How to Backup Your WordPress Site without any plugin

Customer Accidental Situation:

Last year I was building a WordPress site for a freelance project. When I was ready to share my progress with the client, I got my staging site up so they could see the progress I had made so far.

As I was distracted, moving things around in my FTP, I accidentally deleted several important theme files. It took me a few minutes to even realize what I had done. But once I did, my heart jumped out of my chest.

Did I seriously just accidentally delete a quarter of the theme files?

Cue the Macaulay Culkin scream.

It took me a few moments to remember that I could somewhat easily restore a version of the site from earlier that day. Sure, not all the changes I had made just before were brought over, but at least it was something.

Just like saving work when you’re writing a paper, or preparing an important report for work, it is important to save copies of your website. As it’s called in the tech world, you always want to have a “backup.”

Having a plan in place to back up your site is absolutely critical for anyone and everyone who has a website – from the least-techie beginners to full-stack lead developers. Trust me, you’ll save yourself from so much heartache if you read and follow along!

In this article I’ll be covering:

  • What it means to back up your whole site
  • Prevention measures, so you can avoid using those backups
  • Why backing up without a plugin is better than with a plugin
  • Different ways you can back up your site: automatic, manual, and other options
  • Why you should never put all your eggs in one basket, or rely on only one backup method

What is “backing up”?

Backing up, plain and simple, is saving a duplicate version of all your work. This includes your website theme and related site files (like plugins) as well as your database (which includes posts, users, comments, etc.).

Backing up is similar to how you might save an important document to your Google Drive or Dropbox and to your desktop. It’s always wise to save important items more than once and in more than one place, or “medium” (like an external hard drive, thumb drive, the “cloud”, on your computer, and so forth.)

Your website is no exception.

Backing up is great: but make sure to put prevention measures in place, too

Before talking more about backing up, realize that prevention measures can and should be put in place to keep your site safe and secure.

These include:

  • Updating plugins and themes
  • Using strong username and password combinations (i.e. not “admin” and “password”)
  • Creating strong database table prefixes (AKA not using basic the common “wp”)

But even when you’re safe and implement all the right security measures: things can always go wrong.

That’s why having a backup system for your WordPress site(s) is important.

This article discusses the different ways you can do just that—but without a plugin.

Wait…Why not use a WordPress plugin!?

For those unfamiliar with all the aspects of WordPress,plugins allow you to add onto the functionality that already exists with WordPress sites.

While you can create your own plugin, there are many plugins that already exist that you can download and use on your site. (At the time of writing, over 37,000 are available to download!) There are lots of backup plugins out there. Some are good, some are better. Some are free, and some cost money.

There is nothing wrong with using a trusted backup plugin like BackupBuddy. However, backing up is best done at the server level—not the site level.

Think about it: a plugin, doing automatic backups of your (perhaps) very large site, is like extra weight on your server. Every time it does a backup (which could be daily), it’s doing “work”—which could slow down your site among other things.

Also, in my professional opinion, the fewer plugins on your WordPress site, the better.

While some may disagree, from my perspective, the more control you have over your site and its innerworkings, the better. It’s smart to rely on yourself rather than a 3rd party—especially when it comes to backing up your treasured site files.

Moreover:

  • Certain plugins can slow down your site (because they take up space…some a lot more than others)
  • Mo’ plugins, mo’ vulnerable (think about it: plugins are 3rd party. While some are very high quality, others may not be updated regularly. As a result, they can make your site more insecure.)

Now, I am not saying you should forgo plugins all together. I love some of mine and use them all the time. But do be aware of some of the downsides to amassing large quantities of plugins. And almost all would agree that it’s best practice to keep 3rd party plugins up to date and delete any you are not using.

2 Different Types of Backups

Before diving into the different ways you can back up your site without a plugin, let’s talk about what you can and should back up: site files and databases.

Your WordPress Site Files

Your WordPress site is composed of various files. According to the WordPress documentation, your WordPress website consists of these six components, in one way or another:

  1. WordPress Core Installation: the files you get when you download WordPress (pictured below)
  1. WordPress Plugins: as explained above, added functionality to a site via PHP scripts, found in the wp-content folder
  2. WordPress Themes: allow you to customize look and certain kinds of functionality of site, also found in wp-content folder
    1. Images and Files: different images and files added for admin panel as well as site itself
    2. JavaScript and PHP scripts, and other code files: could be added to internal backend or the outward facing site
    3. Additional Files and Static Web Pages: anything else you might add

When building WordPress sites, you really don’t tinker with much beyond WordPress Plugins and Themes. (Both found in the wp-content directory.) However, it is still wise to backup ALL parts of your site so you don’t end up trying to restore only part of your site, or worse—trying to figure out which part of your site is missing so you can piece it back together! Backing up the entire site makes it way easier to restore if something does go wrong.

