The ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin has been designed to be as flexible as possible. Every hosting service is different and every Agency or Developer has their own preferred cloud provider and services. With this in mind we decided to offer as many cloud providers and services as possible in the FREE version of the plugin, and then provide more sophisticated solutions via the add-on modules. After a few iterations and tweaks to the control panel, we think we have it about right now!
So let’s take a closer look at the built-in modules. By a ‘module’ we mean a self-contained service which has it’s own dedicated area of the control panel. For example the ‘DigitalOcean’ module contains all of the functionality for deploying and managing your servers, or ‘Droplets’ as they’re known in DigitalOcean haunts!
The plugin currently includes the following core modules;
- Amazon Lightsail
We intend over the coming weeks and months to add more core modules. We have a ‘Ploi’ module working and being tested which will join ‘RunCloud’ and ‘ServerPilot’ in the Server Management section, and we are closely looking at more cloud providers!
Let’s look a bit deeper at what these modules can do! The beauty of the ‘WP Cloud Server’ plugin is that it’s not just a collection of dumb modules that allow you to create the odd cloud server or create a template to sell hosting plans!
The modules, where appropriate, interact. They can work together to create a much grander solution! As we add new core and add-on modules this interaction is going to grow and grow! We’re very excited!
Let’s take a look at an example.
DigitalOcean and ServerPilot Modules working together
As you can see from the list above, both DigitalOcean and ServerPilot are core modules. If you’re a fan of ServerPilot you will know that connecting a DigitalOcean server is a three stage process that involves interacting with both dashboards.
You must first deploy a DigitalOcean server, then you need to tell ServerPilot that you want to connect a new servers and provide the IP address, etc. Then finally you need to download and execute the ServerPilot installer script on the server so that it connects to ServerPilot. Once this is done then the server software and WordPress are installed.
But inside the ‘WP Cloud Server’ dashboard life is much more relaxed!
You start with both modules activated with the API credentials entered so both APIs are healthy. Next you go to the ServerPilot control panel under ‘Managed Servers’ and click on the ‘+ ADD SERVER’ tab.
This page allows you to configure the DigitalOcean server you want connecting and the ServerPilot plan you wish to use. Next is the difficult part! Click ‘Create Server’!
All you need to do know is sit back, have a coffee, and wait about fifteen minutes! When you return you will see the DigitalOcean server is deployed. If you now log-in to ServerPilot you will see the server listed in the ServerPilot dashboard. But more importantly everything is installed and ready to go!
That was a fairly simple example. What about looking at the example of two core modules working with one of the add-on modules!
UpCloud, RunCloud and GitHub Modules working together
In this example we’re combining UpCloud and RunCloud modules in the plugin, with the GitHub add-on module available from this website.
Before we start you must have an account with all three services. You must also create and copy API credentials for all three and save them in the settings page for each module. Once that is done and all modules are active we can begin.
As in the previous example navigate to ‘RunCloud’ under the ‘Managed Servers’ admin menu and click on the ‘+ ADD SERVER’ tab. Once again we can enter the server configuration that we want, remembering to select ‘UpCloud’ as the cloud provider. As before click ‘Create Server’ and the UpCloud server will be deployed and automatically connected to RunCloud.
Because RunCloud has more options with applications we need to switch to the ‘Web Application’ menu option in the control panel. Once again we have a tab which is named ‘+ ADD WEB APPLICATION’. On this page you can select the server you want to use, such as the one just created. Next click on the ‘Application’ drop-down and you will see a list of available GitHub repositories that can be deployed as a web application.
The above examples use the manual tools that are built-in but imagine automating everything to sell website hosting plans.
Selling Website Hosting with Templates
What if you could repeat what we did above but fully automate it? This introduces the power of templates. Creating either a ServerPilot or RunCloud Template allows you to repeat what we did above but automatically when a hosting plan is sold.
Imagine creating a RunCloud template that defines the UpCloud server, the type of application required, and the GitHub repository to use. Once again all modules interacting to deploy a website fully automatically!