We’ve been relatively quiet recently about WPCD. But that’s only because we’ve been busy working on some WPCD internal items such as automated tests and code standardization. Over the last year we’ve been through quite a number of rapid-fire releases, adding more than 100 functional points to the product.
So, this summer we decided it was time to do some housekeeping before things got too out-of-hand. We’re currently focused on improving our automated test coverage and will follow that up with some code cleanup work.
Meanwhile, we do have some goodies that we can drop in your laps.
New: On-demand Linux Updates
Usually Linux gets updated automatically via the native Linux unattended upgrades process that runs every night. But we’ve had some requests to allow for the option to run updates on demand without dropping to the command line.
So we’ve added a new section to the server UPGRADES tab. In the past this tab was used solely for updates related to our configuration files. Now it has a new RUN LINUX UPDATES section.
When you click this button it will setup a cron task on the server that will run within about a minute or so, kicking off the updates. It will run ALL pending updates which includes security and non-security updates.
New: Bulk Actions
If you’ve used WPCD long enough, you’ve gone to bed with your server health column all green and woken up to all your servers needing a restart, sporting a bright red button to remind you to make it so.
This is because of those unattended upgrades that run every night. As with updates to most computers, a restart is sometimes necessary.
If you have a couple of servers it’s not a big deal to click into each one and hit the restart button.
But if you have a bunch of servers it becomes a PITA. So we decided to do something about it.
Now you can send a restart request to multiple servers with just a few clicks. Just make sure you read through the documentation to understand some of the limitations when using this feature.
As you can see from the screenshot above, you can also send update requests to multiple servers and install callbacks on multiple servers as well.
If you’ve got a lot of servers, these kinds of bulk actions will be something you’re going to love. Let us know what other bulk actions you think might be useful – for both your servers and your sites.
New: Download Additional Log Types
We’ve added the unattended upgrade logs as download options in the LOGS tab on each server.
We bet some of you will find those quite useful.
We now allow you to trigger a SNAPSHOT from the server BACKUP tab for servers located at DigitalOcean. We’re thinking of bringing this option to all the other providers that support it but we need your feedback on whether this is a useful feature.
So, make sure you drop us a note with your thoughts about it.
New: Options to TURN OFF and TURN ON a server
We’ve added an integration to most provider’s API to turn off and turn on servers from inside the POWER tab. This complements the RESTART and SCHEDULE RESTART buttons already there.
Frankly, there should be very little use for these items but if you really need to shutdown a server for a bit(eg: when taking a snapshot), it’s there for your use.
Tweak: Run Callbacks Now
On the CALLBACK tab, there is a button that you can use to execute the Callbacks immediately. Most admins click this as soon as the callbacks are installed instead of waiting overnight for the first update. But frequently this resulted in an AJAX error because it took too long to run. So we’re taking a different approach to it…
We’re now setting it up as a cron process on the server to run within one minute or so of your request. The Health column will then update when it’s complete.
So you can now click the button and go on your merry way; then check back in later to see if the health column was updated.
Tweak: Update View/Hide Trash Options For Servers
There is an existing WPCD feature where you can designate a server as DELETE PROTECTED. This removes all the DELETE and TRASH links on the server so you don’t accidentally delete it.
But, it would also deactivate the checkbox in the server list – the same one used to select a server to include in BULK operations.
This presented an issue since we wanted to allow you to choose servers for the new bulk operations we mentioned above, while still respecting the DELETE PROTECTED flag.
To handle this we’ve removed an old settings option and added a couple of new ones:
We still default to deactivating the checkbox in the server list if a server is DELETE PROTECTED. But, you can override this using the first option shown in the image above. We recommend that you enable this option when needed and then disable it again afterwards.
The second option removes the TRASH option from the Bulk Actions drop-down for all servers. Our recommendation is that you turn this on if you find yourself using the Bulk Actions drop-down on a regular basis.
Tweak: New Option To Control Server Provisioning Timeouts
When we create a new server, we set a limit of 15 minutes to install our stack on it. If the installation does not complete within that time we throw an error. This works for most providers. However, once in a while we encounter a provider whose VMs are really really slow – we recently ran into this on VMs in the AWS LIGHTSAIL MUMBAI region.
To address this issue we added a new setting for the admin to allow the timeout to be increased:
You should only change this if you’re running into this issue – usually after contacting our support folks for guidance. 95% of the time this option should not be touched.
- We added a button to clear out the results of the Malware Scanner data. This is useful if the admin removes the scanner from the server. Usually we leave the recent history of the scan results in our records; but sometimes an admin might find it useful to just remove them.
- We added date/times to the feedback log when provisioning new servers. This can sometimes be useful because it can tell you how long it takes to install the basic WordPress components such as NGINX, PHP etc.; and it shows the time zone in use on the server.
We added line-breaks via WPAUTOP to the body of the messages in the COMMAND LOG and ERROR LOG screens. This makes those messages and logs far easier to read (something we should have done a long time ago!)
We’ll be releasing this as a FAST RING release first as usual and then follow up later with a general release for everyone. It’s also available for FIREUPWP users.
We hope you’re excited about these features and, if you need any of them RIGHT NOW, just drop us a note and we’ll make sure we get it to you!
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