The power of the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin is in the powerful control panel built-in to the WordPress Admin Dashboard. The control panel has been carefully designed to only show the functionality for the active modules, as well as trying to make it as easy as possible to navigate around the services you wish to use!
The screenshot below shows the dashboard with the ‘Module Overview’ page displayed. It is a zoomed in version of the image at the top of this page so you can see the menu structure more clearly.
Let’s start on the left with the WordPress Admin Menu.
WordPress Admin Menus
Looking at the screenshot above you can see four menu items that are used by the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin. The menu items are;
- WP Cloud Server – This provides access to the admin and configuration pages, such as the ‘Module Overview’ shown above.
- Cloud Servers – This menu is displayed if you have a cloud provider module activated such as DigitalOcean, Vultr, or Linode.
- Managed Servers – This menu is displayed when you have ServerPilot or RunCloud activated.
- Managed Hosting – This menu is displayed when you are using the Cloudways module.
- Web Services – This menu is only displayed when add-on modules, such as StatusCake or GitHub, have been activated.
As you can see from the explanation above the control panel has been designed to avoid the unwanted clutter of functionality that you don’t need. Let’s return now to the ‘Module Overview’ page and take a closer look at the features.
The first thing you will notice when any new section is loaded is a page with a left-hand menu. In this case you can see two menus, one above the other, called ‘Module Overview’ and the second simply called ‘Modules’. The ‘Module Overview’ is the default page when first opened and provides you with an overview of the status of all modules.
The screenshot below shows the page zoomed in to highlight just three modules. You can see that each module is in a different state. The first module, ‘ServerPilot’, is active and the API connection to the service is working correctly. The second module, ‘DigitalOcean’, is active but its API is not working correctly, this could be because the API credentials haven’t been entered or are incorrect, or that the API is down for some reason! Finally, the third and last module, ‘Vultr’, is ‘Inactive’ which automatically disconnects the API. This is the state when the user just doesn’t have a need for this service.
On the far right-hand side of the screenshot is the ‘Manage’ column that gives access to activate or deactivating modules, and for active modules, access to their settings page for entering API credentials, looking at logs, and the debug page!
The next menu down is the ‘Modules’ menu that simply provides a list of all ‘active’ modules. Clicking on any module will take you to a page similar to the one shown below, which is actually for the ‘ServerPilot’ module.
As you can see from the screenshot this page is primarily for configuring the module and for monitoring events and debugging. The default page is the settings page which as you can see is where you enter and then save your API credentials. In this case they would be from your own ServerPilot account.
We’ve taken an in-depth look at the ‘Modules’ themselves and how to set them up. But it’s time really to take a look at using the modules. As we’ve said earlier the control panel has been designed to be consistent. So for this section we are going to look at the ‘Cloud Servers’ admin menu. But you will be pleased to know that the ‘Managed Servers’ and ‘Managed Hosting’ will look and feel the same!
If you hover your mouse pointer over the ‘Cloud Servers’ admin menu, then you may see something similar to the screenshot above. This view depends on how many cloud server modules you have active. In the example above we have four modules active, but if you have a single module then the ‘Cloud Servers’ will take you directly to that module.
The ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin has been structured so that every module has its own dedicated control panel. In the screenshot above we have selected ‘DigitalOcean’, clicking on it will open a new control panel with all of the DigitalOcean functionality in one place!
Cloud Server Control Panel
With each release of the WP Cloud Server plugin we are adding more and more functionality. The screenshot below shows the DigitalOcean control panel in all its glory! As you can see it follows the same trend for the look and feel. The left-hand menu with the functionality on the right.
The view in the screenshot is the default when first opened. It gives an instant view of all existing Droplets in your DigitalOcean account. The right-hand window is tabbed and you can see another tab labelled ‘+ ADD DROPLET’, if you click this tab then you will see the screenshot below.
This panel gives you the ability to manually deploy a new DigitalOcean Droplet. You can enter hostname, select the image, and size, as well as SSH Key, Startup Script, and even enable server backups!
Managing Cloud Servers
Having created a new server you then need to manage it. If you go back a couple of screenshots to the view that listed the Droplets, you will see at the end a link labelled ‘Manage’. If you click this against the server you want to manage then you will see a modal pop-up as shown below.
This pop-up is where you get full control over your server. You can Power Off, Power Cycle, Reboot, and even delete the server. If you did Power Off the server you will then find that the buttons would change to allow the server to be Powered On. The left-hand menu gives you access to Snapshots and Backups.
This is just the beginning! We have plans to add even more options and features over the coming weeks and months!