Pages

Changing the partition layout of your VPS and VDS after installation

Sometimes, it is necessary to change your partition layout in order to create new partitions or extend an existing partition, for example after a VPS / VDS upgrade.

This tutorial shows how to easily change your partition layout on your VPS or VDS.

Please be advised to perform a backup of all important data before proceeding ! Changes to the partition table always bear the risk of complete data loss.

Linux

Step 1:

Boot your VPS / VDS into the rescue-system, this can be done within your customer control panel.

You will need to connect through VNC.

After you have established a connection login as “root”.

Step 2:

To perform changes on the partition easily we are going to use gparted.
To start the GUI type “startxfce4” within your VNC console and wait a few seconds until the graphical interface appears.

What is DNS Propagation?

If you have a new domain name, you must change the name servers to point to HostGator. This article will provide you some background information on DNS and what to expect when changing your name servers.


What is Propagation, and How Long Does it Take?

Propagation is the projected length of time it takes a domain's DNS (Domain Name System) information to be updated across the entire web after a change is made. The process can take 24-48 hours to complete in full. Because of propagation, not all visitors will be directed to your new name servers on your new hosting account; some visitors will continue to be directed to your old name servers on your old hosting account until propagation is complete.

How quickly visitors are directed to the new name servers depends on their physical location, internet service provider, and luck; it is not something HostGator has control over. Once propagation is complete, your site will appear on our server, and your email will be fully functional.

There is no definitive way to tell when propagation is complete. During the first 48 hours, even if you can see your site on the new server, your next-door neighbor might still be seeing the site on the old server. This depends on three factors: your ISP, geographical location, and TTL. There are also ways for you to see the propagation progress using the websites below. These will show your website’s possible visibility. There are also ways for you to see the propagation progress using the websites below.

DNS Propagation – Explained

This guide will help you to get the general information about DNS propagation and provide you with the answers to the following questions:

1. What is DNS propagation?
2. Why does it take up to 72 hours?
3. What are the ways to pass DNS propagation?
4. How to check if DNS propagation has completed for you?

1. What is DNS propagation?

When you update the nameservers for a domain, it may take up to 24-48 hours for the change to take effect. This period is called DNS propagation.

In other words, it is a period of time ISP (Internet service provider) nodes across the world take to update their caches with the new DNS information of your domain.

Due to DNS caches of different levels, after the nameservers change, some of your visitors might still be directed to your old server for some time, whereas others can see the website from the new server shortly after the change.

2. Why does it take up to 72 hours?

Let’s imagine you live in Bari, Italy, and you just have changed the nameservers for your domain that is hosted in Phoenix, USA.

When you open your domain in a web browser, your request is not going to the hosting server directly, it has to pass through several ISP nodes first. So your computer starts by checking local DNS cache, then the request is sent to your local Bari ISP. From there, the request goes to the upstream provider in Rome, Italy, then connects to the ISP in Hamburg, Germany. After that, the request is sent to the first receiving point in the USA – New York, NY and ultimately, to the ISP in Phoenix, AZ. Here is an example of the request trace – the number of ISP nodes and their location will vary in each particular case:



Each of the ISP nodes checks its own cache to see if it contains the DNS information of the domain. If it is not there, it looks it up and saves it in order to speed up the loading next time and to reduce the traffic.

That is why the new nameservers will not propagate immediately – ISPs have different cache refreshing intervals, so some of them will still have the old DNS information in the memory.

NOTE: to make sure it is not your computer cache that has the outdated information, we recommend clearing the cache of your browser and flushing the DNS cache after the DNS change.


3. What are the ways to pass DNS propagation?

There are three basic methods that will allow you to pass the DNS propagation.
 
If you HAVE NOT changed the nameservers and do not wish them to propagate for so long, there is a way to reduce the propagation time. You need to do two simple things:

1. Point your domain to the destination IP address by means of A record on the side of the current DNS provider, setting the minimal TTL ('Time to live' – propagation time) for this record, for instance, to 300 seconds (5 minutes).

2. Once A record has been updated, wait up to 30 minutes and change the nameservers for your domain.

As a result, your domain will be resolved to your previous host from the places where the propagation has not been completed yet and to a new one – from the places where it has already passed. In such a way, you may avoid a downtime as both hosts will show you the same result – your new website.


