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      How to Warm Up Your Website This Winter: 9 Hot Marketing Ideas

      Hard truth: If you don’t keep trying out new marketing angles for your website and business, you run the risk of losing your audience’s attention. That’s why it’s a smart idea to always be brainstorming fresh ideas. And at no time is this more relevant than at the beginning of the year.

      Every season brings new marketing opportunities along with it. By paying attention to the latest trends, you can find plenty of ways to bring in more traffic to your website. That way, you’ll start the new year with your best foot forward and avoid a winter lull in conversions.

      In this article, we’ll go over nine marketing ideas to help you revitalize your website for the new year. We’ll talk about why each one works and how to go about implementing it. Let’s get right to it!

      1. Hold a Product or Service Giveaway

      The easiest way to get people’s attention is to give them something for free. That holds true both in the physical world and online. The only difference is that giving away digital products or services can be a lot easier and cheaper.

      One very common (but effective) approach is to give away a free e-book in exchange for visitors’ emails.

      A free e-book offer on Salesforce.

      This is an excellent strategy because it doesn’t cost you anything to distribute an e-book as many times as you want. On top of that, you can easily automate the giveaway process using a modern email marketing platform.

      However, it may not always be feasible for you to put together an e-book, depending on what your website’s niche is. For example, if you run an online store, it might make more sense to give away products instead.

      In that scenario, you can lower the expense involved by holding a giveaway for a limited number of users. This lets you drum up enthusiasm, without having to give out a lot of free items.

      An example of a website giveaway.

      Regardless of what type of website you’re running, giveaways are a great way to get more sign-ups or to encourage users to share your pages. Here’s a quick breakdown of the process involved:

      1. Come up with a product (digital or physical) that you can give away.
      2. Determine the logistics of distributing the product.
      3. Put a time limit on the promotion so there’s a sense of urgency to drive conversions.

      In our experience, you can even get amazing results with e-book giveaways. This brings us to the next technique.

      2. Compile Your Content Into an E-book

      As we mentioned before, e-books are a fantastic way to drum up interest and conversions for your website. However, writing a book (even a short one) is never easy. It takes time, patience, knowledge, and at least some talent to create a product people will want to read.

      The good news is that if you run a website with a lot of published content — such as a blog — you might already have a book on your hands. If you’ve written a lot of WordPress tutorials, for example, you could compile them into one e-book divided into chapters, to create an ultimate resource.

      A WordPress e-book guide.

      With this type of e-book ready to go, you can launch new marketing initiatives, such as:

      • Publishing about the new resource on all your social media pages.
      • Holding a giveaway for new email sign-ups, as we covered in the last section.
      • Publishing the book to digital channels, such as Amazon, and including links back to your site.

      In fact, nothing is stopping you from doing all of the above, since we’re talking about a digital product. With that in mind, take a look and see if you can repurpose some of your existing content into an e-book on a particular subject. While you’re at it, you might even add some new content as well, to increase the e-book’s value for your long-time readers.

      3. Target Seasonal Keywords Within Your Content

      As the new year gets started, with it comes the perfect opportunity to publish targeted content. Just to give you an idea, here’s what comes up if you look for “best smartphones” using Google at the beginning of the year.

      A Google search for “best smartphones”.

      As you can see, all the top results are time-based. This is the time of year when people are looking for the best products and content from the past year, and the most exciting newcomers for the upcoming year.

      Therefore, this is the perfect chance to publish a roundup of the best smartphones for 2019 or whatever fits your specific niche. Of course, the rest of the year also comes with plenty of opportunities for this kind of content. Here are some quick examples:

      • The best new backpacks for going back to school
      • Top 10 flip-flops to welcome the summer
      • 8 heated toilet seats to stay warm during the winter

      Feel free to steal one of these ideas, and if you can make it work, kudos to you! In any case, you can apply the same formula to any season of the year, and even to special events in your area.

      4. Ask Visitors to Donate to a Charity (Or Do It Yourself)

      These days, it’s become common for people to donate to charities or individuals online. That’s the entire concept behind sites such as GoFundMe and GlobalGiving. If you want to earn some karma points while also getting more eyes on your website, one great way to do so is by raising money for charity.

