Frequently Asked Questions for Simple Hosting

Here are answers to some common questions you may have about Simple Hosting.

What if I can't remember my sFTP password?

The password for your admin page and sFTP access is the same, and can be changed on your instance control panel in the Access section. See Change Your Admin Panel and sFTP Password.

Failed to open page: Safari can't open the specified address.  Safari can't open "s" because Mac OS X doesn't recognize Internet addresses starting with "sftp:"

In order to upload files through the sFTP link, you must first have an sFTP client installed on your computer, just like you need to have an email client (i.e. Apple Mail) or you will get a similar error when you click on a link using a mailto: link (

In Safari, go to the “View” menu and click “Show Status bar” so that the status bar appears at the bottom of the screen. Now, when you place the mouse over a link, you will be able to see a given link's destination URL in the status bar:

As you can see, the sFTP link in your Simple Hosting control panel is not a regular web link (http:// or https://) but an sftp:// protocol link, which means a special program is required to open it on your computer. If you don't have an sFTP program installed on your computer, you will receive an error message:

"Safari can't open "s" because 
Mac OS X doesn't recognize Internet addresses starting with "sftp:". 

All you need to do is install an sFTP client on your computer and use it to upload the files. There is a list of them here.

How can I connect to FTP on my instance?

You can’t; FTP is not supported. You must use a compatible SFTP client. For MS Windows systems, we suggest Putty or WinSCP. For Mac, try Cyberduck. Check out these tutorials.

Can I install other binaries or libraries ?

Yes ! You can install and use any binary or library on your instance, in a global fashion or specifically for a given site in the case of PHP.

Global installation :

  • With sFTP, place your files in the /lamp0/home/ directory
  • The path to include in your code is /srv/data/home/, which is the same you'll use to find those files via SSH

Site / VHOST specific installation :

PHP instances treat each VHOST as a separate Site and environment. Therefore, you can place your files within the code base and make them available only to that specific project.

For example, if you have a VHOST called “www.mydomain.tld” and a folder called my_folder containing your binaries, you can include them from /srv/data/web/vhosts/www.mydomain.tld/my_folder .

This feature is not available on older instances, such as PHP 5.4

How and where do I upload files to my instance?

Upload your files with SFTP. See the tutorials.

A directory will have been created corresponding to the website address you added under the vhosts/ directory on your instance. You can add more using the Websites section of your Simple Hosting instance management page.

Files relating to your site should be placed in the htdocs/ folder located in the directory named for your site, under vhosts/.

This information is also available in the quick start guide which is available for download here.

Is it possible to access my instance via command line with SSH? What about rsync or webdav?

Not yet, but you can use sshfs instead. See Connecting to your instance via command line with 'sshfs'.

You can also use an SFTP client or the web interface.

I transferred my files to my instance, but I still see the default message "It works!" on my website. Why?

When your virtual host was created, the system added an index.html file in the directory htdocs/. This is the file that displays the “It works” message. Just delete or replace this file, so if your index file is called index.php, for example, it will then be recognized as the index file for your host.

Where are your datacenters?

Our datacenters are in Paris (France) and Bissen (Luxembourg). Our datacenter in Baltimore, USA, will be shutdown in December 2016. You can choose where you want to have your Simple Hosting instance hosted when you create your instance. More on our network can be found on our website on this page.

How do I make a database for my website?

You can use the tools for the database you select. For MySQL, phpMyAdmin is a free and open source tool written in PHP used to administer MySQL databases using a web browser. It provides a graphical interface you can use to create, modify and delete databases, tables, and users.

For PostgreSQL, there is a tool called phpPgAdmin which works in a similar way. For MongoDB, the tool is called rockMongo.

I can not remember my password for MySQL, or I accidentally deleted the root account on my MySQL server. How can I retrieve it?

Initially, there is no password on the root account of your MySQL database. If you set one and you do not remember it, or you deleted the root account, you will lose root access to the database. Recovery is possible by clicking the “Reset the password” link next to the Database line on the Simple hosting instance control panel.

How can I point more than one site address, domain, or subdomain to the same site?

To point multiple domains to a single site, you can use our free forwarding service.

In particular, if you made a vhost with the plain domain (e.g vhost is called and you can resolve it at, but you also want to be able to type and have it work, use a web forwarding entry for the www subdomain and point it to

If, however, you want to point multiple site addresses installed on the same instance to the same files, you should use a symlink.

Can I host multiple sites on the same instance?

Does the “up to 200 domains" limit apply to all sizes of instances?

Yes. Note: the limits on your instance are global to all hosted sites. If you have 100 static content sites with few visitors, it will be no problem for a Small sized instance, but a single important, active site will probably require a larger instance.

Where can I see statistics of visits to my site(s)?

Logs of your instance (Apache2, PHP process, MySQL) are available on your administration page, but we do not pre-install any statistical software. You can use external software like Google Analytics, or OpenWebAnalytics.

What about the Apache and PHP modules installed on my instance?

