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dont want to use 'public_html'

I am adding a domain to my Deluxe Hosting account.  I have already created a folder in the home directory for the files for this website.  When I add the domain in cPanel, it asks where the files are located for this domain.  I tell it the folder I want and it automatically adds 'public_html' to the folder string.  I don't want this website in the public_html folder.  I have other websites/domains set up exactly the way I want to set up this website but GoDaddy cPanel hosting will not let me direct my new domain to the folder I want.
Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

43 REPLIES 43
Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Hi @rick_od. Thanks for being part of GoDaddy Community. Unfortunately, it's not currently possible to map your addon domains to folders above the /public_html root. Our developers are aware of this and are determining whether or not it will be added in a future update. I'll try to update here if the situation changes. Sorry Man Sad

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

i already have two existing websites in folders above the public_html folder.  i have had them for several years.  so it is possible.  unless you are saying they changed the policy and the ones that are already there are grandfathered and i cant add any new websites above the public_html folder?

please advise.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@rick_od - That's correct. It was possible at one time but no longer is. I would advise against editing the directory path for any of your older addon domains as it will cause them to be moved under the /public_html directory. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

im not happy about this but i understand.  i just want my website files to be organized.  

 

just so i know i am correct, i can in fact create separate folders under 'public_html' and move my existing websites that are above public_html to these new folders under public_html, correct?

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@rick_od Yes. However, before doing so, I suggest making sure that changing this won't affect your sites. That could happen if you have the absolute path for the site coded into its scripting somewhere. I'd also recommend copying the files from one location to the other first before making the change within the Addon Domains page. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@JesseW wrote:

Hi @rick_od. Thanks for being part of GoDaddy Community. Unfortunately, it's not currently possible to map your addon domains to folders above the /public_html root. Our developers are aware of this and are determining whether or not it will be added in a future update. I'll try to update here if the situation changes. Sorry Man Sad

 


Honestly, if these developers have any understanding of modern web applications and care at all about security, it should be top priority to fix this. 

 

Many web applications require that the document root be set to a folder within the application root. This protects higher level sensitive code and configurations to be protected by being outside of the publicly accessible folder(s). For example, with the current setup, there is no way to securely install Zend Framework, an application made available within your own Application Loader. 

 

So let's be real here. It is completely irresponsible to not turn off the WHM setting "Restrict document roots to public_html" found under Tweak Settings -> Domains for shared hosting as that is all it would take. That is unless this was done purposefully to try to push people into more expensive hosting packages.  

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

I would like to add to this - its unnaceptable and unnecessary

 

I was adding a new domain to my account and noticed the issue above around the folder path changing away from what I had typed to within public_HTML folder.

When I seen this, I went to one of my existing sites already hosted and changed its root as a temp process to see if this would work - it then also changed to a folder within public_html folder - breaking my site which I am still trying to fix.

 

Call to support was pointless as was basically told - "tough this is the new way after an update".

 

Why do godaddy not consult or think about this stuff then communicate with its customers?

 

Communication between godaddy and its customers keeps getting worse and worse.

 

This happened a few years ago too, then all of a sudden started working again.

 

Please switch this functionality back on - its industry standard way of working.

 

Really considering moving all my accounts to a new host as I am sick of Godaddys lack of planning and communication becoming my urgency - especially when it leaves me with no valid options.

Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@fartingspartan wrote:

 

Call to support was pointless as was basically told - "tough this is the new way after an update".


Yes, after several calls and chats, the last person I spoke with was actually quite rude to me and posted a portion of the terms and services that was a blanket "we can do whatever we want" and then pretty much lied to me. I was furious.

 

I had even gave them step by step instructions on how to edit my vhost files to at least fix the subdomain of mine that they broke. I would have been able to do it myself but as I do not have permissions with my SSH user, I needed someone with sudo access to do it but they refused to even entertain the idea of doing it.

 


@fartingspartan wrote:

 

Really considering moving all my accounts to a new host as I am sick of Godaddys lack of planning and communication becoming my urgency - especially when it leaves me with no valid options.