For a more in-depth look at WordPress files, look to the WordPress Codex.

Realize that when you do backups at the server level, most hosts will back up your site files, too. However, it can take awhile to restore all these files from your server if your site were to go down. And obviously you want to get things up and running again as fast as possible.

Plus, it’s always good to have an additional copy. As I talk about later: it’s never smart to have all your eggs in one basket.

You can easily back up, or copy, these site files from your FTP. (This is a backup method I frequently rely on.)

However, there are also other software tools available, like WinSCP, that make mirror copies of site files and save them on your desktop—which can save you time.

And then for more advanced users using the WP-CLI command line interface, backing up site files can be done from the command line and saved to your computer.

And of course, you can usually make backup copies of site files right from your server.

As you can see, there are multiple ways you can back up your website files. What matters most is that you are backing up your WordPress site files.

Your WordPress Database

Backing up your site files alone is not enough, though.

Your site files do not contain all your website information (like blog posts and pages). To have a complete replica of your site, you also need to back up your MySQL database.

The MySQL database is where all of our WordPress data lives. Data like:

  • Posts
  • Users
  • Comments
  • Categories and tags (taxonomies)
  • And so on

Looking back to my post, How to Install WordPress on Your Mac Using MAMP, where I set up a fresh WordPress site locally with a database named “saief_db”, you can see the database tables that WordPress comes with.

Over time, you can acquire more tables. (Depending on plugins used and other types of functionality added.)

These tables hold certain site contents. For example, this is what the skillcrush_db posts table looks like.

As you can see, there are only two published posts. (Both of which came with the fresh WP install.)

Of course, a larger site with lots of posts and pages will have many more entries.

The point is: you want to back up your MySQL database along with your website files.

Both of these together, site files and your database, make up your entire site. One without the other is not your full site.

If you back up your files alone, it will just be an empty theme: no posts, no pages, no added media library images. If you back up your database alone, you will have content (the posts, the pages, etc.), but you will not have a theme, or appearance and functionality.

Different Ways of Backing Up Your Site Without a Plugin

Now, let’s talk about how you can back up website files and databases without relying on a plugin. The following section is broken down into three types of backups: automatic, manual and other.

Automatic WordPress Backups

Automatic backups of your WordPress site are just as they sound: automatic. They happen on their own, without you having to do anything.

Aside from plugins and other more advanced CLI tools that do this, automatic backups can also be done at the server level.

Most legitimate WordPress-friendly hosts offer automatic backups as part of their service, or for a small additional fee.

For instance, my WordPress host, Bluehost, has automatic backups that come with the hosting service at no extra cost. They also have a “Backup Pro” add-on service (for an additional fee) that gives more features and makes backing up and restoring more convenient.

Again, this is standard for most WordPress friendly hosts.

And if you decide to use a more premium hosting service, like WP Engine, backup and restore features will be more feature-rich.

Note: your host should keep your automatic backups on a separate server than the one your website lives on. Because if your site server is hacked, and your backups are stored on there, they will not survive. If you aren’t sure, make sure to contact customer service or tech support to find out.

And like anything, generally the more you pay, the better quality and service you receive. The same goes with automatic backups at the server level.

But of course, even high quality automatic backups at the server level are not foolproof. When I say “high quality”, I mean backups that are done regularly, stored on a separate server, and have other security measures in place.

I think we all should know by now that when storing data online, nothing is ever “safe”. (Think “Celebgate”, the Target attack where data was stolen from over 70 million shoppers, the Home Depot cyber attack where 56 million payment credit cards put at risk, and so on.)

As secure as your automatic backup may be, don’t solely rely on it. Bad things can always happen…even if we put the appropriate prevention measures in place.

Manual Backups

While automatic backups on the server-level are awesome and convenient, you want other copies of your site saved in different places.

Here are a few ways to do manual backups of your site files and databases.

1.Through Your Host
This way is probably the simplest.

You can manually back up your entire site through your cPanel. (By the way, this article has helpful step-by-step instructions on how to do this. The author later shows how to restore backups, too.)

Depending on your host, your cPanel could look a bit different.

On mine, Bluehost, you have the option of backing up:

  • Website files: Your public_html directory, which is the root for your primary domain
  • Home directory: Contains public_html directory along with other directories for your mail, FTP setups, etc.
  • MySQL databases: Database(s) only their corresponding tables only, not website files
  • Full cPanel Backup: As the image below shows, this backs up your entire account. So if you have more than one site on your account (like I do), it will back up all files, settings, DBs, etc. for every one.

