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Step by Step Guide to Setting up a New WHM cPanel Server for Web Hosting Account

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This is a guide to setting up a new WHM/cPanel Server to be used for web hosting accounts. It is intended for web hosting company administrators and dedicated server owners. For under $99 per month (considering normal rate of Big Data Cetnters like HostDime & LiquidWeb), it is easier than ever to manage and run your own dedicated server. You can have guaranteed uptime from your datacenter, and outsourced support starting at $30/month (considering average rate for the Management Service by LiquidWeb). All you need to do is set up the server and get going. Whether it is for a web hosting company or a couple of personal websites, an inexpensive linux server is powerful, reliable, and easy to setup.

WebHostManager(WHM) is a common linux based tool for managing websites on a server. cPanel is a common control panel to manage an individual website. It allows you to add email accounts, view stats, make backups, install programs, etc. These 2 tools are the most inexpensive set used commonly to manage hosting accounts, and you will find them very prevalent in the budget shared hosting world. It usually adds about $48/month (buycpanel.com) to the cost of a dedicated server but provides most of the features of the more expensive tools.

Whenever you order a dedicated server from a datacenter, you will receive a welcome email with details of the server including the server name, ip addresses, and root password. This information will allow you to setup and configure WHM so that you can host websites and use your own custom Domain Nameserver instead of a raw IP address.

The first thing you need to do is the setup of WebHostManager(WHM). This includes configuring the default Domain nameservers, main IP address, and server contact email address.

1) Login to root WHM (http://xx.xx.xx.xx:2086)

2) In the left margin, click Next to run the setup wizard

3) Agree to the end-user license agreement

4) Edit setup

a. Server contact email address: info@yourdomain.com
b. Default Cpanel theme: x
c. Default home directory: /home
d. Home directory prefix: home
e. Main shared virtual host IP: xx.xxx.xxx.xx (should be main IP of server)
f. Hostname: server.yourserver.com
g. Primary nameserver: dns1.yourserver.com
h. Secondary nameservers: dns2.yourserver.com
i. Leave everything else unchanged
j. Click Save

Next, you need to setup the system quota. To do this follow these instructions:

5) Click Next Step in left margin ? system sets up initial quota. No need to wait for initial quota to setup?. Click Next Step again

6) DO NOT enable namesever. Click Next Step again

Now we need to setup the Resolver. This is specific to your datacenter and the information will be provided in the Welcome details for your dedicated server.

7) Resolver setup:

a. Click Continue
b. Primary Resolver: xx.xx.xx.xx (this is datacenter specific)
c. Secondary Resolver: xx.xx.xx.xx (this is datacenter specific)
d. Tertiary Resolver: leave blank
e. Click Continue
f. Click Next Step

8) Not necessary to enter a MySQL root password

9) Click Finish

Initial setup is done, and you should now be able to login to root WHM. Now you can create the accounts needed to setup the nameservers that you want to use on this dedicated server.

1) Login to root WHM again

2) ?Create a New Account? (this is to be the main account: yourserver.com). Do not give this account a dedicated IP?. It will use the main server?s shared IP address.

3) Under ?IP Functions?, click ?Show IP address usage?. If only the main server IP is listed, that means you have to add the additional IP address to the server. Click ?Add a New IP address?, and enter: xx.xx.xx.xx-xx Leave subnet mask unchanged, and click ?Do It?

4) Click Show/Edit Reserved IPs, and check an IP to reserve it, and enter a reason (i.e. dns2.yourserver.com)

5) Under ?DNS Functions? click ?Edit DNS Zone?, then select yourserver.com and click ?Edit?. Use the main IP address for the first 2 lines and the next IP address assigned to the server for the third line.

a. Under 'Add new entries below this line', enter:
server 14400 IN A xx.xx.xx.xx (leave far right box blank)
dns1 14400 IN A xx.xx.xx.xx (leave far right box blank)
dns2 14400 IN A xx.xx.xx.xx (leave far right box blank)
b. Note: The above entries are DNS entries for the two nameservers being created, and the sever name dana.hostyourself.com. Once you?ve enter the three entries, click ?Save?

6) If you get an 'Error reloading BIND' error, go to 'Restart Services' and click 'DNS Server (BIND)', then click YES to restart Bind.

That's it! Now the server is all setup and ready to host cPanel hosting account with the nameservers dns1.yourserver.com and dns2.yourserver.com. Of course you still need to go to your registrar and register these 2 new nameservers and wait for normal propagation of 24-48 hours until the new nameservers will work.

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Author:Andy1988
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by:WaterStreet
Hi Andy1988

Looks like a very helpful tutorial.

I'm one of EE's Page Editors assigned to these zones.

I'm changing this Article's status to Author Review so that you can edit it, as discussed below.  When you have responded to the issues below, make a posting here to alert me.  I'm telling every author that I consider unpublished Articles as subject to deletion, if at any time 30 days shall elapse without requested feedback from the author.

1.   You need to tell what are the units for the rates/mo that you mention in the first paragraph.  Eruos, GBP, Dollars, etc.  Even if we were not an an international site, the units should still be given.

2.   If you are quoting costs, then you need to tell who is charging those amounts and give an example of how you made the calculation.  The unit costs might be volume dependent.  For example, if you say $99/mo then what should immediately follow it is the explanation in parentheses: "(assuming Microsoft list price for [product name] at $990 for a 10 user pack)"  Or, you could put an asterisk on the dollar amount, and then have an asterisked note with the explanation at the end.
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