You retain access to your Emerson.build domain for one year after you graduate or leave Emerson. After one year, you will lose access to your Emerson account and your domain along with it. To retain ownership of your domain, you have several options: pay Reclaim Hosting a small yearly fee to keep everything; download your entire site to store on your computer; or move everything over to another hosting provider.
Using Reclaim Hosting
Emerson.build is hosted through Reclaim Hosting. Through our partnership with them, you’re eligible to have your domain and content automatically migrated to a full hosting account at a 20% discount. Follow the instructions below, and Reclaim Hosting will complete your migration for you. You won’t have to provide any login information since they control the servers on both sides.
To sign up for your own Reclaim Hosting domain:
1. Log-in to Emerson.build.
2. Hover your mouse over Manage Your Account in the top navigation menu, and click on Migration Information in the dropdown menu.
3. Click on Get Started in the Migration Offer box.
4. You will be given the option to 1) register a new domain, 2) transfer your domain from another registrar, or 3) use your existing domain and update your nameservers.
If your site’s URL ends in Emerson.build, and you have never used a different URL or purchased hosting from somewhere else, the Register a new domain option allows you to get your own personal domain with Reclaim Hosting (outside of Emerson.build). Your site will no longer be located at “yoursite.emerson.build,” and you’ll be able to purchase a new URL.
If you have purchased (or intend to purchase) a URL from a different hosting company, but still want your site to be hosted with Reclaim Hosting, select the I will use my existing domain and update my nameservers option. Your site will be migrated to a personal Reclaim Hosting account, but then you will have to update the information that tells the other hosting company (that you got your URL from) where your site is located. It’s possible to get your hosting and URL from two separate companies, but it’s often easier and cheaper to get them together.
If you already have a site that’s hosted somewhere else, and want to transfer everything to a personal Reclaim Hosting account, select Transfer your domain from another registrar.
Other Hosting Providers
If you don’t want to continue with Reclaim and would rather use a different hosting company, you can download all your site files independently, purchase a URL, and upload the files to your new domain through FTP.
Installatron is a script installer that allows you to quickly and easily install Web applications to on the Web space. By default, when you use Installatron, the application you add will be automatically upgraded whenever a new version is available (and a backup will be kept, just in case).
Here you’ll login with your Emerson email and password.
Once logged in you’ll be at the homepage of your control panel. You will need to scroll down until you see a section of the Control Panel labeled “Web Applications.” Within this section you will see a link to the Installatron which you should click. Or, you can type “installatron” (without quotes) into the search bar. When you press enter you will automatically be redirected to the Installatron page.
When Installatron opens, you will see a list of any applications you’ve already installed. To install something new, click on the Applications Browser button (labeled with a large star).
A listing of all of the applications you can install be default in Installatron will appear. Browse to the one you want to install, and click the icon.
After clicking the icon, a page will appear with information about the application, links to resources, and a link to install it.
Click “Install this application” when you are ready.
A page will appear with a number of settings you can choose/change. The image below shows these settings; here is a rundown of them:
Location: You’ll need to choose where to install your new application. You can install it at the root of your domain or in a subdomain (which you need to set up first). In addition, you can place your application in a folder (in either your root domain or a subdomain)
Version Information: You can choose a version of the application. Generally, we recommend choosing the default version. It is likely to be the most recent, stable release.
Updates & Database Management: By default, the system is set up to automatically upgrade (and create backups upon upgrading) all applications. In addition, by default, the database will be set up for you automatically. We recommend NOT changing these options.
Username/Password: An username/password will be automatically generated for you. You can choose to change this, if you like.
Website Title: Pick a title for the site that will be created when you install your application. You should change this from the default title!
After installation, you’ll be taken back to the main Installatron page, with details about the application you just installed. At anytime you can come back here to review the application details, back it up manually, or uninstall it.
To get to your new site, you can click the “website” link. What’s more, with certain applications you can use this space to login to the admin area.
In addition, you’ll have received an email with your username/password and a link to your new site.