You can also restore emails if you created email addresses on your server.

Downloading a backup is as easy as clicking the download button. And then a zip or tar file download appears. (Note: backing up entire MySQL databases and full cPanel’s, especially if you have multiple sites like I do, can take 5-10 minutes. Maybe even longer.)

You can then save these files to your computer, iCloud, external hard drive, thumb drive, etc. for safe keeping.

  1. Backup Through phpMyAdmin
    Aside from backing up in your cPanel, you can also back up your databases through phpMyAdmin, which is accessible through your server. (This is the same thing from the MAMP article, except you’ll be on a live site instead of local site.)

Backing up my live site from the phpMyAdmin dashboard is not my preferred method because I do not like going into the live database for my site(s). However, you can read more about backing up via phpMyAdmin here.

(It is simply done through the “Export” tab.)

Alternative Methods

Exporting site data with built in export
There are other ways you can save all your site data, like with the free WP export. It’s simple to do this from your admin panel.

However, realize that WP exports do not export your theme, plugins, and other important website files.

It is then easy to import this data on another WordPress site.

FTP Backups
You can also use your FTP to make a backup using Cyberduck or Filezilla.

It’s as easy as downloading the files you want to save.

Right click the files you want to save, then select “download.” Below you can see my theme on my live WordPress site in Cyberduck FTP.

Advanced and automated FTP backups
Only advanced users should use this method of backup. Basically, you can use a script that backs up “both the database and files of a WordPress blog into a remote FTP server (while keeping a local copy).”

WP CLI (advanced)
The WP CLI is also a more advanced WordPress tool.

It is for people already comfortable using the command line. You can do different things all from the command that you would normally do in an admin panel: download plugins, manage user capabilities, manage sidebars, perform database operations, etc.

Now, how often should you do a manual backup?

That really depends on how frequently you update your site, both in terms of the site content and the design and functionality.

Why? Because the site has basically not changed since then. And if it were to go down, and I couldn’t restore it on the server level from an automatic backup, I would be OK with restoring it back to the August version.

But my learntocodewith.me site? Going back to an August version would be catastrophic. I don’t even want to think about it: it makes me nauseous. The thought of losing all that work… I actually stopped writing this sentence just to do another manual back up of all my site files and my database.

Anyway, that’s why I back up that site manually more often: it is updated much more regularly and is of higher importance to me.

How many backups should I keep around?

This really depends on you and your site.

I generally keep 1-2 of the most recent full site (site files + database) backups on my computer, and on Dropbox. (And, of course, my server does automatic backups.)

No need to save every back up in history! (That would take up a ton of space on your computer/external hard drive, too.)

This is especially true if you have updated the site significantly since, and do not ever plan on returning to the older versions.

Sometimes if I am redoing a site, I will make more periodic theme-only backups (so, not the database). Just as a way to double-save my work.

When it Comes to Backups: Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Similar to investing: you wouldn’t put all your savings into a single mutual fund. Because if it tanks, you’re in some serious trouble.

The same line of reasoning can be applied to backing up your website files and databases.

Don’t just back up on the server level. In fact, WordPress recommends keeping three different backup copies — all in different mediums (so CD, hard drive, desktop, cloud, etc).

For my most important sites (which is really just one…) I maintain a recent database version locally (on my MAMP).

I also do periodic theme and full DB backups (about once a month) locally on my desktop… saved in a special folder, which then syncs to dropbox. (Again, I only do frequent manual backups of the site, since it’s my most important!)

In the end, always make sure to backup your work! It might take a little time or effort to set up, but think of the headache, anxiety, and working hours you’ll save by keeping a code apocalypse at bay.

 

If you have more questions about backing up your WordPress site without a plugin, feel free to email at sakil@ezzytech.com and he’ll try to help as best he can.

managed wordpress hosting

What is Managed WordPress Hosting

If you have ever sought some effective solutions to host your WordPress-powered blog or website, you will have met the term, Managed WordPress Hosting or dedicated WordPress Hosting, I bet! Obviously, when compared to most of traditional hosting solutions, such as shared hosting and dedicated server hosting, Managed WordPress Hosting is a quite new kind of service, and exponential growth that WordPress — the leading blogging platform and CMS that is ruling World Wide Web — acquired accounts for the rise of such services.

 

In spite of having that said, I understand the fact that most users do not actually understand the term, managed WordPress hosting as well as what it means! Through this post, however, I have decided to clear various doubts that you may have about managed WordPress hosting services — a general introduction to managed WordPress hosting, features that distinguish it from other sort of hosting solutions, disadvantages and advantages of WordPress hosting etc. First, we shall have the introduction to managed WordPress hosting, which we expect to be a requirement of every newbie in web world.

