VMS Manager

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Contents

Introduction to the VMS Manager

This WebsiteOS function is only available to owners of Virtual Managed Server packages. The VMS Manager allows you to manage multiple domains from a central WebsiteOS login. After logging in using one of domains and the root password, you will have full WebsiteOS access and you can switch between the domains within the package. To access the VMS Manager, log into the WebsiteOS using one of domains and your root password. Click the VMS Manager from the WebsiteOS main menu. The VMS Manager allows you to perform activities in the following areas:

  • Domain Settings
    This section allows you to manage the status and configuration of the domains in your VMS.
  • VMS Settings
    In this area, you can change the branding, master password, and import domains.
  • Billing Settings
    This section allows you to enable, configure and modify the automated billing system.

Domain settings

Main options

You will be presented with several domain-related options; each option, along with a brief description is listed below. For more details, please refer to each option's associated topic heading.

  • Change Applications
    This option allows you to modify the applications that are available to one or more domains.
  • Change Forwarding
    You can set, modify, or disable domain forwarding for one or more domains. You can also set the catchall email address with this option. This function is only available for Forwarded accounts. Only forwarded accounts are affected.
  • Change Package Type
    With this option, you can modify the package type of one or more domains.
  • Change Status
    This option allows you to modify the status of one or more domains to enabled, disabled or suspended.
  • Modify Emails
    You can modify the number of email addresses available to one or more domains with this option. Only hosted accounts are affected.
  • Switch to
    This option allows you to automatically log in to a selected domain. You will be automatically logged out of the domain you are currently logged in with.
  • Update Contact Information
    With this option, you can update the contact information for a single domain, or a group of domains which have the same owner.
  • Update Password
    You can change the password for one or more domains. Please note that reusing a password can increase the chance of illicit access to one or more domains in your VMS.

You can also view a list of domains currently residing within your VMS. You can sort through this list using either the "search" field or the "view" drop-down menu.

  • Typing a full or partial search string and clicking "go" allows you to search for domain name matches. E.g. typing "mydomain" and clicking "go" will search for all domains which have "mydomain" in their name.
  • Selecting an option from the drop-down list (choices are "all", "hosted", "forwarded", "parked", "enabled", "disabled" and "suspended") displays all domains which have attribute you selected.

Change applications

When you select one or more domains in your VMS which are hosted or forwarded accounts, clicking "change application" will present you with a list of applications, with checkmarks beside the applications that have been enabled. If you have selected more than one account, then only applications which are enabled for all selected accounts will have a checkmark displayed beside them.

To disable one or more applications for the domains you have selected, simply remove the checkmark beside each application, and click "ok" or "apply". To enable one or more applications, place a checkmark beside each desired application, and click "ok" or "apply".

Clicking "cancel" will abort any unsaved selections you may have made, and return you to the domain settings main menu.

Please note that enabling applications which are not permitted by a domain's package type (e.g. enabling EasySiteWizard for a parked domain) will still not be accessible within WebsiteOS for that domain.

Change forwarding

Selecting one or more forwarded accounts and clicking on the "change forwarding" option allows you to set up, modify, or turn off domain forwarding for the domains you have selected. Please note that if in your initial selection you include parked or hosted accounts, they will not show up in the list and are not affected by any changes you make with this option; only forwarded accounts are affected.

  • To remove the current forwarding address, check "remove the current forwarding URL" and click "apply" or "ok".
  • To remove the current catchall email address, check "remove the current catchall email address" and click "apply" or "ok".

To set or modify the forwarding address for the selected domains, enter an address in the "set forward to" text box, specify the forwarding type, and click "apply" or "ok". There are two forwarding types to choose form: "frameset" and "htaccess". The difference between the two is as follows:

  • Frameset
    Visitors are forwarded to the indicated URL, but the original address entered will still be displayed in the visitor's web browser. Use this option if you do not want it to be immediately obvious to visitors that they have been redirected to another site.
  • htaccess
    Visitors will be able to see what address they have been forwarded to. Use this option if you would prefer repeat visitors to type in the address they were forwarded to.

You can also set a "catchall" email address. Any email which is sent to a domain with a catchall will be automatically forwarded to the address specified.

