How to setup backups in Enkompass (Reseller, and Server Admins)

How to Configure Enkompass Backups

I’ve noticed while browsing the cPanel forums, that many questions are curious about the backup features of Enkompass, and how they work.  I will attempt to explain this process.

1) First log into your Enkompass reseller, or admin panel. (https://www.yourwebsite.com:2087).

=== Server Administrators and Master Reseller Accounts Only ===

2) On the right hand categories of the Enkompass reseller panel, choose “Backup”.

3) Choose Configure Backups.  Here it is recommended by the cPanel staff to:

The Configure Backup utility allows you to configure all the properties of the backup routine. These properties are read each time the backup routine starts a sweep to backup the account data.

We recommend that you keep a monthly, weekly (at least 1) and daily (at least 2) backup for your clients as that will provide more reliable means of recovery if the files are damaged or lost due to hardware failure. In addition, please consider placing your backups on a separate local hard drive, raid cluster or NAS from where your clients’ files are hosted.”

A daily backup set to run every day however, should be sufficient, and will end up saving you hard drive space.  You also choose where you want your backups stored.  It is highly recommended to keep these backups off site using a network path.

5) Under the backup area, you can also choose to restore backups.

6) To manage if your resellers are allowed backups or not, go to manage plans from the Enkompass adminstrator interface, select one of your plans (or create one), and when you get to WSO Roles choose custom.  Set the features you wish your Enkompass resellers to  have access to, and you will find backup permissions the roles area.

=== / Server Administrators and Master Reseller Accounts Only ===

7) To manage your client backups for Enkompass go to your “Manage Plans” on the left hand side of your Enkompass reseller interface.  Choose a plan you wish to add backups to, and click edit. Scroll down “WSO Roles.”  In the drop-down form, choose “custom”. The Enkompass Permissions window will pop-up via Ajax; choose Files. Here in files you will have access to your Enkompass File Backup permissions I highly recommend you allow your users access to backup tools, so they can make their own backups when necessary.

8 ) When needed, choose restore backup files from your Enkompass reseller interface. Alternatively, you can “impersonate” your client from the WSO area, and upload the backup from your computer.  (I’d make sure to ask permission first, to ensure your clients are OK with this.) Again, it is highly recommended to use an off-site website storage so your clients who did not have the foresight to backup, will be able to retrieve their websites in a worst case scenario. (Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.)

This article is brought to you by PlusWebHost.com Enkompass hosting!  Offering both shared, and reseller Enkompass web hosting.

How to optimize vBulletin for PlusWebHost.com shared hosting

Optimizing vBulletin for PlusWebHost.com shared hosting

vBulletin is an extremely resource intensive forum, especially when you have a forum that will have many concurrent users online at once.  To help prepare for this you can optimize your forum to run the fastest way possible; in turn this will: lessen the load on the MySQL database, allowing you to use shared hosting for a longer period of time and reduce timeouts, increase the speed at which posts and threads display greatly, and also help you rank higher on Google, who now takes page speed into account for search results.

1) Disable Search for Guests*

* This will increase user registrations, but may frustrate some users.  As a work-around, you can enable captchas for guest searching to ensure this is not abused.  I’ll explain security in a later blog post.

On the left hand menu of the vBulletin administrator control panel, expand “Usergroups,” and choose “Usergroup Manager.”  Select “Unregistered / Not Logged In.” Find the sub-category: “Forum Searching Permissions.”  Turn both fields to No, and choose “Update” at the bottom of the page.

Store your attachments, and pictures in the file system:

2) Move Avatar, Profile Pictures, and Signature Pictures to the File System

FTP to your website again, and create three folders in your forum directory.  The first folder should be named “customavatars“, the second folder should be named “customprofilepics“. The third folder should be named “signaturepics“. Chmod to 777 if using Linux.

Enter the vBulletin Administrator area, and expand the “Avatars” menu on the left.  Chose “User picture storage type“.  The paths should be “./customavatars“, “./customprofilepics“, and “./signaturepics“.  The URLs should be “customavatars” “customprofilepics“, and “signaturepics” in normal text.  Click “Go”, and “Go” on the next screen as well.

3) Move Forum Attachments to the File System

FTP into your website, and create a directory named attachments in the “/” directory (NOT your public_html, or forum directory). The reasoning for having this in the “/” directory is for security purposes. This area is not accessible to the online world, but it is accessible to vBulletin. Alternatively, you can create this directory through your cPanel file manager, or Enkompass file manager.  If using Linux, chmod this directory to 777 (which is writable by all).