Managed WordPress Hosting — Basics to Know

I hope you are familiar with Virtual Private Server hosting as well as dedicated server hosting! And, indeed, you’re familiar with WordPress, the CMS cum Blogging Platform from Open Source World. Simply put, managed WordPress hosting is all about optimizing powerful web servers to run WordPress as smoothly as possible! Despite the fact that the technical requirement of WordPress CMS is quite low, you can get an amazing level of productivity and power if you make use of optimized servers; managed WP hosting services work based on this fact! In other words, if you have hosted your WordPress blog or site on a managed WP hosting server, you don’t have to be scared about any kind of technical issue regarding your site and you can have a hassle-free WordPress blogging experience. Now, we will move on to some technical aspects, how it’s different from most of the other web hosting solutions, particularly shared web hosting.

How Managed WordPress Hosting is Different

Well, as I said earlier, managed WordPress hosting is quite different from the traditional hosting service! Notable ones among those are as follows.

  • Managed WordPress Hosting provides you VPSs or Dedicated Servers that are optimized for the smooth running of WordPress CMS.
  • People from your web host takes care of all kinds of ‘techie’ aspects of your WordPress blog or site, including software updates and security.

Alternatively, if you prefer simpler words, I can say that you do not have to think of the technical aspect of your server if you have chosen managed WordPress hosting. Now, if you are not that technical to understand these differences, it is your time to check out practical advantages and disadvantages of going for Managed WordPress Hosting.

Advantages of Managed WP Hosting

Some of the most noticeable advantages of managed WordPress hosting services are as follows. As I said, we are listing out these advantages from a practical point of view.

Premium Support

Unlike most other hosting solutions, managed WordPress hosting offers top-notch customer support from the hosting provider itself. And, you can use this support to fix your doubts as well as other issues you might confront when you go on with your WordPress blog or site. In addition to that techy advice, you can have some ‘productive’ kinds of advice as well — such as WordPress plugin suggestions, speed improvement tips, etc. Altogether, you can have one WordPress site optimization expert dedicated to your web server when you purchase a managed WordPress server.

Enhanced Speed and Loading Time

Since web servers used for managed WP hosting are optimized to run WordPress, you can have the best level of page loading time and speed while moving on with your WordPress site or blog. And, even when your WordPress site confronts heavy traffic, you would not have to be alert, because the server is all capable of managing that!

Automated WordPress Updates

Despite your expertise with WordPress, installing new updates and managing the ‘installation’ side of WordPress can be a tough task for some of you! However, once you have hosted your website or blog in a managed WordPress web server, the team from your web host will manage all kinds of installations and updates as they are released. Also, the team will make sure that all your plugins are working properly.

Automated Backups

Despite all these kinds of precautions regarding your website and its technicalities, there might be some issues that cause downtime of your site or loss of data! In any such dangerous cases, the automated backup feature of managed WordPress hosting will come in handy, I bet. Using this exclusive feature you can make sure that all your website files and related databases are stored securely in another corner of the web, where it is untouchable from possible damages such as hacking attacks.

Top-notch Security

When compared to other hosting solutions, the security section of managed WP hosting is quite tight! It does not mean that no one can break into your web server or website, but the web host will take its maximum effort to make sure that your website is always up and working perfectly.

Disadvantages of Managed WP Hosting

I am sure that you are impressed by the above-shown list of advantages of managed WordPress hosting solutions! Yet, there are some notable disadvantages you should know before purchasing a managed WordPress hosting plan!

Price

Since you believe in the fact that quality products cost more, this is not a disadvantage. However, I can say that, in a comparison with other hosting products, managed WordPress hosting is a bit expensive, certainly expensive than shared hosting. Anyway, when compared with the process of buying a VPS and installing WordPress in it, managed WordPress hosting is undoubtedly affordable!

You’ve Limitations

More often than not, managed WordPress servers come up with limitations! Since you give the management aspect of your server to the team from web host, you cannot have that much control on techie side of your website or blog. However, if you are concerned about smooth functioning of your site/blog, without confronting those techy issues, do not think twice but go for managed WP hosting.

The Bottom Line — Who Needs Managed WordPress Hosting

There might be some exceptions but let us give you an example. If you have a WordPress-based blog or site that is insufficient with a shared web hosting server and needs enhanced performance to manage the heavy traffic you receive, you can go with one managed WordPress hosting service. Obviously, it is quite better than buying a VPS and taking care of your WordPress installation inside that! In an alternative case, if you have a resource-consuming site or blog running on WordPress but are not familiar with technical aspects of WordPress installation, you can go with managed WordPress hosting as well. So, I hope you do now know quite a lot about managed WP hosting as well as which product you should choose. Still, if you have some doubts, I will be pleased to solve those through comments.