Installatron, the script installer that is part of the Emerson.build cPanel, allows you to easily install Web applications to your Web space. Below is a list of all of the applications currently available to you through Installatron:
Your Emerson.build cPanel includes a File Manager that allows you to interact directly with the files stored in your webhosting account. This can be useful if you want to upload software that cannot be automatically installed via the Web Applications section of your cPanel, if you need to change the name or permissions of a file or group or files, or if you want to edit a plain text file. To access your files via the File Manager, use these steps:
Login to Emerson.build with your Emerson username and password.
Once logged in you’ll be at the homepage of your control panel. The easiest way to navigate the panel is using the search feature in the top right panel. Click the Search box and type “File Manager” (without the quotes). When you press enter, you will be automatically redirected to the File Manager. You can also find its icon under Files.
On the left side of the “File Manager” window, you’ll see a navigation menu containing the file structure of your webhosting account. More information about the contents of these files and folders can be found in the “File Structures and the File Manager” documentation in this knowledge base.
In the navigation menu, choose the public_html option. This will take you directly into the folder that contains the files associated with your website(s). You’ll notice your current location (the public_html folder) is bolded and highlighted in this menu. Click the [+] (expand) icon next to a folder to see what subfolders it contains, or click on the name of the folder to view all of its contents in the file browser on the right side of the page. You can also navigate through the folders in your account by double-clicking on them in the file browser on the right side of the “File Manager” page.
To select an item, click once on its icon in the file browser. You can also use the “Select All” button above the file browser, or your computer’s keyboard shortcuts (Shift, Command, Control, etc), to select multiple items from this list.
Depending on what you have selected, different options will be available to you in the action menu across the top of the “File Manager” page. If you have selected a folder, for example, you can “Rename” it or “Change Permissions” on it, but cannot edit it using the Code Editor or HTML Editor.
If you know exactly what location you want to skip to within your webhosting account, you can type it into the box directly above the navigation menu and click Go.
Alternatively, if you know the exact name of the file or folder you are looking for, but not its location, you can use the Search box to find it.
Web hosting is, at its core, files and folders on a computer that is connected to the internet and setup to distribute them. How that computer (typically a server) is setup to do that is covered more in LAMP Environments but this article will explain the idea of the file structure and how it relates to what you view on your domain.
When you signed up for your domain a web hosting account was created. Although you typically will interact mostly with the web interface to create subdomains, install applications, and other common tasks, you might occasionally also need to work directly with the files in your account. The File Manager in your cPanel is one way to see these files. You can also create an FTP account in cPanel and use an FTP program to interact with these files (FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and it’s a way of using a desktop client to transfer files to and from your Web server space).
Let’s take a look at the File Manager built into your cPanel to get a better understanding of the file structure that makes up your website(s).
Login to cPanel with your Emerson username and password.
On the homepage of your control panel you’ll have all the various tools listed. You can easily find the File Manager by using the search tool in the upper righthand corner and typing File Manager. You can also find its icon under Files.
You are now sent to the File Manager and can navigate the folder structure there.
You’ll notice when the File Manager opens up that this looks very much like a folder on your computer. There are a few folders in it as well as files, and you can navigate down into those folders and see what’s inside of them. At the top level of the File Manager you also have the option of interacting with files and folders you select by moving them around or removing them. There is a larger article all about how to use the file manager at Accessing Your Files through the File Manager so we won’t talk much about how the interface works, rather we’ll cover what those folders and files actually mean and how they relate to what someone sees when they visit your website.
By default you have a variety of folders at the root of your web space (the first screen you see when you open up the file manager). Some of them are created automatically to store information about the panel and setup of certain sites. These folders are things like access-logs, etc, ssl, and tmp. You can safely ignore most of those folders because they don’t correspond to actual websites. Let’s look at which folders do and how it all works.
Your main domain, mydomain.com, corresponds with a folder called “public_html.” Whatever files and folders are inside of this folder are available at that domain. If you installed WordPress here you’ll likely see a lot of WordPress-related files within it (which were probably helpfully put there by the automated installer). Let’s say we uploaded an image called mypicture.jpg into the public_html folder. That image would now be available at mydomain.com/mypicture.jpg. The slash after your domain implies “this file is inside this folder”. But what if we had a folder inside the public_html folder? How does that appear? This is typically called a subfolder so let’s put a folder in public_html called “images” and put our image, mypicture.jpg, inside of that folder. What would you type in a browser to get to that file now? The location would be mydomain.com/images/mypicture.jpg. So subfolders are also indicated by a forward slash after a domain.
