Win a Plesk Package by Playing our Plesk ‘Search’ Quiz

Play Plesk Site Search Quiz to Win Plesk Package Plesk

Welcome to the Plesk ‘Search’ Quiz! Got your detective hat on? Good – here’s how it works. You can enter the chance to win a package full of Plesk merchandise. All you need to do is correctly complete our crafty ‘search’ quiz to qualify. You’ll uncover the answers to all of our tricky questions by doing a little exploring around our site. Don’t worry – we’ll tell you where to look! 😉

After following the clues and completing the quiz, just add your name and email address to the form below, and click Submit. We’ll then let you know by next week if your detective skills have won you that coveted Plesky prize. Ok, Sherlock. Off you go!

The Plesk Search Quiz

  • Email

Thanks for playing! Let us know how you did in the comments below or via social, on Twitter or Facebook. Check your inbox next week to see if your Plesk expert skills have paid off and won you a Plesk package.

Get Better For Next Time at Plesk University

Want to improve your Plesk knowledge? Well, you can learn about all of our products inside Plesk University. Here you’ll have access to loads of courses designed to help you learn at your own pace.

For more information on how to register, where to find courses and how to pass exams, you can take a look at the Plesk University guide for Pleskians. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can always drop us a line in our idea box.

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!

Announcement: SolusVM joins the Plesk family

SolusVM

Today we’re happily announcing a new member of the Plesk family: London-based SolusVM from OnApp. Thousands of service providers flock to use this virtual server management system that offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service hosting. And we believe this acquisition will boost Plesk’s offering in multiple ways. Read on to see how.

Who are SolusVM and OnApp?

SolusVM is a virtual private server (VPS) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) management system. It’s designed for cloud service providers, their resellers and end-customers. With a web-based and customizable UI to manage infrastructure, it integrates popular billing systems and supports several of the most widely used virtualization technologies. Learn more about SolusVM here.

OnApp provides software, services and expertise to help thousands of MSPs and telcos build and grow successful cloud services businesses. Their offerings include OnApp Cloud, OnApp for VMware, OnApp CDN, and the OnApp Federation. Find out more about OnApp here.

How will the SolusVM acquisition work?

Plesk is acquiring all SolusVM assets and will carry on its growth strategy. Thus, elevating it from a single server control panel to a future-proof cloud platform. We’ll provide both cloud service providers and web professionals a single pane of glass application that will become the future of WebOps. 

The SolusVM team, led by Phill Bandelow, will become an integral part of the growing Plesk R&D team. This acquisition will also propel forward development and innovation of the next version of SolusVM. 

 “We’re excited to join Plesk, and become part of a changing force in the hosting industry. SolusVM fits naturally into the growing Plesk portfolio, providing new and compelling opportunities for our customer base. They can now expect a faster pace of innovation while being able to access the WebOps services and automation that Plesk is known for.   

Phill Bandelow, SolusVM Team Lead.

Why is this good news for Plesk customers?

Because of this acquisition, our leading WebOps platform will now have a complete solution. It will allow total control over as many VPS accounts as your hardware and resources can support. Our services will also cover the complete spectrum of modern IaaS solutions. And finally, you can now access the widest portfolio of hosting solutions to run, automate and scale your apps, sites and businesses.

We’re very happy to have Solus Virtual Manager and their complete VPS management solution on board. SolusVM lets companies of any size manage virtual machines - from one central user interface, with security and ease. Firstly, makes it a breeze for service providers, resellers and end-users to provision, manage and sell virtual machines. Secondly, it’s the first choice for providing cloud-based infrastructure hosting, based on the most popular virtualization platforms, like Xen, KVM, and OpenVZ.

 Nils Hueneke, Plesk CEO

How does this positively impact Plesk partners?

Clients and partners will get the same excellent support, product development and relationships they had before. But now, we have combined skills, resources, products and services to provide a bigger, more complementary, end-to-end solution portfolio. Furthermore, we’ll help our clients leverage their IT investments in SolusVM, while adding the requirements to meet their business needs.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter. Or drop us a comment below for questions, or just to tell us what you think!

How we moved towards full GDPR Compliance

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) stirred up much commotion. But finally went into effect May 25, 2018. Are we ready? You bet.

For all our EU-based customers, partners and friends, we know you need full disclosure on what Plesk has worked on for full GDPR-compliance. So read on to see how this will impact you and your relationship with Plesk going forward.

What is GDPR exactly?

GDPR Compliance by Plesk

The GDPR is the EU’s new data protection law, coming about to regulate how businesses, like Plesk, obtain and use your personal data. It will override the former EU Data Protection law – which was, by the way, over 20 years old! Thus, being better able to conform to the ever-evolving web and business world. You can find the full official GDPR text here.