How To Choose The Best Email Server

Choosing The Best Email Server is one of the most vital decisions you will do as regards your selling web existence. Deciding on which the Best Email Server hosting may give the impression of being an inconsequential decision if you weigh it against the whole lot of things that you have to contract with. But the fact is that when you have email troubles you will hardly ever be as perturbed. Moreover you will possibly perform a vast transaction of your communication through your email if your online presence is really tough that is why you have to be confident that your Best Email Server is truly dependable.

If you know where you can get the finest hosting plan then read the following guidelines outlined below.

Check the Best Email Server security. The Best Email Server hosting plan is going to give you a server that is not vulnerable. A good server will definitely take all measures just to guard your site from spam. These measures are aimed in order to filter every virus that threatens to invade your site. The Best Email Server have good quality security that will enable you to further you own interests in the internet marketing.

Speed of a server must be taken into consideration. How rapid will be the action of the server? A speedy server is vital for your businesses especially if you are in the competitive world of internet marketing. Just try to imagine missing the important emails form a significant client. It may mean the end of your production career or the worst omission that you have ever done.

Remember that your emails may come and go without you even noticing them because of the swift and energetic sending of messages on the net. You cannot dwell on dawdling servers, can you? Aside from the fact that you will be sending tardy messages to your customers that will surely annoy them you will also have to deal with losing important information that you need in your business.

The Best Email Server must be reliable. Reliability of a partner is a must in any endeavor. If you are going to meet deadlines, issue invoices, release payments and send products your email server must be reliable enough. How can you perform all your dealing s without a good server to facilitate the communication process? It has been said that for any relationship to last there must be a good communication and such saying is applicable especially in the nature of online marketing. Your email server must be able to provide you with dependability at all times since you are depending on it for the processing of your sales and the over-all conduct of your business.

It is important that when you perform the functions of a businessman you must be careful in all your transactions. Your business starts not on the day that you make a sale but on the moment that you offer your products to the public. Once the items are offered for sale you are already responsible to your potential customers. Choose a good email server so that you will prosper in your business.

Choosing The Best Email Server That Works

While there are a lot of people out there using electronic mail as one of their primary forms of communication, there are not very many who know much about what an email server is. If this is the situation that you are in, then you are not alone. However, the basic concept is not all that hard to understand. The following should provide a little more insight.

To begin, The best email server is a program that is designed to properly send, receive, and route any messages. This means that yours will send your message for you, make sure it gets to the right place, and make sure that you get your incoming messages. That is exactly what it is designed to do. As previously mentioned, a rather simple concept. However, the programming for this is not as simple, and that is why it is not going to be described here. It boils down to just a bunch of technical jargon that is designed for those who do programming to understand.

There is more than one email server available, and a number of them are free. Like with any service like this, there are also paid versions that you can get too. It all depends on your preference, but they all essentially serve the same function in the end. The one main difference is that the paid ones offer some features that the ones that are offered for free do not. This makes the paid versions better for those who want to use this as their address for their home based business or other business necessities that they might have.

The basic idea is to find one that you like, and then download it. It is just that simple in the beginning. After you have done that you are going to want to read through any information that comes with it that is suggested reading so that you know all the ins and outs of how the programs works and what you need to do in order to get the most out of it.

Not every email server will work with every operating system, or have all of the features or storage availability that you might be looking for. Also, not all of them have many anti spam features either. This means that you will want to do a little research before choosing one. The Wikipedia site has a section on comparing them, and that would be a good place to start in trying to find what is and is not offered through each different email server.

An email server handles the basic transferring of all messages that you send or receive through it, but you are going to need to do a little research before choosing one. Make sure that it offers all the features that you need and is compatible with your operating system. During this process you will also want to compare the ones that are offered for free with the ones that are a pay service. Happy hunting.

Server Hosting

Do you have your own website for your online business? Or does your company have a company or e-commerce website to boost your potential market? If you do, you need a service called server hosting in order to have a web server host your website.

Server hosting is all about serving web pages to viewers upon request. The web server that hosts your website has a unique address so that other computer units that are connected to the Internet will know where to find your website.

If you use server hosting for your website, you have to rent out a space on the web server so you can set up your own website. The web server then assigns an exclusive website address to your website in order to host it.

Why is server hosting important to your online business? The answer is to boost your online presence. Even if your online business starts small, you will eventually get more exposure and your online target market will be aware of your presence. If you have a website but you do not rely on server hosting, how can you possibly make your potential market check your website?

