What’s New In WPCloudDeploy 4.13

As you might expect, WPCD Version 4.13 will be our last release of 2021. It includes a number of items that customers have been asking for. Hopefully you find this to be a nice little holiday gift!

Simplified Staging Sites

WPCD has some very sophisticated staging functionality. However, many folks coming from classic hosting expect a much more simplified experience.  To address this demand we have introduced a separate STAGING tab on the sites screen.

This tab will have a single button on it depending on context.

If a site is not a staging site, the button will offer the option to either:

  1. Create a new staging site which uses our CLONE SITE functionality behind the scenes or
  2. Overwrite the existing staging site which uses our COPY TO EXISTING SITE function behind the scenes.

If a site is already tagged as a staging site, it will just offer the option to push back to live. As you might expect, this “push to live” feature just uses our existing COPY TO EXISTING SITE functionality.

We also added an optional “STAGING” column (shown in the above image). There we show the 1-to-1 relationship we establish behind the scenes between a live site and a simplified staging site.

Password Protect WP-LOGIN with HTTP Authentication

Tired of your wp-admin/wp-login getting hammered and slowing down your site? But you don’t want to or can’t use any of the other mitigations (hide login, Cloudflare proxy etc.)? Maybe this new option can help.

You can password protect just the wp-login page so that login attempts are now stopped at the web-server level before it gets to your site (and loads up all the wp-code). It is far more efficient to stop bad stuff at the web-server level.

We already had a throttle on the wp-login page but this removes any and all traffic to it unless the proper password is entered.

Note that this doesn’t help mitigate attacks on custom login pages such as the ones created by WooCommerce, Ticketing Systems, Form Builders and so-on.

Extensive Options For Enabling/Disabling Tabs For “Owners” of Servers and Sites

WPCD has the concept of a ‘server owner’ or ‘site owner’. This is useful when using our WooCommerce modules to sell server subscriptions and site subscriptions. But even without those modules, an admin can assign “ownership” to a particular user.

Ownership of a site or server gives full admin access to that item.

But sometimes, that’s not desirable.

With this new feature, the system admin can decide what tabs are available and active for ‘site owners’ and ‘server owners’.

With the introduction of simplified staging sites with their own internal tag, we can separate out the rules. For example, you can prevent owners from accessing the CLONE tab for staging sites.

We have also taken this one step further with ROLES on a tab-by-tab basis:

Finally, all these new options are also possible at the TEAM level!

As you might expect, there is an interplay between all these items: TEAMS, AUTHORS, OWNERS, ROLES and WordPress Capabilities – and we have created documentation that should help clear up any confusion.


White Label Options

There are multiple enhancements in this area.

White Label Tab

We have started a new WHITE LABEL tab. Some of the items that have gone into the WP-CONFIG.PHP file in the past can now be configured here. It’s currently very basic but over time we’ll be moving many items from WP-CONFIG.PHP into this tab.

As you can see from the above image, we have also added some items that would normally require some custom CSS.

In addition we have included the ability to change where the documentation links point to on certain tabs – in the past this would have required a custom plugin or code-snippet that utilized our hooks/filters.

New Options to Show / Hide Certain Column Data

We’ve added new options to remove items from certain columns if the user is not an admin. Check out the images below:

Simplified Backup Tabs For Non-Admins

We now offer the option to remove certain items from the backup tab if the user isn’t an admin.


Filter For Sites That Need Updates

Every night we push data from all servers to the WPCD plugin about the state of sites including whether a site needs theme or plugin updates.

You can now filter the site list to show only those sites that need attention.

Change File Upload Size

There is now a new option to change the file upload size in the TWEAKS tab for a site:

If you’re an experienced WPCD admin, you’re probably sitting there scratching your head while wondering “wasn’t that somewhere there before”?

The answer would be “yes, partially”.

The option to change the PHP settings to allow larger uploads has been around for a while in the PHP tab. But you would still have to manually update the NGINX configuration to allow it as well.

This option takes care of both configuration files in one shot. It sets three options actually:

  • client_max_body_size
  • post_max_size
  • upload_max_filesize

The last two options in the list are actually PHP options but they still end up in the NGINX configuration file as pass-through values to the PHP process.

This is something we should have done a while ago but since most users were ok with our default 25MB upload size it wasn’t an urgent issue.

Still, the bash script has been burning a hole in our pockets for a few months now so we’re really happy to finally get this out there.

PHP 8.1 and Other Upgrades

New servers will get PHP 8.1 installed as part of the tech stack. Older servers can have it installed from the UPGRADES tab if needed.

We also have two additional optional upgrade buttons to upgrade WP CLI and the 7G Firewall.

If, in the future, any of these items become a mandatory upgrade we’ll force an upgrade but, for now, all three items are optional.


WC Site Subscription Changes

Multiple Sites Per Subscriptions

One of the requests we have gotten a couple of times for our SELL SITE SUBSCRIPTIONS WITH WOOCOMMERCE module is to allow for more than one site in a subscription.

Our original design was targeted at AGENCIES who had a more personal relationship with their customers. Hence one subscription per purchase underpinned the design.

To move to multiple sites per subscription is actually a huge architectural change – that is, if we want to do right and not shoe-horn it into the current architecture. So it’s not something we had on our books for this year.

However, a customer decided that they wanted a simplified version of it and was willing to pay for that simplified version.

So, you can now specify the number of sites allowed in a subscription. BUT don’t get too excited – it comes with some very Very VERY important limitations! We have them listed in the ABOUT THE NUMBER OF SITES FIELD section in our documentation for this module.

Other Changes

We now display the order id in the APP List. If the logged in user is an admin we also show the subscription id.


Breaking Changes

There is one minor breaking change we had to introduce because a settings variable name was incorrect. With the corrected name, you’ll need to go back and re-enable the option if you’re using it. Check out the screen shot below from the settings screen:

Just re-enable the option shown in the red box above if you had it enabled before.

Optional Resets

If you’re using both the SMTP Gateway and Linux Crons, you should disable and re-enable the Linux Cron to push the latest fixes to your sites. This release includes a fix where crons might send out an email every time they run. If you’re using 1 min crons, this could result in thousands of emails per week when the SMTP Gateway is also installed on the server.

Misc Improvements

  • There is now a link to take you directly to the callbacks tab from the servers list if callbacks are not installed.
  • In the Server Alerts history screen you can now reset the ‘sent’ flag to force alerts to be resent. This is primarily used for debugging purposes.
  • If you have setup global default email settings you can use them populate the MONIT/HEALING tab. Before, these could only be used as defaults for the SMTP GATEWAY.
  • When removing a site from SITE LIST screen, you now get a better indication that something is happening.

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Update Metabox.io components to their latest version.
  • Fixed an issue where CRONS were firing off emails if the smtp gateway was installed.
  • Fixed a few more strings that should have been sent through the WP translation functions.

Wrapup

WPCD 4.12 has been promoted to a regular release and is available to everyone via automatic updates. This release is a fast-ring release and is available for download from your account area.

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