      DreamHost partnered with Charity:Water to raise money in 2017.

      Usually, you’ll do this by picking out a specific charity to support — something that’s relevant to your niche and audience. Then you reach out to your site’s visitors, your email list, and so on, asking them to donate money and explaining why it’s worth their time.

      Along with simply being a good thing to do, this kind of initiative has the potential to spread and raise awareness, as people are more likely to share it on social media. That, in turn, can bring new visitors to your website (and improve the effectiveness of the charity drive)

      Just remember that whatever approach you decide to take with your donation drive, make sure to include social sharing icons. That way, visitors will be able to share your post or the donation page with just a couple of clicks.

      5. Offer Special Deals for the New Year

      The holiday season is packed with special offers and discounts. However, there’s no reason you can’t keep the party going in the new year, so to speak. In fact, many people will appreciate special deals more once the holidays are over, and they can focus on getting ready for the new year.

      On top of that, ‘new year deals’ are perfect if you run a store and need to get rid of extra stock from the holiday rush.

      A new year’s offer at a chicken restaurant.

      This same approach can apply to many other types of sites. If you sell services online, for example, you might see a lull in business around the new year.  However, you can counteract that effect by offering a discount to bring in new business.

      If you want to take things a step further, you can even offer discounts for referrals. This approach not only keeps your existing users happy, but it can also help you market your business to new clients.

      6. Retarget Your Ads

      Targeted ads can be relatively expensive. However, if you sell products or services online, they can also be highly effective at driving conversions. These days, you can even ‘retarget’ people who have visited your website but didn’t convert, so you get a second shot at convincing them.

      If you run ads on Facebook, for example, you can use the Facebook pixel to target users who visited your website but didn’t add items to their shopping cart or failed to go through with a purchase.

      A shopping cart with a camera.

      That’s just one type of retargeting, however. You might also focus on cross-checking users who have signed up to your email list, and sending ads to them through social media.

      This may sound invasive, but as long as your ads are tasteful, retargeting enables you to market your website to people you already know are interested. That means all you have to do is persuade them to follow their instincts and give you a chance.

      7. Create Videos to Accompany Your Content

      Not all people like to consume content in the same way. You might be more partial to written posts, for example, whereas others prefer to watch YouTube videos, listen to podcasts, and so on.

      This means that if you focus your website on a single type of content, you could be losing out on a much broader potential audience. To avoid that scenario, you can create complementary content in a different format — in this case, video.

      Creating video content from scratch isn’t a walk in the park, of course. However, there are some simpler approaches you can take, such as:

      • Creating video versions of existing posts, either by recording yourself or using stock graphics
      • Developing video summaries of some of your latest or most popular content
      • Doing video interviews that might not translate well as regular articles

      No matter how you do it, putting together high-quality videos for your website does require some work and budget. However, the upside is that you can post the finished videos both to your site and to third-party platforms. If you add them to YouTube, for example, and include links back to your website, you’ll be opening up a whole new marketing channel.

      8. Consider Creating a Podcast

      If you’re not interested in creating videos to market your content, there are other mediums you can dip your toes into. Podcasts, for example, have never been as popular as they are right now.

      Millions of people listen to podcasts weekly and most of them follow several. If you’re up to creating your own podcast and committing to releasing new episodes periodically, then you can tap into a huge potential source of traffic.

      There are several upsides to going with the podcast approach instead of video, such as:

      • There’s a lower barrier to entry since you only need basic recording equipment.
      • Podcast listeners are used to long-form content, so you can do more in-depth takes.
      • You can launch your podcast on multiple third-party platforms, such as Spotify.

      To be fair, creating a podcast isn’t as easy as just picking up a microphone and talking your listeners’ ears off. If you want to sound professional, you’ll probably need to work out a script in advance for each episode. Plus, you may need to invest in better recording equipment than just a headset, if you want to maintain a high level of quality.

      9. Talk About Hot Topics in Your Industry

      One of the most effective ways to market your website to a broader audience is to become a go-to source for news within your niche. Let’s say, for example, that you like to blog about WordPress. If that’s the case, you’ll know that writing about the new Gutenberg editor was a great way to attract traffic during the past year:

      A Google search for Gutenberg.

