Using HostExcellence

Why should you choose Host Excellence as your hosting? Basic FAQ and instructions on how to use HostExcellence with WordPress and using HE in general...

Note: Since I’m using Apple Macintosh since 1995 and never used Microsoft Windows for the example on how an FTP application works I will use Cyberduck which is Mac-only. However all FTP applications work pretty much the same.

Chapter 1: Why should you use HostExcellence?
Chapter 2: Uploading to HostExcellence
2.1 Where to find the connection data (server settings)
2.2 Connect and upload to HostExcellence using Cyberduck (or any other FTP application)
2.3 What is the root?
Chapter 3: Domains
3.1 What happens if I have multiple domains?
3.2 How do I add another domain to my hosting account?
3.3 How can I have two domains pointing to the same site?
Chapter 4: E-mails
4.1 How can I have e-mails like me@mydomain.com?
4.2 How do I use e-mails like me@mydomain.com with Mail application, Outlook or on the iPhone?
4.3 How do I check my e-mails on the web?
Chapter 5: How can I have a custom "404 Error - Page not found" page on HostExcellence? And how do I create it?
Chapter 6: How can I password protect my site on HostExcellence?
Chapter 7: How to install WordPress blogs or a PhpBB Forum on HostExcellence
Chapter 8: An important note

Chapter 1: Why should you use HostExcellence?

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If you’re looking for a good hosting I would really recommend you to use HostExcellence since I’m using it for my own websites. I think that’s already a pretty good reason. I know that it’s working great and that their customer support is great too. They are definitely on the good side of the jungle. Also I think it’s really easy to use.

HostExcellence Logo

HostExcellence currently mainly offers two hosting packages:


Basic Plan

Recommended for:

People who plan to build only one website.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer
- 50 MySQL (1GB total)
(used for WordPress, Forums, ...)
- 1 free domain
- 1 dedicated IP address,
and more...

For 3.95$/month (click to sign up)


Unlimited Business Plan

Recommended for:

People who plan to build multiple websites.

Specifications:

- Toll free support
- Unlimited space
- Unlimited monthly datatransfer-
- Unlimited MySQL (10GB total)
(used for WordPress, Forums, ...)
- 3 free domains
- 15 dedicated IP addresses
and more...

Note: more IP addresses make your websites being much more stable and reliable.

For 7.95$/month (click to sign up)

I’m currently using the Unlimited Business Plan since I have a lot of websites which I store on one hosting account. To me it’s really worth it. I barely ever run into problems and if I did their support was most helpful. Since I know how HostExcellence works I could give you better support if you run into problems with my FAQs.

If you signup select the Linux platform (default) not the Windows platform.

Here you will find some basic instructions and FAQs I wrote on using HostExcellence...

Chapter 2: Uploading to HostExcellence

2.1 Where to find the connection data (server settings)

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Once you signup to HE you will receive an E-mail (New Account: Ultimate Business or similar) containing all the informations you need to connect to your server. In the E-mail you find something like this:

To access your account by FTP, use:
Host Name: webXYZ.hostexcellence.com
Login: c22XYZ
Password: c8b9afXYZXYZ

Note: the above data is just an example. You will find yours in the E-mail.

2.2 Connect and upload to HostExcellence using Cyberduck (or any other FTP application)

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Cyberduck is Freeware (or Donationware). It is very good, really easy to use and the one I like the most...

First thing I have to do when I launch the application for the first time is configure it to allow it to access the server and retrieve/send data.

I click on Open Connection

Cyberduck - Open connection

and get a dialog window like this one:

FTP

This is the connection data you have to enter in Cyberduck (or any other FTP client) to connect to your server...

Server: equals Host Name in the E-mail containing your data (see Chapter 2.1) hence something like webXYZ.hostexcellence.com
Username: equals Login in the E-mail containing your data (see Chapter 2.1) hence something like c22XYZ
Password: the one specified in the E-mail containing your data (see Chapter 2.1)

Check the “Add to Keychain” checkbox for it to remember the password and hit “Connect”.

To make things easier Bookmark the location you upload your files to in Cyberduck.

Click on Cyber then Click on “+” at the bottom of the Bookmarks to add a Bookmark.

Next time you use Cyberduck simply go to

cyber2

click on the downward flash at the right and a tear down menu will appear from which you choose the bookmarked location on your server to connect to it.

Once you’re connected you will see a list of folders. One for each of your domains.

Drag&Drop the files needed for WordPress as per instructions from your computer into the folder named after the appropriate domain of the website in Cyberduck.

2.3 What is the root?

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If you upload a picture to the root of your server or website (let’s call it picture.jpg) the picture will show up if you enter yourdomain.com/picture.jpg in your browser (ex. Safari)

Connecting to HostExcellence you’re first shown a list of folders where each domain name has its folder. If you want to upload the picture.jpg file to the root of your website all you have to do is drop the file into the folder named after the website’s domain.