Was there any personal data misuse before?

No, don’t worry, guys!  This does not mean we’d been doing anything fishy. It just means that we worked hard to fill in any gaps and improve how we handle your information. The goal was to become fully-compliant by the May 25-deadline, and we succeeded.

For users and resellers, using Plesk is GDPR-friendly as we don’t collect much personal data. The only two instances are:

  1. Plesk admin’s name + email when we issue a trial / commercial license;
  2. Plesk admin’s email when you subscribe to a Plesk mailing list in your Plesk panel.

Your Consent and Individual Rights

To be GDPR-friendly, we need to adhere to our customers’ individual right to:

  • Be clearly informed whenever consent or data is given
  • Access or change your own personal data
  • Be forgotten/delete personal data
  • Restrict processing even if data is stored
  • Have data be portable, easily readable and transferable
  • Object to the processing of your data, example, for marketing
  • Be notified of any data breach within 72 hours of discovery

The two elements of the GDPR most relevant to us at Plesk :

  1. Obtaining your consent to process data, the right way;
  2. Preserving your rights regarding how we use your data.

Informed Consent:
Per the GDPR, we’ll ask for your consent to collect and process your personal data, in an explicit and verifiable way. And with clear information on the why and what.

We chose to do this via a double opt-in system for our subscriptions. So you’ll agree to terms and subscriptions separately and in a more clear way. There will also be a way to manage/revoke your consent in our systems. Every email has a link at the bottom to access your subscription settings. You may opt-in (or out) of one (or all) newsletters at any time.

New Individual Rights:
The regulation includes the “right to be forgotten” – so an option to be taken off any mailing list at any time. And to have your data cleared when that happens.

And one step further, “data portability” – that you have the right to request your data at any time. In an easy-to-read and transferable format.

GDPR Compliance Checklist for Plesk

GDPR Compliance

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1527850391637{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Here’s an overview of what Plesk has actioned for GDPR compliance. For further information or if you have any data requests, please refer to [email protected].

Harder internal and external security measures (Updated May, 2018)
We took this opportunity to harden our security measures even further. So there are more layers of encryption and tougher authentication processes.  

✅ Login Functionality fully GDPR Compliant (Updated May, 2018)
We also require opt-in at every stage of data collection and we’ll inform at every instance how and why we’re using this data and provide a link to our privacy policy.

Privacy policy reviewed and renewed (Updated May 24, 2018)
Not only that, but we also revisited Support and Forum privacy policies, and created university and cookie statements.

✅ Less Personal Data (Updated April 26, 2018)
We no longer collect unnecessary personal data from Key Administrator and Partner Central services. So client and reseller accounts will no longer require a Phone number, Fax, Address, City, State/Province, ZIP/Postal Code. We used generic Plesk data instead and ran tests successfully. No partners will be affected by this change. 

Data mapping:
We documented which personal data we collect, how, where and why we store it. We’ve then mapped out a GDPR plan of action, based on this research.

Unsubscribe Option:
We already had an unsubscribe link in place for every news or marketing email we sent out. Just wanted to tick that off, because we like ticking list items.

New Privacy Policy for Plesk University:
We created and released this comprehensive information, outlining what data we collect – the why, how and with whom we share it. Then how you can access, update, or erase your personal info.

Plesk University Data:
We informed users who didn’t review and accept the Plesk University Privacy Policy that from May 20, 2018, we’ll remove all personal data for which we have no explicit consent. Meaning user accounts along with course progress and certifications. Please provide required consent before May 20 if you’d like to preserve your Plesk University account and continue using it.

Registration Check Boxes:
We added a Privacy Policy check box to our registration form and into your Plesk University account properties. Registration in Plesk University now requires reviewing and accepting the Privacy Policy.

Promotional Check Boxes:
We also added a checkbox that allows you to opt-into our promotional emails and quarterly surveys. It’s available on the user registration form and in your Plesk University account properties.

Why is GDPR Compliance important to Plesk?

Why Plesk cares about GDPR

We want to remind you that one of our core values at Plesk is a complete customer solution and user satisfaction. So know that this need for data privacy and security will remain at the forefront of our minds. From product changes and what we’re building, to security enhancements and legal documentation updates.

Meanwhile, we hope we’ve put your mind at ease about this hot topic. We know there’s a lot to read on this page and on GDPR compliance in general. If you’re more the chatting type (we get it, lots of us are here), just drop us a line in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Plesk receives awards for Top Usability, Support and Business Relationships

Plesk awarded by G2 Crowd

Safe to say we’ve had a great 2018 so far. We got happy news when G2Crowd congratulated us on the multiple top rewards we achieved this year! And it’s thanks to all the positive reviews from the verified users, who rated and reviewed Plesk.

