The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, Debtember 07, 2004

Control panels redux

Have I mentioned how much I hate control panels? Oh, I guess I have.

A simple operation. Changing the IP address of a site. Make a one, maybe two line change to the DNS zone file, a one, maybe two line change to the Apache configuration file, restart both (and maybe add the IP address to the machine, another file and a command). Ten minutes, and that's if I'm taking my time.

With the control panel C uses?

You can't!

The control panel has two “plans” for websites, a name-based plan, where the website shares the IP address with all the other sites on the server, and an IP-based plan, where the site has its own IP address. The IP-based plan allows you to change the IP address of the site. Except to the IP address of the box. If you try, you get:

And once a site is set to an IP-based plan, you can't switch to a named-based plan. Nor can you switch from a name-based plan to an IP-based plan. “Once created, a name-based domain cannot be changed to an IP-based domain.” (emphasis added)

Oh, you still want to change it anyway?

You'll have to create a new domain. It can't have the name as the old domain, unless you delete it first. And it doesn't matter if you try to create the domain on a different server—you still have to delete the existing website if you want to use the same name.


Sure, the control panel makes it easy to do the typical things you do, create a website, with users, and manage email accounts and FTP accounts, as long as you don't mind doing things its way. Once you start straying from the proscribed course of things (such as earlier today, I had to create a user account with restricted FTP access—it's possible, but not through the control panel) things become difficult, if not outright impossible, quickly.

The inability of this XXXXXXX control panel software to change the IP address of a site is just mind bloggling to me. And this is not like this is the first time, or the second time, this has come up—no, this is like the third or fourth time this has come up since I've started.

Did I mention I hate control panels?

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