Virtual Hosts and Hosting Types

Depending on how you intend to use a site created in Plesk, for example, to host web pages or to forward HTTP requests to another site, you can choose from three hosting types that define the structure of a virtual host created for this site. The hosting types are the following:

  • Website hosting. When you choose this type of hosting, Plesk creates a virtual host (disk space on the local server) for a customer. Customers store their files on a virtual host and run their websites without having to purchase a server or dedicated communication lines.
  • Standard forwarding. In this case, Plesk creates a reduced virtual host that does not store its owner's files and directories. This host is used for redirecting requests to another network resource. When users try to access the domain, Plesk forwards them to another URL. This URL will be shown in their browsers.
  • Frame forwarding. In this case, Plesk creates a reduced virtual host that does not store its owner's files and directories. Unlike standard forwarding, frame forwarding virtual hosts show the requested URL in a browser, not the actual one. Plesk uses HTML frames to show the pages of another site with the requested URL.

The virtual host structure differs depending on hosting type:

  • Domains with a website hosting type have a directory called document root where the website files are stored. The configuration of such a virtual host looks like this:

    <VirtualHost 10.0.69.4:80>

    ServerName "domainXX.tst:443"

    ServerAlias "www.domainXX.tst"

    UseCanonicalName Off

    <IfModule mod_suexec.c>

    SuexecUserGroup "domainXX.tst" "psacln"

    </IfModule>

    ServerAdmin "admin@mailserver.tst"

    DocumentRoot "/var/www/vhosts/domainXX.tst/httpdocs"

    CustomLog /var/www/vhosts/domainXX.tst/statistics/logs/access_ssl_log plesklog

    ErrorLog "/var/www/vhosts/domainXX.tst/statistics/logs/error_log"

    ........................................................................

  • Standard forwarding domains just contain a forwarding address in the configuration file. No space for storing files is allocated. The configuration of such a virtual host looks like this:

    <VirtualHost 10.0.69.2:80>

    ServerName "SFdomain.tst.tst"

    ServerAlias "www.SFdomain.tst.tst"

    ServerAdmin "admin@mailserver.tst"

    RedirectPermanent / "http://easytofinddomain.tst/"

    </VirtualHost>

  • Frame forwarding domains have a document root with a single file index.html with the <FRAMESET> tag that defines the frame and address of the website to show in the frame. Therefore, the configuration of a frame forwarding virtual host resembles website virtual host configuration:

    <VirtualHost 10.0.69.2:80>

    ServerName "FFdomainXX.tst"

    ServerAlias "www.FFdomainXX.tst"

    ServerAdmin "admin@mailserver.tst"

    DocumentRoot "/var/www/vhosts/FFdomainXX.tst/httpdocs"

    <IfModule mod_ssl.c>

    SSLEngine off

    </IfModule>

    </VirtualHost>

When you create a website inside a subscription in Server Administration Panel, the domain hosting type is set to website hosting. When you create a domain in Control Panel, you can set a different hosting type. Domain owners are free to change the hosting types of their domains whenever they wish.

To change the hosting type of a domain, open Control Panel > Websites & Domains, click the domain name, and go to the Hosting Type > Change.

 

Next in this section:

Virtual Host Configuration Files

 

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