From day one we’ve had the user in mind and tailored all our solutions accordingly. Now, real users – web hosters, developers and more – have identified Plesk as one of the best solution providers in our field. This based on their high levels of satisfaction and how likely they are to recommend Plesk to friends and colleagues. What more could we ask for?

Who are G2 Crowd anyway?

G2 Crowd and PleskG2 Crowd is a leading business review directory, with over 381,000 reviews and more than 1 million users visiting every month. You can use G2 Crowd to gain unique insights in order to drive better purchasing decisions. Then compare and choose tech services based on your peers’ reviews and social data.

Plesk set up an account on G2 Crowd as another way of getting to know our customers and collecting feedback, outside of our own channels. And boy did we learn a lot along the way Especially when it came to add-ons that users needs and the ever-improving UI. See our latest update on how we knocked multiple issues out of the park.

Rankings on G2 Crowd reports are based on data provided to us by real users. We’re excited to share the achievements of the products ranked on our site because they represent the voice of the user and offer terrific insights to potential buyers around the world. 

Michael Fauscette, chief research officer, G2 Crowd.

Plesk wins awards in these four categories

We qualified for 16 index and grid reports. Including Small-Business relationship for VPS, Cloud platform as a service, usability and implementation index, and more. All of Plesk’s ratings come from expert business professionals in the field who mainly highlighted the following qualities:

Plesk G2 Crowd Users Love Us Badge
  1. Ease of Use
  2. Ease of Admin
  3. Quality of Support
  4. Ease of doing business

It means so much to us that we even qualified for the index report, let alone been awarded these great achievements. We’re always belting out that our main goals are customer experience and satisfaction. To see us hitting these targets gives us more motivation to do more of the same, and then some.

Be part of our Pleskian Community

G2 Crowd and Elvis Plesky Community

We want to thank you all for your ongoing support! Meanwhile feel free to leave your own Plesk review on G2 Crowd’s Plesk review page. Or get into our Facebook Community Group where we share help, advice, insights and more among Plesk experts and users. As friends do.

New to Plesk?

Learn more about what real users have to say on G2 Crowd’s Plesk review page. You can drop a comment below, or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Our team will gladly point you in the right direction. Meanwhile, you can always give our free 2-week trial a spin. See what all the fuss is about!

Six tips I learned about sustaining long-term core contributions at WCLDN

Wordcamp London - Six tips learned about core-contribution

As a developer and hopeful future contributor to the WP Core, I question what lies on the road ahead. So I sat for Felix Arntz’ talk at WordCamp London on how to sustain long-term contributions. Since joining his first core-contribution table at WordCamp Europe – Seville in 2015, he’s gained a lot of knowledge (and frustrations).

#Tip 1 – Hold your horses

He first talked about the headaches of reporting bugs and creating tickets when in this zone. That even though you’d want to go ahead and immediately patch – you still need to discuss first. This is not a solo project. You need to learn the philosophies of the circle you’re part of and make them part of your mindset.

Always place the project’s goals ahead of your own ego. It’s worth allowing others to try to convince you. In the same way that you should feel free to convince others when necessary. If you disagree initially – step away, think about it further, and come back later.

#Tip 2 – Sometimes you’re wrong

Understand that rejection’s part of the whole process. Your ideas Will not always be accepted by the group – and that’s OK! Here’s how Felix suggests you deal with that rejection.

  • If someone gives no good reason for saying no, ask for one explicitly.
  • Disagree? Then dig further. Ask for a third and fourth opinion.
  • Still disagree? Then, your thoughts may not comply with the project’s philosophies.
  • Always keep your calm and be polite. Don’t take anything personally.

#Tip 3 – Get your answers

Felix shared how when he joined Multisite in 2016, he struggled a bit with unanswered questions. He would say be persistent when you don’t receive an answer for a while. Your question is valid and deserves an answer too. But I think that it’s often up to you to chase your own answers. One way or another.

#Tip 4 – Find your focus.

First, you need to find out what interests you the most, before you can start placing your focus towards it. Then you’ll know which meetings you can participate regularly in for that component.

I may not like to sit back myself – I tend to dive right in and participate. Always keeping in mind that direct communication Works best. But Felix says it’s perfectly OK to just pop in with a hello at first and hang around a bit, seeing how it’s done. And the more you show up, learn and present ideas, the more you build trust over time.

#Tip 5 – It ain’t just code.

