RohanCP Web Hosting
SDSU web hosting is available from the Library on RohanCP for Academic Affairs departments, faculty, and student organizations, and from Business and Financial Affairs for faculty and staff on OU Campus for SDSU business websites only. Free student web hosting can be found here and here.
RohanCP provides cPanel, a control panel designed to simplify web hosting, allowing website owners control of various aspects of website and server administration through a web browser. Websites hosted on RohanCP require the use of the campus VPN for file transfers and administration from off campus. Student Class Accounts allow web hosting on the Edoras instructional support server.
- ATI requirements (Accessible Technology Initiative) must be met by SDSU websites, so they satisfy the ADA section 508 Web-based accessibility guidelines.
- Hosted websites must not collect or store credit card or any type of protected data. Please refer to the ISP and the Data Classification and Handling Policies. The Library does not assume responsibility for securing this information.
- PHP will be moving from PHP 7.1 to PHP 7.2 in July 2018.
- Verify your contact email address so password reset and disk usage warning emails can be received.
VPNFilter malware has infected a million routers, keep your home router's firmware up to date! If you're unable to update the firmware to prevent VPNFilter from becoming installed (your manufacturer's website will have details) consider buying a new one.
File Transfers using cPanel or SFTPLogins are limited to campus and the VPN. CPanel Login
cPanel Login errors
Occasionally the 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 your web browser, cPanel > Files > File Manager, or with a Secure File Transfer Program (SFTP):
- Open your file transfer program (for example, WinSCP or Fetch with Connect using: SFTP)
- 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.
If you have large files (around 100MB or more) consider using Google Drive and linking to the file URL on your website.Notes:
- 403 Forbidden or 404 Not Found pages will be displayed on new websites until content is created.
- Connection attempts from off campus will fail if not using the campus VPN for SSH, SCP, SFTP, cPanel and WordPress logins.
- Connection attempts will fail when using obsolete programs, often displaying errors like "Couldn't agree a client-to-server cipher" or "Algorithm negotiation failed".
- Dreamweaver CC versions prior to 17 (Adobe Creative Cloud 2017.1) are obsolete and may be unable to connect to RohanCP.
WordPressWordPress should be installed using cPanel. This automates the MySQL database setup and WordPress configuration. cPanel > Software > Site Software > WordPress. Please ignore the message Warning: The web server does not run scripts as the script owner. RohanCP scripts really do run as the script owner, and the permissions are set correctly by the cPanel installer.
If your site is not updated frequently WordPress may not be a good fit, consider using a static website or OU Campus instead. Installing WordPress commits you to keeping up with security updates.
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.
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.
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. Good reference for learning WordPress are learn.wordpress.com and YouTube. Invariably someone out there has posted a YouTube tutorial on just about any WordPress task. For example: WordPress Introduction Tutorial. WordPress support documentation and forums can be found at wordpress.org/support/
Protect your WordPress Website. Consider installing the free Wordfence Security plugin to help protect your website from hacking. More about the Wordfence plugin can be found at the FAQ. Protect WordPress comment forms from spam. One option is to use the very effective free Akismet plugin for comment spam filtering.
WordPress 500 Internal Errors 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
WordPress News about new updates, security vulnerabilities and more, can be read at wordpress.org/news/
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
Caching and Page Speed
Pingdom is a free website speed test that provides diagnostics including site load time, waterfall charts, optimization checks and suggestions for improvements.
WordPress caching plugins sometimes are useful in speeding up websites. If your site takes over a second to load, it may be worthwhile to try using a caching plugin. A fast caching plugin is Cache Enabler, and is one of the easiest to setup caching plugins and supports the Autoptimize plugin and Multisite.
RohanCP can send out email generated from comment forms, but RohanCP does not provide email addresses or 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.
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 and streaming video
If large files don't put your site over quota, then don't worry about them. Consider using your departments Team Drive for uploading files to Google Drive or the files will vanish when your email account is removed. We recommend linking to large files after uploading them to Google Drive. SDSU has G Suite for Education which provides unlimited storage on Google Drive with a maximum file size of 5 TB.
