WPCloud Deploy Documentation

Introduction, Installation & Quick Start Guide

Table Of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Quick Start
  3. Next Steps
  4. Notes
  5. Important Concepts
  6. Other Resources

Note: If you are a first time LICENSED user of WPCloudDeploy, one of the services we offer is a FREE 1-on-1 walk-through so that you can get up and running fast!  We’ll help you install the plugin, configure your SSH keys and get your first server deployed.  Just open a support ticket to request this service!

Introduction

WPCloudDeploy is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create WordPress servers at cloud server providers such as DigitalOcean, Linode, AWS and others.

But it does so much more than just create servers.  Once a server is created you can:

  • Add multiple WordPress sites
  • Use a centralized dashboard to manage multiple sites and multiple servers across multiple cloud server providers
  • Perform WordPress specific actions on sites
  • Gain advanced functions such as the ability to push sites between servers, sync entire servers and more

It is extensible with hooks and filters that allow developers to add their own cloud server providers.

Additionally, products such Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) and Admin Columns Pro can be used to customize the data that appear for each server and site.

And, because it’s a WordPress plugin developers can integrate data from other popular WordPress plugins or send data from it to those other plugins.  This allows developers and admins to create a centralized dashboard that pulls together data from other plugins and combine it with their server and site data – something that isn’t possible or would be quite difficult with SAAS products.

One of the funky things with a plugin such as this one though is that you need an existing WordPress site in order to use it.  Which makes it a little bit meta!  You can learn more about this on the Requirements Page.  But, if you are using our pre-built DigitalOcean or AWS EC2 image you do not need to worry about these.


Quick Start

We have a number of Quick Start guides that require various levels of work depending on your skills and how flexible you can be in the type of installation you need:

1. Quick Start Using a Digital Ocean Pre-built Server Image

You will need to be comfortable logging into a server using SSH if you choose this option.

This is one of the fastest ways to get up and running when performing the installation yourself.


2. Quick Start Using An AWS EC2 Pre-built Server Image

You will need to be comfortable logging into a server using SSH if you choose this option.

This is also one of the fastest ways to get up and running when performing the installation yourself.


3. Quick Start Using Your Own WordPress Site (and/or Server) and DigitalOcean As Your Cloud Server Provider

Use this option if your cloud server provider is DigitalOcean and you want to install WPCD on your own server/site.

Your web server will need to meet certain conditions so please make sure that you have the server access required to perform adjustments to the NGINX/APACHE configuration


4. Quick Start Using Your Own WordPress Site (and/or Server) and a Premium Cloud Server Provider

A premium cloud server provider is any one other than DigitalOcean.  You need a license purchased from our store to be able to use one of these.

Your web server will need to meet certain conditions so please make sure that you have the server access required to perform adjustments to the NGINX/APACHE configuration


Which One To Use

If you’re even slightly comfortable with using SSH to login to servers and you don’t mind using DigitalOcean or AWS to run your core WPCD instance, then the first two options are, by far, the easiest and fastest way to perform the installation yourself.

Otherwise, if you’re installing on your own server/site, you’ll have to use one of the other two options.

Your can also bootstrap a server with our scripts using just the command line – but this is an advanced process and definitely not a ‘quick-start’.

Reminder: If you are a first time LICENSED user of WPCloudDeploy, one of the services we offer is a FREE 1-on-1 walk-through so that you can get up and running fast!  We’ll help you install the plugin, configure your SSH keys and get your first server deployed.  Just open a support ticket to request this service!


After Install Steps


Backup Your WPCD Site

WPCloudDeploy is a plugin that runs on a regular WP site.  So, to preserve your data you should backup and manage the WPCD site just like you would any other WordPress site.

Now that you have your first server and site up and running, it’s a good time to install a backup plugin and configure it to backup at least once per day and send the backup to a SECURE off-site location.


Notes

You need to install the plugin in an existing WordPress site.  However, we recommend that you do NOT install it on sites hosted at places like WPEngine since these services block access to the standard ssh ports.  Need a new site to install this on?  This document outlines some options.


Important Concepts

Loosely Coupled Connection To Server

The WPCloudDeploy plugin is in a “loosely coupled” connection to your cloud server.  This means that you or your cloud provider can make changes to the server without the WPCloudDeploy plugin knowing about it.  It is important that you do not do this unless instructed by one of our support staff.

Still, stuff happens and the plugin can sometimes recover.  Some examples where recovery is possible are:

  • You or the cloud provider turns off the server but WPCloudDeploy still thinks its turned on.  The server list will still show the server as active.  Once the server is turned back on, it will be back in sync with the plugin.
  • The cloud provider can change the IP address of the server.  You can fix this by going to the server screen and updating the IP address there.  If you do not do this all actions the plugin tries will fail.

Callbacks

As we communicate with the server to deploy new sites and perform other tasks, we sometimes need to connect back into the plugin’s site to update status and error data.  This means that you cannot install it on a local server.  The server must be accessible via the internet and the REST API must not be blocked by your firewalls – learn more at the bottom of our requirements page.


Other Resources

We have a couple of articles that help you set up your new server and site after they have been deployed:

 

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