You’re not just gonna be sitting there coding the stuff all day, by your lonesome. Be open to new tasks. And when you accept them, document changes precisely so that others can follow. Or even recap so your colleagues can stay up to date.

Write precise ticket descriptions and commit messages. You may be the one interested in the core, but you’ll still need to collaborate with other teams, like design and accessibility.

Want to become a component maintainer? Once you’re more familiar with your component, start providing responses to new tickets. And make new contributors feel welcome.

#Tip 5 – Learn and repeat

You don’t need to be a coding virtuoso to land an important role in the core. All you need to do is keep contributing, learn from mistakes and never stop improving your skillset over time.

Why is this important?

Well, we advise that you pay attention to details. But keep in mind that even a small change might break something in another location. So write tests to verify functionality and integrity. Don’t break any through a commit. And always make sure your code is reviewed by other experts in the respective area.

#Tip 6 – Be time-aware

You need to be reasonable with the time you have to things. Don’t overestimate what you can do within those core-dedicated hours. Moreover, don’t get involved with too many components. Just stay focused on those select few, so you can make a real difference.

Wanna increase your core time?

Then know that making an impact on core development will spark your fellow coder’s attention. Already got a lot on your plate with the company employing you 9-5? Bring up your aspirations with your boss.

Many companies will be more than happy to grant their developers extra time to work on extra projects that grow their skillset. Also works if it’s time for a change. Because prospective companies may become interested in sponsoring you. So my advice would be to take a chance. You never know!

Dev Spotlight: Felix Arntz on Coding and Contributing to the WordPress Core

Plesk interviews Felix Artnz

After Felix Arntz gave his latest speech at WCLDN regarding contributing to the WordPress Core, I had a sit with him. Mostly to chat about what keeps him going. He’s a freelance backend developer, based in Germany. And for many years, he’s been implementing client solutions and plugins that majorly focus on Multisite environments.

This month, Yoast started sponsoring him part-time to contribute to the WordPress Core. Which lets him spend even more time coding for the open-source-project he’s deeply committed to. Besides this, you’ll also find him involved in Multisite, Capabilities and Post Thumbnails. Moreover, he writes plugins and libraries, focusing on developing clean and sustainable solutions. Here’s what we learned from Felix last weekend.

Felix Arntz Q&A

WordPress is free for us and allows us not only to publish content but also to make a living out of it. And even get in touch with awesome people from all over the world. It’s important to give something back in whatever dimension that’s possible for you, as an individual, in whatever area works best for you.

Definitely overcoming the feelings about being “rejected”. For example, when people closed tickets I opened or didn’t accept my suggestions. It’s important to step back and ask yourself why this make you feel frustrated.

Maybe this won’t make a lot of sense to you. But when you write a unit test in WordPress, you don’t need to clean up after yourself. Because WordPress does it for you. It’s not very well-documented, so a lot of people don’t know – unfortunately.

They clean up after themselves and write tons of additional code which is absolutely unnecessary. It’s not important because it doesn’t break anything. But it just kind of bugs me. Yes, a useless thing, which bugs me. (laughing).

Patience. At first, I was very annoyed because many things took a lot of time. I was like, “come on, it’s not that hard to fix!” But when I got my committer access to WordPress core and did my first commit, that was the moment when it clicked.

I was kind of anxious when I was about the hit the “Enter” button for the very first time. Did I do everything right? Would my decision break WordPress? I know my colleagues have similar attitudes too.

Everybody wants to be 100% sure the code they’ll commit will work – and not break anything. I understood then why (good) things may take time and why not everything I had pushed for previously got merged as quickly as I wanted it to.

That’s a very easy question: going to my first WordCamp! One of the best decisions I ever made, to be honest. In my talk I said I regret that I didn’t to that 2 years earlier.

However, it was definitely outside of my comfort zone, because I wouldn’t say I was much of a people person. I didn’t know anybody. But it immediately worked for me. I already met the first cool people of this community on the plane – which was amazing! (laughter).

I really like Sublime Text, which I use as a code editor. It’s a very basic tool but I love how fast it is. This is way more important to me than additional features other editors would provide me with. Well, I argue about that sometimes with people. (Laughter).

WP Query Monitor is a great Developer Tools panel for WordPress. And then some automation tools like Gulp and a lot of testing tools. If I counted them all, it would take us some time. (Laughter)

Coding standards and well, design patterns. Basically more abstractions in the code base. And making it maintainable. Because to be honest, maintaining it is terrible at the moment.

I’ve been holding off learning JavaScript for some time now. Even if my focus is PHP, and if it will probably stay that way, I still really wanna learn and understand JavaScript. And enable myself to create some cool stuff in Gutenberg. And maybe help out in the Gutenberg team at some point.

