Setting up Web Hosting with a Verio VPS Account

I recently became a Verio Reselling Partner after having spent years hosting web sites on my dedicated server account with HostGator.com.  After being assigned a reseller number, I ordered a Linux VPS Basic hosting plan.  I then went about switching one of my web sites, a retail store using Zen Cart software to sell sweatshirts, from my HostGator account to my new Verio Linux VPS Basic setup.  The cost of a Linux VPS Basic account is significantly less (especially for a reseller) than what I have been paying for a HostGator dedicated server.   Here are a few things that I found.

Administering a Linux VPS account requires a bit more understanding of the Linux command line tools than my Host Gator account.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your Linux skills, especially when it comes to performing web related tasks.  A Linux VPS account uses a utility called vinstall from the Linux command line to handle things like setting up MySQL, phpMyAdmin, and other helpful and even necessary pieces of software.

CPX instead of cPanel
Administering web hosting accounts on my HostGator server involved using a Web Host Manager (WHM) to create packages, accounts, IP addresses, etc.  Each new account was automatically (based upon some selectable options) set up with cPanel running on it so that users could easily manage email accounts, MySQL databases, files, and other tasks from a simplified visual menu.
Verio’s Linux VPS accounts use a control panel called CPX.  The focus of CPX is to allow a server administrator to manage account users and handle other server administration functions.  It doesn’t allow you to create a MySQL database like cPanel does.  Instead you have to use phpMyAdmin or create a database directly from the Linux command line.  CPX does allow a user to manage email addresses and to manage files, but the interface is not as intuitive as cPanel.  Perhaps that’s just because CPX is new to me.

Shell Access
A Verio Linux VPS account doesn’t allow direct SSH root access.  To perform functions as a root user, you have to login as the “Administrative User” that was specified when the account was created.   Once you’re logged in as the administrative user, you can use the su command to change the user to root.

Web Server/File System Setup
When a new account is set up on a HostGator dedicated server, a new directory is created for that account under the /home/ directory.  For instance, if I set up a new account named buzz, the WHM system automatically sets up a /home/buzz/ directory.  The web root files for that account would then be found in the /home/buzz/public_html or /home/buzz/www directory.  With a Verio Linux VPS account, the web files are set up under the following directory structure: /var/www/html.  When the Linux VPS account is initially set up, a default page exists that says “Welcome to your new server”.  The default page consists of four files, three images and an index.html file, pre-installed into the /var/www/html directory.  To put your new web site in place, place your web files (.php, .html, etc.) into that directory.  Of course, if you’re hosting something more than just static files, you’ll need to figure out how to set up your database through the Linux command line.  A popular alternative is to use phpMyAdmin to manage MySQL databases.

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