Blesta is a billing and automation platform for hosting providers, and many view it as a great alternative to WHMCS for managing their hosting business.
For this tutorial, I’ll use cPanel as a front to install Blesta, but you can also do the same with SSH. Once you’ve finished installing Blesta, you won’t need to access cPanel to access it. So just setup and then you can login directly to Blesta.
If you’re a NameHero reseller hosting customer, we make it even easier to install Blesta so you can just skip to Step #7 in our guide below.
Let’s get started!
- Step #1. Download Blesta
- Step #2. Upload The Zip File To The Server
- Step #3. Delete Extra Files And Folders
- Step #4. Ensure That Files and Folders Have The Right Permissions
- Step #5. Add A Database, Create A User, And A Password
- Step #6. Start the Blesta Installation
- Step #7: Easy Install Of Blesta As A NameHero Reseller Hosting Customer
- Extra: What if I Don’t have cPanel?
Step #1. Download Blesta
The first step is to grab the Blesta installation zip file from Blesta.
By default, you can always get the latest version from the homepage, but if you want, you can get a complete list of previous Blesta versions if you’re targeting a specific version. Obviously, I recommend that you get the latest one since it not only has all the features but also the latest security updates.
You may see some information about a license key as well during the download process…
If you’re a NameHero reseller hosting customer, you will be able to get Blesta for free with a purchase of a reseller hosting plan, so be sure not to pay for a license. Simply activate your license inside the NameHero client portal and have that ready for the later install:
You will then have your unique license key needed during the installation below. This will also be automatically emailed to you for your records:
Just FYI, after downloading Blesta, we’ll extract the zip file on the server, so you don’t need to unpack it on your PC. Just complete the download and then you’re ready for the next step.
If you aren’t a NameHero customer, you can still sign up for a free trial and get the download and temporary license key for 30 days.
Step #2. Upload The Zip File To The Server
Login to your cPanel dashboard and navigate to the File Manager as shown here:
Navigate to the folder where you want to install Blesta. Typically, this will be inside the “public_html” folder and you’ll install Blesta in a new folder like this:
When you extract the zip file, it’ll create the “blesta” folder automatically, so you need to place the zip file in a folder that’s one level above the above URL – so directly into “public_html”. Now click the button to upload a file and add the zip file. It should confirm the extraction like this:
Wait for the extraction process to finish, and it’ll add all of the files and folders to the directory.
Step #3. Delete Extra Files And Folders
The extracted Blesta zip file contains all kinds of information that is unnecessary for Blesta to run. While you can check to see if they’re useful, I suggest removing everything except the “blesta” folder itself. This includes the following:
- The “uploads” folder
- The original blesta zip file
Once you’ve deleted all these unnecessary files, we can move on to the next step of prepping the database portion of the Blesta installation.
Step #4. Ensure That Files and Folders Have The Right Permissions
It can be tricky to get permissions right, and we need to access the contents of the Blesta directory. So just implement the following rules:
- Folders must have the permission “0755”
- Files must have the permission “0644”
In the cPanel file manager, you can select multiple files, right-click on the selection and click “Change Permissions”. For more details, check out our NameHero tutorial on how to change file permissions.
If these files don’t have the right permissions, they can’t actually perform the install and you may get some error messaging. If you do run into an error, it’s good to recheck this step first and make sure your permissions match the above.
Step #5. Add A Database, Create A User, And A Password
Unlike WordPress, which you can usually completely install everything with one click, Blesta can’t create its own database and user, so we have to do it manually.
Here are instructions for how to do it using cPanel. Go back to the main cPanel page where we found the “File Manager” in Step #1 and navigate to MySQL databases, as shown here under “Databases”:
Now create a new Blesta database as shown here:
After clicking “Create Database”, you’ll get a confirmation screen. Click the back button. Now scroll down and create a new Blesta user like seen below. (Note: the domain we used for this tutorial is keydiets.com but your text to the left of the username should match your domain)
Generate a strong password as suggested, save the password in a safe location, and click “Create User”. On the confirmation screen, click “Back”.
Finally, we need to assign the user to the Blesta database that we just created. Scroll further down past the two previous sections, and you’ll see the section for assigning users to databases. Choose both the database as well as the user you just created and click “Add”:
Once you add the user to the database, you need to assign privileges to the user. Luckily for us, we simply click the button that assigns all the privileges to the user for the given database as shown here:
Once you’ve completed all these steps, you’re ready to proceed with the final stage of the Blesta installation. Make sure that you’ve copied these three pieces of information in a safe place to use in the following steps:
- Database name
- Database user
- Database password
Once we’re done creating the database, we can now proceed with the Blesta installation. We’re almost ready to start using Blesta!
Step #6. Start the Blesta Installation
In your browser, open the URL containing the blesta folder and access the “install.php” file. For example:
If everything goes well, you should see the Blesta installation screen like this:
Click “Continue with Installation” to proceed. Agree to the terms and conditions; then ensure all the necessary PHP packages are installed. Blesta has minimum requirements – for example, I needed to enable the cURL PHP module before it would let me proceed.
Also, I found out the hard way that you should ensure that the IMAP and all mail plugins are installed, even though these are only “recommended” for Blesta to work. These plugins will deliver important e-mails like password and username recovery; without them, you can get locked out of your account!
Once you’ve installed all the required PHP extensions, proceed to the next page where Blesta will ask you to fill in the details of the database that you created in step 5 like this:
Fill in the details and click “Install”. Blesta will then start the installation process as shown by the green progress bar at the bottom of the page. Wait for it to be done, and you’ll see the first Blesta configuration screen as shown here:
Since I’m trying Blesta for the first time, choose the 30-day free trial and enter your admin details. Once you’ve finished inputting this information, you should see the Blesta welcome screen as shown here:
While you start logged out, you can log in by accessing the staff login area. The URL is your blesta installation folder followed by “admin/login”. It should look something like this:
Note that this is not the same as the “Log In” link that you see on the top-right-hand corner, and which you might be tempted to click to log in. That is the client area for Blesta logins and isn’t the same thing.
Logging into the staff area of Blesta brings you to the main admin page that looks like this:
If you see the above page, it means you’ve successfully installed Blesta on your server and are ready to start using it. And that concludes our Blesta installation tutorial – good luck!
If you ran into any issues during the installation process of Blesta, and you’re a NameHero customer, please reach out to us via ticket or live chat and we’d be happy to help.
Step #7: Easy Install Of Blesta As A NameHero Reseller Hosting Customer
NameHero resellers can easily install Blesta directly inside of cPanel with a couple of clicks:
First, login to cPanel and click on Softaculous Apps Installer under Software:
In the top left corner, search and click Blesta:
Go to Install -> Quick Install:
Confirm your installation URL (in directory will put your Blesta installation in a sub-directory) and note your admin username/password then click Install:
Once you’ve installed Blesta successfully with Softalicious, make sure you check out Step #1 of this guide to see how you can claim and active your free Blesta license.
Extra: What if I Don’t have cPanel?
If you’re not using cPanel, then the only hard part about installing Blesta is ensuring that the PHP environment is working properly. If you can find a way to install and configure PHP with the right extensions, the rest is relatively easy. You’ll also need a bit of familiarity with MySQL databases to create the user and the database permissions. But if you have an interface other than cPanel to do that for you, that would be perfect!
For example, NameHero offers InterWorx that’s a full substitute for cPanel – and it’s free! So check it out if you’re interested in looking for a cPanel alternative.
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!