I didn’t start learning it yet, but I definitely will! Now that we’re talking, I seriously think I’m gonna start tomorrow by learning React and then dive into Gutenberg. (Laughter)

I decided not to go down the business road. Because I love coding. And when you run a business, you do this part that you really enjoy less and less. I just wanna code (Laughter)

I’ve been a freelancer for some years now and I try to automate my workflow as much as possible. So I think I would probably use any tool that would help me doing so. Why not a server management platform like Plesk? I must confess, that I haven’t used Plesk’s control panel so far. And I don’t know that much about it. But that’s nothing we can’t change!

Lots of things music-related: listening, writing and producing music, playing the piano, going to concerts. And I love playing soccer. Oh and of course – travelling the world with WordCamps!

Catch Felix’s WCLDN Talk on WP Core if you’ve missed it

You can very well get familiar with the technical bits of WordPress core contribution during a WP Contributor Day. But you don’t normally get deep insights if you’re interested in finding your spot in a core contributor team.

Felix’s talk is for those who want to contribute as efficiently as possible and deal with roadblocks with less frustration. He showcases the benefits of contributing, recommends how to build trust, and gives insights on which traits are particularly valuable to have. It’s more than just code-writing. It’s building long-term relationships and making significant impacts. WPTV Talk coming soon! Meanwhile, check these slides here.

Have you met WCMIA’s youngest ever speaker, Miles Lifton?

Wordcamp Miami: Plesk talks about the youngest WCMIA speaker Miles Lifton

A brief intro about this next impressive speaker and he takes the stage. About 4 feet tall, exuding all this techy confidence. So you know he’s done this before – been on stage, talking about what he does best. Oh, and by the way, he’s 11 years old. This is the third time Miles Lifton has spoken about code at a WordCamp, and his second time at WCMIA. “As you guys just heard, I’m Miles Lifton” he begins. And that was it – he had us all engaged.

Who’s Miles Lifton?

Miles Lifton is a young student from Florida who lives for tech. He believes there’s room for tech in everyone’s life, no matter their background, and no matter their age. With a few years’ tech experience under his belt, he specializes in Python, but can also code in at least 5 more programming languages. He says he’s here to show how a user-driven business model profits any business. Oh, and did we mention Miles is 11 years old? Yeah, we still can’t believe it.

Miles explains how WordPress shaped the Web

In his Wordcamp Miami talk, Miles Lifton chose to describe how WordPress has affected the internet over time. The creation of WordPress happened at just about the same time as the internet boomed.

With the web growing at a much faster rate than ever before, in came a platform that was going to streamline it all and act as a building block. So if you thought it was the web that contributed to the growth of WordPress, think again. It was actually vice versa. Yeah, I was surprised too!

Why Miles chooses WordPress over any other

Miles shows that WordPress is used by over 75 million websites worldwide, with over 59.9% of the market share. And its closest competitor, Joomla!, only has about 6.6%.

It’s open source, which according to Miles is much better than proprietary. He tells us all that this is the reason WordPress is so amazingly easy to use. Because it’s continually being built by its users. Whatever users need, they can have. Just like JetPack and BuddyPress. Anyone can contribute, anyone can use it.

WordPress is completely plugin-based and the simplicity makes building websites fast. Even leaving the possibility of temporary websites to emerge. Because where before this took days or months, now it takes minutes and it respects the four freedoms.

But overall it’s just simple and user-centric. On that note, check out the WP Toolkit we’ve created to simplify the lives of WordPress users. But one of the things Miles Lifton loves the most about the WordPress project is Freedom zero, the fact that you can use it for anything that you want.

Why Miles so believes in the WordPress model

In his talk, he showed case studies of successful companies, like Chipotle, using the user-driven business model. Just like WordPress does.

He went into the deep questions we should ask ourselves when we’re involved in any project or business – how open are we to user input? Does my product suit my needs or my customers’? Am I willing to change to suit my market’s needs? How do I capitalize on my competitors’ failures?

Miles’ goal was to simply highlight the benefits of a business letting go of the reins a little bit and letting the users take over to a certain degree. “No, I don’t have a business”, he says, “this is purely observational”. But he’s 11.

Chatting to Miles

Plesk chatting to Miles Lifton at #WCMIA

When we asked about what he thought about the future of the internet he felt that there will be a shift from professional to pure entertainment. And companies will use it in this way. Listening to him talk about his research and observations on the matter and what will happen with social media and BuddyPress was really impressive.

Us Pleskians have been blown away by this dude. And so was the whole community. He’s wise beyond his years. And he was able to answer every question thrown at him, whether techy or opinion-based.

