I was a web developer for years. I built websites for businesses and many of my own over the last 15 years. I know my way around code, not to mention graphic design. I’ve done everything from raw-code reporting asp/sql sites to customized CMS sites to static brochure sites. None of that this time. I want an out-of-the-box solution.

Then I purchased a cpanel linux solution from Godaddy.

darklaw the webcomic nerd alertSweet Jesus, I hate linux. Sure, it may be just that my own gremlins come out when I leave the windows environment while the rest of the world wallows in lovely, lovely open-source. I’ve never had such butt-slow websites as when I use cpanel. So, despite that I paid for a year up front — it’s complicated why I did that — I bought the plesk windows hosting and cloned my site over to that.

It was fast now, but I kept getting 500 server errors when I tried configuring the theme and plugins — basic ones many webcomics use.

Godaddy doesn’t help you figure out things like that. They just tell you to remove the plugin, it’s corrupted, etc. 500 errors could be so many things, so you need to change the error reporting for it to tell you what the error is. So, I turned off custom error reporting in the plesk control panel. The next error told me I had an “open_basedir restriction in effect.” That’s telling me that the process that crashed is looking for a file in a directory that the web host is saying it can’t see. So I turned that restriction off in the plesk panel.

Finally! This site is now self-sustaining. It’s a good thing I’m a tech nerd.

  • Set up and development of the cpanel site: 5 hours & $65
  • Troubleshooting the slow speed before I gave up: 3 hours
  • Set up of the plesk site (+Site Lock and Backup Solution) and transfer of contents: 2 hours &. $125
  • Troubleshooting the 500 errors: 2 hours.
  • Domain names: $24
  • Set up time: 12 hours.
  • Cost: $214 + 3 pots of coffee + the pie I owe everyone who had to listen to me cuss for three days