Changing Storage Quota for cPanel Accounts

This is a quick and easy tutorial for changing storage space quotas on specific cPanel accounts, perfect for a rainy Sunday morning. I often get this question from someone managing a Domain of One’s Own initiative that needs to modify an account to allow for more storage space.

This process is done in WHM, which is basically the GUI interface for managing all the accounts on cPanel. Once logged in you do a quick find using the word “list” (no quotes) in the left upper hand corner. Then click “List Accounts” which will allow you to search for the account you need. You can search by the username or domain as demonstrated below.
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“Not Many People Gotta Code to Live By Anymore”

Amen, Harry Dean! All this talk of coding or being coded is besides the point, when push comes to shove most people simply need a code. I come back to Repo Man (1984) a lot when I am thinking about Reclaim Hosting‘s code. In fact, I already played on the idea of a Reclaim Code with the above clip. So when sitting down to talk to Bryan Mathers earlier this week about some artwork I was excited when I found the discussion led us into the territory of this 1980s punk cult classic.

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Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

This weekend I decided to experiment with a feature we have enabled on some of our servers that is sort of an unsung hero for advanced users (so advanced I hadn't taken the time to understand how it works!). Jekyll is a static site generator that has grown in popularity in large part due to its inclusion in GitHub Pages as well as a wider movement to have sites built from HTML based on Markdown templates. Plenty of folks today already run Jekyll sites but the process of using them with Reclaim typically involved generating the files locally on your computer and then publishing them to Reclaim because of Jekyll's requirement to run newer versions of Ruby than cPanel supports.

On many of our servers we now run a piece of software called CloudLinux. While the primary purpose of this software is to handle resource allocation (CPU/Memory/IO) per account, it comes with a stellar list of other features that allow a user to choose alternative versions of PHP, Python, and Ruby for their account. Python and Ruby are not languages I've played much in but I figured this was a perfect opportunity to see if I could install Jekyll and get it to run right inside my Reclaim Hosting account to remove some of the barriers to using it. And I'm happy to say I was successful! Here's how it works.

Looking at the requirements in the Jekyll install guide you'll note that Ruby 2+ is required (thankfully Jekyll 3 no longer requires NodeJS which would have been a dealbreaker here). So to start we'll create a Ruby application within cPanel under Software > Setup Ruby App

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

For the version I've chosen the latest available here, Ruby 2.2, and setup jekyll folders for the application contents and the public directory.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Click Setup and you'll have a generic Ruby application ready to go! Of course there's nothing there yet, it simply displays some basic information in cPanel and the URL shows a simple Hello World style page letting you know it's running.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

The next step according to the install guide for Jekyll is to use the RubyGems installer to run gem install jekyll bundler. Here's where things get interesting. You'll need to login to your shell account for these next steps, something we include by default with our accounts. But if I just login and try to run that command I get the following error:

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

This is because your Ruby application runs in a virtual environment that allows you to run different versions for different applications. So in order to work within our app we need to enter the virtual environment before doing anything else. If you look back at the application details a command was provided for entering the virtual environment, in my case source /home/towensne/rubyvenv/jekyll/2.2/bin/activate. So I'll enter the environment first and then run the command gem install jekyll bundler from there.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Now we're cooking! We've got Jekyll installed in our account and should be able to use it to build a site. At this point I could grab a theme from somewhere but Jekyll also has a built-in site generator tool that can be used by running jekyll new myblog where myblog is the name of the folder you want it to create. In this case I'll navigate to my public_html folder (cd public_html) and run jekyll new blog to setup a blog folder for it. Keep in mind I need to stay in my virtual environment while doing this. The Jekyll command will not exist outside of it.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Yikes, ugly Ruby error. But have no fear, this is a pretty straightforward one to deal with. Our Ruby app is complaining that it needs something called "bigdecimal" in order to run. Similar to how we installed Jekyll we can just run gem install bigdecimal to get that package in place.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