      Trends change, of course, and what’s a hot topic right now might not be relevant in a couple of months. This means that if you want to stay relevant, you always need to be on the lookout for new stories and content that will interest your audience.

      To do this, you’ll want to keep up-to-date with the latest news in your site’s niche. That means following competitors’ sites, subscribing to journals, keeping an eye on feeds, checking up on social media profiles, and so on. The more up-to-date you are with the latest happenings, the more marketing opportunities you’ll be likely to spot.

      Buh-Bye, Winter Blues

      The new year always brings change with it, and that should apply to your website as well. In other words, this is the perfect time to try out some fresh marketing initiatives. That way, you’ll have an easier time keeping old visitors engaged and bringing in new ones at a faster rate.

      Will you be making any changes to your website over the next few months? Tell us what you have planned on Facebook and Twitter!

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      How to Back up Your WordPress Website: A Complete Guide

      You’ve probably spent a lot of time perfecting your WordPress site and creating content for it. And (spoiler alert) after all that work, you want it to be successful.

      So what happens if your site is the target of a hack, data gets corrupted or accidentally deleted, or your site spontaneously combusts (metaphorically speaking)?

      via GIPHY

      Rather than whacking back the flames and shaking a fist at the sky (“Oh, the humanity!”), you’ll want to safeguard your site before trouble strikes with regular backups.

      A backup is simply a copy of your site, which can be used to restore it in case of emergency. If you always have a recent backup handy, you’ll be able to repair your site without melting down.

      In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about backups. This includes what they are, why they’re important, and how to actually create them. Plus, our in-house WordPress guru Mika Epstein will weigh in on why backups matter. And trust us: As a 40-time (!!!) WordCamp attendee and core contributor, she knows her stuff.

      An Introduction to Backups

      Jetpack is a comprehensive plugin that provides many security options and is included with our DreamPress plans.

      “The first thing you have to know is what makes your website a website. All sites consist of files, and many (like WordPress or any of our one-click installs) have a database as well where your content is stored. When you back up your site, you want to make sure you have a copy of all of those files and the database.” — Mika

      Your WordPress site relies on a lot of data and files in order to run properly. What’s more, the information it contains only grows as you add more content. This makes it increasingly important to protect this information from anything that could go wrong.

      Developing a comprehensive security plan for your website is a smart idea. WordPress is inherently secure, but that doesn’t mean it’s infallible. There are a lot of measures you can take to make it even less likely that your site will be compromised.

      • You can use a quality web host
      • Run your site on HTTPS instead of HTTP
      • Use a strong, unique password

      But the fact is, no matter how careful you are, there’s still risk involved in running a website. That’s why performing regular backups should be an integral part of your security plan.

      A backup is a copy of all your site’s key files and data, which you can store in a safe external location. If there’s a problem with your site you can’t fix, you can use this copy to restore your site to how it was before the issue occurred.

      Why It’s Crucial to Back up Your Website

      As mentioned above, there’s a lot you can do to protect your site. Still, it may end up compromised at some point, particularly if it’s a popular site with a lot of traffic. Here are just a few of the things that can happen:

      • Your site could get hacked, and your information could be tampered with or stolen.
      • Files might get accidentally (or intentionally) corrupted or deleted.
      • Something you install, such as a poorly coded plugin or theme, could break existing features.

      “Data loss is an inevitability. It happens to everyone and always at the worst possible time. Just like having that Word document you need for your final term paper bomb out as you hit save, the files on your web server are files, and, like anything else, they can become corrupted.” — Mika

      Without a backup to rely on, data loss can be a dire situation. You could permanently lose content or vital information, have difficulty getting your site to run the way it did before, or even see it brought down completely.

      With a backup, however, you have a quick way to solve these problems. You can copy over your backup and restore the site to its former state — before the hack, compatibility error, or other issue occurred. You can even use a backup to create a testing or staging site if you’d like, which can help you troubleshoot problems safely.

      But a backup isn’t a silver bullet. For example, it won’t help you get back stolen information (which is why it shouldn’t be the only security measure you take on your WordPress site). However, it’s a vital part of your strategy that shouldn’t be overlooked. Creating backups is one of those tasks that should be performed on every website — no matter its size, focus, or goals.

