A quick look behind the curtain

what makes it go

So, we’re going to dive into dreamhost, which is the essentially arbitrary webhost we chose for this project.

You will each have been given, soon enough, a dizzying number of “FTP usernames”, “shell useranmes”, “MySQL usernames” and “Account usernames”. It’s annoying how many usernames we had to dole out. But don’t panic if you don’t know what they all mean. The key one to remember is your Account username. If you keep that one, you can log in an out of the control panel (which is here: https://panel.dreamhost.com/) and from there you can create and change all types of other users… most importantly SFTP users, which are the usernames that actually do all the work (the ones you use to upload files, for example). You can also do other fun stuff like managing the sites you are hosting and the databases you ahve and all kinds of stuff like that. So keep the account username and password, and then you can use it to reset all the other ones.

SFTP user management lives here:
how to manage users

The sites you are hosting can be found here:

How to manage the sites you are hosting

In principle, it makes sense to keep the list of sites separate from the list of usernames that may upload stuff to the site- you can have several usernames per site, or several sites per username. But really, don’t bother.

Convenient software installers may be found here.

How to install software onto a site

There’s obviously a million shiny buttons here you can click and play with. Feel free – if we’ve set it up right you shouldn’t be able to break anything.1. But, as I will be arguing in the coming weeks, this kind of self hosted, PHP-oriented hosting is one that is gradually falling by the wayside. A lot of the widgets and doohickeys here are things that you can avoid learning about because they may be obsolete by the time you are required to use them. Many of them I hope will be. One or two things, though, will be very useful for the course… plain old hosting up simple files online… and running server-based software, such as wordpress.

  1. we may not have set it up right
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1 Response to “A quick look behind the curtain”



  1. 1 Wordpress in miniature. « Netcultures Trackback on September 18, 2009 at 08:15

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