Example: On yourdomain.com, the catchall email address catchall@someaddress.com (a valid email address that has previously been set up elsewhere) was entered. A visitor to yourdomain.com sends an email to somebody@yourdomain.com. While this is not a valid email address on yourdomain.com, because a catchall email address has been set up, this email is still accepted and forwarded to catchall@someaddress.com. If no catchall had been set up, the email would have been bounced back to the sender, with a "user unknown" error.

To set up a catchall email address, enter a valid email address into the "set catchall email to" text box, and click "apply" or "ok".

Clicking "cancel" ignores any unsaved changes you have made, and returns you to the domain settings main menu.

Change package type

To change the package type for the selected domains, select a package type from the drop-down menu provided, and click "apply" or "ok". The following package types are available:

  • Hosted
    Hosted accounts are domains with email and web hosting included.
  • Parked
    These accounts are domains without email or web hosting. Parked accounts cannot be forwarded, and cannot use an email catchall.
  • Forwarded
    Accounts of this type are similar to parked accounts, but the domain can be set to forward visitors to a different website. While forwarded accounts still cannot have email accounts assigned to them, a catchall email address can be set up for the domain.

Clicking "cancel" aborts any unsaved changes, and returns you to the domain settings main menu.

Modify emails

Every VMS package comes with a certain number of "floater" email accounts; these are email accounts which can be assigned to hosted accounts within a VMS. The VMS owner can decide how these floaters are assigned using the "Modify emails" interface.

For the hosted domains which you haves selected, the number of email accounts assigned can be adjusted using the drop-down menu and text box provided in this interface. The drop-down menu provides the following options:

  • Set To
    Choosing "set to" and entering a number in the text box provided will set all selected hosted accounts to have the number of additional email boxes you have indicated. Please note that if a specific domain already has more email accounts in use than you have specified, the new limit is imposed without deleting accounts. The domain will not be able to create more email accounts; if an account is deleted by the user, another cannot be created until the user is below the new limit.
  • Add
    Selecting this option from the drop-down menu and entering a number in the text box provided allows you to add the specified number of email accounts to all selected domains.
  • Remove
    Choosing this option from the drop-down menu and entering a number in the text box provided allows you to remove the specified number of email accounts from all selected domains. Please note that if a specific domain already has more email accounts in use than the new limit specifies, the limit is imposed without deleting accounts. The domain will not be able to create more email accounts; if an account is deleted by the user, another cannot be created until the user is below the new limit.

Choosing an option from the drop-down menu, specifying a quantity in the textbox provided, and clicking "ok" or "apply" will readjust the number of additional email boxes for all selected accounts. Please note that it is not possible to delete accounts currently in use by a specific domain, nor is it possible to assign more floater emails are available. The total number of floaters, along the number of floaters currently unassigned, is displayed at the bottom of this interface.

Clicking "cancel" aborts any unsaved changes, and returns you to the domain settings main menu.

Switch to

Using the "Switch to" option in the VMS manager allows you to automatically log in to any account in your VMS. Please note that this will also cause you to be logged out of whatever VMS account you are presently logged in with.

To switch your login to a different VMS account: select a domain from the list on the Main Options page, and click "Switch to".

Clicking "cancel" returns you to the domain settings main menu without changing domains.

Update contact information

You can update the contact information for one or more selected domains using the "update contact information" option.

In this interface, the domain owner's contact information, such as their mailing address, email address and phone number is displayed, and can be edited. Please note that if you have selected more than one domain to update, only the information which is common to all domains will be listed; all other fields will be blank. Please note that if you leave such a field blank and then save any changes you have made elsewhere, this means that the "blank" field has not been modified; the original values in that field for each domain will be kept.

If you want to delete all contact information for the domains you have selected, place a checkmark beside "delete contact information..." and click "apply" or "ok".

If you would like to load contact information from another domain, select the domain from the drop-down menu provided and click "apply" or "ok".

Please note: If you intend to use the automated billing system, each domain must have at least the contact email address filled out.

When you are finished, click "apply" or "ok" to save your changes.

Clicking "cancel" returns you to the domain settings main menu, and discards any unsaved changes.

