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      How to Resell Linode Services


      Updated by Linode Contributed by Linode

      Linode warmly welcomes and encourages the reselling of our services to third-party customers. Anyone can resell Linode services. This guide will walk you through the process of becoming a reseller.

      Note

      While Linode encourages reselling, we do not currently have a special reseller program. Linode does not offer discounted pricing for resellers at this time, nor do we directly offer white-label software, like WHMCS plugins, to aid in reselling. It is possible to create such software of your own via the Linode API.

      However, Linode does have a referral program. For more information on Linode’s referral program, read the referral codes section.

      What is a Reseller

      A reseller is any person or entity that charges a third party for Linode services, acting as a kind of middleman. Resellers are free to charge clients for full or partial access to Linode services, either through the use of the Linode API, or by giving a client access to Linode services provisioned on their behalf.

      There are a variety of reasons one might want to resell Linode services. One of the most common reasons developers and engineers become resellers is that they use Linode to test, develop, and/or host their client’s websites and apps, and in doing so need to bill those clients for charges accrued by the Linode services that power this business. Specific examples of this pattern include:

      • An agency that creates custom WordPress installations for their customers on Linode.

      • An app developer that uses Linode to host their customer’s database.

      • A business which operates a fully-fledged hosting platform based on Linode services, using tools like the Linode API. One such example is Cloudnet Sweden, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that uses Linode as a cloud host for their managed platform. Read our case study on Cloudnet Sweden for an in-depth look at why they chose to partner with Linode.

      Referral Codes

      As mentioned above, Linode does not offer a discount on re-sold Linode services. However, Linode does offer a referral program. If you feel like Linode is a good choice for another person, you can send them your referral code (or referral URL) to receive $20 per sign up.

      The credit for your referral will be applied to your account if the referral stays active as a Linode customer for 90 days. Specifically, the referred account will need to have at least one active, billed Linode service on their account throughout the 90 day period.

      Advertising your referral code to others is not the same as reselling Linode services. When someone else uses your referral code, they create an entirely separate Linode account with their own billing.

      Things Resellers Should Keep in Mind

      There are a few stipulations that resellers should keep in mind:

      • All resellers, and the customers of resellers, are bound to Linode’s Terms of Service (ToS). If for any reason a customer of a Linode reseller breaks Linode’s ToS, it is the reseller who will be held accountable. If you are planning on becoming a reseller it is a good idea to carefully craft a ToS of your own that is in accordance with Linode’s ToS.

      • All resellers, and the customers of resellers, are bound to Linode’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). If for any reason a customer of a Linode reseller breaks Linode’s AUP, it is the reseller who will be held accountable.

      • Payments are to be made directly to Linode by the reseller. If a customer of a reseller fails to pay the reseller for their services, the reseller is still responsible for their monthly payment to Linode.

      • Linode Support can help with issues related to the physical operation of your Linode services, but issues related to your software configuration are outside of the scope of Linode Support. Linode offers a number of resources to help with configuration questions. Linode Support is only available to people with access to a Linode Cloud Manager user. If your customers do not have their own Linode users, they will not be able to contact Linode Support.

      How to Resell Linode Service

      Linode API

      The best way to resell Linode services is through the use of the Linode API. The Linode API provides robust, programmatic access to the full suite of Linode services. Using the API, a reseller could set up a custom user interface to only allow the select features they want available for their customers. For example, it’s possible to create a UI that only enables 4GB Linode deployments and that automatically provisions those Linodes with a StackScript. For a tutorial on how to use the Linode API, check out our Getting Started with the Linode API guide. For a comprehensive view of the Linode API, see Linode’s API documentation. For a list of Linode API libraries and tools, head over to our developer portal.

      Limited Cloud Manager Users

      If a reseller wants to be able to give reseller customers access to parts of the Linode Cloud Manager without developing a new user interface, they can create a limited Manager user in the Cloud Manager. A user is a set of credentials that can access your Linode account, and your Linode account can have multiple users. A user can be restricted to have a limited set of permissions, such as only being able to access certain Linodes and not having access to your billing information. To create a limited user in the Cloud Manager, review the Users and Permissions section of the Accounts and Passwords guide.

