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Meet My Plesk – Your Personal Self-Care Portal

My Plesk - Self-Care Portal

Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of My Plesk – your personal self-care portal. Now, you – our Plesk Online Store customers, can manage all your Plesk licenses and online store purchases from one place. Think of it as your one-stop-shop for all your Plesk license needs.

Note: At this stage, My Plesk is available only to customers who have purchased through the Plesk retail store.

Want to be the first to try it out? Then head over to https://my.plesk.com and sign up with the same email you used to buy Plesk licenses and extensions.

Plesk Self-Care Portal

So what can you do on My Plesk (v.1)?

You can do quite a lot given that this is just version one:

View all your Plesk licenses

You can manage all licenses registered to your email address – or even multiple email addresses, in one place. Including creation date, license status, additional features, activation code, and billing details like subscription ID, billing and server details.

Manage your Plesk subscription

Renew or upgrade your subscription with us, including custom discounts and links straight to our store. You’ll even get activation codes for existing licenses – same with a trial license if your two-week period hasn’t expired yet.

Manage your important profile details

Update aspects of your profile such as name, email and password, or the payment method you’re using for your license. You can even see which server you’re using for your existing licenses.

My Plesk - list of licences

Find your Plesk Activation Key

Your Activation Keys and server details are displayed on the page under ‘More details”.

My Plesk - Activation Key

Click on ‘More details’ to see:

  • creation date
  • activation code
  • billing details – cycle, server details and more.

Renew and Upgrade Your Plesk

You’ll also see custom offers to renew and upgrade Plesk extensions and licenses.

Updating a Plesk licence via My Plesk

Just click on one of the links under the Upgrade Offers section to see what offers are available to you at this time.

My Plesk extensions upgrade

You’ll see the difference between your current and new plan, next billing date and new total amount. All renewals are automatic, meaning that once we receive your payment, we’ll automatically upgrade your licenses and email them out to you straight away.

My Plesk - Upgrade Extension

Manage your Profile / Name / Email

Finally, here’s a simple way to manage your profile, name and email and update your password, directly from the same page.

My Plesk - login screen

We hope you find these additions useful and as always, we welcome your feedback by email, to  [email protected]. Meanwhile, we have more features on the way and you’ll be the first to know – so stay tuned!

(NEW!) Consolidated Billing and Subscription Features

We have combined extensions purchases into one subscription to generate less billing transactions in My Plesk. You can even choose the billing interval of new extensions you may purchase.
Newly-available Subscription Functions
  • You can redirect to the online store if you don’t find the right subscriptions;
  • To add an extension, you can simply select a subscription;
  • You can buy a Plesk extension if the subscription for this license is cancelled, but there is at least one another active subscription;

How to log into My Plesk

Ordered a license or several subscriptions and need to find the corresponding numbers? How about the activation code? Or do you need to upgrade the license you purchased in the online store? The you can check out our new portal – My Plesk where you will be able to see and manage your licenses ordered in the Plesk Online Store. You’ll be able to upgrade the license to a higher edition here, add extension keys to your Plesk license, check the server IP where your license is installed, or get the activation code for your key.  But first, here’s how to log into My Plesk:

  1. Go to My Plesk > Sign up
  1. Enter the email address you used to purchase the license and create a password > Sign Up
  1. Receive an email from [email protected] with subject ‘Welcome to My Plesk service!’ > make sure to verify your email address by clicking on the link in the email
  2. Now you can log into My Plesk

Note: To get invoices please follow instructions from this article. To change billing details, please follow instructions from here. For any assistance, feel free to contact Plesk Sales team.

Plesk Obsidian Preview: The Curtain Lifts

Plesk Obsidian Preview

Plesk continues to evolve from a basic and feature-based control panel to a powerful and innovative platform. Managing servers, applications, websites and hosting businesses at a professional level. Today we proudly present the preview of our next major release: Plesk Obsidian.

Why the new Plesk Obsidian release?

The hosting world is in transition – How we manage servers, applications and websites is transforming as we leverage them into the cloud. We’re in a time where hybrid IT — a mix of legacy systems and cloud delivery — is the new normal. The technology pillars of IaaS, PaaS and SaaS provide the basic cloud building blocks, but the technology itself is no longer good enough. Even at core infrastructure level, web professionals need help to design and manage hybrid IT environments and embrace DevOps.

Digital natives in nearly every market are driving this shift – because they want to be more agile, and more efficient. They want to deliver great customer experiences and take advantage of new technologies to cut costs. And – they want to increase productivity and value – while making the digital experience a human one.

What’s new in Plesk Obsidian?

what's new in Plesk Obsidian? - Plesk Obsidian Preview May 2019

Let us quickly guide you through the shifts in the new version. From Modern Web Stack and Project Lifecycle to Managed WordPress and User Experience. Here’s what’s new and why we did it. For a full view, check out the Obsidian release page.

#1: Modern Web Stack: To swiftly develop apps & sites

Modern Web Stack: To swiftly develop apps & sites - Plesk

What’s the most important thing to consider when you’re developing top-notch web applications? No doubt, it’s the technology stack your app is based on. The choice of a relevant tech stack is particularly challenging for small businesses and startups. This is because they usually have limited budgets. So, they need a technology stack that provides the most bang for their buck and raises projects off the ground.

Plesk Obsidian delivers an optimized stack “out-of-the-box” and ready-to-code platform with MongoDB support. Also, new Docker integration, Domain Connect support,  Composer support, .htaccess support for NGINX and all the other tools and languages you need. In addition, SNI support will be available in both Postfix and MailEnable, to make sure no one listens in on your conversations.

#2: Web Project Lifecycle: Streamlined to increase productivity

Over the past two years, we’ve surveyed more than 25,000 Web Professionals worldwide to better understand best practices for their web project lifecycle. Plesk Obsidian will step in to make life considerably easier for developers, system administrators and other web pros, as well as for agencies and hosting resellers.

Web Project Lifecycle: Streamlined to increase productivity - Plesk

We improved the already successful Plesk Advisor extension with a variety of new and innovative features. Thus, making server, app, and website management easy for everyone. Security is, as usual, also on our map: Mod Security and Fail2ban  become active as soon as you install.

#3: Website Management: A Simplified Experience

Website management panel on Plesk Obsidian

The customers of 2020 will have more control over the experience they demand. Immediate resolution will not be fast enough as customers will expect companies to proactively address their current and future needs. Plesk Obsidian proposes a brand new and compelling UX which makes website management as easy as pie. Plus, it fully aligns with how web professionals build, secure and run servers and applications that scale in the cloud.

website-management

This is an important step towards securing future revenues. Because customers will stop buying products that can’t resolve challenges quickly and in an intuitive and user-friendly way. Plesk Obsidian will thus provide a true competitive advantage and deliver a superior user experience.

Finally, we also tweaked the web installer, search and file manager functions, while adding more control via the new Restricted Access mode.

#4: Managed Services: To Ease Customers’ Minds

Managed WordPress Services panel on Plesk Obsidian

Managed services are becoming increasingly popular with businesses around the world. They take complexity off customers’ shoulders, while guaranteeing that “it simply works”. According to Reuters, the global managed service market is expected to grow from USD 180.5 billion (2018) to USD 282.0 billion by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.3%.

managed-services

Adding the Plesk management layer to hosting services or managed WordPress offering helps grow beyond unmanaged services. Finally letting one tap into servicing business-critical applications. Furthermore, Plesk hosting providers can offer customers a valuable turnkey WordPress environment or managed WordPress offer in minutes. How? Through our constantly improving WordPress Toolkit.