      2 Methods for Backing up Your WordPress Website

      Because backups are table stakes in the website world, there are a lot of simple ways to create them. Most of these techniques rely on tools you can download and use throughout the process. WordPress makes the process of putting together a backup fairly straightforward — and with a quality hosting plan, it’s even easier. Let’s discuss two methods for backing up your website, and talk about when to use each one.

      1. Create Backups Through Your Hosting Provider

      First, let’s talk about the easiest way to deal with the need for backups on your site. You can find and implement a solution on your own, and we’ll show you two ways to do so later on.

      However, if you’ve chosen the right web host, you may be able to get some help with the process. A quality web host can make the task of creating backups easier for you or even save them for you. This provides invaluable peace of mind and takes some of the work off your plate so you can focus on other things.

      “‘Now hold on!’ I can hear you say. ‘Y’all make server backups, of course, and you can just get my files from there!’ Yes, we do and we can. And if I were to tell you that 99.99 percent of the time, those backups work, you’d be delighted. That’s a pretty awesome number!” — Mika

      If you have a WordPress hosting plan here at DreamHost, for example, you’ll get access to some handy backup-related features. No matter what kind of plan you get, you can use a one-click backup option through your account to save your website’s database, as well as your users and mailboxes. You can then restore this backup if necessary.

      What’s more, if you decide to choose DreamPress (our managed WordPress hosting), you’ll have even more help with backups without lifting a finger!

      With DreamPress, your site will automatically get backed up daily. You don’t have to set anything up either; it’s included with the service by default. Pretty convenient, right? You won’t have to spend a lot of time worrying about remembering to manually back up your site or what to do if your site is compromised because you’ll always have a way to RickRoll back the clock with an automated backup. 

      When testing or making changes to your site, it’s pretty important to have the most recent version backed up before pushing anything live. We highly recommend adding this step into your web process, if you haven’t already.

      With DreamPress, the on-demand backup feature gives you full control to make a backup whenever you need to. Automated daily backups are great, but sometimes you need more than that. It’ll give you extra security and confidence to test new things more freely, knowing everything will be OK if something doesn’t turn out as expected. With a single click of a button, a fresh new backup will be available within minutes for you to access — just in case you need it.

      Learn more about the benefits of backups and hosting with DreamPress.


      2. Use a Plugin to Simplify the Backup Process

      “Having your very own backup — a backup to our DreamHost backup — means you’re not going to be in that 0.01 percent group of people, who are left out in the cold when everything goes cataclysmic. You will be able to quickly, safely, and easily restore your website to its glory days!” — Mika

      If you do want or need your own backup solution, your best bet is to use a plugin designed for the task. There are plenty of WordPress plugins that enable you to create backups. For some, that’s their only job, while others offer the feature as part of a larger security package. Either way, if you aren’t comfortable with the technical know-how required to back up your site manually (which we’ll address below), plugins are a simple and beginner-friendly option.

      DreamHost also offers a dedicated tool to help you perform this task. It’s called DreamObjects Backups and is available both for free in the WordPress Plugin Directory and pre-installed on many of our hosted websites. This plugin provides a scalable, flexible backup and storage solution.

      Using this plugin, you’ll be able to set up a backup schedule, set up how many backups should be saved, and more. When you create a backup, it will be stored in the DreamObjects cloud, our own external storage service. This way, it will be safe in the event that something happens to your site or even to your computer.

      To get started with DreamObjects Backups, you’ll first need to install the plugin (or simply activate it if it’s already installed on your site). Then, you’ll need to sign up for DreamObjects and create a user.

      You’ll be presented with a Key and a Secret Key. Copy and paste both into the corresponding fields on your WordPress dashboard.

      These keys will connect your WordPress site to your DreamObjects account so you can save your backups there. Now, return to your DreamObjects account page. There’s one more task to perform here. Click on the plus sign next to Add Bucket, and create a name for your ‘bucket’. This is simply a location where your backups will be stored.

      If you want, you can make multiple buckets to keep everything organized, but for now, you’ll just need one. Keep in mind that your bucket needs a unique name not in use by any other DreamObjects user, so you may need to try a few until you find one that works.