Example: picture.jpg
dropped into the wpfaq.org folder
will show up entering http://wpfaq.org/picture.jpg in the browser.

Chapter 3: Domains

3.1 What happens if I have multiple domains?

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If you will have multiple domains the server will still be the same but once you connect to the server there will also be another folder called yourdomain2.com to upload the files which go to that domain. It’s really easy.

3.2 How do I add another domain to my hosting account?

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Login to your account. In your control panel click on “Add a domain name”. Choose the domain name and check out (pay). Once this process is completed it will appear on your Control panel where all your domains are listed (Domain registrations).
Under “Hosting products” click on “Manage” and a new window will popup. Click on Domains, Add new domain. Type the domain you just bought into the field and click Submit. Continue.
Now this domain will have its own folder when connecting via FTP as described above.

3.3 How can I have two domains pointing to the same site?

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If you have a website under yourdomain.com and want to have another domain otherdomain.com pointing to it so people see the same website when entering either the domains log into your control panel and add the new domain as previously seen or if you registered it with another registrar change the NS servers of the domain to your HostExcellence NS servers. Under Hosting Products hit Manage. Go to Domains and click on the domain containing the website you want the new domain to point to. Under Domain aliases choose Add then type in your new domain and hit Submit. You're done. In a moment (can be a couple of hours) you will be able to reach your site under both domains.

Chapter 4: E-mails

4.1 How can I have e-mails like me@mydomain.com?

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Login to your account. Under “Hosting products” click on “Manage” and a new window will popup. Click on “e-mail”.
Under “Mail manager/Mail domains” choose for which domain you would like to setup e-mails and hit “Go”.
Under “E-mail Setup functions” click on “New E-mail”.
Under “Email address” fill in what you would like instead of “me” in me@mydomain.com

Now you have to choose whether you want to use it as a Mailbox or a MailForward

Mailbox: is a real standalone e-mail box

MailForward: e-mails sent to this e-mail will be forwarded to another e-mail address of your choice.
As an example me@mydomain.com forward to whatever@yahoo.com

If you choose Mailbox enter a password.
You should also have one e-mail with “Catch All” meaning that all the e-mails sent to an address of the type me@mydomain.com that are inexistant (e.g inexistant@mydomain.com) get forwarded to that e-mail address.

Usually people make an e-mail address like
webmaster@mydomain.com which is a good idea.

Once you made your e-mail address click on Submit at the bottom of the page.

4.2 How do I use e-mails like me@mydomain.com with Mail application, Outlook or on the iPhone?

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You can only use it in Mail if you’ve set it up as Mailbox.

Go to Mail=>Preferences=>Accounts and hit the “+” at the bottom of it.

The data to enter in the fields is:

Full Name: Your Name
Email Address: me@mydomain.com
Password: The password you choose for your e-mail address
=>Click on Continue
Account Type: POP
Description: enter your e-mail address
Incoming Mail Server: mail.yourdomain.com
User Name: me@mydomain.com
Password: The password you choose for your e-mail address
Outgoing (smtp) server: will be the same as your incoming Mail Server, thus mail.yourdomain.com

4.3 How do I check my e-mails on the web?

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All you need to do is enter mail.yourdomain.com in your browser and you will be forwarded to a page with login fields.

Username: me@yourdomain.com (thus your e-mail address)
Password: the password you choose when you set up the e-mail

Chapter 5: How can I have a custom "404 Error - Page not found" page on HostExcellence? And how do I create it?

Add a new page and build your 404 page. I would recommend you to have a redirect on it (with time delay if you want) leading to your website's main page.
It's a good idea to add Statcounter on that page. This way you see where people getting to the error page come from. If they come from one of your pages you know that there's a wrong link on that page and you should fix it. In Statcounter add an extra project only for the Not found page.

Go to your HostExcellence admin area, Hosting Products and hit Manage, Error Pages

Hit "Add" near the domain you want to add a custom 404 page to.

Error Document Code "404 Not Found"
Message or URL enter the URL to your 404 page
Type "Redirect"

Hit "Submit" and you're done. If under "Status" you find "Apply" click on it.


Chapter 6: How can I password protect my site on HostExcellence?

1. Login to your Control Panel. Under Hosting products choose Manage, File Manager, hit "Protect" at the bottom of the page then navigate to the folder you want to protect. Once you found it click on the folder icon near the folder name and you will see this on your screen

2. Choose edit and you will find a "Was not found" message

3. Hit "Create" and enter data (username and password)

Hit Save.
4. You can now choose to add more users or change existing users

if you're done hit Close.
5. You're brought back to the first screen

Hit "apply", "next" and you're redirected to this page

Hit "save".