      Note

      Cloud Manager users are not related to the Linux users on your Linodes. If you need to revoke a customer’s account access, you should remove access to both their Cloud Manager users and their Linux users. Read the Linux Users and Groups guide for more information on this subject.

      Limited Linux User Accounts

      A reseller might provide a customer with limited access to a Linode by creating an account for them at the operating system level. This provides the customer with access to their server, without access to the features of the Linode API or the Cloud Manager. For a hosting reseller that offers access to a pre-defined Linux environment, this is often a good solution. Read the Linux Users and Groups guide for more information on this subject. You may also want to limit users’ access to the filesystem with SFTP jails.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Can I Show Linode’s Logos on My Site?

      Yes. Please use the official Linode logo assets.

      What Payment Methods are Available?

      Automatic payments can be made with a credit card. All Linode accounts are required to have a credit card on file. Manual PayPal payments can also be made, so you can add credit to your Linode account with PayPal. For more information on Linode’s billing, review the Billing and Payments guide.

      Does Linode Have a White-Label Interface?

      Linode does not offer a white-label interface, but you could create one via the Linode API.

      Can I Model my Terms of Service on Linode’s ToS?

      Yes, you can refer to Linode’s ToS and AUP when authoring your own, and your business and your customers need to comply with Linode’s ToS and AUP.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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      Your 2019 Website Redesign Checklist


      Who doesn’t love a good home improvement show? Whether the hosts are starting with a dilapidated shack or a perfectly posh estate, they seem to know exactly what to do to create a visually stunning home that uses space well and promotes a steady, efficient flow of foot traffic.

      The same basic principles of home renovations are also at play when recrafting your website to capitalize on modern design trends, improve user experience, and enhance business opportunities. Most site redesigns require more than just cosmetic changes to be truly effective, though, meaning the daunting process intimidates many from even starting.

      The fiercely independent can learn how to design a website from scratch using only HTML/CSS. But even seasoned developers often prefer starting with a template to get a head start on design. Whichever route you want to take, we’ve compiled a checklist that will help you achieve the most effective redesign without getting sidetracked in pet projects or overwhelmed by color swatches.

      via GIPHY

      Before you start taking down the wallpaper or swinging a sledgehammer, though, take a good look around. You can’t have the impressive “after” pictures if you never take stock of what was wrong with the “before.”

      Your hosting plan acts as the foundation for your online house. If it’s not as solid as a rock, your redesign just won’t be as successful as it should be. Don’t be afraid to migrate to a reputable host with high-powered solid-state drives and a proven track record of knowledgeable support — all features commonly touted in DreamHost reviews for performance, security, and WordPress.

      Whether your current site needs to be stripped down to the studs or just requires a fresh coat of paint, we’re here to help you through the process. Let’s get started!

      Professional Website Design Made Easy

      Make your site stand out with a professional design from our partners at RipeConcepts. Packages start at $299.

      1. Put Your Current Site Under the Microscope: What Works and What Doesn’t?

      Re-examine everything — website redesigns don’t happen often, so here’s your chance to get everything just right. Figure out which pages are the most frequently visited and look at your site analytics to see where your visitors come from and where they go. Weak content will reveal where you need to concentrate your redesign efforts, while the pages that generate traffic and convert well should be optimized even further.

      Beyond exploring the depths of your current content and design components, a website redesign is also a chance to measure the effectiveness of the behind-the-scenes usability and performance features. Are you happy with your content management system, or would you like to change to something new? Is your hosting provider delivering the speed, security, and support of your dreams?

      Just as you are updating the images, words, and interactivity of your website, it might be time to upgrade elsewhere, as well. For example, you might want to consider learning how to use WordPress, the world’s most popular online publishing platform. DreamHost excels at hosting WordPress with knowledgeable support, fine-tuned performance optimizations, and nuanced security measures.