If you want server hosting for your website, you have to consider the reliability of the web server before you avail of the service. You have to make sure that the web server can give you access to many features that you need to run your online business. These features include email systems, virtual storefronts and database development tools. You just have to look at the server’s record, which is supposed to be an uptime of 99.5% or above in order to be considered a reliable web server.

Why Good Business Addresses Are Important

Collecting email business addresses is a vital component of the email marketing strategy. Email marketing has made its mark in the world of online businesses, as conventional marketing techniques seem to be diminishing. An email message, as opposed to traditional mail, does not require travel expenses and postage charges. An email message can be received instantly, and the recipient can respond instantly. Small online businesses have begun using email marketing as a valuable tool. This marketing strategy is a top mechanism to drive loads of traffic to your online business. Business owners have to create an email list comprising of email business addresses, and you are well on your way to launching one of the most effective marketing campaigns.

Email marketing is a simple process that requires little time. This strategy is also cost effective and does not require you to make long-term investments. At the most, you may need to hire a copywriter, and graphic designer to create an attractive email message. Develop an email list with potential email business addresses of whom you would prefer to send your marketing message. You can obtain email business addresses from existing customers, friends and employees. Word of mouth is a booster to any business and an important way of selling your business message to the outside world.

What is imperative in email marketing is that you develop a creative message. To attract your audience, it is essential your message has great substance. Your email message must contain useful information about your business products and services. Else, you will find email business addresses unsubscribing from your email list. This can potentially harm your business. While not every single recipient is going to show interest in your business venture, many will do as long as you create a powerful email campaign. With the help of a graphic designer using a simple layout, but make certain the design is not too crowded with content, small text and imagery. Avoid using light colour fonts on dark backgrounds. The color contrast combinations play a major role when developing your email message.

Create an email message that looks good enough to promote your business products and services. Promoting your business using email business addresses is a cheap and effective marketing strategy. Ensure you place your logo in a prominent place, somewhere at the top. Ensure the content you use on the email message is useful and relevant, which will make your customer take action immediately. When people read something, and if it seems attractive, it will be purchased quickly. This element is what needs to be incorporated into your email message. The recipients of your email business addresses must want to take immediate action!

Incorporate images wisely in the email message, newsletter or advertisement. When using images of persons use real photographs, which can give your message a personal touch. Stock images only offer an impersonal and flat appearance. If you want your email message, to focus on highlighting your business products and services, use images with high resolution. Studies have show that high-resolution images increase the overall attractiveness, thereby, leading to potential sales.

How to Install Cpanel /WHM in Linux (RHEL/CentOS 6.5)

cPanel is one of the most popular Commercial control panel for Linux web hosting, I have been working with cPanel for 2+ years to manage all Shared, Reseller and business hosting customers. It comes with cPanel and Web Host Manager, which makes web hosting easier for you. WHM provides you root level access to your server whereas  Install Cpanel  provides user level access interface to manage their own web hosting account on the server.

Install cPanel & WHM in Linux

Features of cPanel

cPanel control panel is very versatile control panel for managing your hosting servers, It has lots of features which make Web hosting easier for you. Some of them are listed below:

  1. Powerful GUI controls on your server with WHM.
  2. Can perform tedious tasks like Backups, Migrations and restorations in a very easy and smooth manner.
  3. Excellent DNS and mail server management for main server and as well as client account.
  4. Can easily switch/enable/disable services for server.
  5. Can configure SSL/TLS for all server services and client domains.
  6. Easy integration with Phpmyadmin to provide a web based interface to manage your MySQL databases.
  7. Feel free to Rebrand it.
  8. Can be easily integrated with WHMCS to automate billing management.

Here In this article, We’ll be covering cPanel & WHM installation on RHEL/CentOS 6.5 and share some more useful information which will help you to manage cPanel & WHM.

Installation Prerequisites

  1. A fresh and running VPS or dedicated CentOS 6.5 server.
  2. A minimum of 384MB RAM.
  3. A Minimum 20GB of free disk space required for cPanel installation.
  4. A cPanel license.

Installation of cPanel in RHEL/CentOS 5/6

First insure that OS version on which your Linux box is running, To do so, please use following command.

[root@tecmint ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release CentOS release 6.4 (Final)

 

If you don’t have the latest version, please update your OS to its latest version, In CentOS and RHEL, we can simply do it with yum package installer.

[root@server1 ~]# yum update

Once updates completes, and then check the latest OS version with same above command.

