The 8 Step Checklist to a better migration

8 Tips to a Smooth Migration

A recent Liquid Web survey revealed that businesses are often held back from choosing a better hosting partner by the “what-if” situation when a migration presents. Nearly a quarter of consumers who decide not to switch to a new provider cited fear of the migration as the biggest reason for maintaining the status quo. Even if they believe that the new hosting provider would be better. Continue reading “The 8 Step Checklist to a better migration”

Database Backup and Restore in Plesk 12.5

Earlier versions of Plesk required the use of database management tools to dump databases, but Plesk 12.5 allows you to back up (by exporting a database dump as an SQL file) and restore them (by importing a database dump as an SQL file) without having to leave the control panel.

Step #1: Export a Database

  1. Select Websites & Domains from Plesk’s main menu.
  2. Select Databases, then scroll down to the panel for the database you wish to export.
  3. In the panel for your desired database, click the Export Dump icon and select a destination for the backup file. By default, it will be stored in the selected subscription’s home directory.

Step #2: Import a Database

  1. Select Websites & Domains from Plesk’s main menu.
  2. Select Databases, then scroll down to the panel for the database you wish to export.
  3. In the panel for your desired database, click the Import Dump icon browse to the backup file’s location (locally or on the server), and click the OK button.
Note: To avoid potential data loss, never attempt to restore a database without first backing up the existing database with a unique filename.

How To Add Users and Assign Roles in Plesk

You can add or edit users, and create and assign roles via Plesk’s user settings page. The method for accessing user settings is slightly different in various Plesk views:

Access the User Accounts page

  • In Service Provider View
    If you’ve elected to use Plesk’s Service Provider view:

    • Select the Subscriptions setting in Plesk’s main menu to bring up the Subscriptions page.
    • Click on the desired domain name in the Subscription column to bring up hosting details for that domain.
    • Select the Users tab from the uppermost row of menu tabs to load user settings.

      1PleskSPVUsers

  • In Power User View
    If you’ve elected to use Plesk’s Power User view, you can simply click the Users button in the main menu to bring up a list of user accounts:

    2Users

From the user settings page, you can use add or delete users, assign and edit user roles, or add custom user roles. You can use the links below to quickly navigate to each section:

Create a New User Account

  1. Click the Create User Account button and provide the necessary information:

    Create User Account

  2. When assigning a User role, Plesk provides the following four default roles. If you have created any custom roles, they will be listed here as well:
    • Administrator: Users with an Administrator role have full access to the Plesk control panel and server management functions.
    • Webmaster: The Webmaster role allows users to manage most aspects of the subscriptions to which they are assigned, including creating new sites and configuring services such as DNS, mail, and FTP. Webmasters cannot, however, create new Plesk users or manage roles.
    • Application User: Limited access
    • Accountant: The Accountant role is the most limited in Plesk. Users with this role can see details of the subscriptions to which they’ve been given access, such as resources used and current hosting options, but they are unable to modify any settings.
  3. In the Subscriptions field, select the primary domain name associated with the subscription to which you want the user to have access, or select All to allow them to access all subscriptions.
  4. The user will be added once you click the OK button.

Remove a User Account

On the user settings page, simply check the box next to an existing account and use the Remove button to delete the selected user account.

Create a New User Role

  1. To create a new user role, select the User Roles tab and then click the Create User Role button.
  2. Enter a name for the new user role, select the desired roles, and then click the OK button once you’re done.

    Create New User Role

    Note: For a detailed explanation of each user role, see the official documentation.

Edit an Existing User Role

Click the user name listed in the Contact Name column to edit roles for that user.

Note: For a detailed explanation of each user role, see the official documentation.

Add an additional administrator account

Plesk allows you to add additional administrator-level accounts for users, such as your IT staff or developer, who will be performing administrative tasks on your behalf. An additional administrator account can perform most of the same tasks as the primary administrator.

To add (or edit or remove) an additional administrator account, click on Additional Administrator Accounts under the Tools & Settings menu, and specify the information for the new administrator account.

xAddAddlAdminUserToolsSettings

How To Generate and Renew Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates in Plesk 12.5

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority from the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). It enables anyone to install a free trusted SSL certificate on their website and benefit from the enhanced security an encrypted connection provides. Unlike a self-signed SSL certificate, which also is free and secure (but not verified), a Let’s Encrypt certificate is recognized as fully verified and will display the padlock icon in the address bar of modern browsers.

Beginning with version 12.5, Plesk provides access to both a plugin which interfaces with the Let’s Encrypt CLI client and an extension for use within Plesk. Please note that Plesk’s support for Let’s Encrypt applies to some Linux distributions as well as Windows, and while these instructions may also apply to a Linux server running CentOS 6 or higher, additional configuration beyond the scope of this article may be necessary. Continue reading “How To Generate and Renew Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates in Plesk 12.5”

How to Generate a CSR and Install an SSL in Plesk

Pre-Flight Check

  • This article is specifically intended for generating a Certificate Signing Request and installing a standard SSL certificate on a Windows server running Plesk.
  • We’ll walk through ordering the SSL via Liquid Web’s Manage interface, but you can use the CSR you generate in Plesk to purchase an SSL from the vendor of your choice.
  • If your Windows server is running Plesk 12.5 or higher, you can check out our tutorial on Using Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates with Plesk 12.5.