In the File Manager you will now find a new folder called .htmaster, open it and you will find a file called .ok_user

To add new username and passwords perform step 1 and 2 but now in step 2 you will not get the "Not found message" anymore. Once you hit edit you will be sent to the screen you see at step 4. Add, change or delete. Remember to always save your changes. Once you're done hit Close.

If you want to have different folders protected you can choose to use always the same .ok_user file login data or create a new one by entering something different than .ok_user before hitting edit at step 2.

Now when someone tries accessing any file inside the protected folder he or she will have to type in the username and password to continue…

Chapter 7: How to install WordPress blogs or a PhpBB Forum on HostExcellence

How to install a WordPress blog on HostExcellence is described here on wpfaq.org here I will discuss only how to install a PhpBB Forum.

To install a PhpBB Forum there are three steps. First uploading the PhpBB files to your server, second create the MySQL Database needed for the installation and third the actual installation process.

7.1 Uploading the files

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How to connect to your server with an FTP application is described in Chapter 2.2 of this FAQ.
Go to phpbb.com and download the latest version of the PhpBB Forum. You will get a folder called “phpBB3”.
yourdomain.com/name-of-the-folder/
Rename the folder called “phpBB3” to what you want to have appearing in the URL above instead of “name-of-the-folder”. I usually rename it to “forum” for the URL to be
yourdomain.com/forum/
Upload the whole folder (not only the content) to the root of your website by putting it into the folder named after the domain where you want to install the WordPress blog.
Now the second step is creating the MySQL Database which is one of the requirements to install a PhpBB Forum (or a WordPress blog as well).

7.2 Creating or adding a MySQL Database

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To create the MySQL Database Login to your HE Account Control Panel (you should know what data you have to enter to login). Under Hosting Products hit Manage and a new window will popup. Under Databases hit MySQL Server

HostExcellence - Database

Then Add database by clicking the add icon
Enter a short name for the database and a description (for you to know what you're using the database for). Click Next.

The first time you create a Database you will have to create a user too.

Enter a user name, a password and confirm the password. Under user role select "dba". Once you added this information click on "Add user" and hit Finish. You're done.

The next time you create a new Database you can select the user you already created under "Pick user" on the right side of that window. User role select "dba", hit "Grant" then "Finish".

You will then be redirected to this page:

You now have all the needed information to install the PhpBB Forum:

In the example:
- Database type: MySQL
- Database server hostname or DSN: mysqlXYZ.hostexcellence.com (equals Host Name in the picture above)
- Database server port: (leave it blank)
- Database name: C22XYZ_blog
- Database username: C22XYZ_admin
- Database password: **********
(- Table prefix will be decided further on)

Keep that info reachable for the third and last step: the actual installation.

7.3 Change server settings

Before you can install PhpBB on HostExcellence there need to be made some changes in the server settings. PhpBB requires

mbstring.http_input = pass
mbstring.http_output = pass

per default in HostExcellence they are set to false.

The easiest way to do set them to pass is to open a ticket from your HostExcellence control panel and ask HostExcellence to do it for you. If you want to do it on your own click here to download a folder named “server_settings”. In that folder you will find three files (.htaccess; php.ini; php5-custom-ini.cgi) of which one is hidden.

To display hidden files on Mac OSX open up Terminal, paste the following two lines and hit enter (I don’t know about Windows):

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

The file called .htaccess has to be uploaded to the root of your website hence into the folder named after yourdomain.com displaying once you’re connected to the server.

The file called php.ini has to be uploaded into the folder named “cgi-bin” you find in the folder called yourdomain.com

Now open php5-custom-ini.cgi in TextWrangler ctrl+click, open with, TextWrangler (Mac only, on Windows use Notepad instead) and you will find something like this:

Change C22XYZ with your username. This is found in the
Database username: C22XYZ_admin before "_admin"

Change yourdomain.com to your domain

Save the file and upload it to the “cgi-bin” folder you find in the folder called yourdomain.com

Once you’re done re-hide hidden files on your computer by entering

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

into Terminal if you’re on a Mac. Now you’re ready to actually install the PhpBB Forum.

7.4 Installing PhpBB

Visit http://yourdomain.com/name-of-the-folder/ where name-of-the-folder is the name name of your forum's folder and follow the installation guide you find here starting from the first picture of Chapter 2 "Click on install and you will be shown the requirements of the installation [...]"

Chapter 8: An important note

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In the folders which have the name of your personal domains you will find that there are already some folders called: cgi-bin; cp; webalizer. Never delete those folders (especially never delete the cgi-bin), simply ignore them.

Chapter 9: Signup

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Basic Plan (3,95$/month) - Unlimited Business Plan (7,95$/month)

If you would like to know anything else or want me to add something to this FAQ please let me know...


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It’s presented by Cédric Giger and hosted by HostGator.com
Thank you for visiting and supporting my website,
- Cédric -

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