I had a minute to speak with him and told him I have never seen such a young speaker at a WordCamp in Europe so far. He’s smart and responded confidently.

Plesk supports the new Kid Camps

We need more kids like Miles in tech and in WordPress. So this took me to my conversation with Sandy Edwards who was running the 5th annual Kids Camp at WordCamp Miami. While homeschooling her own son for 3 years, Sandy became passionate about ensuring equal opportunities of employment for kids after high school. In a job that makes sense for them.

Kids Camp this year divided itself into two age categories. The 6 to 13 year-olds learned to build their own blogs and post content with WordPress. While the teens built a simple store with WP. They learned valuable coding, designer and marketing skills. Potentially prepping them not just to build a store, but also turn it into a real business.

Plesk gives a drone prize to kids at WCMIA - WordCamp Miami
Drone prize Plesk awarded the kids at the event

This year, WCMIA’s motto was “WordPress of the Future”. Well, we can tell that the future of WordPress lies in the hands of those smart kids and it’s endearing to see fellow WP community members put a lot of effort and passion into empowering them.

Will we see Miles again anytime soon?

He told me he’d absolutely love to apply for a talk at WordCamp Europe in 2019. He’d already had that in mind this year, but it proved difficult due to time conflicts.

When we asked him whether he has his own business going, with all this knowledge he has, he said not yet. But he’s already planning to. We’re pretty sure, we’re gonna hear about this bright mind again in the near future.

Migrate to Plesk on AWS from Plesk, cPanel or DirectAdmin

Why migrate to Plesk on AWS?

Amazon Web Services is the cloud computing platform by Amazon.com, offering over 90 key infrastructure services such as computing power, storage options, networking, and databases, delivered as on-demand resources with pay-as-you-go pricing.

As part of the hyperscale cloud revolution, increasing numbers of web professionals are now running their instances on AWS, and many Plesk hosting partners have chosen AWS to run their managed-services business. Running your instances, hosting or managed business with Plesk on AWS provides many significant benefits over the traditional hosting infrastructure:

  • Scales better than traditional shared or VPS hosting: Plesk on AWS is based on AWS’ latest innovations and integrates smoothly with the Route53 service of AWS. Support for new AWS services are constantly being added as Plesk Extensions to take advantage of the automation and customization features of the Plesk platform. Pass on the value to your website and app customers by including AWS services to their portfolio.
  • Improved innovation: Deploy from websites and apps anywhere to everywhere. Tune, secure and optimize images that can be scaled horizontally (for high traffic sites) with ease-of-use through AWS.
  • Improved infrastructure: Quick and cost-effective spin up of dedicated multi-server environments.
  • Increased security: Intelligent Security Advisor, free SSL with Let’s Encrypt, Fail2ban, configurable firewall, ServerShield by CloudFlare, Security Core w/ ModSecurity by Atomicorp, Patchman (Patches Vulnerabilities in CMS), Datagrid reliability & vulnerability scanner, and much more
  • Proven workflow: Deploy a Domain, DNS, SSL and simple PHP application in just a few minutes…or a multi-services multi-stack application in as much time. Improved CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!) and eCommerce (WooCommerce, Prestashop, others,..) workflows to ensure better development velocity.
  • Increased productivity: Move from a release cycle every quarter to deploying changes on a minute-by-minute basis
  • Increased agility: Fully integrated deployment capabilities to deploy code more frequently
  • Global AWS Infrastructure: Plesk instances through the AWS marketplace are immediately available on any of Amazon’s many data center locations.

To learn more about Plesk on AWS, as well as our plug-and-play Plesk WordPress Server Solution and Plesk Business Server Solution, go to our Plesk on AWS page.

Let’s start the migration to AWS

Here’s what we’ll cover in this tutorial:

  1. Prepare your Plesk (or cPanel/DirectAdmin) source server
  2. Install Plesk on AWS as a target server + configure public IP
  3. Install Plesk Route53 Extension on Plesk on AWS + configure the extension.
  4. Install Plesk Migrator Extension on Plesk on AWS
  5. Migrate all the data (Plesk to Plesk), domains will be created in route53 also on this step.
  6. Use the Plesk feature “Switch DNS” – so that the source server stays a Slave until all domains are switched on the Route53 side (actually on the domain registrar’s), website stay functional during the switching time of 24-48 hours that Route53 needs for DNS sync.
  7. After that, you need to contact your registrar to delegate your domains to Route53 DNS.

1. Preparing your existing Plesk or cPanel/DirectAdmin server (source)

Note: there are some limitations in case you plan from Linux to a Windows Server and vice versa! In general, we recommend only to migrate from Linux to Linux or Windows to Windows.