In the vBulletin admincp expand the “Attachments” menu on the left hand side of the screen, and click on “Attachment Storage Type.” Select “Move Items from Database into File System.” The path will be specific to your own setup.  If you have your vBulletin forums at EX: www.johnsgarage.com/forums/, you would enter: “../../attachments” as the path.  If www.johnsgarage.com is your forum URL, enter “../attachments“.  Click Go.  If your path is correct, you will be asked how many attachments to process per cycle.  Leave at 300, and click Go.  Read the next screen carefully, and if the information is correct, click finalize.  Click the optimize link in the confirmation, and optimize all your tables (check all -> continue).

——

Under Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> vBulletin Options

4) Double check Gzip Setting *Important*

Gzip is a tool that will compress your website for users to reduce the amount of bandwidth your website uses, and it also will greatly increase your website performace.  The PlusWebHost.com Linux servers have Gzip on by default.  Ensure this setting is turned off if you are hosting on Linux.  If it is set to on in vBulletin, your forum will actually decrease in performance because it will Gzip your forum pages twice..  This is enabled by default on vBulletin, so it is important to change turn this off on PlusWebHost.com Linux servers.

5) Move Your CSS From Database to the File System

Linux: With your FTP still open, enter your forum directory, go to “clientscript” and chmod the vbulletin_css folder to 777.

In the vBulletin administrator control panel, choose: vBulletin Options -> vBulletin Options. Select “Style and Language Options” in the drop down menu. Then set “Store CSS Stylesheets as Files” to yes.

6) Set “Add No-Cache HTTP Headers” to No.

Caching will greatly decrease the load times of your visitors.  Set this to no.  This is just under the Gzip option under vBulletin options.

7) Set “Remove Redirection Message Pages” to No

Removing redirection page will remove a lot of senseless loading, and it will also get users to your content faster (always a good thing!)  This is also just under the Gzip option under vBulletin options.

8 ) Set “Template Names in HTML Comments” to Off

Under “General Settings” in the vBulletin options menu, set “Add Template Name in HTML Comments” to off.  This is only useful for debugging, and programming.  While on a live production server, this is an unnecessary amount of text that will end up increasing the amount of bandwidth used on every single page on your forum.  Disabling this will save you a sizable amount of bandwidth over time.

9) Set vBulletin “Cached Posts Lifespan” to 30+

Under “Server Settings and Optimization Options” in vBulletin options, change the number 7, to 30 (or above, I use 90!).  This will increase the amount of storage your forum uses, but will also increase loading times, and posts will become less of a burden on the server.  This will increase the amount of time your forum will run smoothly on shared hosting (and save you money).

10) Turn on fulltext searching

Under “vBulletin Options -> Search Type” (This is not under vBulletin Options -> vBulletin Options). Select yes for “Empty postindex and word tables” to yes and click Go.

11) Enable Robots.txt for your vBulletin Forum

Create a filed named “robots.txt” and move it into your base website directory “public_html” or “www”.  Having a robots.txt will tell search engines where you do not want them to look.  This is great to help you keep web pages, and files you don’t want indexed off the public search engines.  This will also reduce your outgoing bandwidth by keeping the spiders where you want them: in the content.

Here is an example vBulletin robots.txt I like to use.  Modify it to your liking if you want certain pages indexed.  It is a good idea to keep your members.php file within your robots.txt to help stop potential spammers from registering and stealing your “link juice” from your memberlist.  D0wnload Sample vBulletin Robots.txt (right click->save as)

User-agent: *
Disallow: /forum/admincp/
Disallow: /forum/announcement.php
Disallow: /forum/calendar.php
Disallow: /forum/cron.php
Disallow: /forum/editpost.php
Disallow: /forum/faq.php
Disallow: /forum/joinrequests.php
Disallow: /forum/login.php
Disallow: /forum/member.php
Disallow: /forum/misc.php
Disallow: /forum/modcp/
Disallow: /forum/moderator.php
Disallow: /forum/newreply.php
Disallow: /forum/newthread.php
Disallow: /forum/online.php
Disallow: /forum/printthread.php
Disallow: /forum/private.php
Disallow: /forum/profile.php
Disallow: /forum/register.php
Disallow: /forum/search.php
Disallow: /forum/sendmessage.php
Disallow: /forum/showgroups.php
Disallow: /forum/threadrate.php
Disallow: /forum/showpost.php
Disallow: /forum/subscription.php
Disallow: /forum/subscriptions.php
Disallow: /forum/usercp.php

You will need to change your path from /forum/ to the directory your forums are in.  For example: if your forums are at www.johnsgarage.com, you will change all the /forum/ instances to /.  Example “/usercp.php”

Security Note: not all search engines will listen to this robots.txt, and it is visible to the public.  Do not list sensitive directories in your robots.txt.  The search engines will not find these sensitive directories unless you link to them.