Nov 262012
 
Peers-feature

Website Developers and Website Administrators who have multiple people logging into a single hosting plan should opt for setting up Peer accounts, keeping the main log in secret. This allows multiple users to access a single account, all with their own individual credentials. If a problem arises with a client, the main Website Administrator can delete the peer from the account, keeping them in control.

To begin setting up a Peer for an account, log into your control panel and select the Peers tab from the menu.

Next, click on Create Peer Account and assign a username and password to be associated with their name and email address.

To add their contact information for easy access later, simply click on the bold Contact Information tab to expand the section. Fill in the required fields, then click Add.

Now, when you click on the Peers tab from your menu, you’ll see all of your peer accounts listed.

If you click on the user name in orange, the Edit Peer Account tab will open allowing you to make changes to the password, user information, or delete the peer if it’s no longer needed.

Although this is a great convenience for collaboration, use caution to whom you give peer privileges to as they have the same admin access. From what I’ve read in the forums for Websitepanel, they are working on security features to address that in future releases.

Sep 112012
 

The following link is a fantastic resource for ASP.NET developers which breaks down the process of deploying to IIS on your local computer for testing and then to a third-party hosting provider. You’ll run through 12 tutorials designed to be used in sequence, a bonus troubleshooting page, and tips and tricks along the way!

http://www.asp.net/mvc/tutorials/deployment/deployment-to-a-hosting-provider/deployment-to-a-hosting-provider-introduction-1-of-12

May 162012
 

Cytanium - a newly launched discount shared hosting venture backed by OrcsWeb – has an extremely functional and usable control panel. One of the many features it has is the ability to leverage Microsoft’s Web Application Gallery (WAG) to automatically install dozens of different free applications. Just to show how easy is it, I grabbed some screenshots of me stepping through the process to install Orchard CMS on my Cytanium hosting account…

Cytanium's hosting control panel

The icon to enter the Web Application Gallery is located right in the main interface of the Cytanium hosting control panel. Once in the WAG part of the control panel, all of the available applications are listed alphabetically. You can change the drop-down list to narrow down the selection, or just scroll through the different pages to see all the options.

Cytanium's hosting control panel

Once I found Orchard CMS in the list, I can click on the name of the application or I can click Install right from the result list.

Cytanium's hosting control panel

The first screen before the download and install actually kicks-off just gives a short summary about the application chosen. Click next to begin the download.

Cytanium's hosting control panel

You’ll then get a dialog box showing that the application is being downloaded from the vendor to your hosted site on the server.

Cytanium's hosting control panel

After the download you are prompted for some basic installation parameters. (NOTE: Orchard CMS supports SQL CE but the WAG doesn’t yet, so installation through the WAG requires SQL Server 2008. To use SQL CE I’d recommend downloading to WebMatrix then using Web Deploy to publish up to the server. Not ideal because of the extra steps, but it is fairly easily and works great!)

Cytanium's hosting control panel

Wait a short few moments while it installs.

Cytanium's hosting control panel

And that’s it!

Cytanium's hosting control panel

You can now click on the link to launch Orchard CMS which has its own configuration wizard to finalize its setup.

Happy hosting!

May 102012
 
WordPress Hosting-feature

WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) for so many reasons. The ease of use and relatively recent availability to Windows users has made WordPress explode with popularity. A user-friendly platform like WordPress makes it a great option for any business to build a great website. This PHP based application is flexible, reliable and best of all free! Pair that with a Windows server and you have a winner! If you’re ready to get a piece of the WordPress hosting action, take a look at how easy it is to get started!

How Can A PHP- Based Application Run On Windows?

If you know anything about Linux, you may first be wondering how a PHP based application like WordPress can even run on a Windows server. LAMPS which stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP  is used on many Linux based servers and has previously been the only available platform for running WordPress. With the introduction of Windows Server 2003, Windows servers have been able to support the installation of WordPress through the use of WIMP- Windows, IIS, MySQL, and PHP making WordPress fully compatible and the additional benefit of IIS makes installation a breeze.

What Kind Of Hosting Plan Will I need??