Try Plesk Obsidian Preview before anyone else

Want to know what’s next? Just request access to the preview and test the new Plesk Obsidian Preview now. All we ask is that you give us your feedback in return. This will help us identify improvements, bugs, and make Plesk Obsidian even better.

But this is just a scratch on the surface – More great things are coming soon! Registered users will automatically receive updates on the latest preview version with even more features and enhancements.

Plesk on DigitalOcean is now a one-click app

According to Alex Konrad, Forbes Editor of the Cloud 100 list, Cloud companies like DigitalOcean are revolutionizing how businesses reach their customers today. From digitizing painful old processes to allowing them more time to focus on what they really care about. This is what makes their products unique.

As a Web Professional (Developer, Agency owner, IT Admin) your goal is to provide valuable services to your customers. You want to be able to focus on the things you’re good at. And leave the nitty gritty of technical server management, cost streamlining, running instances, backups, and account management to a VPS. Because a virtual private server fits this purpose exactly. Tired of managing infrastructure and security, when what you want is to focus on coding and improving your product or service? Then Plesk Onyx is the ideal solution.

What is Digital Ocean?

We know DigitalOcean, founded in 2011, as a cloud infrastructure provider with a “developer first” mentality. They simplify web infrastructure for software developers and their mission is to smooth out the complexities of infrastructure. How? By offering one simple and robust platform for developers to easily launch and scale their applications. DigitalOcean is now the second largest and fastest-growing cloud computing platform of all public apps and websites, according to Netcraft.

Over 750,000 registered customers have launched more than 20 million Droplets combined on DigitalOcean. The company is now investing heavily in advancing its platform to further support growing teams and larger applications in production.

DigitalOcean cloud hosting
Image: DigitalOcean

Plesk on DigitalOcean

Plesk manages and secures over 380,000 servers, automates 11 million websites and at least 19 million mailboxes. It’s the leading WebOps, Hosting and Web Server Control Panel to build, secure and run your applications, websites and hosting business. You’ll find it in 32 languages and 140 countries, with 50% of the top 100 worldwide service providers partnering with Plesk today.

Key Plesk Onyx Features

The versatile Plesk Onyx control panel
  • The WebOps platform

Manage all your domains, DNS, applications websites and mailboxes from one single platform.

  • DigitalOcean DNS – integrated into Plesk

The free Plesk DigitalOcean extension integrates Plesk with the DigitalOcean DNS service. This web service is highly available and scalable and you can use it as an external DNS service for your domains. The extension will automatically sync DNS zones between Plesk and DigitalOcean DNS. Here’s how:

  1. After installing Plesk, add your first domain/website.
  2. Then navigate to the domain and click “DigitalOcean DNS” for that domain.
  3. Enter your DigitalOcean API credentials into the extension. Or use OAuth to authorize your DigitalOcean account.
  4. Start having your domains in sync with Digital Ocean DNS.
  • Automated Server Administration

Easily manage your server, including automated updates, application deployment, monitoring, backups and maintenance.

  • User-Friendly Interface

One dashboard to manage multiple sites. Build websites, run updates, monitor performance, and onboard new customers from one place.

  • Security

Plesk on DigitalOcean secures  your applications and websites automatically.  You get a firewall, fail2ban and a web application installed and activated by default. Plus various additional options available on demand as Plesk Extensions. Or by simply upgrading to a Premium Plesk Edition.

  • Ready-to-Code Environment

Enable and manage multiple PHP versions and configurations, JavaScript, Perl, Ruby or Node.js, all in one-click. Every stack is deployed automatically and allows you to do custom configurations as you need.

  • Self-Repair Tools

We built automated healing and recovery functionality into Plesk, so many technical issues can self-repair without any need for support. This starts at fully-automated (safe) updates, including all OS components. And goes to various available manual self-repair tools up to a complete repair panel, in the unlikely event of something going wrong. Additionally, Plesk continuously monitors all relevant system components’ health, and provides notifications to the administrator before something goes wrong.

  • Multi-Language support

Plesk is available in 32 languages.

  • Plesk Extensions

Plesk  is a super-light application, automating all your server components and management needs on Lightsail in a single environment. As your business needs grow, you can use the in-app Plesk Extensions catalog to enable additional features on-demand. Many are free and some provide extra value when premium. Get access by clicking on “Extensions” inside Plesk itself.

Plesk WordPress Toolkit – secure and simple

Staging environment best practices - Plesk WordPress Toolkit

Find full details on Plesk WordPress Toolkit here, but here are some key features below.

  • WordPress Simplified:

One-click installer to initialize and configure WordPress from start to finish. One dashboard to mass-manage multiple WordPress instances.

  • Secure Against Attacks

Hardens your site by default, further enhanced with the Toolkit’s security scanner. No security expertise necessary.

  • Run and Automate your WordPress

Singularly or mass-execute updates to the WP core, themes or plugins. Monitor and run all your WordPress sites from one dashboard.

  • Simple, but not Amateur

Get full control with WP-CLI, maintenance mode, debug management, search engine index management and more.

  • Stage and Test*

Test new features and ideas in a sandbox before pushing them to production – No plugins required, no separate server needed.

  • Cut Out Complexity*

Stage, Clone, Sync, Update, Migrate and more. Execute all these complex tasks with one click. No more high-risk activities or stressed-out dev teams.

  • Smart Updates powered by AI*

Smart Updates feature for WordPress Toolkit analyzes your WordPress updates and performs them without breaking your site. Otherwise, it will warn you the update may be dangerous.

  • One-Click Performance Optimized*

You can reach a maximum performance of your WordPress sites and no time and with great simplicity. Just enable NGINX caching in one click and combine with Speed Kit, powered by a distributed Fastly® CDN and Varnish cache.

*Some of these features are not available within the free Plesk Web Admin SE but require an upgrade to a higher value premium edition of Plesk or Plesk Extension.

Plesk on DigitalOcean (free) includes Plesk Web Admin Edition SE, a free version of Plesk with up to 3 domains and good for small websites and certain limitations. To gift yourself with a higher value Plesk edition, check out our Plesk Upgrades.

How to deploy Plesk on DigitalOcean

  1. First, log in to your DigitalOcean account.

2. Then, from the main dashboard, click “Droplets” and “Create” -> “Droplets”.

Plesk on DigitalOcean now a one-click app - How to deploy - Create Droplet

3. Under “Choose an image”, click “one-click apps”

4. Select “Plesk”.

PLesk on DigitalOcean - Now a one-click app - Choose a size - Droplets

5. Choose your size and then a data center region. If you plan to host small business websites, we recommend choosing the zone closest to their geographic location to reduce page load times for local visitors.

Note: Plesk runs smoothly with 1GB RAM and 1 vCPU for smaller websites and environments. Running many websites or higher traffic requires a larger droplet size.
Please also refer to the Plesk infrastructure requirements for details.

Plesk on DigitalOcean now a one-click app - Finalize and create Droplet

6. Additional options such as Private networkingBackupsUser data, and Monitoring are not necessary for most Plesk users. Then click “Create”.

