A Beginner’s Guide to Managed WordPress

Thank you for choosing Managed WordPress at Liquid Web! We hope this guide will help you get started in making the most of your experience with the Managed WordPress Portal. There are some great features in the portal, and we’ve worked hard to make sure site maintenance is a cinch.

 

Quickly Jump To A Subject By Clicking its Link:

Login to MWP Portal and the WordPress Backend
Forgotten Password
Add a User to the MWP Portal
Granting SFTP Access
Migrate a Site
Create a New Site
Taking a Site Live
Managing DNS
Backups

 

Login to MWP Portal and the WordPress Backend

The fastest and easiest way to log into the Managed WordPress Portal is to first log in to your Liquid Web account at https://manage.liquidweb.com.

Once logged in you will see that you are on the Overview page. Here you will see your Managed WordPress server. Just click the plus sign next to that server to reveal the LOGIN button and click it.

Hint:
The Managed WordPress Portal uses the same credentials as your Liquid Web account so once logged into Liquid Web click the login button.

Liquid Web's WordPress control panel reveals how to login.

Once logged into the Managed WordPress Portal you will see the Welcome Screen which will ask you for a nickname and an email address to create your first site. Just be sure to follow the guidelines on what characters you can or cannot use in a nickname.

When the site is finished deploying, the portal will now show one default WordPress installation that you can work with pictured below. This WordPress instllation is called MyNewSite.You can simply click on the WP-Admin button, and that will take you directly to the WordPress login page for the new default site.Alternatively, click the blue link and append the default site URL with /wp-login.php.  In the above example this would be: https://mynewsite.m9n7y4ka-liquidwebsites.com/wp-login.php

When you create a new site in Managed WordPress Portal, you will be emailed an administrative user and password so you can access the site right away. It is recommended that you login and change the password immediately for security reasons.

 

Forgotten Password

If you forget your password, you can always access the login page and click on the “Lost Your Password” link under the login area. Clicking that link will send an email used to create the new default site, allowing you to change your password.

Click on the "Lost Password?" link to retreive WordPress Credentials.

As a best practice, you will always want to make sure you never use default usernames like “admin” or “user” or simple passwords (like English words) as they can be easily guessed using brute force methods. We have created some best practice for securing WordPress to help you add some extra security to your site.

 

Add a User to the MWP Portal

Since you will be working with different areas that can be confusing we’ll be using the following terminology to differentiate between them.

  1. Managed WordPress Portal – the custom control panel for your WordPress sites in Managed WordPress. The Portal is where you will add sites, work with those sites, access and adjust the setting for your websites. It’s also where you can find your backups!  The Portal will have a URL that begins with the word “app,” uses a custom string, and ends in “liquidwebsites.com” Example = https://app.m9n7y4ka-liquidwebsites.com/
  2. WordPress Dashboard – the traditional term for the back end of all WordPress sites. When you login into a specific WordPress site to perform maintenance on pages or plugins, you are accessing the WordPress Dashboard for that site.
  3. Liquid Web Account Management – this is the primary account area at Liquid Web where you log in to view all your products and services at Liquid Web, such as your invoices, your credit card payment, DNS zones, and other settings or tools that we provide for you.

You can add users to Managed WordPress Portal by logging into the Portal and then clicking on Users in the left menu. On that page, you will find a default “liquidweb_staff” user, used by our support staff, but feel free to add on any co-workers who need access to all the sites.

To add a new user click the blue Create User button to the far right.

Managed WordPress lets you add users to access sites.

Hint:
Any user you add to the Managed WordPress Portal area will be able to work with and make changes to ALL THE SITES including the ability to deleting sites from the portal.

If you want to restrict site access for a single team member, it’s best to create a WordPress Dashboard user (a WordPress user) allowing access only to that specific WordPress site.

Granting SFTP Access

If you wish only to give SFTP access to a team member (and not portal access or WordPress Dashboard access) you can provide the SFTP credentials to that team member.