To ensure that the migration is successful, a number of TCP and UDP ports need to be opened on the source and destination servers.

Plesk offers a nice Firewall component that needs to be installed in case you don’t want to do this over command line. If you can’t find the firewall in Tools & Settings -> Firewall, then you need to install the component first (click here). Then you can access it over Tools & Settings -> Firewall. More details on the firewall for Linux here and Windows here.

For Unix servers, open the following ports (In case you are migrating form Plesk using the Plesk Firewall Extension, these ports are all configured correctly for you by default!):

  • TCP port 22 for SSH connections on source server.
  • TCP port 8443 for access to Plesk XML API on the target server and on the source servers, if migrating from Plesk.
  • TCP ports 110, 143 for POP3 and IMAP, on the source and target server. These are used for post-migration checks.

For Windows servers, open the following ports:

  • TCP ports 135, 139, 445 and UDP ports 137, 138. Be sure to open these ports on the source and on the target server.
  • TCP port 1433 for MS SQL, if it is used as the default instance.
  • UDP port 1434 and all (or manually selected) TCP ports for MS SQL, if it is used as a named instance.
  • TCP port 10155 for a custom Plesk Migrator service performing miscellaneous tasks.
  • TCP port 10156 for rsync server.
  • TCP port 8443 for access to Plesk XML API on the target server and on the source servers, if migrating from Plesk.
  • TCP ports 110, 143 for POP3 and IMAP, on source and target servers. These are used for post-migration checks.

Also, make sure that https://installer.plesk.com is accessible from the destination server.

We recommend that you install and configure all the necessary services and settings on the destination server before performing the transfer. For example, if you plan on migrating MySQL databases, make sure that the MySQL server is installed and running on the destination server, and so forth.

Make sure that Plesk on the destination server has a separate license. Otherwise, you may experience problems with the license validation during migration. The possible ways of obtaining a license are described in the Administrator Guide.

2. Preparing your AWS Plesk instance (target server)

Follow this guide to set up Plesk on AWS. Note: be absolutely sure that your AWS instance is configured running with a public IP address as described in the installation tutorial, otherwise you might have issues with the DNS parts later. 

Plesk OnyxImage: Plesk Onyx

3. Installing the Plesk Migrator Extension

To install Plesk Migrator using the Plesk interface

  1. Log in as administrator to Plesk on the target server.
  2. Go to Extensions -> Server Tools -> Plesk Migrator 
  3. Select Install on the Plesk Migrator detail page.

4. Installing the AWS Route53 Extension inside Plesk

In case you plan to use the DNS features of Plesk (what is highly recommended!), you need to make sure that you have the Route53 Extension installed.

  1. Log in as administrator to Plesk on the target server.
  2. Go to Extensions -> DNS -> Amazon Route 53
  3. Select Install on the Amazon Route53 detail page.

Just for reference – here the guide for Route53 from AWS: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/Route53/latest/DeveloperGuide/MigratingDNS.html

5. Initiating the migration on your AWS Plesk instance (target server)

  1. Log in to Plesk on the destination server as the Plesk administrator.
  2. Go to Server Management > Extensions > Plesk Migrator > Start a New Migration. If Plesk Migrator is unavailable, install it following the instructions here.
  1. Select the hosting panel installed on the source server from the Panel type menu.
  2. Specify the following:
    • The source server’s IP address. If migrating from a Linux server, specify the SSH port as well (22 by default).
    • (Plesk for Linux) The login and password of a root user on the source server. Alternatively, you can choose to authenticate via SSH keys. For details, refer to Authentication by SSH (Linux).
    • (Plesk for Windows) The login and password of the built-in administrator accounts on both the source and the destination servers.
    • The directory for storing temporary files on the source server (make sure there is enough free disk space available to store the dump of the largest database that will be migrated).
  3. If migrating from a Windows-based server, specify the method for installing the RPC agent (an application enabling Plesk Migrator to gather data):
    • Automatic (recommended). Plesk Migrator will try to deploy and start RPC agent on the source server using the built-in administrator account. In some cases, automatic deployment may fail (for example, due to firewall settings, or because the File and Printer Sharing or RPC services are disabled). If this happens, deploy the agent manually.
    • Manual. A link to download the RPC agent package will be provided. Download the package and install the agent on the source server manually.
  4. Click Prepare Migration to proceed to the next step. Plesk Migrator will attempt to fetch the data about the different objects (domains, subscriptions, customer/reseller accounts, and hosting plans) found on the source server. If the connection fails, double-check the source server information, make sure that the connection is not blocked by firewall, and try again.

