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[PAYH] FAQs, Tips & Setup Guides for the new platform.

xpcomputers
Grafter
Posts: 460
Registered: 13-04-2007

[PAYH] FAQs, Tips & Setup Guides for the new platform.

This thread is designed to hold the Frequently Asked Questions, tips & setup guides to using the new platform on PAYH (including the preview platform).
It is a work in progress, so will be updated over time & become more useful...
If you have a new question you want the answer to, please start a new thread in this forum with a descriptive title.
That way you will get the quickest help to your problem from the widest audience. (Please don't post new questions in this thread!)
Once the question has been answered there, then if appropriate, your Q&A might get added to here. (Send me a PM if you have suggestions of new questions that should be added here)
If you see any errors, think something could be worded better or you've created a tutorial that can be added here,  send me a PM, and I'll see what I can do to update this thread. Thanks.

UPDATE 31/07/2009: In light of Bob Pullen's post here, I have quickly updated this thread (rather messily), to try to reflect closer to the current situation. I will endeavour to continue to update this thread to maintain the current state of play, then tidy it up once we get a clearer picture of the future.
Why should I sign up to the preview?
The CCGI servers are at the end of useful life. The version of PHP they use (4.2?) is no longer supported for future bug fixes. This means it might in the future become a security liability. Also there are lots of cool things you can do with PHP5.2 that you can't do on older versions.
The old CCGI servers are in the process of being replaced by the more up to date system, and at some point in the future (April 2009 give or take a month or three!), they will be turned off. You will have plenty of warning and time to migrate in the future. However if you want to maximise your time of moving over, you can choose to start the migration early.
If you are thinking of starting a new website on CCGI, then you should strongly consider starting on the Preview platform instead, to save you having to move again in the next 6 months.

You can't sign up to the preview now. The preview ended, and is no longer available. The old CCGI servers currently have no replacement date set. They are still out of date, but there is no "free" or "included" alternative available. If you feel that the version of PHP used on the CCGI servers is a concern to you, you will need to find your own suitable replacement. Plusnet can offer you a subscription account with PAYH, or you can look elsewhere.

How do I sign up to the preview?
Please read the first post of this thread for all the details, and the terms & conditions. If you agree, then you can sign up here for your preview account.


How do I use my new webspace?
You log into the PLESK control Panel using https://plesk-host01.plus.net:8443/ (changing the 01 bit to match your hosting server number as shown in the welcome email).
Your will have been sent a username in the email, and the password is initially set to be the same as the one on your main broadband account.
You view your finished website on:
http://username.plushost.co.uk
OR   (if you own a domain name, and you've asked in a ticket for your domain name to be transferred over to the preview account).
http://www.yourdomainnamehere.co.uk
If you have a domain, then use that in any of the instructions below, wherever you see mentioned http://username.plushost.co.uk etc

In the Plesk File Manager, I see lots of files & folders already there. What files & folders can I delete and what do I keep?
You site comes pre-loaded with a few test files to help you check it is all working. If you visit your site at http://username.plushost.co.uk you will see a test page (made up of the files & folders preinstalled in the httpdocs folder). Before you do anything visit that page and make sure everything is working correctly. (same applies for https://username.plushost.co.uk & the httpsdocs folder)
Once you have carried out these tests, you can safely delete anything in httpdocs & httpsdocs folders, so you have a blank canvas before you upload your own website.


How do I create an FTP account?
Plusnet have created an FTP account for you, but you need to set it's password yourself. To do this, click on your domain (at the bottom of Plesk). Click SETUP. You can now see your FTP login name and reset the password to one of your choice.

How do I use that FTP account?
In your FTP program (or web design software if it handles your uploads) put in:
ftp://ftp.username.plushost.co.uk
FTP username: As found in Question above.
FTP password: As chosen by you in Question above.
You upload your files to httpdocs folder (or httpsdocs for secure). The website you upload can then be seen at http://username.plushost.co.uk

Where do I put my HTTP files?
You can put your files anywhere in httpdocs (or httpsdocs for secure pages eg https) or create subfolders within it.
httpdocs folder maps to http://username.plushost.co.uk
If you created a subfolder called forum (eg httpdocs/forum) it would be accessed as http://username.plushost.co.uk/forum

Where do I put my PHP files?
You can put them anywhere in the httpdocs (or httpsdocs folders). If you want you can also use the cgi-bin folders. No-one can view inside these files - only execute them as intended, for example, to display a webpage etc

I only seem to have half the advertised space & bandwidth. How do I increase the space & bandwidth to the allowed maximum?
Plusnet have allocated the correct space to the whole account, but by default have only allocated half of that webspace & monthly bandwidth to the initial website domain (probably username.plushost.co.uk unless you've got your own domain name) and left the other half unallocated.
If you click on this main domain (at the bottom of plesk), and then click LIMITS icon, you can increase them to the full allowance for that site.

How do I create a database in Plesk?
If you currently use Humbug or Rumpus, you will need to migrate your database over to a new database created by Plesk, as the old database servers will be turned off in the future. you will carry on doing so for the foreseeable future, they are no longer scheduled to be turned off.
If you are using the preview or PAYH system, you will need to create a database using plesk:
Assuming the database allocation is in the correct domain (if not see below):
Click on that domain. Click on Databases. Create a Database (giving it a name default = "username_"). Click on this database and then create a Database User & password. (Can someone write a Step by Step for this?)
You can only have one database per account. If you have multiple domains inside that account, then only one of those domains can host the database. If the database is currently set to the wrong domain, you can change that allocation. You need to remove it from the wrong domain. Click the wrong domain. Click LIMITS icon. Change the database 1, to 0.
Then return to HOME. Select the correct domain and click its LIMIT icon, and change database there from 0 to 1. Now you will be able to create the database as above in the correct domain.

