Data folder location issue


I'm sure this is a no brainer for most but I'm not a network admin so am having a hard time figuring this out.  I'm running a Media Temple Virtual Dedicated server.

The instructions for Elgg say to create a data folder outside of the root.  My root is /httpdocs.  Unfortunately, I get a permission error trying to create a data folder in the same directory where /httpdocs resides.  Anyone know how to get around this permission issue?

Alternatively, I can place Elgg in /httpdocs/elgg and then do a data folder as /httpdocs/data.  However, I believe my homepage URL would be [site domain]/elgg instead of just [site domain].  I would prefer to have users just type my domain name in order to get to the homepage.

Thanks for your help.