    Note that from this point onwards, you can leave the Migrator interface without losing your progress – the migration will remain in progress until you finish it explicitly. To continue from where you left off, click Server Management > Extensions > Plesk Migrator and then click the corresponding migration in the list.

  5. You now find yourself on the Add subscriptions tab.

  6. Here you must select the subscriptions to be migrated (note that you cannot migrate individual domains, the fewest number of objects you can migrate is a single subscription and all its domains). You can use one of the three available filters:

    • By Subscription. If you migrate a subscription owned by a customer or a reseller, the corresponding customer/reseller account will be migrated as well (unless a custom subscription owner is specified – see below). The hosting plan the subscription is based on will also be migrated.
    • By Customer/Reseller. If you migrate a customer or reseller account, all subscriptions owned by the account will be migrated together with the hosting plans they are based on. Note that migrating a reseller account does not automatically migrate the customer accounts owned by the reseller. If you select a reseller account and one or more customer accounts owned by that reseller for migration, the reseller’s ownership of the customer accounts will be preserved on the destination server.
    • By Hosting Plan. If you migrate a hosting plan, all subscriptions based on the said plan will be migrated as well. If you migrate a hosting plan belonging to a reseller, said reseller will be migrated as well, plus all subscriptions based on the selected hosting plan together with the customers who own those subscriptions.
  7. Select what types of content (mail content, web content, and databases) will be migrated.
  8. Select a custom subscription owner. By default, whenever a subscription owned by a customer or reseller is migrated, the corresponding customer or reseller account is created on the destination server as well. If you select a different subscription owner, the ownership of all subscriptions being migrated will be assigned to that account.
  9. To change the migration settings, click Settings in the upper-right corner.

  10. Here, the following controls are available:

    • Adjust application settings. By default, during migration Plesk attempts to make changes to the configuration files of a number of popular web applications to make them operable on the destination server. Clear the checkbox if you want to make the changes manually. Leaving this option enabled will increase the migration time.
    • Apache restart interval (Plesk for Linux only). Restarting the web server on the destination server is necessary for the migrated domains to become available over the network. Make sure not to set this value too low (less than 300 seconds is not recommended), as all hosted domains become temporarily unavailable every time the web server is restarted.
    • Run post-migration checks. By default, after the migration is finished, Plesk performs a number of automated tests to identify potential issues with the migrated domains. Clear the checkbox if you do not want the tests to be run. Leaving this option enabled will increase the migration time.
  11. When you are satisfied with the list of subscriptions to migrate and the migration options, click Migrate to proceed. Plesk will run pre-migration checks to detect potential issues and display a report.

  12. We advise you to fix the detected issues (if any) before continuing with the migration. Make the necessary configuration changes, then click Refresh to re-run the tests.

  13. When the pre-migration check returns a clean result, click Start migration to begin migrating. Once a migration is underway, you can monitor its progress on the Overview tab.
  14. As subscriptions are being migrated, status reports will be displayed for every subscription for which the migration was either completed successfully or failed.
    • The icon indicates that the migration was completed successfully.
    • The icon indicates that the migration was completed with errors. Click [Details] to see the list of issues that occurred during the migration.
    • The icon indicates that the migration failed. Click [Details] to see the list of issues that occurred during the migration.
  15. If you want to perform an additional sync of a subscription’s content after the migration is finished, click [Re-sync] next to the subscription’s name.
  16. If you want to migrate additional subscriptions from the source server, return to step number seven. Otherwise, unless you plan to migrate from the same source server again in the near future, you can click Finish migration to remove it from the list of ongoing migrations.

6. Going into production: switch DNS

  • Any DNS zones (domains) will be transferred to the configured Route53 correctly when using a public IP address on your Plesk server on AWS, without any manual interventions.
  • After the migration, AWS need some time to propagate new DNS records/domains inside their infrastructure.
  • IF on source server DNS was handled by Plesk, then the migrated domains continue to work on old DNS but points to new IP’s because of “switch DNS” feature described earlier.

7. Request at your domain registrar or registries to switch DNS to route53

After your changes to Amazon Route 53 resource record sets have propagated to Amazon Route 53 DNS servers (see Step 4: Check the Status of Your Changes (API Only)), update your registrar’s name server (NS) records to refer to the Amazon Route 53 name servers.

migration with no downtime – woohoo!

 

8. Additional tips

In case you are not ready to migrate your whole server yet, there is also an option to just migrate 1 site to a server with Plesk on AWS or one WordPress instance into Plesk’s all new WordPress Toolkit. For that, please refer to separate documentation available here.

 

Thanks to the whole AWS team for co-authoring this write-up and for providing feedback and technical insights to optimize this tutorial.

Be well, do good, and stay Plesky!