What about subdomains? You can have completely separate sites called subdomains that appear as nameofsubdomain.mydomain.com. But where are they in the file structure? When you created your subdomain the control panel asked you to give the folder a name. If I had a subdomain called photos.mydomain.com for example, I might want to name the folder “photos” (by default your control panel will call the folder by the name of the subdomain). Folders for subdomains are located inside the public_html folder. So when you go to the File Manager and navigate to public_html you’ll see folders listed for all of your subdomains and once you navigate inside one of those folders you’ll see files and folders specifically for that subdomain that appear on the web at that subdomain’s address.
The File Manager in your control panel is great to view these files and folders, but it can be limiting if you want to upload an entire folder of information to your website. If you find yourself wanting to do more with the files and folders on your web space, you can download a free FTP program like Filezilla for PC or Cyberduck for Mac and connect to your website using the FTP credentials provided in the welcome email you receive when you first register your domain. Keep this welcome email in a safe place! An FTP program will allow you to upload and download an unlimited number of files and folders quickly.
Creating an email address in the control panel creates a mailbox on the server for mail to be delivered to. In some cases this might be desired if you want to maintain full control of the email you receive, however in many cases users may wish to simply create an Email Forwarder that sets up a custom email address and sends all mail sent to it on to the address of your choice. This article will show you how to setup both methods.
On the homepage of the control panel you will see a section titled Email that contains several tools for setting up email addresses. To get started, go to the Email Accounts page.
This screen will allow us to setup an email address that uses a mailbox stored on the server. You will be able to access mail sent to this email address either through a webmail client or a desktop/mobile client directly. Enter the desired email address as well as a password to associate with that email address. You can choose to set a quota for how large of a mailbox you need, or set this to unlimited (keep in mind your quota will still be dictated by the limits of the hosting account). Once you’re done click Create Account.
Your email address is created and it’s ready to be used. Scroll down the page to see your newly created account listed under Email Accounts. You have the choice of accessing your new email address via the webmail options built into your control panel, or setting up a mail client directly from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. These options appear as links under Actions to the right of where your email address is listed. The More button allows you to suspend your address, access webmail, configure calendars and contacts, and manage disk usage.
If you already have an email address you want to use, such as a Gmail or Hotmail account, you may wish to create an Email Forwarder instead of a mailbox. Setting up a forwarder is very simple. Start by clicking on Forwarders from the Mail section of your control panel homepage.
The first screen will show you any existing forwarders that you have created. To setup a new forwarding account, click Add Forwarder.
To create a new forwarding account, simply type in the desired email address as well as the email address you’d like all mail to be forwarded to. When you are done click Add Forwarder.
You have now successfully created an Email Forwarder and all email sent to your custom email address will be forwarded on to the address you entered.
There are a number of scenarios which might necessitate placing files directly onto your server space rather than going through an application like WordPress or Omeka. For example:
You’re working with an application that allows you to install plugins/extensions, but the files need to be manually moved to the server in order to add them. (Note: This is NOT required with WordPress which allows you to install plugins through your WP Dashboard while in your browser.)
You’ve developed a custom site with pages, styling, and/or scripts using a web design or coding program. Those files you created need to live and run on the server.
One way to upload files is by using the File Manager that is part of cPanel. However, sometimes you’ll find it necessary or simply easier to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to move files to the server. This can be particularly useful if you’re working with a website where more users than just the owner will be working with the file structure. Only the owner has access to the File Manager in the site’s cPanel, so the owner would need to grant separate file management access to any other users.
What exactly is FTP?
File Transfer Protocol is a method that allows you to remotely move files to a web server from another location – usually your local/personal computer. Using a pre-defined FTP account (which gives you a username and password to connect with), you can configure your FTP client (a program you run on your computer that allows you to transfer files via FTP) of choice.
There are lots of FTP clients that you can use; some are free and some are not. A couple of free, cross-platform options are:
SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) should be used whenever possible in order to safeguard your credentials. FTP sends your access credentials and the data you’re transferring to the server in plain text, which makes that information vulnerable to network sniffing. You should always use SFTP and connect on port 22 for your special cPanel account (discussed more in the section below).