  1. You can find those SFTP credentials by logging in to the portal and clicking on the blue Manage Site button for the specific site.Retrieve SFTP credentials in the Manage Site section.
  2. You will now find many portal tools and settings for that specific site. Scroll down the page until you come to the SFTP/SSH Credentials area. This area will initially provide the user, IP, and port information for accessing the site over SFTP.
  3. Click on the blue Generate New Password button.  When the popup window appears and asks, “Are you sure?” click the OK button.
  4. The page will refresh, revisit the SFTP/SSH Credentials area to find a new password was generated for that specific site.SFTP credentials are regenerated within the Manage Site section.

 

For your convenience, sse the blue COPY links to copy the information. When you are ready to revoke SFTP access for a team member access the SFTP/SSH Credentials area again and click the blue Generate New Password button to reset the password to something new.  Here are some things to know regarding SFTP.

  1. Passwords can be changed at any time.
  2. Each site in Managed WordPress portal only comes with one SFTP user and that username cannot be changed.

 

Migrate a Site

We have a custom plugin that will allow you to migrate any live, public-resolving site into Managed WordPress Portal.  You can find the plugin in the WordPress repository or even search it from a WordPress Dashboard on the Plugins page. The plugin is called Migrate to Liquid Web. This plugin was built with ease-of-use in mind and works great for anyone who wishes to migrate their own site.

Instructions for downloading and using the plugin are here:  https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/migrating-to-liquid-web-with-managed-wordpress-portal/

Some things to know about using this plugin are:

  1. Implement the migration plugin on the source, live site. It uses a push method, and thus, the source site must be publicly reachable by DNS. The plugin will not work on a local WordPress copy that is not openingly accessible through a URL.
  2. It can only push a copy of a site into our Managed WordPress and Managed WooCommerce product at Liquid Web. It is not compatible with migrating into other products at Liquid Web.
  3. It is not compatible with WordPress Multi-site (WordPress Multi-site is not compatible with our Managed WordPress solution). We can, however, break up a multi-site installation into individual sites and our team can then migrate each source site into their own, individual destination site on Managed WordPress Portal.

We are happy to perform a migration for you as well, even for multiple sites.  Here is how you can submit a request for a migration to have our team migrate a live site for you into Managed WordPress Portal:  https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/free-website-migration-service/

 

Create a New Site

To create a new site in Managed WordPress Portal simply log in to the portal and then click the Create New Site button in the upper right of the portal.

The portal will then ask you for a nickname for the site along with an email address.  Fill out both fields and then click the Create Site button.Create a WordPress site through a nickname.

It’ll take a minute or two to see the new site in the portal.  An email will shortly arrive with a username and password to access the WordPress Dashboard (also known as the WordPress backend) of the new site. Each WordPress site created in the portal installs with the default TwentySeventeen theme and comes fully prepared with its own SFTP/SSH credentials.

The email address used to install a new site is the same one used for important future updates to our portal, reports and other administrative WordPress tasks for that specific site.

With a new site deploys you’ll be provided a temporary URL to access the site.  The URL will include both the nickname of the site and the default temporary URL that is a part of your specific Managed WordPress Portal.

 

Taking a Site Live

When a site is migrated into Managed WordPress Portal it is copied to a temporary URL that is publicly resolvable over DNS. The temporary URL provides a means to test the functionality and before taking it live. This testing time provides an opportunity to get the site ready with all changes before it needs to be taken live with the real URL.

Two essential and sequential steps are necessary before publishing a site to the Internet.

  1. Change the  A record for the domain to the IP address within your Managed WordPress Portal. DNS does have to be taken care of first for the second step to work.
  2. Change the name in the Primary Domain field in the portal (under Site Details) from the temporary URL to the actual domain name.  That can be done by logging into the portal, clicking on Manage Site, and then find the Primary Domain field. Just replace the temporary URL with the straight domain name and click UPDATE.Taking a WordPress site live entails renaming the primary domain.

The portal will put the site into maintenance mode as it runs the update and gets the site ready to be live with the real domain name.The Managed WordPress Maintenance Page lets us know that updating is in progress.

Here are some things to note about the renaming process.

