Web server administration

This page explains how to perform Digital Archive related web host administration tasks on a Reclaim Hosting web server.


This documentation on this page assumes that you already know, or will learn, how to perform basic system adminstration tasks. For example, you must be able to navigate the file system, edit and delete files, and be familiar with system administration duties such as database management, permissions, FTP, and such. If these things are foreign to you, do not attempt to perform these tasks.


WMH stands for Web Host Manager. All of the Digital Archive sites are hosted on a dedicated Linux server which you manage using WHM. The login page is: https://avantlogic.reclaimhosting.com:2087 .

To learn more about WHM, visit https://docs.cpanel.net/whm/


Use the search box at the top to quickly find a feature. For example, as you type ftp, the features will immediately narrow down to just those related to FTP. This same technique works in cPanel.


cPanel is a control panel that lets you manage many aspects of the web host environment for a single WHM account. To access the cPanel for an account:

  • Go to WHM and choose List Accounts
  • Click the cPanel icon in the row for the account
  • The cPanel home page will appear


The cPanel home page is divided into sections like DATABASES, FILES etc. as shown in the screenshot below. Each section contains a set of related features you can choose from. To learn more about cPanel, visit https://cpanel.net/


Restore a backup

Explain how to use Jetback

Create a new cPanel account

Follow the steps below to create a new cPanel account. Also see the WHM documentation https://docs.cpanel.net/whm/account-functions/create-a-new-account/86/

Create the account

  • Go to WHM and choose List Accounts
  • Click the Create a New Account button
  • Enter:
    • Domain = domain name e.g. historytrust.net
    • Username = filled in automatically, change to use same convention as other accounts e.g. htnet
    • Password & Re-type Password automatically filled in when you:
      • Click the Password Generator button
      • Copy the password to a safe place
      • Check the I have copied this password checkbox
      • Click the Use Password button
    • Email = gsoules@avantlogic.com
    • Choose a Package = Archive
    • Select Options Manually = leave unchecked
    • Settings panel = accept defaults
    • Mail Routing Settings panel = accept defaults
    • Reseller Settings panel = accept defaults (unchecked)
    • DNS Settings panel = If using a domain registered:
      • With reclaim, accept defaults
      • Another registrar like Godaddy, check the Use the nameservers checkbox
  • Click the Create button
  • Review the Account Creation Status information

Set the name servers

Skip this step if the site will be hosted on reclaimhosting.com

If the domain is registered with another registrar (not with reclaim) e.g. Godaddy or bluehost:

  • Login into the registrar account for the domain
  • Set the name servers to:
    • ns1.reclaimhosting.com
    • ns2.reclaimhosting.com

Install an SSL certificate

Note that you cannot install the certificate for a non-reclaim domain until the name servers have been pointed to reclaim.

  • Go to WHM and choose List Accounts
  • Click the cPanel icon in the cPanel column of the row for the newly created account
  • In cPanel choose Lets Encrypt SSL
  • In the Issue a new certificate section, click te +Issue link
  • On the next page, click the Issue button
  • Wait for the certifcate to be issued -- it can take a while
  • If you get an error, try again
  • Close the page that says the certificate is now installed

Add an index.html page

By default, a new account has only an empty cgi-bin folder in its public_html folder. Add an index.html page so that something nice appears when someone goes to the site. Below is an example. Be sure to replace XYZ with the organization's name.

<h2 style="text-align: center;margin-top:40px;"><span style="font-family:arial,helvetica,sans-serif;">Future home of XYZ&#39;s Digital Archive site</span></h2>

Edit .htaccess to force https

To perform this task, you'll need to change the cPanel File Manager settings to Show Hidden Files in order to be able to see the .htacces file.

By default, the site will not use https until you add the lines shown below to the top of the public_html/.htaccess file.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R,L]

Go to the site to verify that the URL is automatially changed to use https.

There is also a cPanel option for forcing HTTPS, but Digital Archive installations use the method described above.

Upload and extract a zip file

Follow these steps to upload a zip file to the web server and extract (unzip) its contents.


A zip file's contents are always extracted into a new folder having the same name as the zip file. The contents are never extracted directly into an existing folder. As such, you may have to move the contents after you unzip them.

Upload the zip file

  • Go to cpanel and choose File Manager
  • Navigate into the folder where a new folder should be created for the zip file contents.
    For example, if uploading an Omeka plugin, navigate into the plugins folder.
  • Click Upload in the top menu
  • Select or drag-in the zip file to begin uploading it
  • Wait for the upload to complete. When complete, the progress bar will:
    • Show 100% and change color from blue to green
  • Click the Go Back to link at the bottom of the page to return to the parent folder
  • Verify that the zip file is there. If not, click Reload in the menu above the file list

Extract the zip file contents

  • Right click on the zip file name and choose Extract
  • Click the Extract File(s) button
  • On the Extraction Results dialog, click the Close button
  • A new folder will appear having the same name as the zip file
  • If you don't see the folder, click the Reload button

Delete the zip file

  • Right click on the file name and choose Delete
  • On the Trash dialog, check the box that says Skip the trash
  • Click the Confirm button

Create a subdomain

Follow these steps to create a subdomain in an existing account.