You can see which modules are installed by accessing the admin page for your instance (http://<id> There you will find a phpinfo link and a full Apache status link. If you do not yet have an instance, and you want to know what modules are available, click here for the phpinfo for an instance of size S.

Are languages other than PHP / MySQL available?

For the moment, no (note that PHP/MySQL instances support HTML already). Other types of instances will be made available during the year, and a wishlist is already available. Tell us what you would like to see!

Is it possible to install an SSL Certificate on Simple Hosting?

Yes, starting at the M pack. To activate it, go to the management page of your instance, and click on the “activate a certificate” icon next to the address (vhost) in question. (see how)

How does Simple Hosting compare to the shared hosting I have on my current web host?

Simple Hosting is not a so-called shared hosting offer, but a distinct, dedicated instance with optimized load-balancing, system accelerator cache, and many other advantages.

Our prices are close to what you would pay for a shared platform, but we think the quality of service, the security of a dedicated instance, and the stability of performance are all much better. :)

Why don't changes to files take effect immediately?

Simple Hosting includes a system accelerator cache: you must either wait or purge the cache for immediate access to files.

Can I change the PHP configuration files (php.ini) and MySQL (my.cnf)?

Yes, you can overwrite the configuration of PHP on your instance. Several variables can be modified. More details can be found on this page.

How do I change the name of my instance?

You can’t right now. We will create a procedure if we get enough requests on our wishlist.

Is it possible to set up scheduled tasks such CRON?

Yes! We recently added the ability to use the anacrontab program to set up scheduled tasks. See: Anacron

My registrar does not allow me to add a TXT record in the DNS zone file of my domain name.

Some registrars, when you use their DNS servers and manage the domain name DNS zone file on their control panel, do not support TXT records, which are required for adding a virtualhost to your Simple Hosting instance.

There are two ways to solve this issue:

  • Transfer your domain name to a registrar which allows TXT records in the DNS zone file when using their DNS servers (why, yes, Gandi DNS servers are able to manage TXT records), OR
  • Use external DNS servers. There are some DNS providers that can manage only the DNS servers for your domain name and allow the TXT records in their DNS zone file management interface.

Error 404 Vhost unknown / Varnish cache server

This message is displayed when a domain is pointing to a Simple Hosting instance on which the domain name is not declared as virtual host.

This could occur if you manually edit your zone file and make a mistake, or if you delete a vhost and don't remove the zone file entry pointing to the instance.

To resolve the issue, first check the “website addresses” section of the instance control panel to see the vhosts that have been declared there.

You will usually want to proceed in either one of the following ways:

  • Declare the domain name (let's say as its own vhost. Once you have added that vhost, the folder will be created in the instance, and you will upload the website files there via sFTP.
  • If there is already an existing, functional vhost declared with a different address, you will instead want to add a web forwarding entry so that the domain name redirects to it instead of pointing at the instance.

In the Simple Hosting context, virtual hosts cannot function as aliases. Each virtual host is a “container” for one website. Therefore, do not add multiple vhosts that are intended to display the same content; use web forwarding instead.

See also:

Error 503 Service Unavailable / Varnish cache server

This error can occur for several reasons. The cause will usually be evident from the instance logs. Restarting the instance sometimes resolves the problem.

Since updating to PHP 5.4, WordPress returns a blank page (error 500)

We will post a solution to this issue soon.

I added my vhost, but it's been 3+ hours and I still don't see my website.

Did not allow automatic update to zone file

You may have clicked “ignore” when prompted to choose whether or not to allow an automatic update to your zone file when you added your virtual host:

Delete & re-add the virtual host

If you clicked Submit without checking the “Replace the DNS zone file record” box (or clicked “Ignore” instead of “Submit”), AND you haven't uploaded any files to your Simple Hosting instance yet, you can delete the vhost and re-add it, making sure to check the box (or click “Submit” instead of “Ignore” when prompted) this time.

Edit the zone file manually

Otherwise, you can edit your zone file manually. Mouse over the name of your vhost from the instance control panel, where you will find the necessary records to add to your zone file.

Note that you may need to replace these entries if they are already present (they are often pointing to our parking page):

www 10800 IN CNAME
@ 10800 IN A

Don't forget to add web forwarding so redirects to, if necessary.

Changed to Gandi's DNS after adding vhost

If you changed to Gandi's DNS after adding a virtual host, the new zone file may not contain the records linking your domain name to your instance. You will need to add the entries manually (hover over the vhost in question from the instance management page to see the record you need to add).

Configuration error messages

If you see this… It means this:
The address will be created on our servers in a few minutes. You're ready to upload your files
DNS Conflict… This message indicates that your zone file can be updated for you automatically, but that the address you are adding is already configured to point somewhere, so you must confirm you want to overwrite it. \\
Warning: [domain.tld] is not registered with Gandi, does not use Gandi's DNS, or is not in your account…” The zone file can't be updated automatically.
Address (vhost) already exists This error means that the address you entered is already associated with an instance. If you don't see it declared as a vhost on any of your instances, check the other handles that are associated with the domain from its control panel.