      Next, it’s time to go back to your WordPress dashboard. Navigate to DreamObjects > Backups, and select the bucket you just created from the drop-down menu. Then hit Update Options.

      Here, you can set up exactly how you’d like your backup system to work. You can choose whether to update your site’s files, database, or both (we recommend backing up everything for now).

      Then you can choose a backup schedule, and decide how many recent backups to keep. We suggest backing up your site daily, and keeping 15 backups at any one time. Keep in mind that your charge for using DreamObjects depends on how much you’re storing, so be cautious when choosing higher numbers.

      Finally, you can decide what type of notifications you’d like to see. Selecting All, for example, will let you know both when your backups succeed and if they fail for whatever reason. However, this option will mean you’ll need to log into your DreamObjects account to see notifications and download your backups. If you select to only see Success notifications instead, you’ll be able to do these things right from your dashboard.

      Once you’ve configured all of these settings, hit Update Options again. You’ll see a couple of new sections.

      Recent Backup Status is where you’ll find information about what backups have succeeded or failed, and be able to download them (depending on what you chose under Status Notifications). You also now have an Immediate Backup option, so you can create one right away. Selecting the Backup ASAP button will start the process, and won’t interrupt your scheduled backups.

      That’s it! Once you have a backup, either created by using the schedule or the ASAP button, it will be saved automatically in your DreamObjects bucket. You can download it and save it somewhere else if you’d like, and use it to restore your site if necessary.

      For now, you have all the tools you need to back up your website — whether through your host or with a plugin. Before we wrap up, however, let’s address a few best practices.

      How to Use Your Backups Most Effectively

      DreamObjects is a convenient cloud storage solution, where you can keep your backups safe indefinitely.

      Simply having recent backups is important, but it isn’t the whole story. We’ve alluded to this already, but how you save and store your backups matters just as much. If you do end up needing to restore your site, chances are you’ll want to be able to do so quickly and easily. This means being smart about how often you back up your site and where you store the resulting files.

      Let’s discuss the issue of frequency first.

      As with most questions about your website, there is no one backup schedule that’s perfect for everyone. How often you decide to back up your site will depend on a few factors. The most important consideration is how often the content on your site changes. If you publish frequent updates or blog posts or otherwise change the information on your site a lot, you’ll want to perform backups more often.

      If you rarely change anything on your site and you have little traffic, you may be able to get away with weekly backups. For most sites, a daily schedule is a better choice. If you publish multiple new posts per day or get a lot of comments and interaction, however, you may want to back up even more often. Ultimately, it’s smarter to err on the side of too many backups, rather than too few.

      What about location? You could store all your backups on your local computer, but if something happens to it you’ll lose everything. That’s why it’s best to store your backups in an external location — and to keep multiple copies in more than one place.

      Consider following the backup Rule of Three, which states you should have three copies of each backup, in at least two different formats, at least one of which is stored off-site. This may seem a little paranoid, but again, it’s never bad to be over-prepared.

      As for where to store your backups specifically, keeping a copy on your local machine allows for quick and easy access. Another copy could go on something portable, such as an external hard drive or a memory stick. Finally, cloud storage is an excellent idea, since you’ll be able to access your backups from anywhere. You can go with a free option such as Google Drive or opt for an option with more features, such as our own DreamObjects service.

      Once you have a backup schedule in place, be sure to stick with it!

      If disaster strikes, you’ll be glad you did everything possible to keep your website’s data safe.

      Back It Up

      You can do a lot of things to ensure your site is as safe as possible from hackers, bugs, and accidents. However, you can never completely eliminate the risk of something going wrong. Given this, it’s essential to always have a recent, full backup of your site stored in a safe location, so you can restore your site quickly — just in case a Roland Emmerich-size disaster strikes.

      via GIPHY

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      How To Install YunoHost on Debian 9

      The author selected the Mozilla Foundation to receive a donation as part of the Write for DOnations program.


      YunoHost is an open-source platform that facilitates the seamless installation and configuration of self-hosted web applications, including webmail clients, password managers, and even WordPress sites. Self-hosting webmail and other applications provides privacy and control over your personal information. YunoHost allows you to configure settings, create users, and self-host your own applications from its graphical user interface. A marketplace of applications is available through YunoHost to add to your hosting environment. The frontend UI acts as a homepage for all of your applications.