And now let's setup that blog again.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Score! If we look at the blog folder in our File Manager we'll have a better idea of what this looks like. This isn't meant to be a comprehensive introduction to Jekyll by any means, but you'll notice lots of folders and files in there and this structure is essentially a basic Jekyll site.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Now we've got our Jekyll site structure done but it's important to note that we haven't generated the HTML for the site yet. In fact if we go to towens.net/blog where I put this site you'd see just a bunch of code.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

We need to run Jekyll's site generator in order for it to convert all the markdown and templates into a static HTML site. This is done back in our shell session by running jekyll build (make sure you change to your blog directory)

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

What this does is takes all those templates and turns it into an actual HTML site. From the printout you can see the site is generated in the _site folder (you can specify a different name for the folder using the --destination parameter, read more about the options at https://jekyllrb.com/docs/usage/). If we look at the _site folder you'll notice this looks a lot more like a regular HTML site than the Jekyll folder did.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Our last step is to setup a URL for the generated files and for this I'm going to create a subdomain in cPanel under Domains > Subdomains. I'll give it the subdomain blog.towens.net and we know that the files we want to server are in public_html/blog/_site so I'll set that as the Document Root for the subdomain.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Now if we've done everything correctly we should be able to load blog.towens.net and get our Jekyll site.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Booyah! Now all we need to do anytime we make changes to the Markdown files in our Jekyll directory is running jekyll build to rebuild the site. It will update _site with everything each time. For extra credit it's possible to setup a cron job that will schedule and run a build every X minutes. The command would look like this: source /home/towensne/rubyvenv/jekyll/2.2/bin/activate && cd /home/towensne/public_html/blog && jekyll build (obviously you'd need to replace the first part with the command to enter your virtual environment and update the path it changes the directory to).

So that's it! Certainly more advanced stuff than just publishing via WordPress or something like that but I know a lot of folks who have been itching to try Jekyll or use it more with their account and this is a great way to run it as a Ruby application directly from your Reclaim Hosting account without having to do all the building locally and publish the files as an additional step.

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting

This weekend I decided to experiment with a feature we have enabled on some of our servers that is sort of an unsung hero for advanced users (so advanced I hadn’t taken the time to understand how it works!). Jekyll is a static site generator that has grown in popularity in large part due to its inclusion in GitHub Pages as well as a wider movement to have sites built from HTML based on Markdown templates. Plenty of folks today already run Jekyll sites but the process of using them with Reclaim typically involved generating the files locally on your computer and then publishing them to Reclaim because of Jekyll’s requirement to run newer versions of Ruby than cPanel supports.

Continue reading “Running a Jekyll Site on Reclaim Hosting”

Domain SEO Service Registration Corp. is a Domain Scammer!

While I’m on the topic of domain scams on the bava, I got another good example of how these human cockroaches work. Below is a copy and paste of one of two emails I received via email last week from the scam artists at Domain SEO Service Registration Corp. The other one I got was identical, it was targeting the ds106.us domain rather than bavatuesdays.com. At first glance the email below reads like an expiration notice for the domain. I know this is a scam because I control the vertical and horizontal of this domain through Reclaim Hosting. Another hint for me here is the date is all wrong, I registered bavatuesdays for the first time on October 12th, 2005, I remember the day well. Reading the email I also notice they’re using the public whois data provided by ICANN because I used UMW’s street address as a way of deflecting any personal info from being out there—a cheaper ID protect option

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Reclaim Your Domain Web Series

A few weeks ago I decided to start putting together some targeted screencasts from the standpoint of building a website from scratch using Reclaim Hosting. It's one thing to have lots of written documentation (and we've got that in spades at http://docs.reclaimhosting.com/) but another to sit back and watch someone work through all the various aspects of building out a web presence. What I love most is that even I learn a thing or two in the process!

Below is a quick recap of the first 4 episodes that are already out. Each on is attached to an ongoing playlist and you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to see them when they come out as there will definitely be more!

Episode One: Signing Up

In this episode I walk through the process of getting a domain via Reclaim Hosting. What was interesting to me is just how hard it is to find a unique domain these days! I edited out a lot of trial and error there, haha.