7. You can log in to your droplet using:

  • A root password, which you will receive by email. If you go with this option, skip the “Add your SSH keys” step and go to the next one.
    • Just type in your browser: https://<your-droplet-IP>:8443 . You will potentially see for 30 seconds some finishing procedure of the automatic deployment. Afterwards you will automatically land in the initial on-boarding of Plesk.
  • An SSH key. If you go with this option, click New SSH key to add a new SSH key or select a previously added key (if you have any).

Note: Using SSH keys is a more secure way of logging in. If you use a root password, we strongly recommend that you log in to the droplet command line and change the root password received by email. The command line will automatically prompt you to do so.

Enjoy and let us know if there are any questions!

How to set up your online store with WooCommerce

When it comes to e-commerce, picking the right platform to power your store is a difficult choice. As a startup, you’ll want to run your e-commerce business off on a firm footing. This means going fast and secure, minimizing unnecessary expenditure and taking advantage of valuable opportunities.

WooCommerce is by far the most popular and rapidly developing plugin that provides e-commerce functionality for WordPress sites. Since its birth in 2011, it has become one of the most widely used tools to power online stores. After being acquired by Automattic, the company that brought us WordPress.com, you can rest assured you’re in good company.

If you haven’t used WooCommerce before, you should start with my first tutorial on how to install WordPress and WooCommerce plugins and themes, and how to keep them secure and up to date – with minimum effort.

This second tutorial for WooCommerce setup covers the various settings and options to successfully set up your online store!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • General settings
  • Define products settings
  • Tax related options
  • Shipping options for your online store
  • Customize options related to checkout
  • Account settings
  • Customize various email options
  • Enable the REST API
  • Managing products

WooCommerce Configuration – General settings

Before adding products to your e-commerce site, let’s set up your store first. To your store settings, go to WooCommerce -> Settings. The settings page is divided into several tabs, don’t forget to click the ‘Save Changes’ button after making changes.

General options

Here you will find the general settings for your online store.

WooCommerce setup - general settings
Image: WooCommerce – General Settings

In this section, you can define your shop’s base country and state (i.e., Where you are based as a seller). It determines default tax rates and customer locations. Choose to sell to all countries or to specific countries, and which countries you will ship to.  Do not forget to enable or disable taxes on your store. Unchecking ‘Enable taxes’ will hide the settings for taxes.

Plesk tip: You can also enable a site-wide notice from this section. To do that, check the ‘Store Notice’ box and enter the message in the box.

Currency options

In this section, you can define all the currency-related options, including the default currency, currency position, thousand and decimal separator, the number of decimals, etc.

Define product settings

This tab lets you define the settings options for your products.

WooCommerce configuration - product settings
Image: WooCommerce – Product Settings

This section has two types of options. ‘Measurements’ lets you enter weight and dimensions units for products, and ‘Reviews’ lets you enable/disable ratings on product reviews.

Display

This section lets you define the shop page, what to display on that page, default product sorting and add-to-cart behavior. You can provide custom dimensions for catalog images, single product images, product thumbnails, and product images galleries.

Inventory

This section consists of the options related to inventory management

Plesk tip: Enable this feature by checking the ‘Enable stock management‘ box. Then, you can define when to send low stock and out of stock notifications to a particular recipient.

Downloadable products

If you are offering digital products, this section controls how your store provides downloadable files to purchasers. It is also possible to require users to be logged in and to allow your product to be downloaded only after the order is processed.

Taxonomies

WooCommrce setup - taxonomies
Image: WooCommerce – Taxonomies

Setting up taxes and tax rates is one of the first tasks you want to perform when setting up a store. Taxes can be a complex matter, but WooCommerce aims to make setup as straightforward as possible. More at: WooCommerce Tax Settings.

Plesk tip: We recommend consulting with a tax professional or an accountant on what may be your best options, plus any applicable laws to your state, country or business. Each business is unique, and there’s no way we can cover the millions of possibilities.

Shipping options

WooCommerce configuration - Shipping
Image: WooCommerce – Shipping

The main shipping settings screen is for ‘Shipping Zones’. Think of a shipping zone as a geographic region where a certain set of shipping methods and their rates apply. WooCommerce will match a customer to a single zone using their shipping address and present the shipping methods within that zone to them.

Below, you will find available ‘Shipping methods’. Like payment gateways, you can rearrange them via drag & drop and choose a default method. You can customize the shipping method options from the top section.

WooCommerce Configuration - Shipping Methods
Image: WooCommerce – Shipping Zones

‘Shipping classes’ can be used to group products of similar types and that use the same shipping methods, such as Flat Rate Shipping. For example, with shipping classes and Flat Rate Shipping, you can create different flat rates for different product types, like bulky items and small items.

WooCommerce Setup - Shipping Classes
Image: WooCommerce – Shipping Classes

Plesk tip: Shipping classes are used to group products – they are not used to offer shipping rates to customers. To set up shipping rates, configure Shipping Zones, and then add your shipping class costs to a shipping method, a Flat Rate for example.

Checkout options

Under the Checkout sub navigation section, there are several options for the general checkout process of your store.

WooCommerce Settings - Checkout
Image: WooCommerce – Checkout options

If you want to provide coupons or allow guest checkout, you can do so by checking the respective boxes.

Plesk tip: When using a SSL certificate (strongly recommended) for your online shop, make sure HTTPS is being used on the checkout page by checking the ‘Force Secure Checkout’ page.

Checkout pages

Pages need to be set so WooCommerce knows where to send users to check out: Cart Page, Checkout Page, or Terms and Conditions. You need not use a default WooCommerce page, but you must have a page set up for the Cart and Checkout pages. Otherwise, your customers cannot buy and pay.

Checkout endpoints

Endpoints are appended to page URLs to handle specific actions during the checkout process. They should be unique. Learn more about WooCommerce endpoints.

Payment Gateways

Installed gateways are listed and can be dragged and dropped to control the order in which they appear to customers.

WooCommerce Configuration - Payment Gateways
Image: WooCommerce – Payment Gateways

Plesk tip: The free version comes with five payment gateways as listed below. You can add more by purchasing WooCommerce add-ons.

Free Payment Gateways included in WooCommerce:

  • Cash on Delivery
  • PayPal Standard
  • Cheque
  • BACS (Bank Transfer)
  • Stripe

Accounts

‘Pages’ need to be set so WooCommerce knows where to send users to access account-related functionality.

WooCommerce Account Settings
Image: WooCommerce – Account settings

My account page

Choose a page from the dropdown that you want to use for the ‘My Account page’.

My account endpoints

Endpoints are appended to your page URLs to handle specific actions on the accounts pages. They should be unique.

  • Orders
  • View Order
  • Downloads
  • Edit Account
  • Addresses
  • Payment Methods
  • Lost Password
  • Logout

Registration options

In the ‘Enable Registration‘ section, you can allow the users to register on the checkout and my account pages. You can choose to auto-generate the username and password in the ‘Account Creation’ section.

Emails

From this section, you can customize various email options for your e-commerce site.

Email sender options

Set the ‘From’ name and email address for the sender used in WooCommerce emails.

Email template

This section lets you customize WooCommerce emails. You can provide a header image, add footer text and choose custom colors for the base, background, email body text, and background.

API settings

Choose to enable the ‘REST API’ to access store data from outside WordPress, e.g., our iOS app or other external apps.

WooCommerce Settings - API
Image: WooCommerce – REST API

Generate API Keys

The WooCommerce REST API works on a key system to control access. These keys are linked to WordPress users on your website. To create or manage keys for a specific WordPress user, go to Keys/Apps.