      In this tutorial, you will install and configure YunoHost on a server running Debian 9. To achieve this, you will configure your DNS records using DigitalOcean, secure your YunoHost instance with Let’s Encrypt, and install your chosen web applications.


      Step 1 — Installing YunoHost

      In this step, you will install YunoHost using the official installation script. YunoHost provides this open-source script that guides you through installing and configuring everything necessary for a YunoHost operation.

      Before you download the install script, move into a temporary directory. Using the /tmp directory will delete the script on reboot, which you will not need after you’ve installed YunoHost:

      Next, run the following command to download the official install script from YunoHost:

      • wget -O yunohost

      This command downloads the script and saves it to the current directory as a file called yunohost.

      Now you can run the script with sudo:

      When asked to overwrite configuration files, select yes.

      You will then see a Post-installation screen confirming YunoHost's installation.

      Post-Installation Screen: YunoHost packaged have been installed successfully! Prompts to begin post-installation process.

      Select Yes to proceed to the post-installation process.

      When asked to enter the Main domain, enter the domain name you want to use to access your YunoHost instance. Then choose and enter a secure password for the administrator account.

      You have now installed YunoHost on your server. In the next step, you will log in to your fresh YunoHost instance to configure and manage domains.

      Step 2 — Configuring DNS

      Now you have YunoHost installed, you can access the admin panel for the first time. You will set up the domain where you would like to host YunoHost by configuring your DNS records.

      To start, type either the IP address of your server or the domain name you chose in the last step into your web browser. You'll see a screen warning that your connection is not private.

      This Connection Is Not Private

      The connection is not yet secure because YunoHost uses a self-signed certificate by default. You can visit the site anyway since you'll secure your site with Let's Encrypt in the next step.

      Now, enter the admin password you set in the previous step to access YunoHost's admin panel.

      Admin Panel

      In order for YunoHost to function properly, you will configure the DNS settings for your domain name. From the admin panel, navigate to the Domains section and select your domain name. You'll now see the Operations page where you can access the DNS configuration settings.

      Domain Section

      Select the DNS configuration button. YunoHost will display a sample zone file for your domain. You'll use this file to configure the records for your domain.

      sample zone file

      To start configuring your DNS records, access your domain host. This tutorial walks through configuring DNS records via DigitalOcean's control panel.

      Log in to your DigitalOcean account and click on Networking in the menu. Enter your YunoHost domain in the Domain field and click Add Domain.

      You'll be taken to your domain name's edit page. On this page, you'll see the fields where you can add the YunoHost records.

      DigitalOcean DNS record create page

      There will be three NS records already set up that specify the DigitalOcean servers are providing DNS services for your domain. You can now add the following records using the sample file provided by YunoHost:

      • Create two new A records:

        • Enter @ for the name and choose your Droplet or IP address in the Will Direct To box, leave the TTL at 3600.
        • Enter * for the name and choose your Droplet or IP address in the Will Direct To box, leave the TTL at 3600.
      • Create two new SRV records:

        • Enter _xmpp-client._tcp for the hostname, 5222 for the port, 0 priority, 5 for the weight, and change the TTL to 3600.
        • Enter _xmpp-server._tcp for the hostname, 5269 for the port, 0 priority, 5 for the weight, and change the TTL to 3600.
      • Create three new CNAME records:

        • Enter muc for the hostname, @ in is an alias of, and set the TTL to 3600.
        • Enter pubsub for the hostname, @ in is an alias of, and set the TTL to 3600.
        • Enter vjud for the hostname, @ in is an alias of, and set the TTL to 3600.

      For your Mail configuration, create the following records:

      • An MX record with @ for the hostname, your domain name for the mail server with a priority of 10 and the TTL at 3600.
      • Three new TXT records:
        • Copy the TXT string, including the double quotes, from the sample zone file into the value box that starts with: "v=spf1", add @to the hostname, and leave the TTL at 3600.
        • Copy the long TXT string, including the double quotes, from the sample zone file into the value box, add mail._domainkey to the hostname, and leave the TTL at 3600.
        • Copy the TXT string, including the double quotes, from the sample zone file into the value box, something like: "v=DMARC1; p=none", add _dmarcto the hostname, and leave the TTL at 3600.

