The SDSU Library offers web hosting for Academic Affairs departments, faculty, and student organizations on RohanCP.
Off campus updates to websites are restricted. We recommend webmasters install the campus Palo Alto VPN to access RohanCP from off campus.
Contact your department's IT folks regarding installing and using the campus VPN. A list of the roughly 350 SDSU affiliated websites hosted by the Library may be viewed here while on campus.
SDSU websites must meet the campus ATI requirements so they satisfy the ADA accessibility guidelines.
Apply for a website hosted on RohanCP. Class account web hosting for students is offered on Edoras. Your IP Address
File Transfers using cPanel or SFTP
Logins are limited to campus, VPN, and authorized IP addresses. CPanel Login
cPanel Login errors
Occasionally cPanel login fails with a HTTP error 404 (or 401) page. Here is how to clear this error.
Transferring files to a website
Transfer files, images, etc. associated with your web page using either cPanel > Files > File Manager, or a Secure File Transfer Program (SFTP). On a PC use WinSCP, and on a Mac use Fetch and select Connect using: SFTP
- Open your file transfer program (for example, WinSCP or Fetch)
- Log into the server: Host name is rohancp.sdsu.edu, use your RohanCP username and password to authenticate.
- Transfer the index.html file and any images or files that will appear on your page into the public_html directory.
Off Campus logins are restricted (SSH, SCP, SFTP, cPanel and WordPress wp-login)
The campus Palo Alto VPN should be used by faculty and staff for off campus access. Please see edoras.sdsu.edu/vpn for info on setting up the campus VPN. Students can not use the campus VPN at this time.
An alternative to the campus VPN is for us to add your off campus IP address to the RohanCP ACL (Access Control List.) Contact us with your IP address and the website you are working on and we will add you to the ACL. Please note, if your IP address changes, you will lose access. The campus VPN allows access from any IP address.
WordPressWordPress should be installed using cPanel. This automates the MySQL database setup and WordPress configuration. cPanel > Software > Site Software > WordPress. Note: during the install, the Installation URL: ends with wordpress Please remove wordpress from the URL, or the site will always have /wordpress as part of the URL!
WordPress may not be a good fit if your site is not updated frequently. Installing WordPress commits you to keeping up with security updates.
Webmasters must apply WordPress security updates in a timely manner to meet campus security requirements. Files on RohanCP are owned by the user under which the website is running, allowing WordPress to directly update itself unless the user is over quota. Disable all plugins and themes (after noting which ones your site uses!!!) before upgrading, and enable them after the update completes. RohanCP Websites must also meet the campus ATI requirements so they satisfy the ADA accessibility requirements.
Disable the cPanel WordPress Plugin. The WordPress Admin Dashboard will not show new version updates (current version is 4.7.2), if the cPanel WordPress Plugin is not disabled. The cPanel plugin prevents minor security updates from occurring automatically. It is important that automatic updates apply security patches to help keep your site secure. (You’ll still need to click “Update Now” for major feature releases.)
Getting Started with WordPress
Once you have completed the one-click install of WordPress with cPanel, take a tour of WordPress with First Steps With WordPress. A good reference for learning WordPress is learn.wordpress.com as well as YouTube. Invariably someone out there has posted a YouTube tutorial on just about any WordPress task. For example: How To Make a WordPress Website.
Backup WordPress. Once your WordPress site up and running, back it up! You can use cPanel to save your WordPress files and database to your computer. Another option is to install the UpdraftPlus Backup Plugin. The free version of UpdraftPlus allows you to backup and restore your WordPress files and database using Google Drive or Dropbox.
WordPress 500 Internal Errors
This may be due to a problem with a theme or plugin, or possibly a corrupted .htaccess file. The following guides may help with troubleshooting this issue: The Ultimate Guide to Solving 500 Server Errors Common WordPress Errors
cPanel Site Publisher enables you to quickly create a very simple website, even if you have never created a website before. When you use this interface, you will select an appropriate template for your website, and then enter the website content that the template requests.
Site Publisher is found under cPanel > DOMAINS >Site Publisher
Caching, Logs, Quotas, and Tutorials
cPanel is a Linux based web hosting control panel that provides a graphical interface and automation tools designed to simplify the process of hosting a website. You do not have to use cPanel. cPanel features include creating and downloading website backups, and Apache access and error logs.
RohanCP can send out email generated from comment forms, but RohanCP does not receive email. Forms need to provide a valid reply address. Please use some type of antispam prevention, ie: MathGuard or reCAPTCHA, otherwise your mail form will be flooded with spam comments. WordPress sites can use the very effective free Akismet plugin.
Email accounts are NOT available on RohanCP. Faculty and Staff should obtain GMail accounts (@mail.sdsu.edu) from the ETS help desk.
The default disk quota is 1 GB. Your website's disk usage can be viewed after logging into cPanel under Files > Disk Usage, or by clicking the Dashboard icon. If your website's user account is over quota, file transfers and WordPress updates will fail. Contact us if you need more space.
Google Drive for large files
If the large files don't put your site over quota, then don't worry about them. We recommend that large files be uploaded on Google Drive and to link to them from your site. SDSU has unlimited storage on Google Drive with a maximum file size of 1 GB.
Share the files uploaded to Google Drive using Anyone with the link can view. Create links with the Google Drive file URLs in your website. Use departmental email accounts for uploading files to Google Drive or the files will vanish when your email account is removed.
Logs and Tracking Visitors
Website logs and bandwidth statistics reported by cPanel are not accurate as RohanCP uses Varnish to accelerate websites. Google Analytics can be used to provide powerful tracking and analysis of website hits, visitors, and where they are located. To use Google Analytics a tracking code is embedded on each page to be tracked.
- Introduction to cPanel
- Account Backups
- Contact Preferences
- Disk Usage
- File Manager
- MySQL Databases
- Site Publisher
- WinSCP Introduction
Website changes may not show up immediately
Varnish Cache is a web application accelerator that dramatically speeds up delivery of websites. Varnish updates cached items after 5 minutes. Changes made to a website may take up to 5 minutes to appear.
Typing a force-refresh in your web browser will immediately update the server's Varnish cache for the current page.
About the RohanCP Server
RohanCP runs as a virtual machine on the Library's VMware cluster, running the CloudLinux operating system and cPanel web hosting using an Apache LAMP stack, consisting of Mariadb (MySQL), PHP 5.6, Apache with PHP-FPM, and Varnish. The VMware vSphere cluster is comprised of four Dell R630 servers, and is located in the UCO Data Center, EBA-111. Hosted website domains may be viewed here when on campus.
The name RohanCP is a combination of ROHAN and cPanel. Then name ROHAN is taken from the geographical area of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth saga "Lord of the Rings". ROHAN inhabitants were a nomadic and highly skilled equestrian people.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those that wander are lost.
--- J. R. R. Tolkien ---