However, any additional FTP accounts that you create will only be able to connect via FTP on port 21. For these accounts, it’s important to ensure that you don’t reuse a password from another site and that you grant the accounts only as much access to your server as absolutely necessary to accomplish the task you need them for.
Your special cPanel FTP account
When you sign up for Emerson.build, you receive a special FTP account that has full privileges to access any space on your web server. This account’s username corresponds to your cPanel username and, depending on when you signed up for build, you may have been assigned a pre-generated password.
Due to the high-level of access this account has, please follow the following precautions when using it:
Do not share this account’s credentials with anyone else.
Always use SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) while connecting with this account in your FTP client.
Setting / resetting your cPanel account FTP password
When you first sign up for Emerson.build, you will need to set the password for your special FTP account. The steps for setting the password for the first time are the same as those to reset a forgotten password.
Note: if you signed up for Emerson.build prior to February 2019, you received a welcome email containing the connection information for your special FTP account, including your account’s password. These credentials will still work. If you no longer have this email saved and have forgotten the account’s credentials, please follow the steps below to set a new one.
Login to your Emerson.build cPanel.
In the black Admin bar at the top of the window, hover over “Manage Your Account“.
Click “FTP Information”
Under the “FTP Connection Settings” section, enter your desired password into the “Set Password” field.
Getting the required information for your FTP client
Whether you’re connecting to your own server space or setting up an FTP account for someone else to use to connect to your space, you’ll need the same sorts of information to configure an FTP client (username, password, hostname).
Using your special cPanel FTP account
Login to your Emerson.build cPanel.
In the black Admin bar at the top of the window, hover over “Manage Your Account“.
Click “FTP Information“.
The information you’ll need is listed under “FTP Connection Settings“.
Creating a new, additional FTP account
Login to your Emerson.build cPanel.
Under the “Add FTP Account” heading, enter the following:
The new account’s username in the “Log In” box.
A password for the account in both Password fields.
Alternatively, click the “Password Generator” button to have one generated for you.
The “Strength” line will indicate how secure the password you’ve entered is.
Note: you will need to save this password somewhere secure. If you lose the password in the future, you will need to set a new one from this page.
By default, the new FTP account will have limited access only to a directory with the same name as the account you’re creating.
You can change this to a different directory, if you want to grant this account access to a different location.
You can enter a quota limit for this account or leave it as the default (unlimited). You can change this at any time after the account’s been created.
Click “Create FTP Account” when you’re done.
You’ll see the new account appear in the list under the “FTP Accounts” heading.
Note: If you set this account up to provide access to someone else, you will need to send them the username, password, and server information.
Using an additional FTP account
After an FTP account has been created, you can find the connection information by following the instructions below:
Login to your Emerson.build cPanel.
Click “FTP Accounts” under the “Files” section.
Scroll to the “FTP Accounts” heading.
Click “Configure FTP Client” to get the username and server information for the account.
If you need to set a new password, you can do so on this screen.
Alternatively, if an FTP account is no longer needed, you have the option to delete it.
Configure FTP in Your FTP Client
Below are links to tutorials for setting up both FileZilla and CyberDuck to connect to your FTP account. If you’re using a different client, please check that client’s documentation site.
A subdomain is one way of organizing and separating content on your site. To create a subdomain, use the following steps:
Login to Emerson.build with your Emerson username and password to access your cPanel. Once logged in, you’ll be at the homepage of your control panel. The easiest way to navigate the panel is using the Search box in the top right panel. Click the Search box and type “subdomains” (without the quotes). Then, scroll down and click the Subdomains button on the cPanel.
Choose a name for your subdomain and type it into the Subdomain box. Just like top-level domains (e.g. createoutestdomain.com), subdomains can only contain numbers, letters, and hyphens, and the best subdomains are simple, short, and descriptive. Once you’ve typed in a name, cPanel will automatically populate the Document root field for you. This will create a folder to contain your subdomain’s files. You’ll usually want this folder to match the name of your subdomain, so it’s easy to identify where different files live in your account. You might want to change the document root if you already have a folder in your account that has the same name as the subdomain you are trying to create, although this should be rare.