      And finally, for Let's Encrypt, configure the following record:

      • Create a new CAA record:
        • Enter @ for the hostname, add to the authority granted for box, set tag to issue, flags to 128, and set the TTL to 3600.

      Once you have added all of the DNS records you'll see a list on your domain's control panel. You can also read this guide for more information on managing your records through the DigitalOcean control panel.

      List of records set up

      You have configured all the DNS records necessary for the YunoHost services to work. In the next step you'll secure your connection by installing Let's Encrypt.

      Step 3 — Installing Let's Encrypt

      In this step you will configure an SSL certificate via Let's Encrypt to ensure that your connection is secured by encrypted HTTPS each time you or users log in to your site. YunoHost includes a function to install Let's Encrypt to your domain through the user interface.

      In the Domains section of the admin panel, select your domain name again. Navigate down to the Operations section. From here, under Manage SSL certificates, select SSL certificates. You'll see an option to Install a Let's Encrypt certificate, you can select this to install the certificate.

      You will now have a Let's Encrypt certificate installed for your domain. You will no longer see the warning messages when you visit your domain or IP address. Your Let's Encrypt certificate will automatically renew by default. To manually renew your Let's Encrypt certificate or revert to a self-signed certificate in the future, you can use this Operations page.

      Manage SSL Certificates

      You have configured and secured your domain. In the next section you'll set up a new user and email account to begin installing applications to your YunoHost operation.

      Step 4 — Installing Applications

      YunoHost provides the ability to install a number of pre-packaged web applications alongside each other. To begin installing and using applications, you need to create a regular, non-admin user and email account. You can do this through the admin panel.

      From the root of the admin panel, navigate to the Users section.

      Select the green New user button to the right of your screen. Enter the desired credentials for the new user in the fields provided.

      New User page with fields for username, email, etc.

      You've finished creating the user. By default, this user already has an associated email address, which you can access through any IMAP email client. Alternatively, you can install a webmail client on YunoHost to accomplish this, which you will do as part of this tutorial.

      You have configured all of YunoHost's basic functions and created a user, complete with an email account. You can now access the applications through the admin panel that are ready for installation. In this tutorial, you'll install Rainloop, a lightweight webmail app, but you can follow these instructions to install any of the available applications.

      Navigate to the Applications section of the admin panel. From here, you can select and install any of the official applications.

      Applications page. List of applications in alphabetical order, ready for installation.

      Select Rainloop from the list. You will see some configuration options for the application.

      Rainloop Configuration Options

      • Label for Rainloop: You can choose what to enter here, the application displays this to users on YunoHost's home screen.
      • Choose a domain for Rainloop: Enter the domain name that will host the application.
      • Choose a path for Rainloop: Set the URL path for the application, like /rainloop. If you'd like it to be at the root of the domain, simply enter /. Keep in mind that if you do so, you will not be able to use any other applications with that domain.
      • Is it a public application?: Choose if you want the application to be accessible to the public, or only to logged in users.
      • Enter a strong password for the 'admin' user: Enter a password for the admin user of the application.
      • Do you want to add YunoHost users to the recipients suggestions?: "Yes" here will result in the application suggesting other users' email addresses and names as recipients when composing emails.
      • Select default language: Select your preferred language.

      Once finished, click the green Install button.

      You've installed Rainloop. Open a new browser tab and navigate to the path you chose for the application ( You will see the Rainloop main dashboard.

      Rainloop main screen.

      You can repeat Step 4 to create more users and install further applications as you wish.

      In the Applications section of the admin panel, it is also possible to install custom applications from third parties by pulling from GitHub repositories.

      You now have a secure YunoHost instance configured on your server.


      In this tutorial you have installed YunoHost on your server, created an email account, and installed an application. You have a central place to host all your applications alongside each other, including a webmail client to check your email. See the YunoHost website for a full list of applications, both official and unofficial. Also see the official Troubleshooting guide that provides information on services, configuration, and upgrades to YunoHost.

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