Episode Two: The Client Area

While most people use our client area as a quick way to get into cPanel or handle billing there are also other useful management tools available in there I cover in this episode.

Episode Three: Site Publisher

cPanel's Site Publisher is brand new and I figured it was a great way to show how you can get a quick landing page on your domain up and running in a matter of minutes.

Episode Four: Folder Structures, Subfolders, and Subdomains

Here we dive into the File Manager to understand how folders and files live on the server and how that correlates to what you actually see when you type in your domain.

If you've got other ideas for future videos I'd love to hear them! Hoping over time to build out an archive that can cover all the various features of Reclaim Hosting that folks can take advantage of in building out their web presence.

Reclaim Your Domain Web Series

A few weeks ago I decided to start putting together some targeted screencasts from the standpoint of building a website from scratch using Reclaim Hosting. It’s one thing to have lots of written documentation (and we’ve got that in spades at http://docs.reclaimhosting.com/) but another to sit back and watch someone work through all the various aspects of building out a web presence. What I love most is that even I learn a thing or two in the process!

Below is a quick recap of the first 4 episodes that are already out. Each on is attached to an ongoing playlist and you can subscribe to our YouTube channel to see them when they come out as there will definitely be more!

Continue reading “Reclaim Your Domain Web Series”

Just Say No to Domain Phone Scams

I woke up to an email from a concerned Reclaim Hosting faithful that got my attention immediately:
Thank you for your email! I actually have a concern regarding security issues. I received a call today from someone called John, claiming that he is representing Reclaim Hosting and is calling because I recently purchased a domain at reclaim hosting. He asked me to provide him with my visa card info so he can activate my domain and put it on the server, he claimed. I told him that I did activate my domain, but he asked for me to pay $ 20.99 more to put it on the sever so I can keep it forever! I refused to provide any further information because I want to know what this is about. Is this supposed to happen? I already paid for my domain, and I am already using it. What is this all about? Thank you for your help!
I want to thank this concerned web citizen for letting us know and allowing me to share the details here. I think it is important to note Reclaim Hosting will never call you asking for your credit card information. EVER. In fact, we never see—nor want to see—the entirety of your credit card information. That is a major flag, and John is indeed a scammer that must have access to new domain registrations via the whois information. What’s more, he seems to be part of a sleazy operation that is cold-calling random registrants phone numbers trying to get their credit card information. It is a bad scam, and I can see how folks might fall for it. Luckily, this Reclaimer just said NO!  Continue reading "Just Say No to Domain Phone Scams"

Static HTML Contact Forms

Continuing with yesterday’s post about building your website around an HTML5 Up template, I wanted to tackle other features on the site. Yesterday I showed how to go about uploading a template to your file manager, and I explained how to make a few basic changes including editing your browser tab title & fixing how your header title links back to your homepage. I also went over how to add your own custom photos, and how to rename them to match the code in your index.html file. However portfolio.labrumfield.com still has a glaring issue- currently the about section looks like this: The generic text is there, yes, but also that contact form is currently leading no where. These items are also resting in the index.html file within my file manager, so that’s where I’ll be. Unlike something like Python that takes a bit of translating, HTML is pretty straight forward. <section> for example, generally means you’re in a new section… things like that. So you really don’t need to be fluent in HTML to be able to understand it and make changes. Continue reading "Static HTML Contact Forms"

Site Publisher & HTML 5 UP

Who else is loving the new Site Publisher feature on cPanel? (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out cPanel’s blog post I Just Want a Site.) I’ve just recently had a chance to start playing around with it- so cool! The one noteworthy item to mention beforehand: Site Publisher is great for it’s intended purpose, to get a site up and running quickly. If you’re wanting any more than a landing page, you might be better off using something else.

Tim Owens just recently published a how-to for Site Publisher as Reclaim Hosting’s third episode in a new video series called Reclaim Your Domain:

Psst.. if you’re comparing notes between the cPanel blog post that I linked to above and the video here, you’ll notice that Reclaim has added extra templates within the interface. Yay for more choices!

Continue reading “Site Publisher & HTML 5 UP”