Forgetting to uncheck "Share document root", one user erase his website

nlaruelle

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
39
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Belgium
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Hello,

Today I had the bad news to get a ticket from a user who erased his website by installing a new WordPress (through WP Toolkit), to an "addon" domain (or, now, I don't know how we are supposed to call that : "second domain added in an existing cPanel account!?").

Looking on that issue, we discovered that instinctively, he had "add another domain" under the unified "Domains" section > Submit that form and go straight to WP Toolkit to install WordPress.

I mean that he did not Unchecked the "Share document root" checkbox under the "Document Root (File System Location) " section.

Document Root (File System Location)
If the document root is shared then the created domain will serve the same content as “example.com”. This setting is permanent.
Share document root (/home/example/public_html) with “example.com”.
the Default option offer the ability to ERASE the files through WP Toolkit (specially dangerous for (not so) beginner users)

See screenshot below.

It seems obvious to me that this checkbox should be Unchecked by default, to avoid the risk that users erase their WordPress websites with Toolkit, right after adding a new domain to the cPanel account (sure, Toolkit shows a warning, but my user was sure that he had selected the right "addon domain").

My users even don't know in which case they should point several domains to the same index.php file. The most part of the addon domains are not kind of "alias", but real websites hosted at the cPanel account root level (/home/user/example.com/).

Do you agree that "most of the time, addon domains are used to host addon websites" ?

If yes, you should agree that this checkbox should be Unchecked, because
1. it is the most common usage
2. the actual behaviour is "destructive" in case users do not read well the "disclaimer" each time they add an addon domain
(and most of the users don't read all the disclaimers… and I confess I could make the mistake too by adding domains quick, the unified "domains" section was confusing in some way => specially this "inheritDocumentRoot" checkbox :-(

Or at least, give us the possibility to uncheck the box from WHM tweak settings...

Hopefully, I am doing daily backups. So I was able to restore the files from the night, but it seems he lost some data.

Thanks A Lot in advance for the people from cPanel who are reading users complaining here :-D

Tell me if I am wrong with this UX choice. !?
 

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cPRex

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I spoke with the team and they are going to do a bit of research to see what the most common option is, as that will decide if the checkbox is on by default. In general, I personally think Alias domains are a bit more common than Addon domains, which would encourage the checkmark being there by default, but I'll let them do the actual work on that and make a decision.

If I hear any updates on this I'll be sure to post them.
 

nlaruelle

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
39
16
58
Belgium
cPanel Access Level
Website Owner
Hi cPRex!

Thanks for this first-fast answer :)

From my tiny experience, I don't "think" that "Alias domains" are globally more common than "Addon domains", but since every case is unique, making the option available in the "Tweak Setting" to uncheck that "inheritDocumentRoot" by default (to the cPanel licence owner responsibility) should be a great choice ?

I also ask the cPanel community opinion here. I will be curious to ask this to massive shared hosting providers that promote hosting for unlimited websites in a single cPanel account (bad practice, I know, but cPanel account have a cost).

For my part, only less than 5% of my users use "Alias domains", but +50% use "Addon domains", at least.

The actual default option for the "Share document root" checkbox could be destructive ; the second option (uncheck), not destructive.

I'm hosting less than 1k cPanel account, but I am already worrying to get more users in the future who's made this "easy mistake"… (I do not worry for the hours of support to fix on our side > restoring backup… But worry for some sensitive files that could be definitely lost for my unexperimented users).
I cannot tell them : "You must uncheck the box, it's your obvious mistake"… as myself I think this one should be unchecked.
The tasks of Adding an "Addon Domain" and then "Install WordPress" via Toolkit should be straight for beginners, with no (such) risk to actually remove all the files of a previous WordPress install. Even if WP Toolkit, warn about it, it's not enough (you know, game consoles always ask if you want to "quit without saving" even if you actually saved the game 5sec ago ;-) it means that "warning are never enough", because people are in the hurry and "Skip the warning").

I would like to ask, what you think about a "Splash Screen" or "Dynamic Dropdown" asking :
"What do you want to add [Addon Domain] [Alias Domain]"
but it was the cPanel old fashion way, and it was removed with the unified Domains section.

I understand that your UX specialist look to avoid more "clicks" made by the users, for common task (and I support your "Jupiter, v100+ developments"!).
That's why I want to warn the community about this issue, because more and more people will use Toolkit also (great product!).
Better to fix globally !? than doing my selfish keeping my info and customize the XML Lang file to add my own warning-workaround :)

As a provider, I serve only few hundreds of cPanel users, and it already happened Twice to my users base to forget to Uncheck this box, in the past 2 ~ 3 weeks.

With the cumulative effect, for bigger companies, I cannot imagine the potential consequences of thisUX "issue" (my thoughts).

As usual, in the meantime, my suggestions or ideas for a workaround :

I already could customize my french XML translation file to better warn my users,
but I am curious if there is something else I can do to unchecked that properly from my side by CLI ?

Thanks a lot, I know cPanel is concerned by the "Data loss risk" (of course), and will offer us the best "solution" for the long run.
 
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Steverino

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Nov 5, 2022
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I vote for having the box unchecked. I have never added an alias domain, but have add quite a few addon domains over the years. I'm just a website owner, small business, not a backend admin guy.

I moved to a Cpanel from Plesk, and when adding a domain on the cPanel I was presented with the checkbox already checked. I wasn't sure I should go with that or not.

I had to search out what it meant by checking or unchecking the box so as not to make a mistake. This was my search term "cpanel which is better share document root or separate document root".

Fortunately, I found this post and I now know I do not want to share the document root. I can't conceive of anyone ever wanting to do that when adding a domain to their hosting account.

I agree with everything cPRex has stated. I think his points are really important and I registered on this forum just to put in this comment.

"What do you want to add [Addon Domain] [Alias Domain]"… Having that simple instruction - and a checkbox for one or the other - would have been very helpful.
 
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cPRex

Jurassic Moderator
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Oct 19, 2014
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nlaruelle

Active Member
Sep 4, 2017
39
16
58
Belgium
cPanel Access Level
Website Owner
It takes very long time to fix a so critical issue :( that drive some users removing their WordPress websites, by creating domain and using WordPress Toolkit after that (frequent behaviour).
 
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LBJ

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Nov 1, 2003
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Another simple solution would be to do something radical like have two separate options - one specifically for creating alias domains, and another for creating addon domains.

Our end-users never encountered confusion or problems similar to this prior to cPanel's moves towards packing all the domain functions into one option.

I really have doubts about the level of UI/UX expertise being employed of late in cPanel's interface changes.

Regards,

LBJ
 
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