All you need to get started with WordPress hosting is a web host and server with some working knowledge of them. It’s important to understand that finding the right hosting platform is key to your success. If you’re just starting a WordPress blog or personal website, a shared hosting plan is fine but if you’re planning to use your site for business, you should consider using a VPS-Virtual Private Server. This type of server is more reliable and responsive than shared hosting because the space is dedicated just to you. This could mean faster load times and more available resources for your site. With a VPS you also have the freedom to install any software that fits your website needs and allows you to work with what you are comfortable with, not limit you to what options your web host may provide. If you choose the VPS route, it does require the business to have technical expertise to install, configure and support all the required components so be sure to weigh the pro’s and cons of shared hosting or a VPS to choose the right option for your project. Building a VPS is very easy and takes less than 15 minutes and will look like the image below.

Installing WordPress On Your Server

Once you have your VPS built (or if you already have a server ready) you will now need to install WordPress. There’s no reason to do this manually, which means finding all of the software that will be needed, installing and learning how to use it before you can get started.  A more efficient way to install WordPress is to use Microsoft Web Platform Installer. It downloads everything you need for any application in a neat package all at once for a seamless installation. You can refer to my previous post on using WebPI to install WordPress for a tutorial on how this is done.

Setting Up Sites

Now all you have to do is install a theme you want to use for your website and you’re ready to roll. If you have the need to host multiple sites on your server, an additional benefit of using a Virtual Private Sever is the allowance to host as many sites as the resources will allow. This is a huge benefit to a web designer who needs to manage multiple sites from one place. If you plan to have multiple sites on your server and don’t want all of the additional sites pointing to a single site, you can use Host Headers in IIS which will allow you to assign more than one site to a single IP address on a web server.

Sites in IIS using hostheaders

So now that you see how easy it is to host a single site or many sites on a Windows server it’s time to get started! If you already have a hosting package, you can build upon that. If you need a web host for your WordPress site, contact sales@cytanium.com with any questions or sign up for a new VPS hosting package today!

Apr 192012
 
WebPI-feature

Microsoft Web Platform Installer is free software that packages all of the essential developer tools making it easy to install any of their free web apps like WordPress, Orchard, and DotNetNuke. It comes with everything you need to run a website like IIS, SQL Express, .NET, and more to get you started right away. No more searching and downloading each individual application. Here we will walk through the steps to install WordPress on your Windows VPS.

Installation Of WebPI

1. Open your VPS by logging into your control panel and clicking on the Virtual Private Cloud icon. Click on the VM name and then click on the RDP link.

2. Connect to the server and open your web browser within the VPS. Navigate to the Microsoft WebPI site to download and install it then click on Applications in the top menu and scroll down to WordPress. Click Add from the list and click Install.

3. Once you select your application and click Install, it will tell you what’s needed to create the site. It will be automatically download right from WebPI in one neat package. Enter the admin password and agree to the terms so the WebPI can begin the download to configure everything it needs to run WordPress.

Configure The Site And Database

1. You will now need to tell the application where you want it to go. For my application of WordPress, I selected Default Web Site and removed the application name. Leave all of the default settings as they are and click Continue.

2. Now you will setup the database and user information. Choose Create New Database and enter your Database Administrator Username and Password you setup in the beginning of the install.

3. Scroll down to the Database User Name and either keep the default or set your own. Create a password you will use to access the database and leave the Database Server as localhost. Click Continue to finish the install.

Launch Your Site

You will now see a screen that tells you everything was installed properly. Click on the link to launch WordPress.

Give your site a name and fill in a username and password you’ll use to log into your dashboard. check your email address to make sure it’s correct and if you’re ready to have your site searched by Google, make sure the box is checked so the site is public. Click Install WordPress to complete this step.

You have now completed the WordPress installation and will be prompted to login. Enter the username and password you just created to open your dashboard to get started with your WordPress customization!

You are now ready to pick a theme or website design! Click on the Appearance tab to start browsing the options that are best for your needs. Now that you see how easy it is to create your own Windows Hosted VPS and install WordPress with WebPI, what are you waiting for? We would love to have you come back and leave links to the site designs you created after following this tutorial and share this article in your social media circles! Happy hosting!

Apr 172012
 

Here at Cytanium we love new technologies and we strive to integrate them as fast as reasonably possible. We also like to include our clients when possible so that they (you) can get familiar with the latest and greatest web development options – like ASP.NET 4.5!