      2. Find Inspiration and Time Savings: Which Tools Can Help You Succeed More Quickly?

      Naturally, most designers and developers tend to spend the most time in the design phase of rebuilding their dream home — er, website. Who wouldn’t want to spend hours toying with color palettes, typography, and the hot new interactive design feature? The options are limitless — and that’s the problem.

      Set your programming pride aside, if only for a few minutes, and take a look at a few site builder options. Originally created to help beginners get online, click-to-edit website builders now offer enough powerful tools that enable experienced site owners to spin up one-of-a-kind websites in a fraction of the time it would take to create the same look from scratch.

      DreamHost gives users a free trial of their Remixer website builder, providing a no-risk path to several responsive, professional templates that can be easily customized to meet your redesign goals. WordPress, unsurprisingly, remains at the front of the pack for diverse user-friendly designs. However, you’ll want to follow these seven guidelines to avoid being overwhelmed by the millions of options.

      Whichever platform you’re considering for your new website, scores of professional designers are already hard at work crafting modern themes with many of your same goals in mind. Why spend weeks and months slaving over your own in-house creation when someone has already done most of the heavy lifting for you?

      3. Look Beyond Colors and Fonts: How Can Your Content Carry More Weight?

      With countless options for your new design, it can be extremely easy to get bogged down in imagery and other visual elements. For a website redesign to be truly successful, however, all aspects of your online presence should be improved. Don’t agonize over which rug to place in the family room when there’s a gaping hole in the roof, for instance.

      Your content serves as the framing of your online house, around which all accouterments hang. The layouts, colors, images, and typography should all serve to showcase the strengths of your brand’s words and messages — not the other way around. Use analytics to discover what articles and pages resonate the most with your site visitors, and look for posts that maybe weren’t the home run you anticipated.

      Instead of using your website’s text to brag about your company’s history and products, share how your brand can help users accomplish something or solve a problem. Concentrate on writing for your audience, not yourself — otherwise, you risk coming off as overly salesy and robotic.

      Also, look for content opportunities beyond your homepage or about section. Blog posts, for example, are a fantastic tool for informing potential users about new ideas and practices, along with outlining how your brand contributes added benefits. Having tailored our own blog around several customer-serving and brand-building initiatives, we’ve learned plenty and witnessed several mistakes to avoid. Apply these rules across your site for even greater success.

      4. Concentrate on User Experience: How Can You Optimize for Conversions?

      Just as your content should be written for your visitors, your redesigned website should make it abundantly clear to visitors where they should click to find the information and services they seek. Don’t choose themes and layouts solely based on what looks good to you or your colleagues — your site doesn’t exist for you. If your website doesn’t quickly usher visitors to where they want to go, it becomes a business liability instead of an engine for growth.

      Use analytics and your site audit from Step 1 to determine why people come to your website. How do they find you? Where do they go? Do they make a purchase or interact with your company in another way? Should they?

      UsabilityGeek puts this simply: Instead of looking at the “fun” aspects of a redesign (imagery, colors, fonts, and animations), start with guaranteeing basic functionality. Positive experiences make visitors more likely to convert to customers and brand supporters who will recommend your services to even more potential users.

      The founding father of information architecture, or the art and science of organizing information in an effective way, created a useful diagram to illustrate the components of user-centered design. A conversion-optimized layout means your website should be useful, usable, desirable, findable, accessible, credible, and valuable.

      5. Devise a Plan and Get to Work: What Needs to Happen to Meet Your Goals?

      Once you have an idea of both the general purpose of your website and how a potential design scheme will help users achieve certain goals, commit your thoughts to paper (or whichever electronic document you prefer). Document your current content strengths and weaknesses, along with details on how the redesign will address any concerns. Which pieces of your old site will stay? What components still need to be created? Where can content be optimized?

      Draw out your conversion funnel and your ideal sitemap to ensure the two are working in tandem. Define your audience and create rich descriptions of the types of people your new site aims to serve. What are they looking for? What stands in their way? How can you help them?