  1. DNS does have to resolve to the IP address of the server to deploy our automatic SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) application. Our SSL implementation runs a public DNS lookup to retrieve the IP address.
  2. The renaming process will automatically replace the temporary URLs in the database to ensure menus and image links will work with the real domain.
  3. If you wish for the site to resolve to the www version of the domain you will need to include that in the Primary Domain field in the portal.  In that case, you would set the primary domain field to www.domain.com instead of domain.com
  4. The site will be issued an automatic SSL during this process that will programmatically stay up to date!
  5. Once the renaming process has finished the portal will leave maintenance mode, and you will see the portal tools and features again for the site. At this point, the site will now be live on Managed WordPress Portal.

You can find more information documented on this here:  https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/going-live-site-managed-wordpress-portal/

 

Managing DNS

Many times customers wish to have Liquid Web host all their DNS records for a domain. You can do this by using Liquid Web’s name servers.You can use the following process to migrate all DNS records to Liquid Web:  https://www.liquidweb.com/kb/migrating-your-dns-to-liquid-web/

 

Backups

We know that backups are critical, so we provide those for you in Managed WordPress.Just click on Manage Site for the site you wish to work with and then click on Backups in the left menu.Backups are included in each Managed WordPress Product.

Here are a few apsects to note on our backups.

  1. Backups run nightly and are secured off-site location, so they don’t take up any space on the server where you sites live, meaning better performance for your websites.
  2. We keep 30 days of nightly backups, and while they are remote, you do have access to them on the Backups page.
  3. On the Backups page, you can manually create a new backup, download a backup from a specific date, or restore a backup from a particular time.
  4. If you choose to restore a backup from a specific date, it will restore right on top of the live site and revert the site to how it looked and operated on that date and time.

 

7 Extremely Useful Linux Commands for Beginners

#1: ls : What’s in this directory?

The command ls stands for list directory contents. And, cleverly, it will do just that: list a directory’s contents! Using it with -F will give a list of the directories contents, and denote items that are other directories with a trailing /.

ls -F

On my server returns:

allthethings.txt important.doc Indominus/ Misc/ probs.xls Red Wings/ Spreadsheets/ Work/

In the above case, allthethings.txt, garbage.file, important.doc, and probs.xls are files, and Indominus, Misc, Red Wings, Spreadsheets, and Work, each with the trailing /, are directories!

There are many other options, or switches, such as -F that can be used with ls for improved results. For example:

ls -lFa

Returns:

dr-xr-x---. 10 root root 4096 Apr 17 12:01 .
drwxr-xr-x. 19 root root 4096 Apr 14 12:45 ..
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Apr 17 12:00 allthethings.txt
-rw------- 1 root root 483 Apr 14 12:45 .bash_history
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 18 Dec 28 2013 .bash_logout
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 176 Dec 28 2013 .bash_profile
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 361 Jan 1 01:24 .bashrc
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jan 1 01:25 .cache/
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root 4096 Jan 1 01:25 .config/
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 100 Dec 28 2013 .cshrc
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Apr 17 12:01 garbage.file
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Apr 17 11:58 important.doc
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:59 Indominus/
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:57 Misc/
-rw------- 1 root root 42 Apr 14 12:44 .my.cnf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 0 Apr 17 12:00 probs.xls
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:57 Red Wings/
-rw------- 1 root root 1024 Jan 1 01:22 .rnd
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:56 Spreadsheets/
drw------- 2 root root 4096 Apr 14 12:42 .ssh/
-rw-r--r--. 1 root root 129 Dec 28 2013 .tcshrc
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:57 Work/

In the above case two switches are added: -l and -a. The -l uses the long listing format, and the -a switch lists all of the files, including hidden files.

Each column contains an important bit of information:

Column | Information | Example

  • 1 | Permissions | drwxr-xr-x
  • 2 | # of Hard Links | 2
  • 3 | User That Owns File or Directory | root
  • 4 | Group for File or Directory | root
  • 5 | File Size | 4096
  • 6 | Timestamp | Apr 17 11:59
  • 7 | Filename | Indominus/

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