Getting Started

You've decided to host with Opalstack? Thanks, that's great! ❤️

Ready to go? Let's get started! 🚀

Creating a new account

  1. Go to our signup page.

  2. Select Monthly or Yearly billing. The yearly discount is 12 months for the price of 10.

  3. Select your hosting plan:

    • The Value Stack, Single Stack, and Double Stack are managed shared hosting plans that include a 14-day free trial.
    • The VPS plans are virtual private servers which can provide more RAM and better isolation compared to shared hosting. New VPS plans are usually provisioned within a few hours (usually much less!) but may sometimes require up to 24 hours for setup.
    • The Dedicated plans are dedicated bare-metal servers which provide even more RAM and raw power for demanding applications. New dedicated plans require a 1-3 day setup time (sometimes longer).
  4. Select your desired server location.

  5. Enter your email address in the space provided. Your email address will be used for billing and as a means for us to contact you regarding matters concerning your account.

  6. Enter the username for your account in the space provided. You'll use this name when you log in to the dashboard and the dashboard API.

    Usernames must meet the following requirements:

    • They may contain only lower-case alpha-numeric characters (a-z, 0-9)
    • They must be no more than 150 characters in length.
    • They must be unique -- that is, you cannot register with a username that already exists.
  7. Enter your desired account password in the space provided. You'll use this password when you log in to the dashboard and the dashboard API.

    Passwords must meet the following requirements:

    • Must contain at least 1 of each of the following:
    • 1 lowercase letter A-Z
    • 1 uppercase letter a-z
    • 1 numeral 0-9
    • 1 special character
    • Must be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 254 characters in length.
  8. If you have any questions or instructions for the Opalstack support team, enter them into the space provided.

  9. Enter the following information for your credit card:

    • Card number
    • Card expiration date in the form of MM/YY.
    • 3-digit card verification code from the back of your card

    Our payment and billing processor is Stripe. We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club, and China UnionPay credit and debit cards.

  10. Click the Sign Up button!

    • If there is a problem with the information you provided in the form, the fields with errors will be highlighted in red. Correct the entries in those fields and resubmit the form.
    • If all goes well, you'll be redirected to your Opalstack hosting dashboard, and you'll receive a welcome email a short while later.
    • You'll also receive an invitation to subscribe to our marketing/newsletter mailing list. If you don't wish to subscribe, just ignore the message and you won't receive marketing and newsletter emails from us.

That's it - you're ready to build your first site!

Building a Site

Overview

Sites on Opalstack are built from the following components:

  • Shell users which own and run web applications.
  • Web applications which are routed to URI paths like /, /blog, etc.
  • Domains and subdomains which are assigned to complete the site.

Read on to learn how it's done!

1. Add a new Shell User and Application

  1. Click on Applications in the dashboard sidebar and click Create Shell User near the upper right corner of the page. A form will appear.

  2. Select the server for your new shell user. This will be the server from which your site will be served.

  3. Enter the username that you want for the new shell user. This is the name that you'll use when you log in to SSH and SFTP as that user.

  4. When all of the inputs are valid a green Create Shell User button will appear in the form. Click the button to save your new shell user.

  5. The new shell user is assigned a random initial password which is available in your dashboard notice log. We recommend you change the shell user's password after you have created it.

  6. Click on Applications in the dashboard sidebar and click Create Application near the upper right corner of the page. A form will appear.

  7. Enter a name for the application. This will be the name of the filesystem directory that the dashboard will create for your application.

  8. Click on the application type that you want to use. Additional options may appear after you've selected your application type.

  9. Set the applicable options for the application type that you've selected.

  10. Select the shell user that you created in the preceeeding steps.

    ℹ️ Note

    You must create a new shell user before you can create a new application.

  11. When all of the inputs are valid a green Create Application button will appear in the form. Click the button to save your new application.

  12. Check your dashboard notice log for additional details about your application such as your initial username and password (if applicable).

2. Create a new Domain and Site

  1. Click on Domains in the dashboard sidebar and click Add Your Domain near the top right corner of the page. A form will appear.

  2. Click the purple Add Domain or Subdomain button in the form.

  3. Enter the domain name in the space provided.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each additional domain and subdomain that you'll use on the site. For example, if you want to use domain.com and www.domain.com, you'll need to create both of them.

  5. When all of the inputs are valid a green Add Your Domain button will appear in the form. Click the button to save your new domains.

  6. Click on Domains in the dashboard sidebar and click Add Site near the top right corner of the page. A form will appear.

  7. Give the site a name to help you identify it in the dashboard.

  8. Select your server and IP address.

  9. If you want to use HTTPS with your site, toggle the Automatic Let's Encrypt™ Certificate option for the site.

  10. Click Route Domain near the top right corner of the form. A list of your domains will appear.

  11. Select your domain from the list.

  12. Repeat the previous 2 steps for each domain on the site.

  13. Click Route Domain near the top right corner of the form. A list of your applications will appear.

  14. Select your application from the list and enter / as the path in the field provided.

  15. When all of the inputs are valid a green Add Site button will appear in the form. Click the button to save your new site.

🎉 Congratulations -- you now have a site!