      Now that all the big-picture philosophies are accounted for, start getting into the nuts and bolts of enacting your new design. What is your ideal timeline? What needs to happen before other phases of the rebuilding can occur?

      Formalizing your goals and deadlines puts them front and center as you embark on the redesigned website journey. Refer to your plan frequently to make sure you’re staying on track and not getting distracted from your main objectives.

      6. Preview Your Site on Different Devices and Browsers: Are All Your Users Covered?

      Once the bulk of your site is rebuilt, we need to check on our user experience yet again. Not everyone has the same computer configuration as you or your team, so you need to account for the various browsers, screen sizes, and devices that visitors may use to access your new website.

      As with many of these steps, start with your analytics — they’ll reveal what browsers your audience typically uses. Opening and testing your website in both modern and outdated versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer is a good start, but feel free to check out Opera, Edge, and even the Facebook browser to make sure all your bases are covered.

      You’ll also want to view your site on mobile devices. Starting in late 2016, more users accessed the internet from smartphones and tablets than from desktop computers. Even though mobile-optimized websites are critical to online survival, there are multiple ways to make them happen. Responsive themes rearrange site content to adapt to the device’s screen size, while mobile websites are designed specifically for smaller screens. Regardless of the path you choose, be sure to look at your site on several iOS and Android devices and browsers.

      If you’re not completely sold on a particular design scheme or layout, don’t be afraid to do some A/B testing, which entails pitting two or more design elements against one another to see which performs better. Most commonly, A/B testing is used to measure the effectiveness of calls to action (think buttons), content quality and quantity, forms, layouts, product prices, and images. Traffic is routed to the various versions, and analytics should reveal which choice leads to better conversions.

      7. Make Your Work More Visible: How Can You Reach People With Better Keywords?

      Don’t let all your new-fangled pieces of content and snazzy layouts go to waste. More than half of your traffic likely comes from visitors who clicked on a link to your website that appeared in search results. Search engines are the gateways to your audience, so your content and site structure should do all they can to appease the almighty gods.

      Search engine optimization, or SEO, can feel like quicksand to the uninitiated, but the payoff from implementing the most basic keyword research principles can inspire even the most skeptical users to learn more. Start by making a list of the topics you want to be known for — it could be products, your expertise, or the subjects you commonly write about. Develop keyword phrases for each of those topics. What would your users type into Google to find you?

      Don’t be afraid to be specific and use what are called long-tail keywords. Fewer people might search the phrase in a given day or week, but they’ll be more grateful to have discovered your resources and more likely to convert. Generic keywords have much higher competition, often from more established brands that have been playing the SEO game for much longer.

      8. Improve Your Technical SEO: Why Does Server Speed and Security Matter?

      Search engine optimizations extend beyond your content, headings, page titles, and alt tags. Technical SEO refers to behind-the-scenes elements that help search engine crawlers find and scan your site to learn how relevant and trustworthy you are.

      One of the main technical SEO components is the speed of your site. It’s no secret that longer page loads can dramatically affect traffic and sales, but it can also greatly affect your position in search results. Off the bat, you can improve your website’s performance by signing up with a host that powers its solutions with high-performance solid-state drives (cough cough . . . DreamHost). Otherwise, keep your templates and code base as lean as possible — don’t get bogged down in extra plugins, widgets, or tracking codes.

      Many other factors might have already been addressed in your redesign process: Mobile-friendliness is a major factor in search performance, especially for location-based searches (think looking for a nearby restaurant). A user-friendly site architecture or sitemap is important, as is the security of the HTTPS protocol. Many hosts, including DreamHost, enable users to access this technology by providing free SSL certificates.

      9. Test and Tweak Your Design: What Can You Do Better Next Time?

      No one wants to work in a vacuum. You will have spent countless hours slaving away over your new website, and completing your objectives on time is a major accomplishment — shout it from the rooftops! Launch your new website with announcements through a press release, email, social media, and any other method available.