I have a number of accounts both personally, as side projects and through work. If this isn't resolved very soon I certainly will be moving and recommending the same to anyone I speak to. 

 

It's not just the ridiculous change that they made. It's also how they have handled it after making it.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@fartingspartan @aNorthernSoul - I definitely understand your frustration with the situation. I just wanted to clarify that enabling the feature isn't just a matter of our cPanel team knowing how to do so. That's not the issue at the moment. The issue is that the removal of the custom theme caused unforeseen issues with integrations with other products and services within our infrastructure. Until those issues are resolved, we can't enable the feature in question. I know that's not much of an explanation, but it's the best I can provide at the moment. Sorry Man Sad

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@JesseW wrote:

@fartingspartan @aNorthernSoul - I definitely understand your frustration with the situation. I just wanted to clarify that enabling the feature isn't just a matter of our cPanel team knowing how to do so. That's not the issue at the moment. The issue is that the removal of the custom theme caused unforeseen issues with integrations with other products and services within our infrastructure. Until those issues are resolved, we can't enable the feature in question. I know that's not much of an explanation, but it's the best I can provide at the moment. Sorry Man Sad

 


If that's the case, then I would think that the support staff should agree to use sudo access to update the affected vhost files to fix the subdomains that whose document root was forcibly changed without warning rather than being rude to customers. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@aNorthernSoul I definitely agree that you should never have to deal with rudeness when contacting support. Quality of support is something that we take great pride in and that doesn't line up with what we expect of our agents. However, our support agents wouldn't have the needed access to change this setting for you. It's something that our hosting admins would have to change. Typically, this isn't something that would be done, especially if there are other issues to consider as I mentioned above. I do think it's worth exploring in this case though, so I will pass on the suggestion to our product managers. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@JesseW wrote:

@aNorthernSoul I definitely agree that you should never have to deal with rudeness when contacting support. Quality of support is something that we take great pride in and that doesn't line up with what we expect of our agents. However, our support agents wouldn't have the needed access to change this setting for you. It's something that our hosting admins would have to change. Typically, this isn't something that would be done, especially if there are other issues to consider as I mentioned above. I do think it's worth exploring in this case though, so I will pass on the suggestion to our product managers. 

 


That's fair, and I expected that someone higher than a normal support person would need to make the change. And yes, I have never been dealt with so rudely as I was on this matter which was quite shocking to me and may yet lose me as a customer and person known in the past to refer people to GoDaddy.  As for doing the suggested fix, I do see that this is a different level of support than is commonly provided on shared services, however this is to fix something that GoDaddy's change broke without warning. So, I can totally see not doing new changes to  new subdomains for people but they should have to fix what they broke, in my opinion. Especially since many users thought they were doing one thing only to have the system save it to something else that they did not enter. 

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@JesseW - Hello, Any update on this issue? I have sites that I cannot make work outwith my existing structure that is outside of the public structure

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@JesseWAny update on this? Have existing subdomains outside of public_html, now can't create new ones in the same fashion.

As mentioned by previous commenters, this is a security concern - files for a subdomain should be in a separate tree hierarchy to the main domain.

 

When is GoDaddy going to fix this (its clearly possible, as it used to be allowed), or should we be looking for another hosting provider?

Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Yes, and just to add to the weight of this @JesseW ... as a very experienced developer, I find the reason you gave as to why you didn't just adjust the setting in WHM a lie. Fix what you broke, GoDaddy.

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Hi , it happened to me as well , very annoying as i have a domain in the public_html folder with .htaccess ; and all other domains in the root folder as i want it seperated anyway i fixed it by adding in the .htaccess file in public_html the next lines for each addondomain

 

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?addondomain\.com$

RewriteRule ^.*$ '-' [L] 

 

 

also remember in robots.txt to disallow for indexing the folder

hope this helps so you can mantain your configuration!

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@JesseW 

 

Hi,

 

Still no update on this??

Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@grancanaria wrote:

Hi , it happened to me as well , very annoying as i have a domain in the public_html folder with .htaccess ; and all other domains in the root folder as i want it seperated anyway i fixed it by adding in the .htaccess file in public_html the next lines for each addondomain

 

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?addondomain\.com$

RewriteRule ^.*$ '-' [L] 

 

 

also remember in robots.txt to disallow for indexing the folder

hope this helps so you can mantain your configuration!


This isn't a valid fix for applications that need the document root set below the application root. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Hello everyone. The only update I have currently is that I took the suggestion of allowing this for individual accounts to our product owners. After thoroughly reviewing the situation, we found that it's not possible to enable this setting for a single account. It can only be enabled for the entire server. As such, it's not something we can do at the moment. We're still looking into what the best way forward is for all customers. Once I have more information, I will follow up here. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@JesseW wrote:

Hello everyone. The only update I have currently is that I took the suggestion of allowing this for individual accounts to our product owners. After thoroughly reviewing the situation, we found that it's not possible to enable this setting for a single account. It can only be enabled for the entire server. As such, it's not something we can do at the moment. We're still looking into what the best way forward is for all customers. Once I have more information, I will follow up here. 

 


In all honesty, because this feature existed before your cPanel update and any existing subdomains set up outside of the public_html folder still work as long as they are not edited, this response doesn't hold up as 100% truthful to me. 

New

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Wow, this is just terrible.

 

I called customer service, and received a patronizing answer about this issue that made no sense.

 

Because I'm accessing my subdomains through "domain.com/subdomain" AND "subdomain.domain.com" I now have to restructure and recreate all of my addon / subdomains because of this change.

 

I'd rather not spend the time, and honestly I'm afraid something else will break if I try to do that. So, I'm probably going to try temporary solution of duplicating my site files into two separate folders and hope this gets fixed soon.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Hi @KeithT. To clarify, this situation shouldn't affect any domains you currently have set up. It would only cause a problem if you try to edit the directory the domain points to or when you add a new domain. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

This is absolutely ridiculous. Seriously godaddy, you really need to fire a lot of your inexperienced developers because this is a super serious issue. Smiley Sad

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

The fact that this was changed without any communication is absolutely ludicrous. What's even worst is trying to pass it as an "improvement" or security fix. Absolute nonsense.

 

As other customers have said we always used to be able to create subdomains outside of the public_html folder so you are basically taking away a feature and flexibility without any notice. As a small agency this is affecting our business a lot and ultimately our clients too. Enough is enough.

 

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I understand that this is a frustrating issue for all of you. I do have an update, but it's not likely what you'd want to hear. 

 

After careful review of our hosting platform and configuration, we have made the decision to create a consistent experience for all our customers. Due to the processes and procedures we have in place, enabling document root creation above the public_html folder could cause a less than stellar experience for our customers.

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but essentially this means that we won't be enabling this option again any time soon. It may be enabled in the future, but I have no estimate as to when or if that will happen. If this is an absolute necessity for you, then you may want to consider moving to a VPS, since that would allow you the access you need to change the document root settings. Sorry Man Sad

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@JesseW wrote:

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I understand that this is a frustrating issue for all of you. I do have an update, but it's not likely what you'd want to hear. 

 

After careful review of our hosting platform and configuration, we have made the decision to create a consistent experience for all our customers. Due to the processes and procedures we have in place, enabling document root creation above the public_html folder could cause a less than stellar experience for our customers.

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but essentially this means that we won't be enabling this option again any time soon. It may be enabled in the future, but I have no estimate as to when or if that will happen. If this is an absolute necessity for you, then you may want to consider moving to a VPS, since that would allow you the access you need to change the document root settings. Sorry Man Sad

 


OK, JesseW, first off, this response is not directed to you personally. This is directed at whoever prepared that statement on your behalf. 

 

That response is a complete lie. Let's cut with the BS and speak truthfully. What is happening here is obvious. This change is clearly just a means to push users to higher priced plans that still support this functionality. Also, the fact that you did it in such a way that you broke existing websites without warning due to lack of communication is ridiculous. 

 

I have already moved a personal account off of your services and now with this complete BS response, I will need to address moving all of our corporate stuff away from your services as well. 