Update password

The "update password" option can be used to change the password for one or more selected domains.

To change the password for all domains selected, enter the new password in the field provided and click "apply" or "ok". Please note that using the same password for multiple domains can increase the chance of illicit access to one or more domains in your VMS.

Clicking "cancel" aborts the process and returns you to the domain settings main menu.

Please note: If you wish to change the master password for your VMS, you must use the "change master password" function found in the main VMS configuration menu.

Change status

To change the status of one or more accounts, select one or more domains form the domain list, and click "change status". You can change the status of an account to one of four settings:

  • Enabled
    Accounts with this status are fully-functional; end-user access is unrestricted.
  • Suspended
    Accounts which have been suspended are not accessible by FTP or through WebsiteOS, but pages from this domain are still served to browsers (the website is still "up").
  • Disabled
    Disabled accounts are not accessible by FTP or through WebsiteOS, and pages from this domain will not be served to browsers (existing content is not deleted, but is no longer viewable).
  • Delete
    This setting will flag the selected domains for deletion. This will delete all website content.

VMS Settings

Main options

You will be presented with up to three VMS-related options; each option, along with a brief description is listed below. For more details, please refer to each option's associated topic heading.

  • Change branding
    This option allows you to include a custom banner or logo in WebsiteOS, as well as upload a custom "under construction" page.
  • Change master password
    You can change your master or "root" password. This password can be used with WebsiteOS to log in to any domain in your VMS package. When selecting a master password, please make sure your password will not be easy to guess; avoid using obvious passwords such as "master" or "administrator". Any password which includes a combination of numbers and letters, and is at least 6 characters long, is generally considered to be a secure password.
  • Import domain(s)
    You can import one or more domains into your VMS package with this option.

Change branding

The "change branding" option allows you to upload a custom "under construction" page, set up a custom WebsiteOS logo and logo link.

  • To set up a custom "under construction" page, you must first create your own html page. This page must be a single file which does not exceed 10Kb. Enter the path to the file in the textbox provided, or use the "browse" button to locate the file. Click "upload" to upload the file.
  • To remove a custom "under construction" page, place a checkmark beside "remove the current under construction page", and click "apply" or "ok".
  • To set up a custom WebsiteOS logo (which will appear in the bottom-right corner of the interface in WebsiteOS), you must first upload your image to a website using an FTP program. You can also use the File Manager if you are uploading to a domain you can access via WebsiteOS. Once you have your logo uploaded, you can enter the URL where this image is located using the text box provided. Click "ok" or "apply" to save this information.
  • To remove a custom logo, place a checkmark beside "remove the current logo", and click "apply" or "ok". Please note that the image itself is still located wherever you uploaded it; WebsiteOS will simply no longer display it.
  • You can also make your logo a clickable link, by using the textbox provided to specify a URL the logo will link to. Click "apply" or "ok" to save the link.
  • To remove a logo link, place a checkmark beside "remove current logo link", and click "apply" or "ok".

Change master password

Your master password can be used to access any domain in your VMS package; it is not associated with any specific domain. You can use the "change master password" link to change it.

To change your master password, use the three textboxes provided to enter the current password, and the new one you want to use twice for confirmation. Click "apply" or "ok" to save the change.

Clicking "cancel" aborts any unsaved changes, and returns you to the VMS settings main options menu.

Adding domains

It is not possible to create new accounts with the VMS manager. This is because new domain names have to be purchased before they can be used. You can also import existing domains into your VMS account. In order to do this, you will need to know the user's domain name and WebsiteOS password.

You can import multiple domains by selecting the "Import Domain(s)" option. The interface is used as follows:

  • Initially the interface only provides for importing a single domain. Using "import another" button, you can add more fields, allowing you to import more domains at once. A maximum of 10 domains can be selected per transaction.
  • Enter the username and password associated with each domain.
  • Click "import" to import the domains.
  • Clicking "cancel" aborts the process and returns you to the VMS settings main options.