Can I use the ioncube PHP Decoder with Simple Hosting?

Yes. You can place the Ioncube Loader module on your instance as described in the section Can I install other binaries or libraries ?

Then, declare the extension in the /lamp0/etc/php/php-custom.ini file using the following line:

zend_extension = /srv/data/home/my_version_ioncube/

Save the changed file, and then restart the instance.

On PHP 5.4 instances, the module is already pre-installed and available at the following path : /usr/lib/php5/20100525/, so you just have to include the path in the php-custom.ini file mentioned above.

See this article for instructions on doing so.

Can I install and use Atos payments?


On older instances, such as the PHP 5.4 instance, we have installed the SIPS Atos modules for you to use for processing payments.

On newer instances, you must install the modules yourself.

Sips/Atos binaries are provided by your bank or payment gateway partner. Please contact your bank or partner to gain access to the official binaries and then upload them to your instance. You should always prefer to use the official modules provided by your bank or partner over the ones bundled in your application, CMS or third-party plugins.

Location of the configuration files:

You can place the Atos files in a subdirectory of the /tmp directory, or in a subdirectory of the corresponding vhost.

You will specify this path in the pathfile file, for example:




Similarly, the path specified in the pathfile parameter in the code of the request or response should specify the full (absolute) path:

$parm="$parm pathfile=/srv/data/web/vhosts/";

Specifying paths to the ''request'' and ''response'' binaries

In your code for making requests to the SIPS system, as well as in the response pages, you will need to specify the paths to the request and response binaries using the $path_bin variable, like this:

On older instances :

$path_bin = "/usr/local/bin/atos/request";
$path_bin = "/usr/local/bin/atos/response";

On newer instances, for example (you can name these however you'd like):

$path_bin = "/srv/data/home/atos/request";
$path_bin = "/srv/data/home/atos/response";

Can I debug my code remotely with xdebug?

Using xdebug to debug your code remotely from within your favorite IDE is perfectly possible on PHP/MySQL Simple Hosting instances as long as you have a public IP address for the instance to connect to.

To do so, indicate the following directives in your instance's php-custom.ini configuration file:

zend_extension = /usr/lib/php5/20100525/
xdebug.remote_autostart = On
xdebug.remote_connect_back = Off
xdebug.remote_enable = On
xdebug.remote_handler =  dbgp
xdebug.remote_host = X.X.X.X
xdebug.remote_port = 9000

The xdebug.remote_host directive must contain your public IP address.

Once the file has been modified, the instance must be restarted for the parameters to be taken into account.

Xdebug connects to the client machine on port 9000 via TCP by default. Make sure your firewall is configured to allow incoming connections on this port!

Client-side configuration depends on the software used. A list of clients is available at

How do I get Google Image Preview to show my site?

Please refer to Google's FAQ on this topic at:

access the "Authorization" headers

In the event that you would like to use authentication based on HTTP, you will need to add the following directives in your ”.htaccess” file.

RewriteCond %{HTTP:Authorization} ^(.+)
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ $1 [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%1,PT]

Public IP addresses of instances for authorization

A Simple Hosting instance does not have an public IP Address, but rather, a private IP address; this is because they are not intended to be accessed directly. All of the connections that are made to the instance (notably for websites that they host) are made through web accelerators (varnish) that are ahead of the instances.

Consequently, the IP addresses to authorize in order to allow the passage of requests coming from an instance are those from the datacenter where the instance is located:

  • For the Paris datacenter (dc0): to
  • For the Luxembourg datacenter (dc2): and
  • FR-SD3:
  • FR-SD5:
  • FR-SD6:

However, it is important to keep in mind that any Simple Hosting instance can make requests from these IPs, whether it is your own or not.

SFTP signatures for Gandi Simple Hosting instances

The key fingerprint will have the following signature, whether your instance is hosted in our Paris, Baltimore, or Luxembourg datacenter:

2048 35:e0:5a:a9:54:12:55:6b:ce:41:8c:c1:9e:35:1d:f6 (RSA)

1024 80:c7:a8:05:dc:79:92:f1:9c:b7:61:46:a7:ad:2d:f7 (DSA)

Change the MySQL 5.7 strict mode

There is no my.cnf available on Simple Hosting, and it's not possible to change the global settings through the CLI (SET GLOBAL).

You can change the session's settings with the 'root' right; defaults settings will be restored on MySQL restart.

 mysql> SET SESSION sql_mode = '    '; 

How to install wp-cli

You don't have the write right in the Simple Hosting system's directories, but you can use alias instead.
At first, you need your SSH console to be activated, and connect to it.

Then, run the following commands :

cd /srv/data/home
echo "alias wp='/srv/data/home/wp-cli.phar'" >> /srv/data/etc/bash/bashrc

press CTRL-D (leave current session)
then press ENTER (open a session)

Test it :

wp --info
Last modified: 01/30/2018 at 21:40 by Richard M. (Gandi)