 

This was the stupidest thing I have ever seen in recent dealings with a tech company.

Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Let it be known. I gave a VERY professional response to the poor decision made by GoDaddy and called it out for what it was and my reply was marked as spam. We are the victims of a total scam and now they are silencing anyone with any real knowledge of dev work because they know the people preparing their statements haven't a clue what they are talking about. 

Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Just so everyone knows, I called out exactly what is going on here and they deleted my comment as spam. It just goes to show that they are doing EXACTLY what I said they were. They are forcing us into higher priced plans. These features are still available on the larger plans. They only deleted it on the shared hosting. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@aNorthernSoul - First, your comment was not removed by myself. We have a spam filter that sometimes grabs messages. I'm not sure why yours got flagged by the system, but I've restored it as you can see above. 

 

Second, I can understand why you'd think that what I've said above isn't accurate. However, I can assure you that it is. This issue was discussed in great detail on this end. There is a legitimate reason why we're not enabling the feature at this time. I'm not able to disclose what that is, but it is there. As I've said above, this shouldn't have an effect on sites that are already set up. If you're seeing issues with an active website due to this, feel free to share more details and I can pass that along as part of the discussion as well. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@JesseW wrote:

@aNorthernSoul - First, your comment was not removed by myself. We have a spam filter that sometimes grabs messages. I'm not sure why yours got flagged by the system, but I've restored it as you can see above. 

 

Second, I can understand why you'd think that what I've said above isn't accurate. However, I can assure you that it is. This issue was discussed in great detail on this end. There is a legitimate reason why we're not enabling the feature at this time. I'm not able to disclose what that is, but it is there. As I've said above, this shouldn't have an effect on sites that are already set up. If you're seeing issues with an active website due to this, feel free to share more details and I can pass that along as part of the discussion as well. 

 


Alright, I am not sure I believe that but as it was put back, then I apologize. I would delete the others if possible but I do not see how. 

 

Secondly, I do not believe it is accurate because it simply isn't. Even now, like every other time I have called in about it, you are changing your story now too. First you said it was to keep a consistent user experience and now you are saying there's some undisclosed reason you guys cannot reverse the change. 

 

Also, because of how you implemented it, and are forcing this without any communication to the users that it is now enforced, you HAVE broken previously working sites. The second anyone makes any sort of edit to an existing subdomain, the new document root is forced without notifying the user that this is about to happen on clicking save. 

 

I called in specifically about a website and told them I could either direct them to WHM setting that would reverse the change or I could give them the exact SSH commands I would need made as root to fix my subdomain and I was basically told that they could do neither of those things. So basically, I was screwed. 

 

I have already called in and asked about what my options are here as you are no longer providing the service advertised to me and I have lost months of time live on an application and hours and hours of my time wasted.

 

Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

I manually removed my most angry ones the best I could. I am still very angry though. 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Alright, I am not sure I believe that but as it was put back, then I apologize. I would delete the others if possible but I do not see how. 

Thank you for taking the time to do that.

 

Secondly, I do not believe it is accurate because it simply isn't. Even now, like every other time I have called in about it, you are changing your story now too. First you said it was to keep a consistent user experience and now you are saying there's some undisclosed reason you guys cannot reverse the change. 

Sorry. I see what you're saying. To be honest, I was a bit frustrated at the time I wrote that and it's not very clear. The reason we're keeping things as they are currently is to keep a consistent customer experience. The detailed discussions around the topic are what I'm not able to disclose.

 

Also, because of how you implemented it, and are forcing this without any communication to the users that it is now enforced, you HAVE broken previously working sites. The second anyone makes any sort of edit to an existing subdomain, the new document root is forced without notifying the user that this is about to happen on clicking save. 

I understand what you're saying about not communicating that editing the document root could adversely affect an active website. That is good feedback and I will pass it on to the product team.

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.
Helper I

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@JesseW wrote:

 

I understand what you're saying about not communicating that editing the document root could adversely affect an active website. That is good feedback and I will pass it on to the product team.