  • Go to cpanel and choose Subdomains
  • In the Subdomain field enter the subdomain name
  • Don't change the Domain and Document Root fields
  • Click the Create button
  • Return to the cpanel home page and choose File Manager
  • Verify that a new folder for the domain exists,
    for example: /home/avantlog/mysubdomain.avantlogic.net

Purchase a domain

  • Login to the AvantLogic Reclaim Hosting account
  • In the Client Area, click Domains > Register a New Domain in the top menu
  • Enter the domain name and choose the suffix e.g. .net
  • Click the Check Availability button
  • In the Congratulations section that appears, click the Continue button
  • Accept the Unprotected WHOIS and click the Continue button
  • Check the I have read and agree... check box
  • Click the Complete Order button
  • Close the Order Confirmation page

Transfer a domain

Follow these steps to transfer a domain that is registered with Reclaim to another registrar such as GoDaddy:

  • Login to the AvantLogic Reclaim Hosting account
  • In the Client Area, click the Action Domains button
  • Click the Manage Domain button for the domain to be transferred
  • On the Information page for the domain:
    • Click the Registrar Lock link
    • On the Registrar Lock page:
      • Click the Disable Registrar Lock button to unlock the domain
    • Go back to the Information page
    • Click Management Tools > Get EPP Code
    • Copy the entire message e.g. The EPP Code for your domain is: 3zlk[QyhGL and email it to the organization doing the transfer.
  • An email will arrive saying the request was made and when transfer will occur (in 3 or 4 days)
  • You can check the Who Is status for a domain to verify that a transfer is pending.
  • Important: Transfer a domain at least two weeks before it is set to expire. Waiting until it is expired or nearly expired may make it impossible to do a transfer without first renewing the domain for another year.

Create a new Reclaim account

Follow these steps to create a new Reclaim Hosting account. You would do this, for example, if you wanted to provide a client with their own Reclaim account for hosting their website. You might also create a separate account for a Digital Archive installation that will not be hosted on the dedicated WHM server.

  • If you already have an account with Reclaim Hosting and want to add another:
    • Login to your account
    • Choose Accounts > Add an Account
  • If you don't have an account:
    • Find and click the Sign Up button
  • Choose Organization Plan ($100/year) and click Order Now
  • Verify that the domain is available and choose the Register a new domain radio button
  • Choose billing cycle $100.00 USD Annually
  • Click Checkout
  • On the Domains Configuration page click Continue
  • On the Review & Checkout page
    • Total should be $100
    • The Existing Customer tab should be selected
    • For Payment Method choose Use Existing Card (PayPal)
    • Click Complete Order
  • Open the New Account Information email from reclaim and copy the cPanel information into the passwords spreadsheet.
  • Verify that you can login to cPanel directly as this organization (as opposed to from the administrator account)


Tips & Tricks

Compress a large folder on the server using zip

Use the zip command to avoid issues using the cPanel Compress feature. Also, the zip command reports what it's doing. As an example, to compress the files folder of a Digital Archive installation:

  • Open a terminal window
  • cd to the digitalarchive folder
  • Type the command below
zip -r file-name.zip directory

Compress and extract a large folder using tar


tar -czvf files-name.tar.gz directory


tar -xzvf files-name.tar.gz

Jet Backup

To get a backed-up file or a database for an account:

  • Log in to WHM
  • Choose the JetBackup feature
  • Click on the Restore & Download icon (circle with two arrowheads)
  • Type the username of the account into the Find Account in order to narrow the list of accounts to only the one you will be working with
  • Choose what you want to get from the Backup Type dropdown
  • Check the checkbox for the account
  • Click the Choose Other Backup button to select the date of the backup to use
  • If getting a file:
    • Click the Browse Files button to select the file(s)
    • Navigate to the file(s)
    • Click the Download button to initiate the download
    • Click the OK button on the Your download request is in progress dialog
    • Click the download file link located in the Downloads section at upper right
  • If getting a database:
    • Click the Download button to initiate the download
    • Follow the steps below to extract the contents
    • The contents will be a single .sql file that you can then execute in MySQL Workbench following the steps for how to copy a server database to use on localhost


What to do with the download file

Download files are in tar.gz format. Follow these steps to get the contents.

  • Download the file to the local computer
  • Upload the file to a temp directory on the server
  • Extract the contents on the server
  • Use the files on the server or download them to the local computer