WooCommerce Settings - API Keys
Image: WooCommerce Settings – API Keys

To get started, select -> Add Key.

WooCommrce Setup - Add Key
Image: WooCommerce Settings – API Keys

Select the User you would like to generate a key for in the User field and add a Description. Choose the level of access for this API key, which can be Read access, Write access or Read/Write access. Then select the ‘Generate API Key’ button and WooCommerce will generate API keys for that user.

Now that keys have been generated, you should see two new keys, a QRCode, and a Revoke API Key button. These two keys are your Consumer Key and Consumer Secret.

WooCommerce Settings - Key Details
Image: WooCommerce Settings – Key Details

Place your consumer key and consumer secret in the application that uses the WooCommerce API (the application should request your URL as well).

Plesk tip: If you would like to learn more about REST API, check Gerhard’s (WooCommerce Engineer at Automattic) informative blog post, WooCommerce REST API Client Library.

Developer documentation

You can find the REST API documentation at: WooCommerce REST API Docs.

Libraries

  • Node.js
  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby

Plesk tip: With Plesk you get a ready-to-code environment. Use PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, Java, .Net, node.js, html5 and much more on the fly!

Managing products

There are various kinds of products that you can add to your online store. In this section, you will learn the basics of adding a product and how to define the different types of products you add to your store.

You will also learn about adding descriptions and prices, as well as other options you may have while adding products to your store. Now, let’s see how to add products to your website.

First, let’s add products to your website.

Go to Products -> Add Product. You will be taken to a page like this.

WooCommerce Configuration - Product New
Image: WooCommerce setup – Products

While the upper portion of the page looks almost like the new post editor, you will find product related options in the lower part. Provide the product name and a short product description. Then, move to the ‘Product Data‘ section below.

Product data – Type of products

First of all, choose the product type. The configurable options will vary depending on the product type:

  • Simple Product – covers the vast majority of any products you may sell. Simple products are shipped and have no options. For example, a book.
  • Grouped Product – a collection of related products that can be purchased individually and only consist of simple products. For example, a set of six drinking glasses.
  • Virtual Product – one that doesn’t require shipping. For example, consulting or a service
  • Downloadable Product – much like a virtual product, but customers are given a downloadable file. For example, digital album, PDF magazine, or photo.
  • External/Affiliate Product – one that you list and describe on your website but is sold elsewhere.
  • Variable Product – a product with variations, each of which may have a different SKU, price, stock option, etc. For example, a t-shirt available in different colors and/or sizes.

Note: Some extensions if installed will add more product date choices. For example, WooCommerce Subscriptions adds new product types as does WooCommerce Memberships.

General

In the first tab ‘General’, choose a regular price and the sale price of the product. If it is a downloadable product, you need to add the downloadable files and set the download limit and the download expiry date.

WooCommerce Settings - Products General
Image: WooCommerce Setup – Products General

Inventory

The inventory section allows you to manage stock for the product individually and define whether to allow back orders and more. If stock management is disabled on the settings page, only the ‘Manage stock?’ option will be visible.

Shipping

In this section, you can specify the product weight and dimensions. If there is any shipping class for the product, you can choose that from the ‘Shipping type’ drop-down menu.

Linked Products

By adding up-sell and cross-sell products, this section lets you increase your conversion rate.

Up-sells are displayed on the product details page. These are products that you may wish to encourage users to upgrade, based on the product they are currently viewing. For example, if the user is viewing a basic coffee maker listing page, you may want to display the premium expresso maker on that same page as an up-sell.

Cross-sells are products that are displayed with the cart and related to the user’s cart contents. As an example, if the user adds a Nintendo DS to their cart, you may want to suggest they purchase a spare stylus when they arrive at the cart page.

WooCommerce Setup - Selling
Image: WooCommerce Setup – Linked Products

Attributes

Attributes provide additional information about the product. For instance, if you are selling a hoodie, you can include size, color, type, etc. as the attributes of the product.
To add a new attribute, click ‘Add’. Then, provide the attribute name and the value(s). You can choose to display the attributes on the product page by checking the ‘Visible on the product page‘ box.

WooCommerce Configuration - Attributes
Image: WooCommerce Configuration – Product Attributes

Advanced

  • Purchase note – Enter an optional note to send the customer after they purchase the product.
  • Menu order – Custom ordering position for this item.
  • Enable Reviews – Enable/Disable customers reviews for this item.

WooCommerce Advanced Settings
Image: WooCommerce – Advancd Settings

Categories and tags

On the right-hand side of the Product panel, there are product categories in which you can place your product, similar to a standard WordPress post. You can also assign product tags in the same way.

WooCommerce Settings - Categories
Image: WooCommerce – Categories and tags

Product Image

Add a product image as a featured image or create ‘Product Galleries’. This is good if a product has different colors, sizes, shapes or you want to provide different angled shots.

Note: Product image sizes could vary from theme to theme and will be given in the themes specific documentation.

After providing all the necessary information, click -> Publish.

Setting catalog visibility and feature status

On the Publish panel, you can set catalog visibility for your product.

  • Catalog and search – Visible everywhere, shop pages, category pages and search results.
  • Catalog – Visible in shop pages and category pages, but not search results.
  • Search – Visible in search results, but not in the shop page or category pages.
  • Hidden – Only visible on the single product page – not on any other pages.

Finally, you can view all the products in the Products -> Products page. For each product, there are several options – Edit, Trash, View, Duplicate.

Wrapping Up

Creating an e-commerce site is a time-consuming and continuous task, but I hope that this tutorial will help you better navigate your new WooCommerce store. If you have any questions about the setup or product-adding process, let me know in the comments below.

Finally, if you found this tutorial useful, feel free to share it with your friends.

Be well, do good, and stay Plesky!

How to start your online store with WooCommerce

Wordpress WooCommerce online shop with Plesk Onyx

When it comes to e-commerce, picking the right platform to power your online store is a difficult choice. Whichever one you go with needs to be fast, secure, and feature-filled, so where are you supposed to begin looking?

With over 1+ million active installs and a 4.6 user rating on WordPress.org, WooCommerce is one of the most popular free ecommerce solutions for WordPress. According to BuiltWith, as of January 2017, WooCommerce powered 42% of all online stores! So if you’re looking to open an online store on your WordPress-powered website, WooCommerce should be high on your list of contenders.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open source platform backed by a large community, who constantly updates it, creates new themes, plugins and all sorts of integrations, all of which are essential to a successful business. With hundreds of free and paid WooCommerce extensions, spanning all major logistical & technical needs, you can rest assured there’s an extension for your specific needs.

Wordpress WooCommerce Image: WooCommerce

To show you how quick and easy it is to set up your own WordPress WooCommerce online store, I’ll give you a guided tour and walk you through the basic steps.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Choosing a fast and secure hosting environment
  • Installing WordPress
  • Installing and activating the WooCommerce plugin
  • Choosing the proper theme for your site
  • Importing the WooCommerce Dummy Data
  • Managing multiple WooCommerce installations
  • Adding additional protection for your online store

And in my next article, I’ll explain how to add products, configure tax and shipping options and other general settings within your online store.

1. Choosing A Fast And Secure Hosting Environment

When it comes to choosing a fast and secure hosting environment for your online store, the options are endless, but it is good to be extra picky when selecting a host to make sure your income isn’t restrained by the performance of your website.