Step #1: Generate a Certificate Signing Request in Plesk

  1. Log into Plesk.
  2. Select Domains from the main menu and click on the domain name to access its settings page.
  3. Click on SSL Certificates to bring up the SSL certificate page:

    WinPleskSSL1

  4. Now click the blue Add SSL Certificate button:

    WinPleskSSL2

  5. Fill out the request form and then press the Request button:

    WinPleskSSL3

    While the fields are self-explanatory, pay special attention to these three required fields:

    • Certificate name: This is how the certificate will be displayed in Plesk. To make it easier to identify later, you’ll likely want to use the domain name.
    • Domain name: If you want your SSL certificate to cover the domain with and without the “www”, you must enter the “www” version here.
      • A certificate for www.yourdomainname.com will cover both yourdomainname.com and www.yourdomainname.com.
      • A certificate for yourdomainname.com will only apply to yourdomainname.com.
    • Email: Plesk will email the CSR and details to this address, although we will walk through retrieving the CSR directly from Plesk in the next step.
  6. Upon submitting the form, you’ll be redirected to the domain’s SSL Certificates page. Click on the certificate name (“Sample” in this example) to return to the certificates page, where you’ll be able to copy the CSR:

    WinPleskSSL4

  7. On the SSL Certificates page for the domain, scroll down to the section labeled CSR, and copy all the text contained in that field:

    WinPleskSSL5

    Important: Leave this window up, as you will return to it once you have ordered and obtained the certificate. You will paste the certificate into the Upload the certificate as text field just above the CSR section on this same page.

Step #2: Order the SSL Certificate in Manage

  1. In a new browser window or tab, log into your Liquid Web Manage dashboard.
  2. Click on the Create button near the top left of the page and select SSL Certificate:

    WinPleskSSL6

  3. On the Order an SSL Certificate page, paste the CSR you copied from Plesk into the Certificate Signing Request (CSR) field.

    WinPleskSSL7

    The CSR Details section will populate with the information you entered in Plesk.

    • Review the CSR details. If you need to correct any errors, go back to Step One and re-generate the CSR.
    • Select the length of time for which you’d like the certificate to be valid.
    • Select a Verification Method. Typically you will want to leave this set to “Automatic”.
    • Click the Purchase SSL Certificate button to order the certificate and have it charged to your card on file.

Step #3: Verify and Obtain your SSL Certificate

  1. Your SSL certificate is accessible from your Manage dashboard.
    • Click on Overview in the left menu of your Manage dashboard.
    • Click on SSL Certificates under the Services section.
    • Click the [ + ] button next to the domain name to expand the window.
    • Click the Dashboard button to access the SSL dashboard.
  2. If automatic verification was successful, you will see a green button next to Verified in the Status column. If automatic verification failed, follow the instructions for verifying the SSL via DNS record, HTML meta tag, or email at Installing an SSL Certificate.
  3. Once the certificate status is displayed as Verified, click the link labeled X509 Certificate to pop up a window containing the certificate. You will need to copy the contents of the certificate in that popup before returning to your Plesk browser window or tab.
    Important: Leave this window up, as you may need to return to it to copy and paste the Intermediate Bundle from this screen into the CA Certificate field in Plesk.

    WinPleskSSL8

Step #4: Install the SSL Certificate in Plesk

  1. Now return to the Plesk browser window or tab you left open in Step #1, and paste the certificate into the Upload the certificate as text field just above the CSR.

    If the CA certificate does not fill in automatically, you will need to copy the Intermediate Bundle from the Manage browser window or tab you left open in Step #3 into the CA certificate field.

    WinPleskSSL9

  2. Now click the Upload Certificate button to add the certificate.

Step #5: Configure the Domain to Use SSL

Now that the SSL certificate is uploaded, all that remains is to enable SSL support for the domain.

  1. In the Plesk menu, click on Websites & Domains.
  2. Click on the domain name.
  3. Click on Hosting Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the Security section, select the certificate to use and check the box next to SSL support.

    WinPleskSSL9

 

What to Expect During a Site Migration

The Migration Team at Liquid Web is dedicated to providing customers with an efficient and as uneventful a migration as possible. It is important that we work together to ensure an effective transfer of information. No matter if you are migrating from a current Liquid Web server, or from another host, we make it as simple as possible.

Most migrations generally take two to seven days, however, individual results may vary. The time required can change depending on the size and type of migration being completed. Most delays can be minimized by maintaining communication. Our team provides frequent updates to ensure we receive the data we need to complete the process.

