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Smallsite Design

Online management help

8. Emergency log in to the site

If the master manager has lost their password, an emergency log in may be performed.

In a Smallsite Design site, the index.php starting code file is in the site's root folder. Almost all other files are in a special secure folder which has a very long name starting with sd. and including a 256bit cryptographically-generated random number to mitigate against brute force attempts to guess it. It is periodically renamed as an extra measure, but this is only done when a master manager is logging in. This makes the folder name useful as an emergency password as no one outside of those with access to the cPanel interface would know it. The User ID to be used with it is ...

Keep the cPanel account password locked away, as anyone with access to it can control the site using this procedure.


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The role to perform this procedure is: Site owner.

To log into the manage pages:

1Log into the cPanel console

if not already.

2Open the File Manager page

by clicking on the File Manager link in the Files section.

The page is displayed in a new browser tab, showing the contents for the account home folder:
Sample File Manager page, showing the contents of the account root folder

3List the site root's contents

by clicking on the site's folder in the folder list, which will be public_html or one within it.

The folder and file in the site root are displayed:
Sample site file list

The .well-known folder is used by cPanel during the generation and renewal of the site certificate and can be left there. A cgi-bin folder may be shown and though not used by Smallsite Design, it can also be left there.

4Copy the secure folder name

by performing:

4-1Select the secure folder

by clicking on the folder starting with sd.

The item's background is highlighted.

4-2Activate edit mode

by clicking on the folder name.

The folder name changes to a short edit box showing the first part of the name.

4-3Select the whole name

by pressing the Ctrl | command+A keys.

4-4Copy the name to the clipboard

by pressing the Ctrl | command+C keys.

4-5Close the browser tab|window

by clicking on its X button.

5Open the site

in a new browser tab|window.

6Open the Login page

by clicking on the Manage link at the bottom of any page.

The keyboard shortcut is whatever key(s) are used for your browser and operating system to invoke use of an access key + \

The page is displayed, showing the User ID field:
Sample login page, requesting user ID

7Provide User ID

by typing in ... and clicking the Submit button.

The page is displayed, showing the Folder field:
Sample log in using folder name as the password

8Provide Password

by clicking in the Folder field, pressing the Ctrl | command+V keys to insert the folder name from the clipboard, then clicking the Submit button.

The Work list page is displayed, with the last master manager as the user.

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