If you are just starting out with a small inventory and expect limited customer traffic, you could get by with a budget, entry level shared hosting. Most shared hosts will give you the option of leveling up as your online store grows in size and traffic.

But if you are planning to launch a large online store, or one that is expected to scale quickly, you would be better off with a high-performance service provider.

Premium managed hosting is a good option for serious e-commerce stores because you would be hosted on a server that is optimized to load WordPress more efficiently. Also, managed hostings will come with experts who will be proactively monitoring your website and will be on hand should anything go wrong. This alone justifies the higher price tag.

In addition to that, there are several technical considerations to take into account:

  • Having a PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant host guarantees that your provider takes security seriously and maintains it continuously.

  • Having a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate bundled within your hosting plan ensures the security for your website by encrypting communication between the server and the person visiting your online store. It’s required for all e-commerce sites that accept credit card payments online.

Plesk tip:
If you manage your host via Plesk, all these are taken care of for you. All Plesk users can get a free SSL certificate powered by Let’s Encrypt, and deploy SSL protection in a few steps. This means you don’t need to purchase your certificate separately and struggle with installation.

Plesk Extensions CatalogImage: Plesk Onyx – Extension Catalog

  • Make sure that your host support PHP 7, because it’s up to twice as fast as PHP 5.6, which means you’ll need fewer servers to serve the same amount of users. If your host supports PHP7, ask them how to activate it. For Plesk users, it’s just a click to enable PHP7 – here’s how.

  • Use a caching plugin to ensure that your site is lightning fast and improve your Google page rank. A slow site can push you down in Google’s rankings, and your website visitors might give up trying to explore your store if it takes too long to load.

Plesk tip: 
If you’re looking for a free, easy to install caching option, WP Super Cache is one of the best options out there.

With its huge amount of customization options, W3 Total Cache is also great if you crave total control over your plugin. If you’re new to plugins, however, this option may be a little too in-depth.

However if you just want a simple solution, WP Rocket is a good option, as long as you are prepared to spend a little money.

 

2. Installing WordPress

In this example, I’ll be using Plesk Onyx and the Plesk WordPress Toolkit to simplify the WordPress installation process.

The Plesk WordPress Toolkit is ideal for your WordPress WooCommerce store because it helps you manage your infrastructure and security, and also offers a ready-to-code environment, Let’s Encrypt, Free SSL certificates, CloudFlare CDN, DDoS mitigation, PHP7, and other powerful technologies. Most importantly for this case, it also offers a 1-click installation to install WordPress.

Plesk Onyx - Featured ApplicationsImage: Plesk Onyx – WordPress Toolkit

Installing WordPress in Plesk Onyx is as simple as heading to the applications tab on your control panel and picking a WordPress version to install, as seen in the screenshot above.

During the installation, like most common applications, a progress bar is presented, showing how far you are through the process. A few seconds later and everything’s done.

Wordpress Installation With Plesk OnyxImage: Plesk Onyx – WordPress Installation

In the screenshot above, you see the admin dashboard which is available immediately after WordPress has been installed. On the dashboard, you are presented with an overview of your installation where you can see key details, such as the site name, URL, administrator’s details. On the right-hand side, there are links to your key management options for configuring themes, plugins and security.

 

3. Installing The WooCommerce Plugin

Clicking Manage Themes or Manage Plugins from the admin dashboard immediately gives you the ability to install, activate, or delete a plugin or installed theme of your WordPress installations – as shown in the screenshot below.

Adding WooCommerce is as easy as 1-2-3

Click Manage Plugins > Install Plugin at the top of the plugin list and search for WooCommerce to install. Click on Install.

Wordpress WooCommerce installation Image: Plesk Onyx – Install Plugins

Plesk tip:
Plesk Onyx keeps everything in one location, making managing plugins ever so much simpler than in a standard WordPress installation.

  • To activate an inactive plugin, click the checkbox next to its name and click Ok
  • Want to disable a plugin? Uncheck it and click Ok
  • Want to delete a plugin? Click on the bin icon on the right

Manage plugins with Plesk OnyxImage: Plesk Onyx – Manage Plugins

Immediately after activating the plugin, you’re taken to the onboarding wizard. You can use the wizard, or skip it and manually set up everything. We recommend giving the wizard a go if it’s your first time using the platform. Let’s check it out together by clicking on Let’s Go!

WooCommerce Installation Image: WooCommerce – Onboarding Wizard

Page Setup

The wizard first helps to set up pages needed for an ecommerce online store, such as the shop page, cart page and checkout. Select Continue to automatically install pages.

WooCommerce page setupImage: WooCommerce – Page Setup

Store Locale

Next is your store’s location, currency and dimensional units for shipping calculations (cm, inches). WordPress WooCommerce automatically detects your location using your IP address and selects the country, currency and units. Confirm that the data is correct, and then select Continue.

Wordpress WooCommerce Locale SetupImage: WooCommerce – Store Locale Setup

Shipping & Tax

Shipping and Taxes can be enabled for your online store, if needed. If you enable taxes, further options will appear. Choose how to enter prices, with/without tax, and check the list of taxes WooCommerce will create for you (can change later). Consult a tax professional to ensure your rates are correct.

WooCommerce Shipping & TaxImage: WooCommerce – Shipping & Tax
Select Continue when you’re satisfied.

Payments

Finally, how you want to be paid.

WooCommerce payments setupImage: WooCommerce – Payments

  • PayPal powered by Braintree and/or Stripe — free, separate plugins we offer — are downloaded automatically from WordPress.org.
  • If you enable PayPal Standard, enter an email address associated with that account.

Ready!

The wizard is complete, and now you’re ready to start selling. The only remaining action is to add your products. Select the big Create your first product! button.

Or you can click through to access the setup guides and educational resources.

WooCommerce Plugin For WordPressImage: WooCommerce – Your Store is ready!

Plesk tip:
If you’ve skipped the wizard when you installed WooCommerce, you can run the wizard again. Go to: Help > Setup Wizard and select Setup Wizard.

 

4. Installing The Proper Theme For Your Site

Say you want to install the Storefront theme, designed and developed by WooCommerce Core developers, or its free child theme Boutique, designed for small WooCommerce online stores/boutiques.

In the pop-up window, look for Storefront, or Boutique and click OK. Your theme will be activated after a few moments.

Manage Theme for WooCommerceImage: Plesk Onyx – Manage Themes

5. Importing The WooCommerce Dummy Data

After you’ve installed WooCommerce, perhaps you’d like to see what your pages and products might look like. If so, WordPress WooCommerce has made some sample data available for us. Just right click and download it from here.

Plesk tip:
Dummy data contains products with images that will work with any theme. However, it doesn’t contain the same photos as the Storefront demo, as the demo uses proprietary photography.

From the WordPress admin, go to Tools > Import and select the WordPress option. If you don’t have the WordPress importer installed, first install it by selecting Install Now.

Image: WordPress – Tools

Once that’s installed select Run Importer, Choose file, and select the dummy-data.xml file you downloaded earlier.

You’ll then have the option to import a default author, create a new user, or assign the posts to an existing user. This is your decision to make, although we’d recommend assigning the posts to an existing user.

After that be sure to check or uncheck the Download and import file attachments checkbox, because this will import all the sample product images to your site if checked.

Click Submit and your dummy data will be imported. Congrats, you now have some sample data in WooCommerce to learn from!