Billing settings

What the automated billing system does

For customers paying by credit card:

  • Accounts which are due for billing are placed in a queue, which is processed nightly.
  • If the account is charged successfully, the customer receives a notification by email, indicating the amount billed. The expiry date for the account is reset.
  • Accounts which are not successfully billed (i.e. credit card declined) are kept in the billing queue for 12 days.
    • An email notification is sent to the customer every time billing is unsuccessful, indicating that the credit card was declined.

For customers paying by check:

  • Accounts which are due for billing are placed in a queue, which is processed nightly.
  • An invoice, detailing the amount due, is emailed to the customer.
  • The expiry date for the account is reset.

Main options

You will be presented with several billing-related options; each option, along with a brief description is listed below. For more details, please refer to each option's associated topic heading.

  • Billing Preferences
    The billing preferences interface will allow you to set up a billing start date, as well as configure the contact information provided in emails sent out automatically by the billing system. Please note, for automated credit card processing, you must also configure a payment gateway.
  • Custom Billing
    This interface allows you to set up billing and custom pricing for an individual or a group of domains in your VMS. You can also set up one-time fees, and view invoices in this section.
  • Payment Gateway Settings
    Through this interface, you can select a payment gateway from a list of compatible gateways, and configure your billing system to perform automated credit-card processing. In order to configure a payment gateway properly, you must first purchase a merchant account from one of the gateway providers on the list.
  • Products & Pricing
    This interface allows you to set up the default prices for your hosting products. The default prices can be overridden for individuals or groups of domains in your VMS using the "Custom Billing" interface.

Payment gateway settings

You can configure a payment gateway using this interface. Having a configured (and enabled) payment gateway allows the automated billing system to charge your customers by credit card. The VMS manager supports a wide assortment of payment gateways; the complete list of supported gateways is shown within this interface.

To configure a payment gateway:

  1. Click on the "configure" button beside the payment gateway you want to set up for credit card processing. You will be taken to the configuration interface for the gateway you have chosen.
  2. If you have not already done so, you will first need to contact the gateway provider and request an account. You can open their homepage in a new browser window by clicking on the banner graphic displayed on the screen.
  3. Once you have obtained an account, the gateway provider will send you the information required to fill out the configuration interface within the VMS Manager. Fill out the form, select a currency (if applicable), place a checkmark beside "enable credit card billing using this gateway", and click "apply" or "ok".
  4. Your gateway has now been configured, and is ready to use.

To disable a payment gateway:

  1. Click on the "edit" button beside the currently active payment gateway.
  2. Remove the checkmark beside "enable credit card billing using this gateway", and click "apply" or "ok".
  3. Your gateway has now been disabled. Please note: If automated billing is enabled, you cannot disable a payment gateway without first disabling automated billing.

Billing preferences

You can enable automated billing by clicking on the "billing preferences" link, found under the main Billing interface in the VMS manager interface.

Please note: To enable automated billing, you must first configure a payment gateway.

To enable automated billing, do the following:

  • Place a checkmark beside "Enable Billing". If you only want to configure settings without enabling billing, then leave this box unchecked for now.
  • Enter a billing start date. The start date must be later than the current date.
  • If you are legally required to charge some form of duty or sales tax, enter the name of the tax and the tax rate (as a percentage, without the %). To find out if you should charge some form of tax when billing customers, please consult applicable sales tax laws for your region.
  • Enter your contact information. This information is displayed in automated messages which are sent out by the billing system. At a minimum, you must fill in the following contact information:
    • Company name
    • Street Address
    • City
    • Province/State
    • Country
    • ZIP/Postal Code
    • Phone Number
    • Email address

Click "apply" or "ok" to save your settings and enable billing (if the box at the top has been checked).

To discard any unsaved changes, and leave the billing settings in their previous state, click "cancel".

Custom billing

Custom billing

The custom billing section allows VMS owners to:

  • Set or modify the billing method, billing interval, and credit card information for the default billing scheme.
  • Create custom billing schemes for an individual or group of domains, which overrides default billing settings found in the Products & Pricing interface.
  • Set up and review additional one-time fees.
  • Review invoices.

Detailed explanations can be found in the sections that follow.

Billing details

This section of the interface will allow you to set up standard or custom billing. Please note that when viewing the list of domains in your VMS with this interface, only domains whose status is set to "enabled" and have a contact email address filled in are billable.