      Just as analytics played an important role before and during the redesign, the numbers should play an important role going forward to both measure your success and expose even more areas for improvement. According to the Matrix Marketing Group, losing your critical eye and abandoning your metrics analysis is often the reason for needing a redesign in the first place.

      Remember the new houses in those home improvement shows?

      The episode might have ended, but those homeowners still need to dust, do the dishes, and sweep the floors to keep the property looking as fresh, modern, and appealing as it did the day the renovations ended. Keep your long-term goals in mind, along with a wish list of features and optimizations you’d like to implement in the future — you’ll be better equipped to tackle them in your next redesign!



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      Troubleshooting Web Servers, Databases, and Other Services


      Updated by Linode Written by Linode

      This guide presents troubleshooting strategies for when you can’t connect to your web server, database, or other services running on your Linode. This guide assumes that you have access to SSH. If you can’t log in with SSH, review Troubleshooting SSH and then return to this guide.

      Where to go for help outside this guide

      This guide explains how to use different troubleshooting commands on your Linode. These commands can produce diagnostic information and logs that may expose the root of your connection issues. For some specific examples of diagnostic information, this guide also explains the corresponding cause of the issue and presents solutions for it.

      If the information and logs you gather do not match a solution outlined here, consider searching the Linode Community Site for posts that match your system’s symptoms. Or, post a new question in the Community Site and include your commands’ output.

      Linode is not responsible for the configuration or installation of software on your Linode. Refer to Linode’s Scope of Support for a description of which issues Linode Support can help with.

      General Troubleshooting Strategies

      This section highlights troubleshooting strategies that apply to every service.

      Check if the Service is Running

      The service may not be running. Check the status of the service:

      Distribution Command                                                               
      systemd systems (Arch, Ubuntu 16.04+, Debian 8+, CentOS 7+, etc) sudo systemctl status <service name> -l
      sysvinit systems (CentOS 6, Ubuntu 14.04, Debian 7, etc) sudo service <service name> status

      Restart the Service

      If the service isn’t running, try restarting it:

      Distribution Command
      systemd systems sudo systemctl restart <service name>
      sysVinit systems sudo service <service name> restart

      Enable the Service

      If your system was recently rebooted, and the service didn’t start automatically at boot, then it may not be enabled. Enable the service to prevent this from happening in the future:

      Distribution Command
      systemd systems sudo systemctl enable <service name>
      sysVinit systems sudo chkconfig <service name> on

      Check your Service’s Bound IP Address and Ports

      Your service may be listening on an unexpected port, or it may not be bound to your public IP address (or whatever address is desirable). To view which address and ports a service is bound on, run the ss command with these options:

      sudo ss -atpu
      

      Review the application’s documentation for help determining the address and port your service should bind to.

      Note

      One notable example is if a service is only bound to a public IPv4 address and not to an IPv6 address. If a user connects to your Linode over IPv6, they will not be able to access the service.

      Analyze Service Logs

      If your service doesn’t start normally, review your system logs for the service. Your system logs may be in the following locations:

      Distribution System Logs
      systemd systems Run journalctl
      Ubuntu 14.04, Debian 7 /var/log/syslog
      CentOS 6 /var/log/messages

      Your service’s log location will vary by the application, but they are often stored in /var/log. The less command is a useful tool for browsing through your logs.

      Try pasting your log messages into a search engine or searching for your messages in the Linode Community Site to see if anyone else has run into similar issues. If you don’t find any results, you can try asking about your issues in a new post on the Linode Community Site. If it becomes difficult to find a solution, you may need to rebuild your Linode.

      Review Firewall Rules

      If your service is running but your connections still fail, your firewall (which is likely implemented by the iptables software) may be blocking the connections. To review your current firewall ruleset, run:

      sudo iptables -L # displays IPv4 rules
      sudo ip6tables -L # displays IPv6 rules
      

      Note

      Your deployment may be running FirewallD or UFW, which are frontends used to more easily manage your iptables rules. Run these commands to find out if you are running either package:

      sudo ufw status
      sudo firewall-cmd --state
      

      Review How to Configure a Firewall with UFW and Introduction to FirewallD on CentOS to learn how to manage and inspect your firewall rules with those packages.