 

6. Manage Multiple WordPress Installations

If you’d like to set up multiple online stores, or if you manage stores for multiple clients, then you should consider using Plesk Onyx to install and manage your all your WordPress installations. When you’re done, as in the screenshot below, you’ll see multiple sites in your WordPress installation list.

Image: Plesk Onyx – Multiple WordPress Installations

The main benefit of using Plesk Onyx for multiple stores is the flexibility to set up, configure, update and secure one store, a set of stores, or all your stores at one go, including for tasks such as security scans, audits, and updates.

In fact, Plesk also allows you to schedule tasks to occur automatically, which we’ll be looking at in a later post.

 

7. Adding Additional Protection For Your Online Store

Security is as important a topic as ever, so it’s essential to keep track of the security touchpoints on your online store.

If you use Plesk, click Secure under Manage Plugins on your control panel to configure settings for:

  • File and directory permissions
  • Directory browsing permissions
  • Security on the wp-contents and wp-includes folders
  • Security keys

Image: Plesk Onyx – Check Security

For instance, you can see in the screenshot above that my Security of the configuration file and Directory browsing permissions on my WordPress installation are no longer up to date. To rectify that, all I’ll need to do on my Plesk control panel would be to check the checkboxes next to each of them and then click OK. Plesk will make the appropriate changes and add a green tick when complete.

Should I want to undo this action, I can click Rollback, which will reverse the changes and restore my original files and settings.

 

Do you need Plesk?

Now, do you really need Plesk Onyx and the Plesk WordPress toolkit to set up your WooCommerce online store? Arguably, no. But I would argue that your time could be better spent managing and growing your business, than fiddling with technical updates and security settings.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. In the meantime, be well, do good, and stay Plesky!

Plesk Onyx – Designed for Vultr.com

Vultr Plesk - Deploy Plesk Onyx on Vultr

Innovative cloud companies like Vultr are revolutionizing how businesses reach their customers today, digitizing painful old processes to allow more time to focus on things that actually matter. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, when the global public cloud market is expected to top $146 billion in 2017, up from $87 billion in 2015, and is growing at a 22% compound annual growth rate, as noted by Clint Boulton (Senior Writer at CIO) in his article 6 trends that will shape cloud computing in 2017.

Clint observes that while the lion’s share of this growth will come from the “mega-cloud providers” Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google and IBM, these big players won’t be able to service every unique request, leaving the door open to companies like Vultr to capture their own unique slice of the pie.

Vultr was formed in 2014 and it is a child firm of Choopa, LLC. Like DigitalOcean, it uses KVM. It is relatively new to the VPS sector but its benchmarks are quite impressive and it offers certain functionalities that will prove handy to some users.

So, if you’re you looking for a global cloud hosting solution with warp-10 fast SSD VPS cloud servers with 100% KVM Virtualization?

Then check out Vultr.com.

Vultr hostingImage: Vultr

What is Vultr?

Vultr is a VPS provider built on high-performance SSD cloud servers with 14 optimized locations worldwide. It aims to create the most reliable and efficient service for developers around the globe. They achieve this by offering a standardized platform for all customers. You get 100% SSD Storage, Ultra-fast Intel CPUs and 14 low latency locations.

 

Locations

North America: Seattle, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, New Jersey, Atlanta, Miami

Europe: London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris

APAC: Tokyo, Sydney

Vultr Geo LocationsImage: Vultr

User Plans

Vultr’s pricing plans are conducted on an hourly basis, meaning you’ll only pay for what you use. With a varied selection of eight plans available, the platform is ready to cater to all needs. The most popular plan offers 1 CPU, but users can have up to 24 CPUs.

Meanwhile, the 2000 GB bandwidth and 1024 MB memory is more than enough for most. However, the largest packages sees those rates raised to 15000 GB and 65536 MB respectively.

Vultr also offers storage (VLS) and dedicated cloud (VDS) services. Again, there is a high degree of flexibility making it possible to tailor a package to suit individual needs.

 

Try Vultr, and they’ll match up to $100!

Vultr offers extremely simple and transparent pricing. Plans start at $5/month and scale up from there depending on how much storage, memory and bandwidth you need. Simply create an account at Vultr. When you fund your account Vultr will match dollar for dollar up to $100 of your Initial Funding.

This is a limited time promotion, so get off your perch and act now!

 

Benefits/Features

  • Easy to Use

    Vultr called they are cloud Hosting on the Largest Worldwide Network. You can easy to deploy your VPS on 4 Continents in 60 seconds!

  • Hourly Billing

    Pay as you go with our flexible hourly billing policy. Vultr doesn’t lock you in to a long term contact – add, remove or upgrade instances as you need them!

  • High-Speed Performance

    Vultr will create the fastest and most convenient cloud technology to help you easily and more efficiently manage your infrastructure so you can get back to coding.

And, Vultr provide all of our users with high-performance SSD Hard Drives, flexible API, and the ability to select to nearest data center location.

 

What is Plesk Onyx?

Plesk Onyx is the new benchmark in web-server management tools, used to simplify website management, application hosting, server management and much more. It includes intuitive web based interfaces for managing domain names, web apps, file management, email accounts, databases and infrastructure, to name a few, to build, secure and run websites and applications in the Cloud!

Plesk Onyx supports multiple Windows and Linux distributions, for example Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, and many more – meaning you have even less to worry about if you have a customized network setup or if you are unsure about compatibility, and achieve continuous delivery and superior version control by deploying with Git.

 

Why choose Plesk Onyx?

Invest in apps, not ops. Plesk Onyx manage your infrastructure and security – patching and upgrading, 24/7 ops and security, failovers and more – so you stay focussed on bulding great apps!

  • Ready to Code

    Plesk helps in building web apps with its ready to use code environment. It supports a multitude of servers and accounts. Thus, helping resellers to easily distribute bandwidth, space, and file permissions using same login panel they use to manage their own website’s files and databases.

  • 24/7 Security

    Plesk provides complete security to your OS, network, website and applications, something that is always amiss. Plesk will handle all security protocols and take necessary measures for you, automatically.

  • Run -Focus on your business

    Focus on your business, not on infrastructure management. Save tremendous time by automating all server related tasks and components to run and scale your web applications and websites.

 

Mass Management

The new Plesk Onyx also includes a tightly integrated set of mass-management and security tools that can be used to protect and automate WordPress. All Plesk-powered systems come with built-in server-to-site security, promising more reliable infrastructure and reduced support costs.

Plesk Onyx - Featured ApplicationsImage: Plesk Onyx

 

Now that you’re familiar with Vultr and Plesk you’re ready to take the next steps. There’s no better way of finding out about the powerful capabilities of Vultr than by trying out the platform.

 

Getting started with Plesk and Vultr

Note: Review the Software Requirements for Plesk to find what Linux or Windows distributions are supported by Plesk Onyx.

 

Quick Start Guide: Create a new instance

After creating an account and navigating to Servers, click on Deploy new instance.

1. Leave the server type on Vultr Cloud Compute (VC2) and choose a location:

Vultr VPS - New Instance DeploymentImage: Vultr

2. Next select the Server Type (operating system) from the list available. I have selected Ubuntu 16.04 x64, because it’s a very popular, reliable, and well supported distribution.