Today we are pleased to announce the offer for a FREE ASP.NET 4.5 Beta hosting account for testing purposes. This gives you a risk-free way to test out and play with the latest vNext options from Microsoft - Visual Studio 11, ASP.NET 4.5, Web Pages 2 and MVC 4.

Please note that this is a BETA release and related to that, support is limited. This is a great way to migrate and test your existing code, or start testing new code, against this latest platform. This is not intended for production support though so do not place anything on the free testing account that you cannot afford to lose. This promotion may change or end with very short notice and accounts + data may also be removed at that time, so please retain your own backups and use this only for the intended testing purposes.

Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, how about getting started? Just click this link to get your FREE ASP.NET 4.5 Beta Test Hosting account. (NOTE: The .NET extension in the control panel will reflect “4.0″ but it is indeed 4.5 – it’s just that the panel doesn’t have 4.5 officially baked-in as an option yet.)

Here are a couple of links you may find useful:

What’s New in ASP.NET 4.5
http://www.asp.net/vnext/overview/whitepapers/whats-new

Application Compatibility
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh367887(v=vs.110).aspx

If you haven’t already downloaded Visual Web Developer 11 BetaVisual Studio 11 Ultimate Beta, and/or ASP.NET MVC 4 Beta for Visual Studio 2010 – click the corresponding link to get started with those tools and technologies on your local development machine.

If you want some great production-ready hosting for your live site, check out our Site Hosting and Windows VPS Hosting (starting at only $20!) options.

Happy hosting!

Apr 122012
 
VPS-build feature

Virtual Private Server hosted sites are perfect for medium and small sized businesses because of the affordability and flexibility they offer. The freedom to use any software that fits a particular project makes it appealing to developers who want to customize their server without paying a customized price. At Cytanium, we want to make it easy for you to join the VPS community with an understanding of what you purchased and how it works to ensure complete satisfaction with our hosting services.

If you are new to virtual servers and cloud technology, you might find yourself wondering what to do after you have subscribed to a VPS hosting service so, we have put together this tutorial to help you create your own Virtual Private Server.

Signup

Navigate to Cytanium’s Windows VPS hosting packages to select the plan that is right for your project. Once you have selected your hosting package, enter your personal account information and pay the invoice to activate the service. If you already have an account with us, just select that option and it will add the VPS to your existing account so you can access them both from the same control panel.

Create A Windows Virtual Private Server

After you have completed the signup and paid the invoice, it’s time to start the VPS build process. Log into your control panel and click on the Virtual Private Cloud icon.

You will need to start the creation of the Virtual Machine by clicking Create VM in the Virtual Private Cloud menu.

Configuring the Virtual Machine

The first prompt to configure the machine will be naming the VM and creating an admin password. Click Nextwhen you have filled in all of the fields.

You will now be prompted to set the configurations you want to run on your Virtual Machine. Click Next when you are finished.

Network Settings

Now that you have your settings configured, you will be shown the External Network settings and your External IP address. Click Next to see the VPS configuration summary.

You will see the summary of what will be created in your VM. Once you have everything configured the way you want it, press Create.

How Do I Know When The VPS Build Is Complete?

Watching your creation come to life before your eyes can be exciting if it’s your first build. While the server is Under Creation, you’ll be able to see the build complete percentage by clicking on the Virtual Machine name.

When the server is finished loading, it will have a status of Running and will display the Windows logo in the window.

Add Your Software

Your VPS is now a blank slate ready and waiting for your customization.  When you decide what software you want to add to your server, click on the RDP link next the VM name to open it.

Enter your admin password and connect to the server. When you are connected, you will see that it looks like a normal desktop. You can now add your software and applications to create a customized server for your project.

If you’re ready to create a VPS for your next project and don’t have an account with us yet, head on over to our Windows VPS Hosting options to get started. Cytanium also offers simple Windows Site Hosting options that are pre-configured if you don’t need the additional power and customization offered in VPS hosting.

Mar 272012
 
wordpress_icons

In my opinion, there are far more than 10 reasons to use WordPress but these 10 are the most important reasons to point out. If you’re new to WordPress, you may think it’s for bloggers only or it’s too complicated to create your own site. If you have an idea of how you want your website to look but have no idea how to create it or get it up and running, WordPress is a great place to start. It’s one of the best content management systems out there because it’s easy to use right out of the box, quick to setup any theme and customizable with little effort. The best part, it’s free with Cytanium Hosting accounts.