[root@server1 ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release CentOS release 6.5 (Final)

Once you’ve ensured the OS version, you don’t have to install any other dependency package cPanel auto installer script does all for you. We can download cPanel installer file with wget command under /home directory.

root@server1 [~]# cd /homeroot@server1 [~]# wget -N http://httpupdate.cpanel.net/latest

Sample Output

–2013-12-18 21:59:23–  http://httpupdate.cPanel.net/latestResolving httpupdate.cPanel.net… 208.82.118.100, 208.109.109.239, 209.85.80.214, …Connecting to httpupdate.cPanel.net|208.82.118.100|:80… connected.HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 200 OKLength: 34087 (33K) [application/octet-stream]Saving to: `latest’ 100%[======================================>] 34,087      42.5K/s   in 0.8s 2013-12-18 21:59:24 (42.5 KB/s) – `latest’ saved [34087/34087]

In above output you can see that we have downloaded a file “latest” in our home directory.

Next, execute the auto installer script, but we strongly recommended to run cPanel auto installer script in screen mode if you are doing it with SSH because it takes 3-4+ hours to complete the installation depending on your server resources.

root@server1 [~]# sh latest

Sample Output

Verifying archive integrity… All good.Uncompressing cPanel & WHM Installer…………..        ____                  _    ___|  _ \ __ _ _ __   ___| |   / __| |_) / _` | ‘_ \ / _ \ |  | (__|  __/ (_| | | | |  __/ |   \___|_|   \__,_|_| |_|\___|_|Installer Version v00029 r6849459174e3809f72de2bef81427a8a45399d66Beginning main installation.————————————————————————

Now, you need to wait for the cPanel installer script to complete its installation.

What Auto Installer Script Does for You

cPanel heavily modifies your operating system and that is the reason that no cPanel Uninstaller available on the web so far, you need to reformat your server to remove cPanel completely from your server.

  1. It checks for various packages to ensure that there will be no conflicts and it finds any package conflict, it uninstalls previous packages with yum and that’s why its recommended to install cPanel on a Fresh OS.
  2. Downloads language and base files for installation.
  3. Installs various Perl modules through CPAN and other required packages with yum.
  4. Downloads and compiles PHP and Apache with various associated modules.

Once that script completes its installation, it will shows up that cPanel installation is complete. You may be asked to reboot the server after installation.

After that you need to complete the installation wizard from its web based interface and you can access WHM with the following URL.

http://your-server-ip:2087 OR http://your-host-name:2087

cPanel will open up its web interface like similar to below.

cPanel Login

Please login with user “root” and your password. There are some more clicks remaining to complete the cPanel installation. Agree End User License Agreement by clicking “I Agree?/Go to Step 2” button:

Accept cPanel Agreement

Please do provide the working email address and contact SMS address in the column of “Server Contact Email Address” and “Server contact SMS address” respectively because your cPanel sends all important alerts, notification to this EMail-id (Recommended). You can fill the rest details as well, if you have one.

cPanel Network Setup

Please provide a valid FQDN hostname and Resolver entries for your server in this Networking section, you can use Google resolvers in this section if you don’t have your ISP’s resolvers. Please see the image below.

Add Hostname

If you have more than one IP attached with your NIC card and you want to set up a specific IP for your Server’s main IP, you can do that from here, to do so please choose the IP from the drop down and click on “Go to Setup 4”.

Setup IP Address

In the 4th setup wizard, you can select DNS server which you want to use. You can choose one of them according to their Advantages, disadvantages and your server resources. Please read the comparison carefully and select the DNS server. Please see the image below.

Setup Name Servers

In the same step, please write down Name Servers you want to use in format of ns1/ns2.example.com. Also, Add an A entry for your hostname and nameserver by selecting the check box, please see the image below.

Add Name Server

You can select and set up different services like FTP, Mail and Cphulk in the Step 5 of this web based wizard, please see the snapshots and description below.

You can select FTP server of your choice from this wizard, which you want to use for your server depending on their advantages, disadvantages and depending upon your ease and requirements.

FTP Configuration

In the same wizard, you can select your Mail server to be used for all your mailing activities in future. You can add MTAs like Exim with your cPanel in future.

Mail Configuration

Cphulk brute force protection detects and block false password attacks activities and block their IP for your server. You can enable/disable and configure it from this installation wizard. Please see the snapshot below.

Setup Cphulk Brute Force Protection

Last Step 6, allows you to enable quotas which helps you to track down the disk space usages.

Setup User Quotas

Please select “Use file system quotas” and click on “Finish setup wizard” to complete the Installation process. Once you are done with Installation, WHM’s home page will Appear like below..

cPanel Server Configuration

You can see that Home page of WHM is displaying all Control panel option and sidebar with search facility which allows you to search options by just typing their names.

