hosting side as it is our billing engine / product management system that needs to be changed.
        * Clashes between URL's on different domains (only affects ccgi where you don't point to a folder)
    Again, this is entirely about how the CGI server itself is set-up and administered. Part of the requirement for the new hosting system has to be that it has a control panel for names that are pointing to it, so that multiple hosting directories can be used (along with www. subdomains etc).
        * Can't move domain easily between accounts - or change account name
    It's really easy to move domains between accounts now. Is there a specific example of a problem you are thinking of?
    Can you have another crack at explaining? I certainly agree that a new, more functional domain control system is needed, as does everyone here but I'm afraid I don't quite understand the suggestion. and I'd really like to understand (It's just conceptually I can't get my head around it compared to where we are now).
    Ian

    Community Veteran
    Posts: 26,339
    Thanks: 595
    Fixes: 8
    Registered: 10-04-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    Ian,
    It's probably easier to explain if you give me a ring.
    jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
       Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
    Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
    Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
    Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
    Community Veteran
    Posts: 1,571
    Thanks: 3
    Registered: 13-04-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    Moving domains between accounts is an interesting point. I didnt know you could do that for a start. I have 2 domains on my account and 2 others on the sisters and friends accounts. The interesting thing is I assume that at the moment I get 250 meg disk space so does the sister and friend so I am getting 250meg*3.
    I assume if I move them all to my account I will then only get 250meg?
    The whole hosting is very hit and miss in my perception when we had the outage for 3 days it was made clear that as its a free service there is no sla's and any losses is tough luck. That isn't really cricket in 3 days you can loose Google ranking if it spidered your site and found it gone.
    As you sign up because you get the hosting its part of the service and as such should be better serviced.
    I think we could do with more predefined functions, the mail script is great and more simple scripts like this would be a big help and cheap. Some of the sites I host on other free servers offer all sort of things free. If you want a forum its a case of tick a box and its all there setup for you this is ideal for the novice and safer than letting users who dont understand trying to install their own.
    Another point is a legal one I had a site about complaints about our hospital this contained press reports from places like the BBC, health Care Commission  and the Ombudsman. So all the information was verified and in the public domain and as such legally was bomb proof.
    The hospital complained and the site was removed Plusnet wouldn't listen to reason and I didnt get a fair trail so anyone running a site which contains NEWS could have their site taken down without a trail.
    By contrast I now host it on a FREE site and when the hospital tried to get it taken down the FREE site said get stuffed we allow freedom of speech. The hospital soon backed down as it hadn't got a leg to stand on as it was all 100% true
    Community Veteran
    Posts: 26,339
    Thanks: 595
    Fixes: 8
    Registered: 10-04-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    Ian,
    Sorry you didn't give me a ring about this - as you are talking about integrating with the portal you obviously haven't cottoned on to what I am talking about at all.
    If you are thinking of outsourcing, i would have thought my suggestion would mean you could have something up and running in a matter of weeks as it removes nearly all need for hooks in the portal.
    jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
       Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
    Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
    Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
    Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
    Ianwild
    Grafter
    Posts: 3,835
    Registered: 05-04-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    I will John - I've been on hols and spent the week catching up with other stuff.
    Progressing this is high on my list for next week, and I will definitely be calling on you.
    Ian
    pcoventry
    Grafter
    Posts: 434
    Registered: 26-11-2007

    Re: Domain hosting

    Hi Ian, I have been unable to get a test account for you howver if you contact bpweb i'm sure they will set you up a test account. It has all the cpanel stuff.