WebsitePanel installation guide [Windows 2003]

Note that this article describes the 'standalone server' setup for WebsitePanel.  Also, if your server is running Windows 2008, please see our WebsitePanel installation guide for Windows 2008.  
It is always recommended that you have a recent backup of your server before making a major change to it. Please contact a Newtek Representative if you are not making your own backups or if you do not have a backup option with us.

Before installing WebsitePanel, you'll need to be sure you have all the required ingredients installed first, such as .NET 2.0, SQL, which is required for the software to work.

The easiest way to install any required (or suggested) items you might be missing is to use Microsoft's Web Application Installer (WPI).  If you don't already have the WPI on your server, please visit with your server's web browser to download it.


1.  Run "Web Platform Installer."

On the main screen of WPI you could see the list of latest products and libraries available for the current platform (Windows Server 2003). Select the checkbox for “Web Deployment Tool” item to install MS Deploy library. This library is required for WebsitePanel to integrate with Microsoft Web App Gallery module:

2.  Click “Web Platform” tab and then click “Customize” link in “Web Server”.  Check to see if the following web server components are installed.  If not, you may want to install them (FastCGI for IIS 6.0 improves PHP performance, for example).
Internet Information Services 6.0 (this should already be installed on your server).
FastCGI for IIS 6.0

3.  Click “Back to Web Platform” button to return on previous screen.

4.  Then, click “Customize” link in “Frameworks and Runtimes” section. Select the items you wish to install, then click the "Install" button below (ASP.NET, ASP.NET MVC, .NET Framework 3.5, PHP 5.x, and Windows Cache Extension for PHP 5.x are recommended).  Keep in mind that even if you don't personally need ASP.NET MVC, installing it will allow your customers to use it.

5.  Back on "Web Platform" tab on the WPI, click "Customize" for the Database section (if you already have SQL installed on your server, skip this step).

6.  Select the SQL Server Express 2008 options, then click the “Install” below it.

7.  Because you are installing SQL, the WPI will prompt you to select an authentication mode. Choose “Mixed Mode,” then provide a strong password that includes at least a number and special character. Then complete the installation.

Enabling PHP Extensions

1.  After installing PHP with Web PI, you'll need to enable PHP extension in IIS (that is, if they aren't already enabled).  Open IIS manager, right-click "Web Service Extensions" in the left navigation tree and select "Add new Web service extension..." from expanded menu:

2.  Specify "PHP 5" as extension name

3.  Click Add.

4.  Select path to the php-cgi.exe file.

5.  And then be sure to select the "Set extension status to Allowed" checkbox.

Installing SMTP Services

1.  To send notifications from WebsitePanel, you'll need to be sure that SMTP services are installed (which is a part of IIS6).  To do so, go to your server's Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs > Add/Remove Windows Components.

Click the "Details" button on "Application Server."

2.  Then click "Details" again on "Internet Information Services (IIS)."

3.  Select the checkbox for "SMTP Service", then click "OK" on all opened dialog boxes to start the installation.

Configuring IIS Logging

In order to collect and analyze consumed web sites traffic in WebsitePanel you have to enable logging in IIS. By default logging in the correct format is already on, but some important options are not enabled.

Open IIS Manager snap-in, right-click on “Web Sites” node and then select “Properties”. In the opened dialog click “Properties...” button in “Enable logging” section and then switch to “Advanced” tab. Select the “Bytes sent” and “Bytes received” checkboxes, then click OK.

Disabling Password Complexity Policy

To disable password complexity policy open “Local Security Settings” snap-in (Start -> Administrative Tools) and then expand “Account Policies -> Password Policy” node. Set “Password must meet complexity requirements” to disabled.

Installing WebsitePanel

1.  To download the WebsitePanel installer, visit the following link with your server's web browser:
Once you've downloaded and installed the WebsitePanel installer, double-click the installer Icon on your server's desktop (you may need to right-click the icon, instead, and "run as administrator").

2.  When the WebsitePanel Installer opens, click “View Available Components.”

3.  Click the “Install” link for “WebsitePanel Standalone Server Setup.”

4.  On the Setup Wizard, click “Next.”

5.  You’ll then need to read and agree to the terms of the License Agreement.

6.  The wizard will perform a system configuration check. This process may take a couple of minutes. Once completed, and all statuses show as “success,” click “Next.”

7.  On the next step, you’ll need to select an IP address for the WebsitePanel portal. If you are only working with the 2 standard IP addresses that came included with your server purchase (e.g. you did not purchase additional IP blocks), go ahead and select your primary (machine) IP address. Note that the port number is 9001 (and be sure the port number used here is allowed in the firewall).

8.  Next will be database settings. Do not change the SQL Server or Authentication fields. They should remain as “localhost\sqlexpress” and “Windows Authentication.” You can, however, change the Database name if you wish, but you can click “Next” without making any changes.

9.  Provide a strong password; this will be for the “Serveradmin” account for WebsitePanel.

10.  The installation process may take several minutes; once completed, click “Next.”

11.  Congratulations, WebsitePanel is now installed. On the last step of the wizard, click “Finish.”

12.  Your WebsitePanel portal will now be accessible from any internet-connected web browser by visiting http:[the IP address used on step 7]:9001.

For example,


To configure WebsitePanel to work with your installed software, visit our WebsitePanel cookbook chapter on configuration (please note that although the cookbook linked here is written for Windows 2008 setup, the configuration chapter applies to both Windows 2003 and Windows 2008 WebsitePanel installations).

Importing Existing Resource

WebsitePanel has an ability to import hosting resources (web sites, FTP accounts, mail domains, DNS zones, databases, etc.) that were not created using the WebsitePanel software. This feature is ideal for anyone migrating from other hosting management solutions and plan non-automated hosting (where everything was created manually by system administrator).

For instructions on how to import resources, please see our KB article on the subject.

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