WordPress isn’t just for bloggers, there are thousands of website themes to choose from. Whether you’re looking to start a blog or professional business website, WordPress has something for everyone. You don’t have to be technical or know code to use and customize WordPress themes to your liking either. Let’s look at the top 10 reasons for using the hosted WordPress platform.

1. It’s Free

I usually live by the rule that you get what you pay for. However, WordPress may be the only exception to the rule. There are two free WordPress websites that have different features. WordPress.com is a free website where you can set up a blog and add content to the blog at no charge. WordPress.org is what this article is based on and features a site name that’s indexed in Google, open software, customization and plugin features. It does require hosting but for as little as $2.50 a month, you can have a full WordPress site with access to all the features below. With one click installation, your WordPress site will be up and running in minutes.

2. Anyone Can Use It

You can easily add pictures, write articles, embed video and more with little effort. If you can copy and paste or drag and drop, you can use this platform! The hub of a WordPress website and where you will spend most of your time, is the dashboard. Here, you can organize and manage content, add features and social sharing to your site and change the theme or theme options without having to hard code them using WordPress Plugins.

3. It Does The Work For You

WordPress gives you the look and feel of a code based website but offers everyday users an easier way. Plugins are essentially packaged up code ready for one click installation. They are used in place of  you having to add the code to the website in order to make the changes. There are over 30,000 plugins available in the WordPress Plugin Directory so if there’s a feature you want for your website, chances are there’s a plugin for that!

4. It’s Supported

WordPress paired with Cytanium’s Windows hosting will allow you to make the most of your dollar while being able to handle large amounts of web traffic. Ride out any traffic spike without a problem.

5. It’s Proactive

The WordPress platform has great automation features such as SEO optimization built into its core. With that functionality paired with a  plugin, you’re sure to be off to a running start! Adding a plugin can automate your site to publish articles when you’re busy or even on vacation. Set security in place, and it will email you when someone tries to breach it. Have comments emailed to you for approval before they get published so you can be proactive not reactive.

6. It’s Unrestricted

WordPress is an open source software. That means that you can change the code (providing you know how) or alter the layout however you want without violating the software agreement. Use it however you want or need to without concern.

7. It’s Easy To Navigate

Handling the administration of your WordPress site is easy because it has the look and feel of a word processor. All themes have clear tabs for changing settings, adding or customizing that are easy for the beginner to use. As you learn and grow, so can your experimenting with customization.

8. It’s Customizable

You could spend an eternity looking at all the themes and options WordPress has to choose from or pick something to start out with and change it as you become more familiar with the platform. Many web designers also build beautiful WordPress sites and have them available for purchase. With each theme, there are customizable widgets, layouts, colors and images to choose from. Some offer just a few customizing options while others allow you to build a site your way.

9. It’s Scalable

If you’re new to having an internet presence or want to create a website for a start-up business, you may not have need for more than a one or two page basic website. A hosted WordPress site gives you a cost-effective way to start out and easily expands as your business does. You can add pages or photo galleries, and even an Ecommerce page for online purchases direct from your dashboard at no extra charge.

10. It’s Growing

WordPress is one of the hottest platforms out there for easy website building with a professional appearance. That means developers are creating new plugins and themes everyday to add to the directories. That, along with the forum support and the huge community of WordPress users make it easy to ask questions and get answers in real time. Forums are a great place to learn things to try as you become more familiar with it.

You can build the website of your dreams for a business or create a simple blog for family and friends to keep up with you. The sky’s the limit but whatever you decide to create, make it a WordPress creation!

Mar 202012
 

With the recent control panel update, one new feature is the ability to download your site’s Web Deploy publishing profile directly from the control panel rather than entering the information manually.

Of course you need to first make sure you have Web Deploy enabled for your site.

Once you do, you’ll now see a Web Publishing tab, and one that tab you’ll see a link for “Download Publishing Profile for this web site”. Clicking that link will download the site’s profile for you and both save time, and also avoid error, when setting up WebMatrix or Visual Studio for your deployments.

Web Publishing Profile from the control panel

Happy hosting!