Migrations begin by logging into the Manage customer interface. Once you are logged in starting a Migration Request will allow you to provide necessary details. Once complete a Migrations Specialist will contact you to schedule the migration.

Step 1: Information Collection

Liquid Web will:What we need from you:
Send the Migration Form to you through our ticket system. This form provides us with vital information to begin the migration.

Some of the information we will need is:

  • Source server hostname and IP address
  • Destination server hostname and IP address
  • Domain being transferred
  • DNS information and if you are able to modify DNS records

For External Migrations, we will need additional information, such as:

  • SSH username and password
  • cPanel username and password
Note: If currently do not have a server on your LiquidWeb account, you can create one when completing the Migration Request.
Complete the Migration Form completely and inform us of any special instructions before the migration begins.

In addition, please complete the following updates on your source server prior to the migration process.

Common updates are:

  • WordPress – install the most recent version
  • Update Plugins – delete any unused
  • Notify us of any third-party software installed that we may need to help with later

Please verify that your site is compatible with PHP version 5.5 as it is the lowest version of PHP supported by cPanel.

Step 2: Data Move

Liquid Web will:What we need from you:
During this step, the Migration Specialist will begin the Initial Sync. The Initial Sync is where we access your source server and compare software versions, pull data from the server and restore your sites on the destination server.

The end goal is for your site to work the same way on the destination server as it did on the source server. If your site shows errors on the source server prior to Initial Sync, the same errors will appear on the destination server.

Please refrain from adding any new sites or changing functionality on current sites during this time. This will minimize the occurrence of any errors during the migration process.

Step 3: Validation

Liquid Web will:What we need from you:
We will log into your site on the destination server and make sure that we are able to access all of your information. We want to make sure that your site is functions the same way in the new environment as it did on the source server.During this step, we do all the work. This process gets the site ready for testing, where we ask that you test your site in the new environment.

As soon as validation is over, we will notify you that we are ready for you to start testing.

Step 4: Testing

Liquid Web will:What we need from you:
We will review any errors you send us during your testing process and fix any issues. We will also assist with installing and configuring Third-Party Software such as MongoDB or NodeJS, if needed.

Third-Party Software installation and configuration falls under our Best Effort Support.

Note: This is the part of the process which can cause the most delays – please keep an eye on your email for the notification for you to begin testing.

The only person who knows how a website should work is the owner. This is where we need you to complete a detailed testing of the site and report back to us if anything is not working. It is important that you check all pages, forms, links, and back-end access. Don’t panic if you see errors – these occur when there are differences in the server environment and completely normal during the migration process.

If you encounter errors, send us examples in your Migration Ticket so that a specialist can investigate and help resolve the issue.

Step 5: DNS Update

Liquid Web will:What we need from you:
If you are registered with Liquid Web, our Migration Specialist will update the DNS on the new server so that you can update the IP on the Name Server

Note: There is the potential of a 20 – 50 minute downtime during the DNS propagation at the end of the migration process. In many cases, downtime can be minimized by lowering TTL values, but each migration is unique and may carry with it additional downtime to address issues as they arise.

If you are coming from an external host, you will need to update the DNS. Please review the DNS Update Information for external hosts if you are not sure how to update your DNS. We will notify you when it is time to make these changes and work with you through this process to keep you update on any issues to minimize downtime as best we can.
Some migrations have the ability to complete a Final Sync. This is where we do one more transfer of data to make sure that any updates are included in the migration and that all files are up to date. Please discuss with your Migrations Specialist to see if your migration qualifies for a Final Sync of your data from the source server to the destination server.

If you have any other questions you may want to see our Site Migrations FAQ! Otherwise if you’d like to build a custom solution and then start a Migration feel free to start a Chat.

How to Create and Add a New Domain in Plesk

Step #1: Add New Domain

To create a new domain in Plesk 11+ you will click on the Add New Domain button on the Websites & Domains tab (if you use Service Provider view you will need to choose “Manage Hosting” next to the subscription or domain). This will bring you to the Adding New Domain Name page. Here you will be required to determine three things which will be covered in detail below: DNS Settings, Hosting Type, and Hosting Settings.

How to Create and Add a New Domain in Plesk

Continue reading “How to Create and Add a New Domain in Plesk”

Plesk to Plesk Windows Migrations

If you ever need to upgrade the hardware on your Windows server with the Plesk interface, Liquid Web’s Windows team is happy to help you through the migration. While it is not the most simple process you will ever be a part of, keeping in communication with our Heroic Support will make things go smoothly.

Continue reading “Plesk to Plesk Windows Migrations”

How To: Installing Software with Softaculous

Softaculous is an easy to use one click installer, allowing you to install software packages on your Fully Managed Linux server quickly and easily backup and update these installs. While Softaculous is designed with ease of use in mind, it can be confusing to install software with Softaculous. The purpose of this article is to walk through installing a piece of software using Softaculous.

Continue reading “How To: Installing Software with Softaculous”