Vultr hosting - server typeImage: Vultr
3.For the Server Size you can pick a size that is appropriate for you but Plesk Onyx will run great on any of them. In this tutorial, we’ll use the 1 CPU, 1GB memory option, 2000GB Bandwith, 20GB SSD that is currently priced at $10/month.

 

Select additional features

4. Each of the following features has to be turned on manually.

  • Enable IPv6: For no additional cost, Vultr will give your instance an IPv6 IP address. This means your instance can communicate via IPv6.
  • Enable Private Network: Add an internal IP to your VM
  • Enable Auto Backups: Vultr offers automatic backup as an option on compute instances. Backups are extremely important for mission critical systems and the Vultr backup system adds data-protection with one easy-to-manage feature.
  • Enable DDOS Protection: Add an additional layer of protection to keep your hosting infrastructure online and operating optimally even when they are the target of attacks. Currently available in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, NY/NJ, Silicon Valley, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and London.

5. The Startup Scripts feature allows you to configure your newly deployed server by running customizeable scripts on the very first boot of your virtual private server (no login required!). Add software, install SSH keys, and more – the possibilities are endless!

Vultr cloud hosting - additional featuresImage: Vultr

SSH Keys

6. Now that you’ve set your features, it’s come time to set up SSH access. If you already have your SSH key setup, great. Otherwise, the information about creation of SSH keys can be found here.

7. The last step in getting your instance create is to give them a simple Server Label to identify the server. We’ll use plesk. Then click Deploy Now to create and install the server.

Your new instance will deploy in a couple of minutes. Once your VPS instance is deployed, it will be automatically started. To find out the Public IP address of the instance, Username, and Password, click on Manage.

Vultr server informationImage: Vultr
Now it’s time to install Plesk and build something with your new server!

Connecting the instance via SSH

1. Open up your favorite SSH client application and connect to the instance utilizing the public IP address assigned to the instance.

  • Username: The default admin user is root
  • Password: The initial root password to your server can be found in your Server Information page.

Vultr server - ssh access

2. Install Plesk using One-Click installer or run through Plesk Installation and Upgrade Wizard to deploy custom installation:

One-Click installer

Run the following command:

# sh ‹(curl https://autoinstall.plesk.com/one-click-installer || wget -O - https://autoinstall.plesk.com/one-click-installer)

Install Plesk Onyx on Vultr cloud server

3. Generate a one-time login for logging in to Plesk Onyx

Run the following command:

# sudo plesk login

Login into Plesk Onyx on Vultr server

4. Replace the hostname with your IP address to log in to Plesk.

Note: You cannot use the hostname based on the droplet name the first time you log in because Plesk has not passed the initial configuration and the full hostname has not been created yet.

Running the Installation/Configuration wizard

1. When you log into Plesk Onyx, you will see the View Selector page. On this page, you can choose the appearance of the panel as per your requirements.

Plesk Onyx - View Selector PageImage: Plesk Onyx

Once your purpose has been identified, a second drop-down menu will emerge asking you select your preferred layout. This can be changed later.

2. Then comes the Settings page. Here you need to fill in your hostname, IP configuration, and admin password.

  • New hostname: Fill in your primary domain (i.e. testdomain.com).
  • Default IP Address: Leave the IP as default.
  • New password: Change the default administrator password.

Setting up Plesk Onyx on Vultr hosting Image: Plesk Onyx

3. Next is the Administrator information page. Just fill in the information asked and proceed to the next page.

4. After that comes the license key install page. You can order, retrieve and install a 14-day full-featured trial license from this page. Since you have already purchased a license key, proceed with installing the license key.

5. On the Create your Webspace page you can specify the domain name of your first subscription, and system user account username and password that you will use to manage it. This will create a subscription for hosting multiple sites.

6. Woohoo! Plesk is now configured!

Plesk Onyx on Vultr serverImage: Plesk Onyx

Vultr - Dave Aninowsky, CEO

Thank you to David Aninowsky, Founder and CEO of Vultr for co-authoring to this write-up and for providing feedback and technical insights on vultr.com.

Be well, do good, and stay Plesky!

How to deploy Plesk Onyx on Amazon EC2

Plesk on AWS

In the latest Magic Quadrant report for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide, for the 6th straight year, Gartner placed Amazon Web Services in the “Leaders” quadrant and named AWS as having both the furthest completeness of vision and the highest ability to execute. Today, AWS provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses in 190 countries around the world.

What is AWS?

Amazon web services is the cloud computing platform by Amazon.com. Building and running your business starts with computing, whether you are building mobile apps, or running massive clusters to sequence the human genome. AWS has over 70 infrastructure services, such as computing power, storage options, networking and databases, delivered as a utility: on-demand, available in seconds, with pay-as-you-go pricing.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) forms a central part of Amazon Web Services, by allowing users to rent virtual computers on which to run their own computer applications. EC2 encourages scalable deployment of applications by providing a web service through which a user can boot an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to configure a virtual machine, which Amazon calls an “instance”, containing any software desired.

A user can create, launch, and terminate server-instances as needed, paying by the hour for active servers – hence the term “elastic”. EC2 provides users with control over the geographical location of instances that allows for latency optimization and high levels of redundancy.

Amazon EC2Image: Amazon

AWS Global Infrastructure

AWS placed its data centers across 42 availability zones within 16 regions around the world: US West (Oregon, Northern California), AWS GovCloud, US East (Northern Virginia, Ohio), Canada (Central), South America (Sao Paulo), Europe (Ireland, Frankfurt, London), Asia Pacific (Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Seoul, Mumbai) and China (Beijing). Each availability zone has at least one data center that has redundant power for stability, networking and connectivity.

AWS regionsImage: Amazon

Throughout the next year, the AWS Global Infrastructure will expand with at least five new Availability Zones in new geographic Regions: Ningxia in China and Paris in France.

Run any application

If you need to run any application, for example a WordPress website or control and manage server or cluster level functions such as scaling and deployment, well then AWS EC2 is the best! It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

  • You provision, scale, and manage server capacity. EC2 offers a wide selection of instance configurations optimized for every use case
  • You control the server, OS, and deployment software
  • You have flexible payment options to meet your business needs, including enabling BYOL

Benefits

    • Inexpensive

Amazon EC2 passes on to you the financial benefits of Amazon’s scale. You pay a very low rate for the compute capacity you actually consume. See Amazon EC2 Instance Purchasing Options for a more detailed description.

  • Elastic Web-Scale Computing

    Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously. Of course, because this is all controlled with web service APIs, your application can automatically scale itself up and down depending on its needs.

  • Designed for use with other Amazon Web Services

    Amazon EC2 works in conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Domain Name System (Amazon Route 53), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon SimpleDB and Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) to provide a complete solution for computing, query processing and storage across a wide range of applications.

    Tip: Should you decide to make the move to the cloud with the Amazon Route 53 service, we recommend that you use the Plesk Onyx extension for automated provisioning of DNS zones to Amazon Web Services.

  • Reliable

    Amazon EC2 offers a highly reliable environment where replacement instances can be rapidly and predictably commissioned. The service runs within Amazon’s proven network infrastructure and data centers. The Amazon EC2 Service Level Agreement commitment is 99.95% availability for each Amazon EC2 Region.

  • Secure

    Amazon EC2 works in conjunction with Amazon VPC to provide security and robust networking functionality for your computing resources.