How do I use that database?
When created, you can see a link to the database server when you click Domain, then DATABASE icon. At the bottom is your database name ("username_" is the default) and to the right of it your database server address (something like: plesk-db01.plus.net:3306 )
You use as the database server in your CMS software or in your own PHP files. Database name = "username_" (unless you changed it before creating) and you access it with the database username & password you created above.

How do I run phpMyAdmin to manage my database tables & data?
Select your Domain. Click DATABASE icon. Select your database (from bottom of Plesk).
Click the "DB WebAdmin" icon. phpMyAdmin will open in a new window.

Can I have Shell Access to the webspace?
Currently the answer is no. Providing Shell access to the web server creates security headaches for ISPs. If they provide it, then they need to lock things down in other ways. The final platform might yet get Shell Access, or it might not. However, in the meantime, there is a work around that works for most Shell Commands & Scripts. See the next two questions.

How do I unpack Tar.gz files on the new server without Shell Access?
A guide on how to do this using CRON has been uploaded to the Usergroup Tutorials Using CRON to unpack Tar.gz tutorial

Can I use CRON as a replacement for other Shell Commands?
A generic guide on how to use CRON to run most shell commands & scripts has been uploaded to usergoup site. Using CRON as a replacement for Shell commands

How do I transfer my website from CCGI?
Depends if you wrote it yourself, or if you are using a package like Drupal, Joomla or Wordpress.
If you wrote it yourself, you should be able to work out how to move the files over to the new webspace. You can put the files in either httpdocs or httpsdocs folders (or sub-folders within either).
If you use a package, then hopefully someone will create a guide to transferring your website over.... (hint hint - Anyone willing to create a Guide to transferring a Joomla, Wordpress or Drupal site over from CCGI to PAYH? AnyoneHuh). You can also visit the CMS vendors own support site for generic help with moving web providers.
The process will probably involve something like:

  • uploading the package into the new webspace from a tar.gz file.

  • Unpacking it using CRON.

  • Backing up your database on the old server.

  • Backing up various site settings directories & custom directories on the old servers.

  • Moving all of these files, folders & database tables to the new server.

  • Checking permissions of files & folders

  • running though some checks



When will CCGI server be turned off?
Not for a while yet. April 2009 has been mentioned, but is very open to movement! The new platform isn't even finalised yet! Once the new platform is finalised, built & tested, then there will be sufficient time for users to migrate between the platforms (with plenty of warning too).
At the moment, the new Platform is still being finalised and created, but it will be very similar to the Preview accounts currently on PAYH. Once the features are fixed, then the platform will be built. At that stage, the new platform will be released, and the timer will start ticking on CCGI. In reality it will probably be here until around April 2009, but it might be sooner or longer before it is turned off (these things have a habit of taking longer than expected too!)

There are now no plans to turn off the old servers. There are paid for PAYH accounts available, but all the old stuff is also going to continue working for the foreseeable future. There is now no need to move, unless you need new features that are not provided by the old CCGI servers & databases.

Will this affect websites that use Frontpage extensions?
The Frontpages server fp.username.plus.com will be turned off with the CCGI servers (see above for timescale). Frontpage has stopped being supported by Microsoft, and is an outdated method of building a website now. If your website is a simple one, then it will probably carry on working on the new area (or even on the Homepages server www.username.plus.com) with very little change. In that scenario, you should still be able to use Frontpage to create, update & upload your website after the Frontpage extensions are turned off.
If however, you've made a more complex site which uses Frontpage extensions (things like Frontpage guestbook, Frontpage page counter etc), then keeping it running as it is now, sadly isn't an option....
You either need to either:

  • simplify your website to keep using Frontpage software to design it.

  • use some different software that is up to date, and use readily available guestbook modules other have created etc.

  • or find a different webhost that still offers a server with Frontpage extensions (bear in mind that Microsoft no longer support this, so your new provider might also drop support in the near future


I believe the same is true. the Frontpage servers have been given a stay of execution too. However, Frontpage itself is no longer made or supported by Microsoft, so it will become increasingly harder to find servers to host this on in the future.

Will this affect Rumpus & Humbug Database Servers?
Yes. Along with CCGI, & Frontpage servers, the old database servers will also be decommissioned. The preview platform (& final platform too) will support a single database. This is created and configured using Plesk.
No they will continue for now.

Will this affect the basic HTTP homepages webserver?
No. Homepages servers (www.username.plus.com) will remain as they are. If your site is hosted there and you need none of the new features, you can relax happy and do nothing. If you would like to try some of the more interactive features of the web you see on other sites, or try installing a CMS package, then you can apply for a preview hosting account for free a CCGI account (on broadband accounts that are applicable), but be aware that the version of PHP in use is out of date.

When accessing https://username.plushost.co.uk I get a certificate warning in my browser? Is this unsafe?
The certificate belongs to  *.plus.net, so will come up with a warning when visiting the site via the login page at https://username.plushost.co.uk
This doesn't mean the site is unsafe, it just means the certificate belongs to anythinghere.plus.net and doesn't match the page you are visiting (plushost.co.uk in this case).
To avoid seeing this message, you are advised to access your Preview account using https://plesk-host01.plus.net:8443/ (changing the 01 bit to match your hosting server number).
You can also use the non https version of the login page http://username.plushost.co.uk