For detailed step-by-step instructions to enable custom and standard billing, follow one of the links below:

How to set up standard billing

How to set up custom billing

You must have billing enabled in order to bill customers. For more information, see "How to enable billing".

One-time fees

It is possible to set up additional one-time fees for specific domains. These one-time fees can be processed during a customer's standard billing cycle, or have a custom billing date set.

To set up a one-time fee:

  1. In the Custom Billing interface, select the domains you wish to apply a one-time fee to.
  2. Click on "add one-time fees".
  3. In the Add One-time Fees interface, enter the amount of the fee, a brief description of what the fee is for, and set the billing date. If you select a custom billing date, you must select a date that is later than the current date.
  4. Click "ok". Your one-time fee has been applied to all selected domains.

To review one-time fees:

  1. In the Custom Billing interface, select the domains that you wish to review.
  2. Click on "review pending one-time fees".
  3. A list of pending one-time fees will be displayed for each domain selected. To view the details of a one-time fee, click on the fee's ID number. As long as you are only reviewing fees, you can keep clicking on ID numbers to view other fees in the list.
  4. If you wish, you can edit the amount, description or billing date for the fee. You can also mark the fee for deletion by placing a checkmark beside the "delete" option.
  5. When you are finished reviewing or making modifications to a fee, you may do one of the following:
    • Click "apply" to save modifications or delete the selected fee (if marked for deletion), if you wish to review, modify or delete additional fees.
    • Click "ok" to save modifications or delete the selected fee (if marked for deletion), and return to the Custom Billing interface.
    • Click "cancel" if you want to abort any unsaved changes you may have made to the current fee you are reviewing. You will be returned to the Custom Billing interface.

Invoices

Invoices can be reviewed on a per-domain basis. To review a domain's invoices:

  1. From the Custom Billing interface, select the domain for which you would like to view invoices.
  2. Click "invoices".
  3. In the Invoices interface, you will be presented with a list of invoices for the domain you have selected.
  4. Click on an invoice to view it. You can manually set an invoice as "paid" by placing a checkmark beside "mark as paid" and clicking "apply" or "ok".
    • You can also email a copy of an invoice to a customer by clicking "email invoice".

Note: if the domain you selected has not completed at least one billing cycle, you will not see any invoices.

Products & pricing

The products and pricing interface allows you to set the default billing rate for hosted and forwarded account types. You can set default rates for monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual billing intervals. You can also configure a one-time "setup fee" for hosted and forwarded accounts.

HOW TOs

How to enable billing

Follow these step-by-step instructions to enable the automated billing system. Please note that these instructions do not cover obtaining a merchant account for credit card processing, or setting up accounts for billing. These functions are covered in separate HOWTOs.

  1. Log in to WebsiteOS using your master (root) VMS password.
  2. Launch the VMS Manager application.
  3. Click on the "billing" link on the left-hand side of the interface.
  4. Click on "payment gateway settings".
  5. Choose a payment gateway form the list (you must have first obtained a merchant account with the gateway provider to use this). Click on "configureā€¦"
  6. Fill out all required fields, using the information you obtained from the gateway provider when you obtained your merchant account. If your gateway provider supports billing in different currencies, please make sure the correct currency is selected.
  7. Place a checkmark beside "enable credit card billing using this gateway".
  8. Click "ok".
  9. You will be returned to the previous menu, except you should see that your payment gateway is listed at the top as "enabled".
  10. Click "ok". You will be returned to the previous menu.
  11. Click "billing preferences". You will be taken to the billing preferences interface
  12. Place a checkmark beside "enable billing".
  13. If your country or region requires you to apply a sales tax to all billing transactions, please fill in the name of the tax and the tax rate as a percentage. Do not include the "%" symbol. E.g. if your tax is 7 percent, enter "7" into the tax rate field.
  14. Enter a billing start date. This date must be later than the current date (i.e. set to tomorrow or later). This is the starting point from which billing cycles will be determined.
  15. The automated billing system sends out automatic notifications to your customers. The information in the "message configuration" section must be filled out in order for these messages to be sent out. At a minimum, you must fill in all fields marked with an asterisk (*).
  16. Click "ok"

You have now enabled the billing system for use with a payment gateway. Please note that any existing domains must have billing information filled in before they will be billed.