If you HAVE already changed the nameservers, Google public DNS tools may help you to see your website online. Here are the steps to be followed:

1. Set Google Public DNS servers following these instructions.
2. Once done, clear your browser's cache following the steps in this guide and flush your local DNS cache.
3. In addition, you can use Google Flush Cache tool and flush NS and A record for your domain name:

        


If you still get an outdated information on your website, you may edit the 'hosts' file on your computer, which will force the domain to resolve to the new IP address. Once the records are added, you will be able to check your website by typing its name in the browser. The major disadvantage of this method is that only you will be able to work on your website in the new location, other users might still see and use your website working from the old server.

NOTE: make sure to remove the entries added to 'hosts' file 48 hours later when the nameservers are fully propagated.

It is also possible to check your website content during the DNS propagation with the help of proxy services (for instance, this one) that will allow you to access websites anonymously.


4. How to check if DNS propagation has completed for you?

There is no definitive way to tell when propagation is complete for you as it depends on three factors: TTL, your ISP and geographical location. However, you may use online DNS checkers in order to track if the DNS record information propagated against multiple nameservers located in different parts of the world.

DNS Checker provides a free DNS lookup service for checking domain DNS records against a randomly selected list of DNS servers in different corners of the world. As a result, you will get DNS data collected from all locations confirming whether a website is completely propagated worldwide or not.

Here is the list of the most popular DNS checkers:

App Synthetic Monitor
G Suite Toolbox

There is another way to check if the DNS propagation is completed for you. You need to run one of the following commands from your PC, laptop or other device:

 nslookup
 traceroute
 ping

What we need to know from the results is the IP address your domain is resolved to. If it's the IP address of the new server, probably, the DNS propagation is complete for you. If the IP address belongs to the old server, you need to wait for the DNS propagation to complete.

Below you can find the examples how to find this IP address.


If you are a Windows OS user, follow these steps:

1. Click on the Start button.
2. Click All Programs > Accessories > right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator:



3. In the window that opens, type one of the following commands and hit Enter:

nslookup yourdomain.com



ping yourdomain.com



tracert yourdomain.com




NOTE: yourdomain.com should be replaced with your actual domain name in question.



If you are a Mac OS user:

1. Open the Applications folder and click to open the Utilities folder.
2. Find Terminal.app and open it:



3. Type one of the following commands:

nslookup yourdomain.com



ping yourdomain.com




traceroute -I -e yourdomain.com




NOTE: yourdomain.com should be replaced with your actual domain name.

What is cPanel? The Complete Guide to cPanel for Beginners

What is cPanel

cPanel is one of the most popular Linux-based control panels for web hosting accounts. It lets you conveniently manage all services in a single place. Currently, cPanel is the industry standard and most web developers are well acquainted with it.

Intuitive and easy to use, cPanel empowers you to manage a web hosting account with maximum efficiency. Whether that’s creating new FTP users and email addresses or monitoring resources, creating subdomains, and installing software.

How to Find a Good Free WordPress Theme

 One of the great things about WordPress is that you can create a professional website without investing a ton of money. Beyond the cost of hosting and a domain name, you can build a site pretty much for free.

This makes WordPress a very attractive and affordable option for users who want to validate the success of their site before they start investing a ton of money.

However, the WordPress free library is massive, and not every theme is worth installing on your site. 

Sometimes, a low-quality theme can end up doing more damage than good, and lead to poor website performance and even leave you open to security risks. Still, you can avoid these risks by educating yourself on the steps you can take to find a high-quality free theme.

Below we dive deep into how you can find the absolute best free WordPress theme for your needs, the risks you need to look out for, and how you can install and start customizing your shiny new theme.  

Free vs Premium WordPress Themes: What’s the Difference, and Does It Matter?

The focus of this post is on free WordPress themes, but it’s still important to understand how the premium theme marketplace works and the main differences between free and premium themes.

Free themes are easy to understand. They’re an entirely free WordPress theme that you can install on your site and start customizing. Usually, they aren’t as feature-rich as a premium theme, but they can get the job done if you don’t require an extensive set of features.

Premium themes typically have a higher-quality design, and a much larger feature set. You’ll also get access to a premium support team to help walk you through any website issues, and you get access to premium theme updates.

Free themes are a great starting place for the majority of website owners. They’re often easier to set up and give you the chance to experiment with WordPress without putting any money down. 

How to run Auto-SSL manually

A free SSL certificate for your domain can be installed at any time within cPanel. Your website will receive automatically a free SSL certificate after 12-24 hours, however requesting the certificate manually will install it immediately.

In case your browser shows the following warning when accessing your website via https:// the SSL certificate might not be installed yet.

In order to request the certificate manually you need to login to your cPanel account, the login information was sent to you via E-Mail before.

