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Building a Website

Overview

Burris Builder Admin automates the creation of websites for you. The creation of a website handles numerous functions from development phase settings, configuration files, database creation and the AWS infrastructure which facilitates functionality such as database servers(RDS), name servers (Route 53) or CDNs (CloudFront).

The websites it builds falls into 3 primary categories: Drupal, WordPress and Custom. Custom websites may be built either as a GitHub address or a blank canvas with absolutely no predetermined files.

This section covers the options available for each websites. Options which are specific to a certain website type are covered under their respective sections. For instance, Admin Settings

To get started, go to port 90 on a secure connection of the domain you have created for your web server. For instance, https://www.example.com:90. Once you're logged in -assuming you have completed Burris Builder Setup- your homepage will be will allow you to begin creating

Universal Settings

Burris Builder is designed to require minimum input for each website, and to allow user intervention if the user decides to change the options. The variety of options change according to which website type you select, but there are a number of options which apply to every website built. Those options which will be covered first, with options specific to each type covered in their respective section.

Basic Settings

Name

The name of your site, of course, but there's more. The name of your site is translated into a machine name which gets used as the basis for a number of resources. The sub domain name, configuration file names, log file names, database names (if applicable) and folder names of where the site is located.

Volume

During the Burris Builder setup process, you attach an additional volume to the web server. This is where your website will get installed. If you have attached more than one volume, this will turn into a drop-down list. If you'd like to add a volume on which the new website will be built, you can do so from here, though be aware there may be charges from AWS.

Level

Level describes the treatment of the website in a few ways: Corresponding PHP pools, Nginx configurations, Burris Builder launch treatment, and behaviors for deleting a website. There are options which related to how dev, stage or live sites are treated when they're deleted, which will be covered in the Builder Admin Configuration section.

  • Development: A dev website will have verbose logging, HTML errors printing to screen, and other PHP options set to their development value. It will also not be cached with OpCache. Nginx configurations have caching headers turned down or off, as well as internal Nginx caching turned off.
  • Staging: A stage website is intended to be closer to live for testing purposes, so caching is turned on for OpCache, but verbose logging and output are still turned on in order for simple debugging.
  • Live: Live uses a PHP pool which employs all production settings. Critical logging only, PHP errors not printed to screen (though your CMS may override this) Nginx caching settings are aggressive - recommended for CDN connection- and OpCache turned on.

Domain Options

Primary Domain

If you would like to have this website answer to an entirely new domain, type it here. This should be the root domain, for instance example.net, without any subdomains such as "www". Subdomains may be added in the following options.

Create Primary Domain in Route 53, if it does not exist.

If checked this will create a new zone in Route 53 and create and A record pointing to your website. You will have to fill in the provided name servers at your registrar for this to be complete. If left unchecked, Route 53 will be left alone and only Nginx configuration files will be written to accept the primary domain or alias URLS.

NOTE: The "Create Primary Domain in Route 53" option will create a new hosting zone, if the Primary Domain is filled out. New zones have (modest) costs associated with them. You may create as many subdomains or domain records of additional charges.

Route 53 Pricing

Alias URLs

These are subdomains which the server will also respond to. To add more than one domain, click "Add another item," you may add as many as you like. Wild cards are supported here, for instance, *.example.com.

Create every Alias Domain if Route 53

This creates subdomain A records, if the current domain exists as a zone in Route 53.

Forward Alias domains to the primary domains with a 301 redirect.

Files Access

The two checkboxes enabled, or disable file access created by WebDav. There are two versions, primarily for the differences in Windows or Mac desktops. Windows will not mount a drive to a domain with a self-signed certificate used in the SSL Dav, and Mac does not support Md5 which which windows requires on its standard port.

These services may be enabled or disabled here or altered after the site has been built in the Edit website section, which is covered in the administration section.

Drupal and WordPress

Drupal and WordPress sites eliminate the option for creating a database, since it's required. It also adds one notable option, Distributions, explained below.

Drupal Distributions

Burris Builder may optionally build distributions for you, pending compatibility the Drush's quick build command line option. You may add or remove your own distributions in the menu, covered in better detail in the Builder Customizing section.

If you choose "None" Burris Builder uses a make file to preload an assortment of hand picked options which are common to every Drupal installation.

Admin Settings

If you would like to customize the email, username and password of the "root" admin user for Drupal or WordPress sites, you can do so here. This section is collapsed by default, because it will be filled in for you if left blank. The email and username of of the admin user will be used to fill this in, and the password will be automatically generated.

Git Repo Clone

Burris Builder supports PHP driven websites, many of which can be loaded into the server, directly from a clone address. Not all repos are tested, of course and some adjustments may be needed. The writing of configuration files makes certain assumptions, such as the index.php file acting as the default file.

Additionally, some applications are contained inside a folder, for instance, /myapp/index.php instead of being loaded directly in a root folder. Burris Builder will attempt to detect this setup and adjust accordingly, but it may need some adjustment with certain implementations.

Git Remote URL

The only required option is, of course, the URL to clone from. Provide the HTTPS clone URL, the address should end with ".git"

Branch

You may also choose to checkout a specific branch. You will need the full "path" of the branch, for instance origin/master

Blank Canvas

Blank installs nothing. It creates a website which supports PHP out of the box, and optionally creates a corresponding database.

Website Options

Two notable options are available for a blank website under Website Options: Create Database and Create Index. Create database will create a database along with username and password with rights to that database. Create index will create a simple "hello world" file in order to confirm the website was launched correctly without having to add any files.