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.
- Changing the share settings on Google Drive
- FAQ on Google drive
- Store and link to photos on Google Drive
- Store and play video in Google Drive
Email accounts are NOT provided for websites. The ETCS Help Desk can assist you with obtaining Google Mail or Google Group accounts (@sdsu.edu).
Logs and Tracking VisitorsGoogle 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.
- Free Signup to Use Google Analytics
- Google Analytics Help
- How to Install Google Analytics in WordPress
- How to use Google Analytics for Beginners
The cPanel password can be reset by using a reset security code sent to the website's Contact Information email address, allowing the password used for SSH, SFTP and cPanel to be reset. Go to the cPanel Login page to reset your password. You will need the site's username and the site's contact email address. Contact Information is found in cPanel under Preferences >> Contact Information. See password reset process for more detail.
The WordPress administrator's password can be reset from the WordPress dashboard login page:
- Go to your website's WordPress login page
- Click on Lost you password? at the bottom
- Enter the Username or E-mail of your WordPress admin user, then click on Get New Password
- You should get an email with Subject: [WordPress Site] Password Reset. Click on the link below the text To reset your password
- Type in your New password, confirm it, then click on Reset Password
The current version of PHP on RohanCP is 7.1. PHP 7.2 will become the current version on RohanCP in July 2018. Information on migrating PHP code is available at Migrating from PHP 7.1.x
PHP applications, like WordPress, are run using your account’s username. Some of the default PHP settings are:
post_max_size = 8MThese defaults can be changed by creating a file named .user.ini in the public_html folder, containing lines similar to these:
upload_max_filesize = 2M
post_max_size = 16M
upload_max_filesize = 16M
Faculty may request website redirects, from ROHAN www-rohan.sdsu.edu websites that existed when ROHAN was decommissioned in June 2017, to their new website's URL. The ROHAN servers were decommissioned and removed from service on June 5, 2017. The current www-rohan.sdsu.edu is hosted on RohanCP solely to provide faculty website redirects.
The User Manager in cPanel does not work. Users created are not able to login to cPanel or use SSH or SFTP. Please ignore this feature.
- Introduction to cPanel
- Account Backups
- Contact Preferences
- Disk Usage
- File Manager
- MySQL Databases
- MySQL Databases, allowing remote access
- Site Publisher
- WinSCP Introduction
The campus VPN must be used to update websites on RohanCP from off campus (SSH, SCP, SFTP, cPanel and WordPress.)
Before you can use the VPN, ask your department or college's Help Desk to add your AD username to the VPN users group. After your AD username has been added to the VPN group, install the VPN client. Please see ITSO's VPN Instructions for more details on installing and using the campus Palo Alto VPN.
ITSO's VPN Instructions say to use your Active Directory credentials. What they mean is use the same SDSUid username and password you used to log into the SharePoint website or PeopleSoft, leaving off @sdsu.edu as section 2 states.
ITSO uses Duo two-factor (2FA) authentication for the VPN. 2FA is not required at this time. 2FA protects against phishing, social engineering, and password brute force attacks and secures the login from attackers exploiting weak or stolen credentials. Please see ITSO's Identity and Access Management page for info on setting up Duo and 2FA. Here are the basic steps:
- Install the Duo Mobile app on your phone: Google Play or iTunes App Store
- Go to duoportal.sdsu.edu and register your phone (only available on campus at this point)
About the RohanCP Server
RohanCP runs as a virtual machine on the Library's VMware cluster, running the CloudLinux operating system (a CentOS-like interface) and cPanel web hosting with Engintron to provide a Nginx micro-cache in front of an Apache LAMP stack, consisting of Mariadb (MySQL), PHP 7.1, Apache with PHP-FPM using Zend OpCache. The VMware vSphere cluster is comprised of four Dell R630 servers, and is located in the UCO Data Center, EBA-111. A list of hosted website domains may be viewed here when on campus.
The name RohanCP is a combination of ROHAN and cPanel. The name ROHAN is taken from the territory 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 ---