 


I think if they implement some sort of warning, they need to also run the necessary sudo commands to put peoples subdomains back to how they were in order to at least put their existing sites back to how they were. That would at least mitigate the damage done to existing subdomains. It isn't a solution, but at least GoDaddy would be fixing what they broke. 

 

The other thing I am having a hard time stomaching is that the feature is still available above shared hosting so it doesn't make sense that there is some legit reason to do this. The user still only has write access to their home folder and can only put the subdomains within that. The only thing that makes sense is that GoDaddy is trying to shift people to the more expensive non shared hosting if they need this feature. 

 

If GoDaddy sticks with this, they need to remove many applications from their library such as Zend Framework, Silverstripe etc because their shared hosting plans make it impossible to install these in a secure manner. 

New

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

I am disappointed with this change.
It was a good functionality, why did you make such a change?
An unwanted change for users.
This is a negative situation for GoDaddy brand, and such things drop negative effects about GoDaddy on users' minds..
Just unpleasant..

New

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

After you remove a good functionality many of the users need, use, and like;
could you also tell how we can prevent someone to access unrelated subdomain content on the main domain by clicking "maindomain.com/domain2.com" ?

I don't definitely want to show domain2 content to my maindomain visitors. I tried many codes in htaccess files, but failed to find a solution. Still accessible. Could you supply the required code to add, which will be compatible with your new setting?

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'


@u123 wrote:

After you remove a good functionality many of the users need, use, and like;
could you also tell how we can prevent someone to access unrelated subdomain content on the main domain by clicking "maindomain.com/domain2.com" ?

I don't definitely want to show domain2 content to my maindomain visitors. I tried many codes in htaccess files, but failed to find a solution. Still accessible. Could you supply the required code to add, which will be compatible with your new setting?


I support that and am very curious in knowing how to achieve it!

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

@u123 @RoughMonarchy The only way I was able to consistently block access to a secondary domain folder was to add the following code to the .htaccess file for the primary website (in /public_html):

 

Redirect 301 /test http://domain1.com/

So to explain the scenario above, domain1.com is the primary domain. The second website has its document root in /public_html/test. Using this method, if someone visits domain1.com/test, they are redirected back to domain1.com. If you have multiple domains in the account, you should be able to add a line for each directory that is the document root for an addon or subdomain. Please note that this could interfere with other entries in your .htaccess file. I hope that helps. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

This change affected me greatly.

 

I specifically chose to spend extra for privacy protection.  I opened up a secondary site for my family and I that was supposed to be completely unrelated to the main domain. All my personal information was indexed on the main site and people could simple access it by going to mainsite.com/personalsite.  The secondary site had no privacy protection as it was just used as an online business card for my family.  So, my full name, address, phone number, business address, all my social links and personal information about my family members was leaked.

 

 There was no warnings given.  This was a feature that was working up until a few months ago and was simply disabled to force users to either purchase another hosting plan or upgrade their current one.

 

I will be taking my business elsewhere.

 

 

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Hi @Mickey_Magnus. Thanks for posting. I appreciate the feedback. Can you explain what you mean by saying that the information was indexed? I know if one site's document root is under another, the second site can be accessed if you know what directory it is in. (This can be prevented using the redirect I mentioned above.) However, it's not clear how people found this information. If it's a matter of search engines finding the information, one way to prevent this would be to add a robots.txt file in the root directory of the website in /public_html to tell search engines not to index the content of the directory that the second site is in. I hope that helps. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Even better way to "prevent it" is to not change things on the fly or communicate it.

Do we have an ETA to putting this back to the way it was before or is GD just waiting till everyone leaves or upgrades their hosting level?

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Exactly. Was never communicated.

I've since cancelled my service and moved to a new provider.

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Out of interest - who did you move to?

Im starting to look around.
Community Manager
Community Manager
Solution

Re: dont want to use 'public_html'

Hello everyone. I just wanted to give a quick update here to let you all know that the ability to have your document root above /public_html has now been restored for all accounts. Thank you all for your patience and for providing your feedback. 

 

JesseW - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.