Once you’re done, click Create. If everything went well, you should see a message that your subdomain was created successfully. Your subdomain will now be available as an option for automatic installation of various software (WordPress, MediaWiki, etc). If you prefer to install web applications manually, you can do so in the document root (folder) you created in step 5.
There are two primary strategies for parceling up your web space. You can create subdomains or subdirectories. Before you can understand the difference, you need to first understand what we mean when we talk about your root domain.
Let’s say you’ve registered a new custom domain name called yourdomain.com. Anything that is stored at this core URL is considered to be at the root of your domain. Nothing comes before or after the address. If you only want to have a single site on your web host (say a blog running WordPress), then you can set that blog up at your domain’s root. To get to your blog in this scenario, users would simply go to yourdomain.com.
As we discuss in the “What is a Subdomain?” portion of this documentation, subdomains are one option for organizing your Emerson.build space if you want to do something more complex than having a single site at your domain’s root. Subdomains serve two purposes: they help to organize the site from a technical perspective and they help users identify at a glance that they are in a new/different space.
The alternative for organizing your space is to set up subdirectories. These function much like file folders on your computer. Instead of creating a blog at blog.yourdomain.com you could place it in a subdirectory called “blog” making the address yourdomain.com/blog.
Setting up a subdirectory is really easy. You can create folders on the fly when installing applications (like WordPress) and you can also manually create them in your File Manager.
There is one particular issue you need to be aware of when using subdirectories. Let’s say you’ve installed WordPress to be your primary blog at yourdomain.com and you’ve created a page in this WordPress blog with the URL yourdomain.com/gallery to put pictures on. Later, you decide you want to create an image gallery site using a new application. You want to place it in a subdirectory “gallery” so that viewers can access it at yourdomain.com/gallery. However, this URL is already taken by the WordPress gallery page. If you try to create a subdirectory of the same name, you’ll get a conflict and errors. Either the existing page or the new application will need a new URL. If you choose to rename the existing page, that will break any links or bookmarks that users may have saved.
Tips & Review
Subdomains must be created first before you can install anything in them. However, you’re less likely to get conflicts or errors.
For Emerson.build sites, your default domain name is already itself a subdomain of emerson.build. This means that when you create a new subdomain of this domain, it will be of the form: subdomain.yourdomain.emerson.build.
Subdirectories are easier to set up and can be created during the application installation process. They can, however, result in conflicts with existing pages of your site.
As soon as you create subdomains or subdirectories to organize your site, you need to consider how people are going to find them. If you’ve created a new primary blog at blog.yourdomain.com, and someone goes to just yourdomain.com, they won’t see that new site. It is possible to set up redirects to avoid this issue. You can also always create links from pages on one subdomain of your site to another.
If you really just need one site, sometimes installing at the root of your domain is the easiest thing to do, at least as you’re getting started. You can always add more pieces to your territory later with either subdomains or subdirectories.
Remember back before everyone had computers that fit in their pocket, how companies would ship a book full of phone numbers to your doorstep? We might have known who we were looking for, but we needed to look up phone numbers unless they were your crazy relatives that you learned to memorize. When you get your own domain name, by default it’s nothing more than a shortcut, an address, or (to fit this very imperfect analogy) a phone number. When you type a domain name into the address bar of your browser, someone has to identify it and tell it what to display. That’s where a name server comes in.
A name server is a computer, running as a server, that keeps a record of all the domain names that are associated with it and keeps track of where those domains should go. In the case of Emerson.build, the name server is the same computer that runs the hosting. You can peek behind the hood and see this in action by going to the 'Domains' panel of your cPanel account and clicking on 'Zone Editor', then 'Manage' next to your domain in the table.
DNS stands for Domain Name System and the name server on Emerson.build gives control to it to identify what should be displayed when someone types in your domain. Consider the fact that you might have one or more subdomains in your account. The name server and DNS are able to identify those subdomains and let the world wide web know that they exist and point to some files/folders on a computer somewhere.
When you signed up for a domain through the Emerson.build system your name servers were chosen for you. So when people type in your address, the server responds with information about your account. When you migrate an account away from one hosting platform (like Emerson.build) and onto a new service, it will require you to change the name servers so that your domain name points to a new server with its own files and structure. It’s also possible to have subdomains that point to entirely different servers than Emerson.build. For example, you could have a subdomain that looks to Tumblr for files.