Sometimes, cPanel installer script is not able to update the licence because of firewall or resolvers entries and you’ll see trial warning in the page. You can do it manually with following command.

root@server1 [~]# /usr/local/cpanel/cpkeyclt

As I told you above that Cpanel is for user level access and WHM is for root level access, you need to create an account with option available in WHM. Here I have created an account with the username “tecmint” to show you the view of cPanel for users. Please see the image below.

cPanel Preferences

Other Useful thing to know before you start working with Cpanel and WHM.

CPanel Backend Files

  1. Cpanel directory : /usr/local/cpanel
  2. Third Party tools : /usr/local/cpanel/3rdparty/
  3. Cpanel addons directory : /usr/local/cpanel/addons/
  4. Base files like Phpmyadmin, skins : /usr/local/cpanel/base/
  5. cPanel binaries : /usr/local/cpanel/bin/
  6. CGI files : /usr/local/cpanel/cgi-sys/
  7. Cpanel access & error log files : /usr/local/cpanel/logs/
  8. Whm related files : /usr/local/cpanel/whostmgr/

Important conf files

  1. Apache configuration file: /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
  2. Exim mail server conf file:/etc/exim.conf
  3. Named conf file : /etc/named.conf
  4. ProFTP and Pureftpd conf file :/etc/proftpd.conf and /etc/pure-ftpd.conf
  5. Cpanel user file: /var/cpanel/users/username
  6. Cpanel configuration file (Tweak settings) : /var/cpanel/cpanel.config
  7. Networking configuration file: /etc/sysconfig/network
  8. Addons, parked and subdomain information: /etc/userdomains
  9. Cpanel update config file: /etc/cpupdate.conf
  10. Clamav conf file: /etc/clamav.conf
  11. Mysql configuration file: /etc/my.cnf
  12. PHP ini conf file : /usr/local/lib/php.ini

 

How To Optimize Your WordPress Images For Google Image Search

WordPress Images are one of the essential foundations of any good website. Functionally, aesthetically, and technically, images have many aspects of which a lot of website owners don’t realize can, and should, be optimized.

Every time someone opens one of your web-pages on WordPress, all of the content whether it’s text, images, or additional pieces of code that power the plugins, need to be downloaded from the server onto their computer. Images that are optimized correctly can greatly benefit your SEO by appearing in image search results, assisting in steering more traffic back to your web page.

For the purposes of this post, I’ll be covering the basic methods for easily increasing your images search-ability from the WordPress dashboard, in addition to mentioning a few good plug-ins that will help load your images faster.

WordPress Images Metadata Within The Dashboard

Search engines may be able to find duplicate images on the web, but unlike humans, they cannot describe what an image is. Within the media uploader on WordPress, there are four boxes capable of being filled out in order for your images to be fully optimized. The four boxes are the title, the caption, the alt text, and the description.

Title

The title of your image is generated from the file name you had saved on your computer (Which can be changed). Rather than leaving your images named “Image_10.jpg,” give it a name that describes the photo in a short form. It is most important to give the image context for non-essential information but isn’t taken directly into an account for SEO ranking.

Caption

The caption does not directly affect how well your images rank in the search engines, but they do grab peoples’ attention on your page and keep them browsing longer. On-page time is a huge factor when determining the value of your site in search engine algorithms.

The caption will appear under your image in a gray box and should provide a good description of the image itself.

Alt Text

Alt-text is added to images for times when someone may have images disabled on their browser, or when images failed to load. Make sure to add alt text that includes the SEO keyword you’re trying to rank for.

Description

The description section actually plays a vital role when someone lands on the attachment post page for the image. It is formatted to allow more text, and your focus should be to give a thorough description of long keyword searches but keep it entirely relevant.

WordPress Image Optimization Plugins

The main purpose of image optimization plugins is to take images that may be too large (File-size, or dimension) and compress them to load faster, thus improving your site’s ranking.

WP Smush.it

This plugin can optimize one image at a time, or in bulk, whether it’s a .jpeg, .png, or .gif. It will take larger files (1mb free version, up to 5mb pro edition) and compress the file size without deteriorating the quality of the image.

While many people are under the assumption that high-res photos are better for viewing purposes, you really only need a certain resolution to achieve the same result while greatly improving your site’s functionality.

PB Responsive Images

In 2015 Google implemented a new algorithm penalizing websites that aren’t adaptable for mobile devices. The same shift applies to sites that don’t have responsive images and text.

This plugin reformats your images to adapt to different screen sizes, giving you the green light when search engines crawl your site for adaptability.

Do you have any additional tips to help optimize images for WordPress? Please share in the comments!