      Firewall rulesets can vary widely. Review the Control Network Traffic with iptables guide to analyze your rules and determine if they are blocking connections. For example, a rule which allows incoming HTTP traffic could look like this:

        
      -A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -j ACCEPT
      
      

      Disable Firewall Rules

      In addition to analyzing your firewall ruleset, you can also temporarily disable your firewall to test if it is interfering with your connections. Leaving your firewall disabled increases your security risk, so we recommend re-enabling it afterward with a modified ruleset that will accept your connections. Review Control Network Traffic with iptables for help with this subject.

      1. Create a temporary backup of your current iptables:

        sudo iptables-save > ~/iptables.txt
        
      2. Set the INPUT, FORWARD and OUTPUT packet policies as ACCEPT:

        sudo iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT
        sudo iptables -P FORWARD ACCEPT
        sudo iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT
        
      3. Flush the nat table that is consulted when a packet that creates a new connection is encountered:

        sudo iptables -t nat -F
        
      4. Flush the mangle table that is used for specialized packet alteration:

        sudo iptables -t mangle -F
        
      5. Flush all the chains in the table:

        sudo iptables -F
        
      6. Delete every non-built-in chain in the table:

        sudo iptables -X
        
      7. Repeat these steps with the ip6tables command to flush your IPv6 rules. Be sure to assign a different name to the IPv6 rules file (e.g. ~/ip6tables.txt).

      Troubleshoot Web Servers

      If your web server is not running or if connections are timing out, review the general troubleshooting strategies.

      Note

      If your web server is responding with an error code, your troubleshooting will vary by what code is returned. For more detailed information about each request that’s failing, read your web server’s logs. Here are some commands that can help you find your web server’s logs:

      • Apache:

        grep ErrorLog -r /etc/apache2  # On Ubuntu, Debian
        grep ErrorLog -r /etc/httpd    # On CentOS, Fedora, RHEL
        
      • NGINX:

        grep error_log -r /etc/nginx
        

      Frequent Error Codes

      • HTTP 401 Unauthorized, HTTP 403 Forbidden

        The requesting user did not have sufficient permission or access to the requested URL. Review your web server authorization and access control configuration:

      • HTTP 404 Not Found

        The URL that a user requested could not be found by the web server. Review your web server configuration and make sure your website files are stored in the right location on your filesystem:

      • HTTP 500, 502, 503, 504

        The web server requested a resource from a process it depends on, but the process did not respond as expected. For example, if a database query needs to be performed for a web request, but the database isn’t running, then a 50X code will be returned. To troubleshoot these issues, investigate the service that the web server depends on.

      Troubleshoot Databases

      Is your Disk Full?

      One common reason that a database may not start is if your disk is full. To check how much disk space you are using, run:

      df -h
      

      Note

      This reported disk usage is not the same as the reported storage usage in the Linode Manager. The storage usage in the Linode Manager refers to how much of the the disk space you pay for is allocated to your Linode’s disks. The output of df -h shows how full those disks are.

      You have several options for resolving disk space issues:

      • Free up space on your disk by locating and removing files you don’t need, using a tool like ncdu.

      • If you have any unallocated space on your Linode (storage that you pay for already but which isn’t assigned to your disk), resize your disk to take advantage of the space.

      • Upgrade your Linode to a higher-tier resource plan and then resize your disk to use the newly available space. If your Linode has a pending free upgrade for your storage space, you can choose to take this free upgrade to solve the issue.

      Database Performance Troubleshooting

      If your database is running but returning slowly, research how to optimize the database software for the resources your Linode has. If you run MySQL or MariaDB, read How to Optimize MySQL Performance Using MySQLTuner.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



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