How to save time with Control Panels

 

If you have a server (for example one of our VPS, Virtual Dedicated Servers or a Dedicated Server) you might ask yourself “Do I need a control panel like Plesk or cPanel, or not?”.
As the answer is not as easy as “YES” or “NO”, we are going to elaborate on why we think using a control panel is beneficial.

Direct start

If you order a server with Linux or Windows pre-installed, you will have to configure all tools by yourself. You need to install for example Apache, maybe add and configure nginx on top of it. Then install and set up the mail server. If you want to run databases, you have to install mySQL or MariaDB as well. For easy management, you might want to install phpMyAdmin on top. And of course, you want to be able to upload files as well, so an FTP server is needed, too.

If you do this on a daily basis, you should be able to have it up and running within some hours. But if you only do it every other year or have never done it before, it might take some days until you have everything installed and configured.

In addition to installing everything manually, your setup might also change from installation to installation. With most control panels, the setup is tested accordingly to a quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) process with all components, and the recommended, standard installation will always be based on best practices. Also, the setup process includes all needed components and configures them automatically.

Less interaction per SSH or RDP

After the first steps, you might have to change some configurations or you have to install new components. For this, you have to connect to the server directly (on Linux normally per SSH and on Windows with RDP). While this is for some people the daily business, other people might struggle with it and might fear doing something wrong.

Updates

As we all know, keeping your server updated is very important, for both security and feature availability reasons. You could either do it yourself, or rely on a control panel to take care of updating the operating system.

Security

Even though your system is up2date, it could still face security issues due to misconfiguration. For example, the mail server might allow anyone to relay mails through it. Or you have a weak password and someone might be able to hack it via brute force. Many control panels come with secure pre-configured services and pre-installed tools to prevent brute-force attacks (e.g. with fail2ban).

Backups

It’s not only about Security but also about Backups. You could choose to run your own backup scripts, or you can use the built-in Backup routines of a control panel.

Monitoring and Logfiles

It’s always important to monitor your server. Are all services up and running? Is there enough space left on your hard disk? You might also have to check logfiles for debugging reasons. Both tasks (monitoring and checking logfiles) could either be done manually by you, or you could simply use a control panel, which offers internal monitoring of the services (and maybe automatically restarts the services). For logfiles, an integrated logfile-browser is a great way to debug any kind of problem you might face.

SSL Certs

The installation of an SSL Certificate is another example where a control panel saves a lot of your time. Without a control panel, you will need to install openssl. Then you need to generate a private key and a Certificate Signing Request (CSR). With this CSR you could go to your hosting provider and order a valid SSL Certificate. Based on the type of SSL Certificate, you need to confirm an email or hand in other documents.

Another alternative is Let’s Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt offers free certificates which are valid for 3 months. For this, you need to install Let’s Encrypt and configure it with your existing webserver. In addition, you need to set up a renewal process, so that all certificates get renewed automatically.

With many control panels, you can directly receive free SSL certificates which will be automatically renewed as well. If you want a different kind of SSL certificate (e.g. one which turns your browser bar green), you can generate all the needed files directly from the control panel.

Manage yourself and your customers

Adding new customers and managing them; configuring new mailboxes, changing passwords, creating mySQL users and databases – without a control panel, all these tasks must be done manually.

With a control panel, your customers can handle such tasks themselves. They can easily change things on their own, which saves time and resources for both you and your customers.

In addition, with service templates, you could ensure that the setup of new customers is always completed with the same rights and resources.

PHP versions

Based on w3techs.com, PHP is used by 79% of all the websites they scan. One of the most important topics with PHP is to stay always up2date and to be able to change the version per website. Without a control panel, you will have to do this always manually with the webserver configuration, which is way more time consuming and error-prone.

Applications and Add-ons

Applications like WordPress, Typo3, and Magento often have a long installation and configuration process: Getting the sources, setting up the database, installing it, configuring it, and so on. Many tasks need to be done even before you can start doing what you want to do. In addition, most applications have to be secured, which will take additional time as well. Most control panels have a convenient one-click installer for all common applications.

Conclusion

As you can see there are many reasons to use a Control panel, depending on your own use case.

At LikisaHost, we offer you 3 different control panels: cPanel, Plesk and Webmin. While Webmin is free of charge, it is at the same time less comfortable to manage you and your accounts. Eventually, your choice of a certain panel also depends on your operating system: cPanel can only be combined with CentOS, whereas Plesk can also be used with Ubuntu, Debian, and Windows Server.

What is more, at LikisaHost you can exclusively test Plesk one month for free and see for yourself if it fits your needs and meets your expectations!