Simplify Server Administration

  • Managing Infrastructure

    For all server needs – small businesses and IT Pros that want to host a few websites, web developers and designers that need to host dozens of websites, shared web hosters that can grow to serve millions of websites – Plesk Onyx on AWS is the ideal solution for simplifying server administration, while scaling to meet your specific needs.

  • Easy to Start

    Quickly get started with Amazon EC2 by visiting AWS Marketplace to choose preconfigured software on Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). You can quickly deploy this software to EC2 via 1-Click launch or with the EC2 console.

AWS MarketplaceImage: Amazon

What is Plesk Onyx?

Plesk Onyx is the new benchmark in control panels, and is the only tool you ever need to build, secure and run websites and applications in the Cloud!

Plesk Onyx allows server administrators to set up new websites, manage accounts and e-mail, and oversee DNS entries and other relevant networking data and specs through an intuitive web-based interface. It is an intuitive control panel that any customer can easily use. The latest version of Plesk Onyx supports multiple Windows and Linux distributions, for example Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, and many more – meaning you have even less to worry about if you have a customized network setup or if you are unsure about compatibility.

Gain time, gain freedom.

Our biggest release to date simplifies the lives of Web Professionals by fully integrating Docker and Git. Server related tasks and components are automated to run and scale web projects as well as providing one-click web server security. The ultimate answer for Web professionals who work with SMB’s (small to medium-sized businesses), we like to think of Plesk Onyx as a tool which empowers end users to easily deploy their web projects and get their MVP’s to market sooner.

What are the benefits/features?

  • Build: Plesk’s easy-to-use intuitive interface provides an environment for web professionals to code directly in. This allows developers and designers to focus on their business and develop web apps and sites that scale in the cloud.

  • Secure: It is not uncommon to have well-functioning websites that do not take security concerns into consideration. Such an approach can have huge negative consequences as your services continue to run and be exposed. An estimated 90% of web developers realize specific security concerns or loopholes in their application only after it is too late. Plesk will handle all security protocols and take necessary measures for you, automatically.

  • Run: Manage your WebOps: In the past, a team of tech specialists was needed to ensure that everything worked together throughout the running and deployment of any given web application. This meant that you had to have someone dedicated to ensuring that everything from the deployment, running, maintenance and security to the patching and repairing of your app or system, runs smoothly and successfully. However, with the progress of time, these tasks have become more and more automated, to the point where you do not need the same expensive technical resources you needed a few years ago.

Plesk Onyx also includes a tightly integrated set of mass-management and security tools that can be used to protect and automate WordPress. All Plesk-powered systems come with built-in server-to-site security, promising more reliable infrastructure and reduced support costs.

Plesk Onyx Featured ApplicationsImage: Plesk Onyx

Now that you’re familiar with AWS EC2 and Plesk you’re ready to take the next steps. There’s no better way of finding out about the powerful capabilities of AWS than by trying out the platform.

Getting started with Plesk Onyx and AWS EC2

 

1. Creating an AWS Account

To access any web service AWS offers, you must first create an AWS account. An AWS account is simply an Amazon.com account that is enabled to use AWS products. You can use an existing Amazon.com account login and password when creating the AWS account.

From your AWS account you can view your AWS account activity, view usage reports, and manage your AWS Security Credentials.

To set up a new account

1. Open https://aws.amazon.com/, and then choose Create a Free Account.

2. Follow the online instructions.

3. Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a PIN using the phone keypad.

Note: You will not be charged unless your usage exceeds the free tier limits, which is great to explore the services and even host a real app without being charged.

 

2. Go to the AWS Marketplace

AWS Marketplace is a new way to find and buy software that runs in the AWS Cloud. In order to simplify installing on Amazon, Plesk provides a variety of AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) with the most popular configurations.

Plesk Onyx at AWS Marketplace Image: Amazon

Thus, no actual installation is required. In Amazon terminology, the user needs to launch the instance from the appropriate AMI. All available AMIs can be found at AWS Marketplace.

Note: In this How-to we use the ‘Bring Your Own License’ (BYOL) instance of Plesk Onyx CentOS 7 which allows you to use your own Plesk license. If you don’t have one yet, you can get a free trial license here.

Bring Your Own License

 

1. Click on Plesk Onyx ‘Bring Your Own License’ (CentOS 7), read the product description to make sure that it suits your needs.

2. Expand Region, and select the region you want from the list. The price is different for different regions.

3. Click the Continue button.

Plesk Onyx - Bring Your Own LicenseImage: Amazon

4. On the next site choose 1-Click Launch which uses predefined settings for Plesk Onyx.

5. Choose the configuration on the EC2 instance type. You will see the pricing information change under Pricing Details to match your selection. You can also review the Monthly Estimate in the right pane.

6. Create new Security Group based on seller settings. The Security Group created by AWS Marketplace based on recommended settings for Plesk ‘Bring Your Own License’ CentOS 7 version 17.0.17.

Plesk Onyx 'Bring Your Own License' (CentOS 7)Image: Amazon

7. Select the Key Pair to be used for connection to the instance (an existing Key Pair is required for connection to the Plesk instance). A Key Pair can be generated in the AWS Management Console.

8. Read the User End License Agreement (EULA) and AWS Customer Agreement and click Launch with 1-click button.

9. An instance of this software is now deploying on EC2. Software and AWS hourly usage fees apply when the instance is running and will appear on your monthly bill.

An instance of this software is now deploying on Amazon EC2Image: Amazon

10. Click on the AWS Management Console link in the right pane to get your instances list.

3. Connecting the instance via SSH

When Plesk is installed on an Amazon EC2 instance, the admin password is generated automatically. You need to obtain the generated password in order to access Plesk GUI for the first time.

Amazon EC2 - Connecting the instance via SSHImage: Amazon

1. Open up your favorite SSH client application and connect to the instance utilizing the public IP address assigned to the instance, that can be found in the right pane of the instances description.

2. User name: The remote user to log in as. The default admin user, or Superuser, is centos for Centos, ubuntu for Ubuntu.

Note: If you added a public SSH key to your instance when you created it, you must have the private SSH key of the key pair (and passphrase, if it has one).

3. Generate a one-time login for logging in to Plesk Onyx.

Run the following command:

 # sudo plesk login | grep -v ec2.internal

SSH into your instance

4. Copy the generated link into your browser.

4. Running the Installation/Configuration wizard

1. When you log into Plesk Onyx, you will see the View Selector page. On this page, you can choose the appearance of the panel as per your requirements.

Plesk Onyx Installation WizardImage: Plesk Onyx

Once your purpose has been identified, a second drop-down menu will emerge asking you select your preferred layout. This can be changed later.

2. Then comes the Settings page. Here you need to fill in your hostname, IP configuration, and admin password.

  • New hostname: Fill in your hostname (Public DNS).
  • Default IP Address: Select your IP address
  • New password: Change the default administrator password.

Plesk Onyx settingsImage: Plesk Onyx

3. Next is the Administrator information page. Just fill in the information asked and proceed to the next page.

4. After that comes the license key install page. You can order, retrieve and install a 14-day full-featured trial license from this page. Since you have already purchased a license key, proceed with installing the license key.

5. On the Create your Webspace page you can specify the domain name of your first subscription, and system user account username and password that you will use to manage it. This will create a subscription for hosting multiple sites.

6. Woohoo! Plesk is now configured!

Plesk Onyx Image: Plesk Onyx

Thank you to the whole Amazon team for co-authoring this write-up and for providing feedback and technical insights on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Be well, do good, and stay Plesky!