How to delete a domain

To delete one or more domains in your VMS:

  • Select one or more domains from the domain list.
  • Click "change status".
  • Set the status to "delete". This will flag the selected domains for deletion. This will delete all website content.

How to set up standard billing

To set up billing for forwarded and hosted domains, using the standard prices indicated in Products & Pricing:

  1. First, set your billing preferences and enable billing using the Billing Preferences interface. If you wish to bill by credit card, you will also need to set up a payment gateway in the Payment Gateway Settings interface.
  2. In the Custom Billing interface, use the "view" drop-down menu to select all hosted domains. The domain list will refresh, displaying only hosted domains. Click on the checkbox at the top of the domain list to select all the domains.
  3. Click on the "billing details" link.
  4. Select a billing cycle using the "billing frequency" drop-down menu.
  5. The price will be automatically entered in the Price field.
  6. Set the payment type to "free" (you will change this later).
  7. Click "ok".
  8. In the Custom Billing interface, select all hosted domains which should have their payment type set to "check". Click on "billing details".
  9. In the Billing Details interface, set the payment type to "check".
  10. Click "ok".
  11. In the Custom Billing interface, select a hosted domain which should have its payment type set to "credit card". Click on "Billing Details". (Note: if multiple hosted domains need to be billed to the same credit card, you can select them all at once).
  12. In the Billing Details interface, set the payment type to "credit card".
  13. Fill out the cardholder name, card number and expiry date.
  14. Click "ok".
  15. Repeat steps 11-14 until all hosted domains which should be billed by credit card have been set up.
  16. Repeat steps 1-15, selecting Forwarded accounts instead of Hosted.
  17. To set up custom billing for one or more domains, select the affected domains from the list, and click on "Billing details". You will be asked to fill out a custom billing schema which will be applied to the selected domains.

How to set up custom billing

To set up custom billing for forwarded and hosted domains, use the following method:

  1. Select the domain or group of domains which will have custom billing settings. When selecting multiple domains, ensure all domains are of the same type (i.e. Hosted or Forwarded).
  2. Click "Billing Details".
  3. Select a custom billing frequency. The default price will be entered. You may override this price by entering a custom quantity.
  4. Set a custom billing start date. This date must be later than the present date.
  5. Set the payment type; if "credit card" is selected, fill out the credit card billing information. Note: When multiple domains are selected, credit card billing information is applied to all domains selected.
  6. Click "ok".

How to set up one-time fees

To set up a one-time fee:

  1. In the Custom Billing interface, select the domains you wish to apply a one-time fee to.
  2. Click on "add one-time fees".
  3. In the Add One-time Fees interface, enter the amount of the fee, a brief description of what the fee is for, and set the billing date. If you select a custom billing date, you must select a date that is later than the current date.
  4. Click "ok". Your one-time fee has been applied to all selected domains.

How to review one-time fees

To review one-time fees:

  1. In the Custom Billing interface, select the domains that you wish to review.
  2. Click on "review pending one-time fees".
  3. A list of pending one-time fees will be displayed for each domain selected. To view the details of a one-time fee, click on the fee's ID number. As long as you are only reviewing fees, you can keep clicking on ID numbers to view other fees in the list.
  4. If you wish, you can edit the amount, description or billing date for the fee. You can also mark the fee for deletion by placing a checkmark beside the "delete" option.

When you are finished reviewing or making modifications to a fee, you may do one of the following:

  • Click "apply" to save modifications or delete the selected fee (if marked for deletion), if you wish to review, modify or delete additional fees.
  • Click "ok" to save modifications or delete the selected fee (if marked for deletion), and return to the Custom Billing interface.
  • Click "cancel" if you want to abort any unsaved changes you may have made to the fee you are currently reviewing. You will be returned to the Custom Billing interface.

If you are not making changes to invoices, or want to view another invoice and discard unsaved changes to the current invoice, simply click on the next invoice you want to view from the list.

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